Bucknell heads to dance again

Posted: March 11, 2006

Time to put the nation's elite teams on alert. Bucknell is ready to shake up the brackets again and block some top team's path to the Final Four.

One year after pulling off a memorable tourney upset, Kevin Bettencourt scored 23 points to help host Bucknell cap a perfect Patriot League season with a 74-59 win over Holy Cross in the title game last night.

Bucknell (26-4) went 17-0 in Patriot League play, including three conference tournament wins, to earn its second straight NCAA Tournament berth and fourth overall.

"I definitely feel relieved," Patriot League player of the year Charles Lee said. "We always say don't let the pressure get to you. But it's hard to not listen to the media, it's all over. I came in very nervous."

The team earned its biggest upset over third-seeded Kansas in the first round of last season's NCAA Tournament.

Kevin Hamilton scored 20 points for the Crusaders (20-12).

In other tournaments:

* At Indianapolis, Paul Davis and Maurice Ager scored 16 points each as Michigan State (22-10) beat No. 9 Illinois, 61-56, in the Big Ten quarterfinals . . . Ohio State (24-4) held off Penn State, 63-56 . . . Indiana (18-10) beat Wisconsin, 61-56 . . . Jeff Horner scored 26 points to lead No. 20 Iowa (23-8) over Minnesota, 67-57.

* At Memphis, Tenn., Shawne Williams had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 5 Memphis (29-3) over Houston, 68-54, in the Conference USA semifinals . . . Squeaky Johnson scored 12 points and added six assists as No. 24 UAB (24-5) beat Texas-El Paso, 63-60.

* At Greensboro, N.C., Eric Williams scored 20 points to lead Wake Forest (17-15) past No. 25 North Carolina State, 82-71, in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals . . . J.J. Redick had 25 points and Duke (28-3) held off Miami, 80-76 . . . Reyshawn Terry had 24 points to lead No. 10 North Carolina (22-6) over Virginia, 79-67 . . . No. 11 Boston College (25-6) beat Maryland, 80-66.

* At Nashville, Tenn., Tre Kelley scored 25 points and South Carolina (17-14) knocked off No. 14 Tennessee, 79-71, to reach the Southeastern Conference semifinals . . . Kentucky (21-11) pulled out a 68-61 victory over Alabama . . . No. 17 LSU (23-7) topped Vanderbilt, 92-73 . . . No. 16 Florida (25-6) beat Arkansas, 74-71.

* At Dallas, Jamel White had 22 points as Nebraska (19-12) upset No. 22 Oklahoma, 69-63, in the Big 12 quarterfinals . . . LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 16 rebounds as No. 8 Texas (26-5) beat Texas Tech, 77-70 . . . Texas A & M (21-7) beat Colorado, 86-53 . . . No. 17 Kansas (22-8) beat Oklahoma State, 63-62.

* At Los Angeles, Darren Collison's 15 points led No. 13 UCLA (26-6) over Arizona, 71-59, in the Pac-10 semifinals.

* At Cleveland, Kent State (24-8) topped defending champion Ohio, 72-59, and Toledo (20-10) topped Akron, 77-69 to set up today's Mid-America title tame.

* At Raleigh, N.C., Jahsha Bluntt scored 20 points to lead Delaware State (20-12) over South Carolina State, 63-51, in the Mid-Eastern Athletic semifinals . . . Bruce Brown and Rashad West scored 17 points each to lead Hampton (15-15), 73-56, over Norfolk State.

* At Birmingham, Ala., Martese Coleman scored 15 points to lead Arkansas Pine-Bluff (13-15) over Grambling State, 61-49, in the Southwestern Athletic semifinals.

* At Anaheim, Johnny Gray scored 18 points as Pacific (23-7) beat Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 68-57, in the Big West semifinals.

In women's games:

* In the Western Athletic Conference semifinals, Tasha Williams had 20 points as No. 17 Louisiana Tech (25-4) beat Nevada, 69-60 . . . In the Mountain West semis, No. 19 Utah beat UNLV, 61-45, and No. 20 BYU beat TCU, 63-53 . . . In the Mid-American semis, No. 24 Bowling Green beat Toledo 68-46.

Noteworthy

* The FBI said there is no specific, credible threat of a terror attack aimed at college basketball arenas or other sports stadiums, but acknowledged alerting law enforcement to a recent Internet posting.

* Ohio State was placed on 3 years' probation and ordered to erase all references to its 1999 trip to the Final Four and three other tournament appearances for NCAA violations under former coach Jim O'Brien. An ineligible player, Boban Savovic, received improper gifts, including housing and cash, from a booster.

* Arizona State coach Rob Evans won't return for a ninth season, but the school would not say whether he was fired or quit.

* Virginia Commonwealth coach Jeff Capel reached agreement on a 2-year contract extension. *

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