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SOUTH ROUNDUP

Memphis' defense sends streak to 24

March 19, 2007|From the Associated Press

John Calipari's Memphis Tigers finally have a victory worth bragging about in their run of 24 in a row. They also have a spot in the South Regional semifinals.

Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 16 points before leaving because of a sprained ankle and his teammates took over from there for a 78-62 victory over Nick Fazekas and Nevada on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament at New Orleans.

The second-seeded Tigers (32-3) hadn't played a team as good as the Wolf Pack (29-5) since their last loss on Dec. 20. They never trailed after going down 2-0, and shut out the Wolf Pack in the last 6:17 -- after Nevada had pulled to within 64-62 and Douglas-Roberts was in the locker room.

"When our leading scorer goes down and we come together like that, for a coach, that gets pretty emotional," said Calipari of losing Douglas-Roberts with 8:11 to play. "You look at us play and we swarmed and ran and covered for each other.... I've got a good bunch of guys that are trying to do something unique."

Memphis meets third-seeded Texas A&M next.

Calipari said Douglas-Roberts, diagnosed with a mild-to-moderate sprain, hopes to play.

Memphis, coming in a tournament-worst 61% from the free-throw line, made 26 of 34 (76%).

Fazekas, three-time Western Athletic Conference player of the year, had 20 points for Nevada.

Tennessee 77, Virginia 74 -- JaJuan Smith led a second-half rally, Chris Lofton made six free throws in the last 27.7 seconds and the Volunteers (24-10) held off the Cavaliers (21-11) at Columbus, Ohio.

Virginia's Sean Singletary missed a three-pointer with one second left and fifth-seeded Tennessee reached the round of 16 for the first time since 2000 under second-year Coach Bruce Pearl. The Volunteers will play top-seeded Ohio State.

Virginia led by as many as 12 points before Smith had a three-point play and a steal and layup during a 15-2 spurt early in the second half that put Tennessee ahead to stay, 54-44. Smith finished with 16 points. Lofton had 20.

J.R. Reynolds scored 26 for the Cavaliers.

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