Surprise winners to meet in Sweet 16

(AP) — Rhode Island and Valparaiso will bring the Harrick family together for a surprise reunion this week. And Kansas won’t be coming.
The eighth-seeded Rams and No. 13 seed Crusaders advanced to the Midwest Regional semifinals with victories Sunday in the NCAA tournament. And their unlikely meeting in St. Louis next Friday has a clear storyline: Fathers and sons.
“You’ve got a family affair in St. Louis,” said Valparaiso coach Homer Drew, whose son, Bryce, is his team’s star player. For Rhode Island coach Jim Harrick, he’ll be on the opposite bench from his son, Jim Jr., an assistant for the Crusaders.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks were the only No. 1 seed denied a spot in the round of 16, losing to the Rams 80-75. Kansas couldn’t survive a frenetic first four days of the tourney that included four overtime games, 11 decided by three points or less and a month full of drama.
“It’s been a fantastic year with a lot of fantastic moments,” said teary-eyed Kansas coach Roy Williams. “This is not one of them.”
Valparaiso’s improbable run seems to have jumped right out of a scene from “Hoosiers.” The next thing you know, Dennis Hopper or Gene Hackman will show up on the Crusaders’ bench.
The little school from Indiana moved into the regional semifinals by beating Florida State 83-77 in overtime on Sunday.
Valparaiso, which defeated Mississippi on a last-second 3-pointer by Bryce Drew on Friday, got rebound baskets from Bob Jenkins and Antanas Vilcinskas in the final two minutes of OT as the smallest school in the tournament won its 13th straight game.
“Nobody gave us a chance,” said Jamie Sykes, who scored 19 points. “Now we can say we are in the Sweet 16. This is beautiful. You just want to cry. Nobody knew us and now people are trying to buy Valpo shirts off us.”
Also Sunday, Duke, the No. 1 seed in the South, got back in the regional semifinals for the first time since 1994 with a 79-73 win over Oklahoma State.
The Blue Devils will play fifth-seeded Syracuse on Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Orangemen beat New Mexico 56-46 in the second round.
In the South’s other subregional, second-seeded Kentucky advanced with an 88-61 win over Saint Louis. The Wildcats will next meet UCLA, an 85-82 winner over Michigan, in a game matching two of college hoops’ most storied programs.
Stanford advanced to the Midwest Regional semifinals with an 83-65 win over Western Michigan. The third-seeded Cardinal will play Purdue, which routed Detroit 80-65, on Friday in St. Louis.
In Thursday’s East Regional it’s North Carolina (32-3) vs. Michigan State (22-7), and Connecticut (31-4) vs. Washington (20-9).
And in the West, it’s West Virginia (24-8) vs. Utah (27-3), and Arizona (29-4) vs. Maryland (21-10).
Duke 79, Oklahoma State 73
The Blue Devils weren’t happy about being sent to Kentucky, but had an OK weekend there anyway.
Roshown McLeod scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (31-3), who’ll remember the crowds’ taunts and a tough final game against the eighth-seeded Cowboys (22-7).
“It was pretty good,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, summing up his stay in Lexington. “I’m not sure I’ll be back soon, unless the (NCAA tournament) committee wants me to come back.”
Syracuse 56, New Mexico 46
The Orangemen’s 2-3 zone collapsed on Kenny Thomas and the Lobos all game, forcing New Mexico (24-8) to shoot a season-low 26 percent from the floor.
Todd Burgan finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for Syracuse (26-8).
Kenny Thomas, the Lobos’ leading scorer, was just 4-of-16 from the floor.
Kentucky 88, Saint Louis 61
The second-seeded Wildcats failed to get a No. 1 seed for the first time since 1994, but are sure playing like one.
Kentucky (31-4) built a 46-18 halftime lead and posted another double-digit win.
Jeff Sheppard showed no lingering effects from an ankle sprain, leading the Wildcats with 18 points.
Chris Heinrich paced Saint Louis (22-11) with a career-high 16 points.
UCLA 85, Michigan 82
Coming off the worst game of his career, senior Kris Johnson sank eight straight free throws over the final 37 seconds for the Bruins (24-8).
Michigan (25-9) cut a late eight-point deficit to two on three occasions in the final 30 seconds, only to see Johnson make his free throws.
Johnson, who scored just three points in Friday’s first-round win over Miami, finished with 25.
Robert Traylor had 19 points for Michigan, which got just a 7-for-27 shooting performance from Louis Bullock.
Rhode Island 80, Kansas 75
Harrick, fired in disgrace at UCLA before the 1996-97 season, will take the Rams (24-8) to the regional semis in his first year at the school.
Cuttino Mobley had 27 points and Tyson Wheeler had 20 and eight assists for Rhode Island.
Kansas (35-4) got 22 points and 14 rebounds from Raef LaFrentz and 23 points from Paul Pierce, but they didn’t get enough help. Billy Thomas was 2-of-15, including 2-of-13 from 3-point range.
Stanford 83, W. Michigan 65
Arthur Lee scored from the outside, and Tim Young and Mark Madsen took care of business inside as the Cardinal (28-4) overpowered the Broncos (21-8).
Lee finished with 24 points. Young, the Cardinal’s 7-foot-1 center, scored 19 and had 13 rebounds and 6-8 Madsen added 19 points and 10 rebounds as Stanford matched the school record for most victories in a season.

Purdue 80, Detroit 65
The Boilermakers (28-7) blew it open early for the second straight game, advancing past the second round for only the third time in coach Gene Keady’s 18 seasons.
Chad Austin scored 20 points and Brad Miller 18 for Purdue, 14-1 against Detroit. The Titans got only 2 points on 1-for-7 shooting from top scorer Derrick Hayes.