The Butler did it!

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 24, 2003

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A team of blue-collar kids with crew cuts from a tiny Indiana school beat a powerhouse in the big tournament.

Sound vaguely familiar?

Darnell Archey's brilliant shooting and Brandon Miller's deft ball-handling Sunday swept 12th-seeded Butler into the round of 16 for the first time with a 79-71 stunner over Rick Pitino and Louisville in the East Regional.

Email newsletter signup

The Horizon League team that plays in the gym where the ultimate underdog movie, ''Hoosiers,'' was filmed is writing a poignant script of its own with upsets of No. 5 Mississippi State and the fourth-seeded Cardinals (26-6).

Next, the Bulldogs (27-5) meet top-seeded Oklahoma on Friday in Albany, N.Y.

Archey shot 8-of-9 on 3-pointers - hitting all six in the second half - and tied his career high with 26 points to end Pitino's return to the NCAA tournament.

Butler, with an enrollment of about 4,000 - less than a fifth of Louisville's - made 14 of 22 3-pointers, including 9-of-13 in the second half, to erase an early 15-point deficit.

Reece Gaines scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half for Louisville.

Auburn 68, Wake Forest 62

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Cliff Ellis can sing it proud. His Auburn Tigers really do belong in the NCAA tournament.

Feeding off their underdog status one more time, the team that many felt shouldn't have been invited to the tourney stunned second-seeded Wake Forest.

Marquis Daniels led the way, returning from a five-minute spell on the bench in foul trouble to score seven of his 18 points in the final four minutes. Reserve Lewis Monroe scored Auburn's last four points from the foul line to finish with 12.

The 10th-seeded Tigers (22-11) advanced to the round of 16 for the second time in five seasons under Ellis, a musician who's recorded several CDs that the coach likes to play in the locker room and on the team bus.

Freshman Justin Gray led Wake Forest (25-6) with a career-high 26 points. But the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season champions were unable to overcome another subpar performance by Josh Howard, the ACC player of the year. He had 14 points and a team-high seven turnovers.

Syracuse 68, Oklahoma State 56

BOSTON (AP) - Never count out Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse's other freshmen.

And don't write off the Big East, either. The conference remained unbeaten in the NCAA tournament when Syracuse overcame an awful start to advance to the regional semifinals.

Third-seeded Syracuse (26-5) will be joined in the round of 16 by three other teams from the Big East, 8-0 in the tournament. The conference received only four bids to the NCAA, which excluded one of its division winners, Boston College.

No. 6 Oklahoma State (22-10) rushed to a 14-2 lead, running after nearly every miss by the Orangemen. But Anthony, Gerry McNamara and Billy Edelin, all freshmen, brought Syracuse back.

Edelin scored 20 points, and McNamara finished with 14 despite missing nearly six minutes to have a wound bandaged above his nose. Anthony, perhaps the nation's top freshman, had 13.


Texas 77, Purdue 67

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Triple-threat T.J. Ford and his Texas teammates are going home - to keep playing in the NCAA tournament, that is.

Considered by some to be the best guard in college basketball, Ford scored 21 points and added nine rebounds and eight assists.

James Thomas contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds and Royal Ivey had 14 points as Texas (24-6) reached the round of 16 for the second straight year, a first for the program.

Willie Deane scored 13 points for ninth-seeded Purdue (19-11), which fell short of the round of 16 for the fourth time in six seasons.

Maryland 77, Xavier 64

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - No need to beat the buzzer this time. Maryland jumped ahead of Xavier right from the start.

The defending national champion Terrapins, who got a game-winning 3-pointer from Drew Nicholas in the most exciting finish of the first round, shut down David West early and beat the Musketeers to reach the round of 16 for the third straight year.

Nicholas and Ryan Randle scored 17 points apiece for sixth-seeded Maryland (21-9).

West, the three-time Atlantic 10 player of the year, finished with 22 points and nine rebounds for No. 3 seed Xavier (26-6), but most of it came way too late.

Michigan State 68, Florida 46

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Michigan State, stung and shocked when Anthony Roberson chose Florida over the home-state Spartans, held the freshman guard scoreless as part of a stunningly easy win over the Gators.

Getting playing time that might have otherwise gone to Roberson, freshman guard Maurice Ager scored 16 points to help the seventh-seeded Spartans (22-11) win in a rematch of the 2000 title game, also a Michigan State victory.

The second-seeded Gators (25-8) failed to get past the first weekend of the tournament for the third straight year - and failed to break 50 points for the first time in coach Billy Donovan's seven years. David Lee finished with 16 points and four rebounds.


Kentucky 74, Utah 54

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Keith Bogans and Marquis Estill scored 18 points apiece and top-seeded Kentucky cruised into the round of 16 for the ninth time in 11 years.

Kentucky (31-3) stretched its winning streak to 25 games, a run sparked by an 18-point loss to rival Louisville on Dec. 28.

It wasn't a shock at all that No. 9 Utah (25-8) had its season end at the hands of Kentucky. The teams were meeting in the tournament for the fifth time in 11 years - the Wildcats have won each time, including a victory in the 1998 national championship game.

Kentucky advanced to meet Wisconsin in the regional semifinals at Minneapolis on Thursday. The Wildcats were knocked out in the round of 16 the last two years, but it will take a major upset by the Badgers to make it three in a row.

Marc Jackson led Utah with 19 points.

Pittsburgh 74, Indiana 52

BOSTON (AP) - Pittsburgh's defense put the Panthers in the round of 16 for the second consecutive year and ended Indiana's hopes of back-to-back trips to the NCAA title game.

Jaron Brown scored 20 points, and Brandin Knight added 17 points, seven assists and five steals for second-seeded Pittsburgh (28-4).