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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | NOTES

Dreams Are Cut Short

March 25, 2001|MIKE TERRY

PHILADELPHIA — USC Coach Henry Bibby had a variety of motivational methods for the Trojans during the tournament, but Saturday he saved one of his best for last.

Before USC left for the game, Bibby had reserve 7-3 center Luke Minor hold up a basketball rim with a net. Then he had the Trojans practice cutting the net down.

"It was a visualization thing for us to think about winning," said Brian Scalabrine, who had the piece he cut down tied to his travel bag.

However, the Trojans had to watch Duke do it for real.

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Bibby could not leave without one last jab at the officiating.

"Every game was called different, and it was nothing like we saw all year in the Pac-10--not even close," Bibby said.

Saturday's game was called tightly from the beginning, although both teams did adjust. In fact, the Trojans wound up shooting more free throws (18) than the Blue Devils did (15).

But the early, rapid foul calling by the crew of Mike Sanzere, Steve Olson and Ed Hightower left a big imprint on the Trojans.

"They called a hand check on the first possession. I've never seen that," Scalabrine said. "Duke's a great team with a great coach. But you get foul calls like that and they're really hard to overcome."

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