- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

DAYTON, OHIO (AP) - Ronald Moore hadn’t made a shot from behind the arc all night. With the game on the line _ twice _ he made them from the same spot, extending and then ending the longest game in the NCAA tournament so far.

Moore’s two shots sent Siena to a 74-72 victory over Ohio State in double overtime Friday night, putting the ninth-seeded Saints in a second-round matchup with Louisville, the tournament’s top team.

Siena (27-7) trailed by 11 in the second half before sending the Buckeyes (22-11) to a stunning defeat in the first double-overtime NCAA tournament game in their history. Ohio State’s Evan Turner scored 25 points, but missed a leaning 15-foot shot just before the buzzer.

Moore missed all four of his shots from behind the arc in regulation. He wasn’t supposed to get one in the first overtime _ Ohio State coach Thad Matta told his team to foul, but it didn’t _ and he let it fly when he found himself unguarded.

“I felt even though I was 0-fer, I was going to take the shot,” he said. “It opened up for me.”

In the second overtime, he was supposed to pass to one of two teammates, but neither one was open so he shot away again. A few seconds later, Siena coach Fran McCaffery then wrapped his arms around his point guard and carried him across the floor as the Saints fans, vastly outnumbered by the thousands of Ohio State fans, chanted “Ron-ald Moore.”

Louisville 74, Morehead State 54, Midwest Regional

The NCAA tournament’s top team pulled off a few dance moves at midcourt during warmups, then stumbled through a few early missteps. Louisville’s full-court press _ the thing that makes the Cardinals so dangerous _ took over in the second half, setting up a victory over Morehead State that completed 25 years of perfection by No. 1 seeds.

With the win, No. 1 seeds improved to 100-0 against No. 16s since the tournament expanded in 1985. There have been a few close calls, and Morehead State (21-16) kept up for a half.

Then, history set in.

“Teams see you as a No. 1 seed, they’re going to bring more intensity to you,” said Andre McGee, who had five steals at the apex of the press. “That’s what makes the tournament so special. Any team can beat another team, regardless of name or ranking.”

Not during those 100 games, when the top team has tottered but never toppled.

Oklahoma State 77, Tennessee 75, East Regional

Stunningly, after 40 minutes of give-no-ground basketball, everything opened up for Byron Eaton.

Oklahoma State’s husky point guard found a clear path to the basket for a three-point play with 7.2 seconds left, lifting his team over Tennessee.

Eighth-seeded Oklahoma State (23-11) will play Pittsburgh, the top seed in the East Regional, in the second round. The Panthers sprawled across the first three rows of seats behind the Oklahoma State basket for the start of the second half, doing a little firsthand scouting.

They were gone long before Eaton _ a five-sport star in high school who also played a little football _ gave the game its final shoulder-down nudge.

Tennessee (21-13) got caught flat-footed, allowing Eaton to drive the lane untouched. Tyler Smith came in late and unsuccessfully tried to block the shot, which fell through the net as Eaton tumbled to the floor after the contact.

Smith had a chance to win it for Tennessee, but his jumper from behind the arc hit the side of the rim and bounced up to the top of the backboard as the buzzer sounded. Smith led all scorers with 21 points.

Pittsburgh 72, East Tennessee State 62, East Regional

Playing as a No. 1 seed for the first time but hardly looking the part, Pittsburgh overcame a sloppy performance and a frightful 40 minutes from No. 16 seed East Tennessee State.

Pitt’s massive center DeJuan Blair bullied his way inside for 27 points and 16 rebounds as the Panthers (29-4) managed to extend their season, which with a little more than four minutes left was in jeopardy of ending sooner than they ever imagined.

“We survived,” Blair said.

The Panthers had better improve if they want to go much further. They had 18 turnovers, struggled with ETSU’s end-to-end press and hardly looked like a squad picked by many to win its first title.

“Having a tough game like that at the beginning keeps you on your toes,” Panthers senior forward Sam Young said. “Every game gets harder and harder.”

Kevin Tiggs scored 21 for the Buccaneers (23-11), who shot just 31 percent and missed 12 free throws but still had a chance to become the first bottom seed to win a first-round game.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide