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2008 NCAA Tournament: First Round Recaps

South Region


(1) Memphis 87, (16) Texas-Arlington 63: The top-seeded Tigers, like some of the other high seeds in this tournament, came out a bit flat against an unheralded opponent. The Mavericks of Texas-Arlington, making their first-ever NCAA appearance -- actually held a lead in the opening minutes.


Chris Douglas-Roberts led the Tigers with 23 points, one of five Memphis players scoring in double-figures, sparked a 15-2 run that woke up John Calipari's team, and the Tigers cruised to a convincing 24-point win.

(8) Mississippi State 76, (9) Oregon 69: Bulldog forward Charles Rhodes powered Mississippi State to a win, scoring 34 points -- just over twice his season average -- on remarkably efficient 10-of-12 shooting from the field and 14-of-18 from the line. No other player on either team had more than eight free throw attempts.

(5) Michigan State 72, (12) Temple 61: If you knew going in that Spartan leading scorer Drew Neitzel would be held to five points on 2-of-11 shooting, you'd expect Michigan State was headed for an early exit. But a balanced Spartan attack got lots of players involved -- especially helpful given their physical style of play and the thin air at the Denver regional -- eventually wearing down the A-10 champs.

(4) Pittsburgh 82, (13) Oral Roberts 63: My newly-adopted hometown team looked good in their opener and is now 19-1 with point guard Levance Fields in the lineup. Fields led the Panthers in points (23) and assists (7) en route to the big win.

(6) Marquette 74, (11) Kentucky 66: The Golden Eagles held off the Wildcats despite a 35-point performance by Kentucky senior Joe Crawford. Jerel McNeal scored 20 for Marquette, and Wesley Matthews sealed the win by hitting eight free throws in the final half-minute.

All things considered, not a bad season for rookie coach Billy Gillespie, whose Wildcats managed to scratch out 18 wins and an NCAA tournament berth despite some truly horrid early-season losses (remember Gardner Webb?) and the mid-season loss of budding star Patrick Patterson. Of course, 18 wins, an eleven seed and a first-round exit doesn't get the job done when you're wearing Kentucky blue. He'll need to do better next year or the bluegrass boosters will be calling for his head -- but at least he has something to build on.

(3) Stanford 77, (15) Cornell 53: Big Red had no answer for Stanford's size, as the Cardinal's seven-foot Lopez twins dominated the paint. They don't make 'em that big in the Ivy League.

(7) Miami 78, (10) St. Mary's 64: Junior guard Jack McClinton's game was a mirror image of Curry's -- he scored a career-high 38 points, with 32 in the second half, to help the Hurricanes overcome a five-point halftime deficit and top American. Miami's coach Frank Haith is now on track to face his mentor, Rick Barnes of the Texas Longhorns, in the next round.

(2) Texas 74, (15) Austin Peay 54: Another high seed/low seed blowout -- at one point, Texas guard A.J. Abrams had 16 points and the entire Austin Peay roster had just 15. Abrams finished with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, leading the Longhorns to a convincing 20-point victory.

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  7. Game notes and recaps from the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament -- South Regional

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