Going to a Texas shootout

Monday, March 29, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- Even if it takes a little something extra, Georgia Tech finds a way to get it done.

And the Yellow Jackets got a sweet reward for their perseverance: their second trip to the Final Four and their first since 1990.

With leading scorer B.J. Elder hobbled by a badly sprained ankle, Jarrett Jack scored a career-high 29 points to lift the Yellow Jackets to a 79-71 victory over Kansas in overtime of the St. Louis Regional championship Sunday.

No team had more tight games on its road to the Final Four than the third-seeded Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech's first three games were decided by a total of 13 points.

Solid all day, Jack was unstoppable in overtime. After little Will Bynum hit a 3 to break a 71-all tie, Jack went 4-for-4 from the line in the last 47 seconds to seal the win.

Jack finished 8-of-12 from the floor, and had nine rebounds and six assists. Luke Schenscher added 15 points and Clarence Moore had 14 for the Yellow Jackets (27-9).

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, coach Paul Hewitt threw his hands in the air in triumph and a wide grin spread across his face. The Yellow Jackets ran onto the court when the buzzer sounded and piled together for a group hug. Elder's teammates tried to lift him up, but they couldn't get him off the ground as the impromptu mosh pit bopped around.

Kansas (24-9) could do nothing but watch the celebration with disappointment, denied a third straight trip to the Final Four.

Duke 66, Xavier 63ATLANTA -- Too much history and too much Duke did in Xavier in the Atlanta Regional final.

The Blue Devils ended Xavier's remarkable run in the NCAA tournament and headed to their 14th Final Four, holding off the Musketeers to win the Atlanta Regional.

Xavier (26-11) had already chopped down the second- and third-seeded teams in the region, but couldn't make it 1-2-3 against Duke (31-5). The Blue Devils will be the only No. 1 seed in San Antonio, advancing to meet Connecticut next Saturday in the national semifinals.

The seventh-seeded Musketeers had never been this far in the tourney, and it showed in the closing minutes against postseason-hardened Duke.

With the score tied at 56, Chris Duhon drove to the basket and missed, but Luol Deng grabbed the offensive rebound and passed out to J.J. Redick, who swished the 3-pointer that put the Blue Devils ahead for good with 2:55 remaining.

Xavier couldn't overcome the loss of Anthony Myles, its best inside player, who fouled out with 12 1/2 minutes remaining after scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. His absence was especially telling at the end.

The Blue Devils lost the last two years in the regional semifinals. They didn't slip up this time.

Deng had 19 points and was named the MVP of the regional.

Lionel Chalmers led Xavier with 17 points.

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