March 24, 2007


Carolina’s turn for big comeback


Associated Press/Winslow Townson
North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (left) and Southern California’s Keith Wilkinson battle for the ball during an NCAA East Regional game Friday in East Rutherford, N.J. North Carolina defeated Southern California 74-64.

By The Associated Press
North Carolina wouldn’t let a huge second-half deficit stand in the way of an enticing rematch of its 1982 championship game with Georgetown.
Despite subpar games by Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson, the Tar Heels (31-6) rebounded down the stretch and set up a regional final Sunday for college basketball fans to savor.
Down by 16 points early in the second half, the top-seeded Tar Heels suddenly shifted into another gear. Fueled by a big run, they pulled off their biggest rally of the season and beat Southern California 74-64 on Friday night in the East Regional semifinals.
“It was a fantastic comeback to say the least,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. “I have a great deal of confidence in my team. ... I knew we wouldn’t give up.”
North Carolina, the top seed in the East, advanced to the regional final against No. 2 seed Georgetown. The Hoyas escaped with a win when Jeff Green spun and banked in a short, off-balance shot with 2.5 seconds to play to lift them to a 66-65 victory over Vanderbilt in the other semifinal.
In the Midwest Regional, No. 1 seed Florida started slowly — again — and staved off another challenge with a late surge to beat Butler 65-57, giving the Gators a matchup with Oregon in the regional final.
Tajuan Porter tied an NCAA regional record with eight 3-pointers and finished with 33 points, and the third-seeded Ducks withstood a frantic comeback to top seventh-seeded UNLV 76-72.
This is the first time since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985 that there will be three 1-2 matchups in the regional finals.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III was a boy sitting behind the Hoyas’ bench and his dad — coach John Thompson — in that game in 1982, when Tar Heels freshman Michael Jordan hit the winning shot.
“The 25 years, it seems to have gone by fast,” the elder Thompson said at courtside when the night was over. “I’ve talked to Michael, kidding him that I made his career.”
This time, another Carolina freshman was the key to victory. Wright finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. He somehow offset Hansbrough’s 1-for-6 shooting for five points and Lawson’s four points.
Lawson, a sparkplug all season, admitted he was worried.
“A little bit when they went up 16 and they were in their flow and we still weren’t playing defense,” Lawson said. “That’s when we decided we were going to pick it up or we were going home.”
Georgetown 66, Vanderbilt 65: At East Rutherford, N.J., Green squeezed between two defenders and Georgetown squeezed out a win.
The victory was the seventh straight and 18th in 19 games for second-seeded Georgetown (29-6) and put them in the regional final for the first time in 11 years.
Vanderbilt (22-12) had one last chance to win the game but a long 3-pointer by Alex Gordon was contested by Green, the Big East player of the year.
The sixth-seeded Commodores had taken a 65-64 lead with 17.9 seconds to play when Dan Cage hit two free throws after being fouled grabbing the rebound of a Patrick Ewing Jr.’s missed jumper.
After a timeout, Georgetown inbounded the pass and Jessie Sapp brought the ball upcourt and gave it to Green at the foul line extended.
Green started to make a move and fumbled the ball. He recovered, made a turnaround move and banked home the short jumper. Replays seemed to indicate he may have walked by switching his pivot foot.
Midwest Regional
Florida 65, Butler 57: At St. Louis, Al Horford had 16 points, seven rebounds and a key block in the final minute to help the top-seeded Gators hold off undersized Butler.
The Gators (32-5), trying to become the first team since Duke in 1992 to win consecutive national titles, advanced to the Midwest_Regional final Sunday against_Oregon.
The defending national champions trailed by as many as nine and never found their comfort zone against the scrappy Bulldogs (29-7).
Oregon 76, UNLV 72: At St. Louis, Tajuan Porter has Oregon one game away from the Final Four.
The diminutive freshman tied an NCAA regional record with eight 3-pointers and finished with 33 points, and Oregon withstood a frantic comeback to top seventh-seeded_UNLV.
Malik Hairston had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Oregon (29-7), which hasn’t reached a Final Four since winning it all in 1939.



Maycock, Dougher lift unbeaten Dragons

FARMINGDALE — Dan Maycock continues smacking the ball deep, Jimmy Dougher continues being tough on opposing hitters and SUNY Cortland continues its unbeaten ways on a baseball diamond.
Maycock cracked his fourth home run and starting pitcher Dougher improved to 4-0 on the season as the Red Dragons defeated Manhattanville College 9-0 on Friday.
The Red Dragons are off to an 11-0 start. Ranked sixth in Division III, Cortland faced 10th ranked Montclair State in New Jersey this morning. That game was moved to William Paterson, who the Red Dragons will face Sunday at 2 p.m.
Outfielder Maycock was 3-for-4, scored twice and drove in two runs to lead the Red Dragons. To go along with his four home runs, the senior out of Utica Proctor High School has a team high 20 RBI.
Cortland scored five times in the top of the second inning, that rally started when Maycock singled, stole second, moved to third on a grounder and scored on Steve Nickel’s base hit. Anthony Coromato had a two-run triple and Travis Robinson a run-scoring single before that inning was over.
Maycock then led off the third inning with his home run.
Three more runs in the fourth finished the Cortland scoring. First baseman Robinson, who was 3-for-3, singled in his second teammate to up the Red Dragon lead to 7-0. Maycock and catcher Anderson Gardner singled home the final two Cortland runs.
Second baseman Joey Russo was 3-for-4 and scored a run, while Gardner and Nickel had two-hit success.
Dougher, the senior out of Liverpool, allowed two hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter in six solid innings. He picked up his 20th career victory as a Red Dragon, seventh best on Cortland’s all-time win list.
For his career, Dougher is an impressive 20-3.
Brendan Rowlands tossed two hitless innings and struck out three, while T.J. O’Leary pitched a scoreless ninth, to complete the Cortland shutout. Manhattanville (4-5) was held to three hits.
l Cortland had its softball doubleheader slated for today at Muhlenberg in Pennsylvania moved to Sunday at 1 p.m.