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Chalk holds: top eight teams make regional finals
For the Cardinal to match LSU and Connecticut as the only schools to reach the Final Four in five straight seasons, they will have to figure a way to slow down Duke.
The Blue Devils are not only shooting lights out but moving the ball well to pile up assists and easy baskets _ and they hope to keep it rolling right into the program’s first Final Four since 2006. Duke has gone six straight games shooting above 50 percent in the first half, and wound up at 53.7 percent overall Saturday to follow up its season-best 65.6-percent performance from the field in a 96-80 second-round win over Vanderbilt in which the Blue Devils dished out 28 assists.
The Blue Devils fell to Maryland in the 2006 title game. The Terps would love to get back there after beating defending national champion Texas A&M in the regional semifinals. Now they will try and knock off last season’s national runner-up Notre Dame.
The Irish routed St. Bonaventure 79-35 Sunday in the Raleigh Regional semifinals, with their 44-point romp matching the 22-year-old record for scoring margin at the regional stage of the women’s NCAA tournament.
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was impressed by the Terps, who rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the Aggies.
“They’re a strong, strong rebounding team,” McGraw said of the Terrapins. “They have great size. We’re a team that plays four guards. We don’t match up well. They’re much more physical and so much bigger inside than we are.”
Connecticut also likes to play four guards. The Huskies found a balanced offense to complement their stellar defense in a 77-59 victory over Penn State that saw five players score in double figures.
“We wanted to make sure that this was a team thing more than looking around for someone to have a big night,” Auriemma said. “The team would have to play great defense and the team would have to execute offensively. I was really happy after the game to sit back and say that’s exactly what it was.”
Kentucky was happy to be able to relax at the end of its 17-point win over Gonzaga. The Wildcats struggled to get to the regionals, barely beating McNeese State and Green Bay. Now they’ve reached the regional finals for the second time in three seasons.
“It means a lot to our program,” Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We are excited to be here and we know we can make history.”
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
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