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The Final Four is Set! 20

Posted: March 25, 2012, 8:27 PM ; Updated: March 25, 2012, 9:19 PM

KANSAS UPENDS CAROLINA

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Tyshawn Taylor broke out of his slump in a big way Sunday, scoring 22 points and leading Kansas back to the Final Four with an 80-67 victory over former coach Roy Williams and top-seeded North Carolina.

The second-seeded Jayhawks (31-6) will play Ohio State on Saturday in their first Final Four appearance since winning the 2008 national championship.

"It's awesome," center Jeff Withey said. "There's no better feeling than this right now."

And how's this for symmetry? Kansas began this year's tournament in Omaha, Neb., the same place as four years ago.

As the game ended, Taylor - much maligned for his shooting struggles during the first three games of the NCAA tournament - ran to Kansas fans and raised both arms in the air. Travis Releford tossed his sweatbands into the crowd.

"This is what you come to Kansas for," Taylor said. "It's a great feeling, but it's just one step."

 

KENTUCKY TOO MUCH FOR BAYLOR

ATLANTA (AP) -- Kentucky could've cut the nets down at halftime.

Actually, the Wildcats probably would've been good skipping the ceremony altogether.

A South Regional title is fine, but what matters to this bunch of future NBA stars is breaking out the scissors in the Big Easy.

Top-seeded Kentucky advanced to the Final Four for the second year in a row with a 82-70 blitzing of Baylor, setting up a Bluegrass showdown with rival Louisville in the national semifinals Saturday at New Orleans.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 19 points, Anthony Davis added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Terrence Jones dazzled in all the overlooked areas to lead the Wildcats (36-2) on Sunday. For all the hoopla sure to surround the next game in its basketball-crazed state, Kentucky won't consider the season a success unless it wins two more games - culminating in a national title.

"I'm not satisfied yet," Kidd-Gilchrist said.

 

OHIO STATE OUTLASTS

SYRACUSE

BOSTON (AP) -- Ohio State coach Thad Matta sized up his team in the middle of the season and had it figured for an early loss when the NCAA tournament came around.

The final weekend of March Madness is next, and the Buckeyes will be there.

Jared Sullinger recovered from first-half foul trouble to score 19 points and grab seven rebounds, helping Ohio State beat top-seeded Syracuse 77-70 on Saturday to advance to the Final Four in New Orleans. The second-seeded Buckeyes will play the winner of Sunday's Midwest Regional final between North Carolina and Kansas.

"We're not going down to New Orleans for a vacation. It's a business trip," said Sullinger, who picked up his second foul 6 minutes into the game and did not return the rest of the half. "These guys have played without me before, so they know what they have to do."

Deshaun Thomas scored 14 with nine rebounds for Ohio State (31-7), which led by eight points with 59 seconds to play and held on after the Orange cut it to three. The Buckeyes made 13 of 14 free throws in the final 68 seconds and 31 of 42 from the line in all.

 

LOUISVILLE BATTLES PAST FLORIDA

PHOENIX (AP) -- Once upon a time, Billy Donovan took Rick Pitino on an improbable ride to the Final Four.

Twenty-five years later, Pitino is heading back after another unbelievable run - one capped with an amazing late-game rally that left his old protege wondering what the heck happened.

Freshman forward Chane Behanan made the go-ahead basket with 1:06 left Saturday and Pitino's fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals outscored Florida by 15 points over the final 10 minutes for a 72-68 victory in the West Regional final.

And all Pitino could think afterward was, "Hate to do that to ya, kid."

"Tonight, it was very difficult because of the way the game ended, because they outplayed us for 32 minutes," Pitino said. "And it really hurt inside. As much as I felt like celebrating, it really hurt because he did such a masterful job of coaching."

Russ Smith, who finished with 19 points, followed Behanan's bucket with a pair of free throws and then Florida freshman Bradley Beal and teammate Kenny Boynton each missed chances to tie in the final seconds.

Louisville made one more free throw to seal the game and reach its ninth Final Four, the second under Pitino, despite playing the final 3:58 without point guard Peyton Siva, who fouled out.

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20 Comments

WOO HOO I H8 UNC!!!!!

Rock Chalk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH and UK in championship!!! Go Buckeyes!!!

KU is going to blow out ohio Jayhawks are way better

Ohio will it this year

yaaa let's go bucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O--H--I--O i love ohio state and i'm from syracuse hahaaha!

i dont like collage football so i don't care

do you mean basketball?

It's gonna be Ohio State at Louisville.

Kansas is going to win

Im not interested in NCAA

The championship should be Louisville vs. Kansas.

Maybe Louisville could be the cinderella. Either way, I'm pulling for the Cardinals.

ya and Kansas is going to win

Final Four! Go Buckeyes! O H...

My dad was in the Rose Bowl with the U of I.

My dad went to the U of I.

real bad

is

I O!

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