- The Washington Times - Friday, March 15, 2002

ST. LOUIS Greg Harrington wasn't about to let all of Tulsa's hard work go to waste.

The 12th-seeded Golden Hurricane let a double-digit lead slip away until Harrington's runner in the lane with 14.6 seconds left lifted them past fifth-seeded Marquette 71-69 yesterday in the first round of the East Region.

"It was like it was in slow motion, and the lane opened up very quickly, and the shot went in," Harrington said. "I've made some big shots in my career, but I've also missed some. To hit one in the NCAA tournament is real special."

Marquette had plenty of time to try to tie or win the game but settled for Travis Diener's hasty 3-pointer from well beyond the arc. The shot was an air ball, and Dwyane Wade didn't even touch the ball when trying to grab it for a miracle follow at the buzzer.

"I lost it out of bounds. It was over after that," said Wade, who ended the game hanging on the rim.

"We made a lot of big plays," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "They just made the last big play. It just didn't happen for us."

Tulsa now tries for another upset this time, against its former coach. The Golden Hurricane will play fourth-seeded Kentucky, which beat Valparaiso 83-68. Kentucky's coach, Tubby Smith, led Tulsa to the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 in 1994 and 1995.

"I've always admired Coach Smith as being one of the classier men in our profession," Tulsa coach John Phillips said. "The team thinks it can beat anybody, and I'm not going to tell them anything different."

Antonio Reed scored 18 points, and Kevin Johnson added 14 as the Golden Hurricane held off Marquette's late rally and won a first-round game for the fourth straight year.

Up by as many as 14 points early in the second half, Tulsa watched its lead slowly shrink. When Marquette's Cordell Henry hit two 3-pointers in a span of 27 seconds, the game was tied 65-65 with about four minutes left.

"I knew they would do that," Phillips said. "Some of those shots Henry hit were not easy shots."

The teams traded baskets to make it 69-69, and Harrington came through with the winning shot.

"Greg made a big shot, an old-school shot that running one-hander that used to be famous in the 1950s and '60s," Phillips said. "It's not luck. I've seen him do it before."

Crean said he didn't want to call a timeout after Harrington's shot because it would have given Tulsa a chance to set its defense.

"We didn't do what we wanted to do on the last play," Crean said.

Wade led Marquette, making its first tournament appearance since 1997, with 18 points.

Tulsa shot just 40 percent in the first half, though it did go 6-for-10 from 3-point range. The Golden Hurricane also scored 14 points off eight Marquette turnovers to take a 34-30 lead into the break.


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