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NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT | AT MILWAUKEE

Boston College Puts Utah to Bed

March 20, 2004|From Tribune Co. newspaper and wire reports

Utah is clearly not a morning team.

Friday's first-round NCAA tournament game against No.6-seeded Boston College at Milwaukee tipped off at 11:30 a.m., 10:30 by the Utes' Mountain Time Zone body clocks. And after sleepwalking through an uninspired first half, they were caught napping in the final three minutes, twice turning the ball over on shot-clock violations, the second with 12 seconds left in the game, as Boston College won, 58-51.

Boston College (24-9) plays Georgia Tech in a second-round St. Louis Regional game Sunday.

Backup Boston College guard Jermaine Watson's only basket broke a 49-49 tie with 3:27 remaining and forward Craig Smith gave the Eagles 19 points and eight rebounds. But they won on defense, limiting Utah to 38% shooting and holding scoring leader Nick Jacobson to half his 16-point average.

Jacobson missed all 10 of his first-half shots and was three for 18 shooting in his final college game.

"That's certainly not the way you want it to end," Jacobson said. "It felt good every time I let it go, but it was front of the rim, back of the rim."

The Utes took advantage of one Boston College cold spell to tie it at 49 with a 9-2 run late in the second half, but they managed only two points afterward and twice gave up the ball without trying a shot. Smith and Watson combined for all 11 points as the Eagles outscored Utah, 11-4, over the final 5 1/2 minutes.

"What we did in the last five minutes was established in the first 35," Boston College Coach Al Skinner said. "It was a sound defensive effort. We played good team defense, especially on Jacobson. He had some good looks, but the ball just didn't go in the basket."

Utah finished 24-9, playing the final two-thirds of the season under interim Coach Kerry Rupp after health problems forced Rick Majerus to step aside.

-- Chicago Tribune

Georgia Tech 65, Northern Iowa 60 -- The third-seeded Yellow Jackets got as big a test as any it found in the Atlantic Coast Conference. From the most unlikely of schools, no less.

Luke Schenscher scored 13, including a pair of free throws with 34 seconds to play as Georgia Tech (24-9) held off pesky Northern Iowa (21-10).

David Gruber had 16 points for Northern Iowa (21-10), the 14th seed making only its second NCAA appearance.

After trailing by 17 points in the first half, Northern Iowa rebounded with a 27-9 run spanning halftime and Erik Crawford's three-pointer with 21 seconds left cut Georgia Tech's lead to 63-60. Ben Jacobson, however, missed an off-balance three-point attempt with three seconds left.

Associated Press

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