- 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.

Since assists were not kept nationally until 1984, and steals and blocked shots were added two years later, the NCAA recognizes several “unofficial” triple-doubles. That list includes Kansas’ B.H. Born, Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson, Jacksonville’s Artis Gilmore and Michigan State’s Magic Johnson.


LOUISVILLE’S LEADER: Louisville was without its floor leader, guard Preston Knowles, for the last 8:51 of its 62-61 loss to Morehead State after he sprained a foot.

Knowles, a team captain and an All-Big East second-team selection, scored nine points on 3 of 10 shooting before being sidelined.

This was business as usual for Louisville, which lost 10 players to at least one game because of injury this season.

“It was hard to play without him. He’s been our leader the whole season. He stepped up big, made huge plays for us,” teammate Kyle Kuric said. “Throughout the season, we had a lot of injuries and played through it. We did so tonight as well.”


DOUBLE TROUBLE: Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried had his 28th double-double of the season, tops in the nation, when he scored 12 points to go with his 17 rebounds in Thursday’s 62-61 win over Louisville.

Faried upped his career total to 85, moving him into second place on the NCAA’s career list ahead of Virginia’s Ralph Sampson.

“All coaches use the cliche that rebounders, every shot is a pass to you,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. “He’s the only one I’ve seen since Dennis Rodman truly make that statement true.

“So, he’s a great rebounder. He’s still raw with his offensive skill level. He’s done it against us, Ohio State, Florida State, averaging 17, 18 rebounds, so that’s pretty darn good.”


CAN THEY TOP THEMSELVES?: It’s been 10 years since Hampton pulled one of the most memorable upsets in NCAA tournament history by shocking No. 2 seed Iowa State in the first round.

Hampton coach Edward Joyner Jr. had yet to show his team a replay of that game _ or the signature highlight, the shot of then-coach Steve Merfeld kicking his legs in jubilation as one of his players hoisted him up following the Pirates’ 58-57 win in 2001 in Boise, Idaho.

Those Pirates remain one of only four No. 15 seeds to knock off a No. 2.

Never fear. He saved it for Thursday night, the eve of the 16th-seeded Pirates’ West Regional opener against No. 1 seed Duke in Charlotte, N.C., in just their third NCAA appearance since then.

“Everything, I believe, is timing, and it ain’t the right time yet,” Joyner said. “Trust me, they’re going to see it … along with “Miracle,” “Rudy,” anything else you can find.

“They will see it … along with anything else that we can get to try to pump them up,” he added. “Anything to show them that it has, can and will be done.”


NO VOTES OF CONFIDENCE: Oakland coach Greg Kampe didn’t mind at all Thursday when he was told that President Barack Obama picked against his team in his bracket. The No. 13 seed Golden Grizzlies open the NCAA tournament against No. 4 seed Texas on Friday. “I didn’t vote for him either, so I guess we’re even,” Kampe joked.

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