Syracuse, last No. 1 seed Texas complete Final Four field

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 31, 2003

The Associated Press


-- Carmelo Anthony stepped up from the start and Syracuse's zone defense did the rest.

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Next stop for the Orangemen: New Orleans.

Anthony scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds to lead coach Jim Boeheim and Syracuse back to the Final Four for the first time in seven years with a 63-47 victory over top-seeded Oklahoma in the East Regional final Sunday.

The third-seeded Orangemen (28-5) will face the winner of the South Regional final between Texas and Michigan State next weekend.

After slow starts in the first three games of the NCAA tournament, Anthony came out strong. The 6-foot-8 freshman star scored 10 points in the opening 12 minutes.

Syracuse's 2-3 zone took over from there, causing the Sooners (27-7) fits inside and outside. The Sooners managed just three points over the final 8 1/2 minutes of the first half as Syracuse took a 30-20 lead.

Things got worse for Oklahoma.

Syracuse scored the first eight points of the second half to take its biggest lead on a 3-pointer by freshman Gerry McNamara with 15:35 to play that capped a 22-3 run.

The last time Syracuse was in the Final Four was 1996 when it lost to Kentucky in the national championship game. The last time the Orangemen were in New Orleans for a Final Four they lost to Indiana in the 1987 championship.

De'Angelo Alexander had 14 points for Oklahoma.

Texas 85, Michigan St. 76

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The Texas Longhorns are the last No. 1 seed standing, headed to the Final Four for the first time in 56 years.

T.J. Ford had 19 points and 10 assists to lead Texas to the biggest victory in school history Sunday, sending the Longhorns past Michigan State 85-76 in the South Regional final -- just 80 miles from their Austin campus.

With chants of ''Texas Fight'' and ''Final Four'' reverberating throughout the Alamodome, the Longhorns earned the school's first trip to the Final Four since 1947, when the NCAA tournament field was eight teams.

Ford was named the most valuable player of the regional.

The Texas wins means the Big 12 will have two teams in the Final Four for the second straight year. Kansas, the league's regular-season champion, won the West Regional on Saturday.

The loss kept Michigan State from appearing in its fourth Final Four in five years.

The last time only one No. 1 seed made the Final Four was 2000, when top-seeded Michigan State won the national title.

Texas (26-6) will play Syracuse (28-5) in the national semifinals next Saturday. The Orangemen beat Oklahoma earlier Sunday.

Texas had five players score in double figures. Brandon Mouton had 16, Brian Boddicker 15, Sydmill Harris 12 and Brad Buckman 11 as the Longhorns tied the school record for victories in a season.

Paul Davis led Michigan State (22-13) with 15 points and Erazem Lorbek had 14 points and nine rebounds.

The Spartans had a 38-28 rebounding advantage but couldn't match Texas' 49-percent shooting and 29-of-38 effort from the foul line. Texas never trailed after leading 18-16 in the first half, and the Spartans never got closer than five in the second.

Texas dictated the fast pace it wanted in the first half, shooting 53 percent as Boddicker and Harris combined to hit five 3-pointers to counter the Spartans' 23-11 rebounding advantage.