- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2011

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - UC Santa Barbara forward Jaime Serna left the arena in a sling and with his right wrist heavily wrapped.

The real pain came from feeling like he let his team down.

Serna broke his right wrist in the opening minutes of Thursday’s game against second-seeded Florida in the Southeast region and tried to play through the injury. Afterward, he questioned his decision. Teammates and coaches did all they could to ease his mind.

“We realized he was hurt as soon as we saw him holding his wrist,” coach Bob Williams said. “And then he talked to the trainer and we just didn’t realize the severity of it. … He tried to go back in and play, and Jaime is a warrior and wanted to help his team.

“He apologized after the game because he felt like he hurt the team trying to go back in and play with it. I told him that was a bit silly.”

Serna, a 6-foot-9 junior from Laguna Beach, Calif., was the team’s third-leading scorer and rebounder. He averaged 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds this season, and missed six games because of a groin injury. He was scoreless in 11 minutes against the Gators.

For the Gauchos, Serna’s injury was emotionally deflating.

Jaime is one of our brothers and you never want to see one of your brothers go down in a big game like this,” teammate Orlando Johnson said. “We always want to be 100 percent whenever we step out on the court, and when one of your guys is down, it hurts a lot. You could see on his face it was hurting him a lot knowing he couldn’t be out there to help give us somewhat of a chance.

“You’ve just got to commend Jaime for just being the warrior he is, because he’s battled through injuries all season. He’s tried to get back to being healthy. And when he was healthy, you’ve seen the type of player he was.”


GREEN MONSTER: Michigan State’s Draymond Green recorded the seventh “official” triple-double in NCAA tournament history Thursday.

Green had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the 10th-seeded Spartans lost to No. 7 seed UCLA 78-76 in the Southeast region. It was his second triple-double of the season.

Green keyed Michigan State’s feverish rally from a 23-point deficit in the second half. The Spartans came up short after Green missed a 3-pointer in the final minute. He made 6 of 13 shots and 8 of 9 free throws _ getting more looks because of Kalin Lucas’ slow start _ and added four steals.

“He hit a couple of 3s and he made a couple of great assists and he got a couple of great rebounds,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “You know, we went through him a lot.”

Green joined Gary Grant (Michigan, 1987), Shaquille O’Neal (LSU, 1992), David Cain (St. John’s, 1993), Andre Miller (Utah, 1998), Dwyane Wade (Marquette, 2003) and Cole Aldrich (Kansas, 2009) on the NCAA’s list.

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