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Kansas ends Davidson's magical run; Memphis rolls on

Monday, March 31, 2008

By The Associated Press

DETROIT -- And then there were ones.

Four No. 1s, that is.

Kansas prevented Stephen Curry from taking the last shot and withstood Davidson's long-range miss at the buzzer, holding on for a 59-57 victory Sunday that put all four No. 1 seeds into the Final Four for the first time.

After Kansas' Sherron Collins missed with 19 seconds left, the 10th-seeded Wildcats got one last chance. Curry was double-teamed, could not get off a shot and forced to pass to Jason Richards, whose 25-footer from the top of the key thudded off the backboard.

Kansas moved on to play overall No. 1 seed North Carolina on Saturday, and UCLA and Memphis will round out the party at the Alamodome. Three No. 1s have advanced three times, most recently in 1999.

The Jayhawks advanced to their 13th Final Four, and the win ridded Bill Self of that dreaded "best coach never to make a Final Four" label. Self had fallen short with three different schools, including last year's edition of the Jayhawks.

Curry, who became only the fourth player to hit the 30-point mark in his first four NCAA tournament games, finished with 25 on 9-of-25 shooting and was picked Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Regional. His roommate, Bryant Barr, was the only other Davidson player in double figures, scoring all 11 of his points in the second half.

The loss snapped Davidson's 25-game winning streak, longest in the nation.

Brandon Rush scored eight of his 12 points in the second half, and Sasha Kaun came up with big baskets down the stretch whenever the Jayhawks needed them as Kansas ended the feel-good story of the tournament. Tiny Davidson, trying to become only the third double-digit to make the Final Four, wore down in the stretch.

Not that the Wildcats didn't put up a valiant fight. Curry looked exhausted much of the second half -- with good reason, after leading the Wildcats to upsets of Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin. But he showed the same moxie he's had all tournament, drilling an NBA-range 3-pointer with 54 seconds left that cut Kansas' lead to 59-57.

Kaun and Mario Chalmers led the Jayhawks with 13 each.

South Regional

Memphis 85, Texas 67

John Calipari has a good reason for calling his Memphis Tigers a "Dream Team" -- a kid from Chicago who wears No. 23 and makes plays that bring fans out of their seats.

With freshman Derrick Rose soaring and scoring, Memphis ended two years of regional final failure and routed to reach the Final Four.

The victory in Houston backed up the Tigers' season-long reign near the top of the rankings and sent them to the Final Four for the first time since 1985.

Rose had 21 points, nine assists and six rebounds, outplaying Texas star D.J. Augustin and leading the Tigers (37-1) into a national semifinal Saturday against a UCLA team making its third straight Final Four appearance.

Memphis and UCLA met in the regional finals two years ago and in the 1973 title game, with the Bruins winning both.

Rose took the doubt out of this one in the first half, making a Michael Jordanesque layup as part of his 4-for-4 start, blocking an open-court layup by Augustin and throwing a long pass for a thunderous dunk by Joey Dorsey among his four early assists.

The Tigers were up 29-13 after 12 minutes, with Rose accounting for more points than Texas (31-7) scored.

Rose finished 7-of-10 and was voted the most outstanding player of the South Regional

Chris Douglas-Roberts led Memphis with 25 points, with 14 coming on free throws. Dorsey provided 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Memphis' 37th win matched an NCAA Division I record held by four other teams, and it was their 103rd victory over the last three seasons, the second-best run by any program.



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