Duke, N. Carolina reach Final Four in Boston

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Alison Bales and Duke survived the NCAA tournament's toughest stop along the road to the Final Four.

Bales dominated inside with 15 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks to lead the top-seeded Blue Devils to their fourth Final Four with a 63-61 overtime win Tuesday night over Connecticut in the Bridgeport Regional final.

The win snapped the Huskies' 29-game NCAA win streak in the state of Connecticut.

Duke (30-3) joins North Carolina and Maryland to give the Atlantic Coast Conference three Final Four teams, the first time one league has had three-fourths of the national semifinals.

UConn's Mel Thomas sent the game into overtime with a jumper with 20.7 left in regulation to tie it at 55-all.

Barbara Turner led second-seeded UConn (32-5) with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Cleveland Regional North Carolina 75, Tennessee 63

CLEVELAND -- Ivory Latta ran things at both ends of the floor and sent top-seeded North Carolina to its first Final Four since its 1994 title season with a 75-63 win over Tennessee in the Cleveland Regional final.

The 5-foot-6 (with heels on, maybe) junior All-American finished with 20 points, nine assists and four steals in 40 minutes for the Tar Heels (33-1), who will play Maryland in this weekend's Final Four at Boston.

Latta scored nine of her team's final 11 points, and picked up the assist on the other basket as North Carolina finally put away the Vols (31-5), who were within six with 1:42 left on freshman Candace Parker's layup.

-- From wire reports

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