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Hoosiers stun Duke; Kent State in Elite Eight


(5) Indiana 74, (1) Duke 73: Who would have believed it? The Dukies are out!

Indiana is heading to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993.
That's right, defending national champ Duke is gone, sent packing by coach Mike Davis and his fighting Hoosiers. Indiana spotted Duke to a 17-point lead but battled back behind super soph Jared Jeffries, who was sensational.

Jeffries' versatility was incredible -- he scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds (nine on the offensive glass). Indiana's Jarrad Odle was also tough inside, scoring 15 points (7-of-9 from the field).

Duke, the No. 1 seed in the South Region and No. 1 in the polls, had a problem all season on the interior. It showed in this game, as Indiana dominated the boards, with a 47-32 rebounding edge. When you rebound like that, baby, you've got a great chance to win.

What a courageous defensive effort by the Hoosiers. After they got down by 17, their D was absolutely superb. And in the second half, they took advantage of Jeffries' versatility. A.J. Moye (14 points) was also brilliant off the bench.

Indiana is heading to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993, when the Hoosiers lost to Kansas just shy of the Final Four. Davis had his kids ready to play against Duke -- his emotion was pouring out, and he would not let them quit.

Isn't it ironic that Jason Williams, Duke's consensus All-American and player of the year -- who has struggled all season from the free-throw line -- would miss the free throw at the end that could have sent the game to overtime? Give Williams credit for hitting a tough 3-pointer, but his bid for a rare four-point play to tie the game with 4.2 seconds left bounced off the back rim.

Williams and his fellow All-American, Mike Dunleavy, struggled shooting the rock (a combined 11-of-35 from the field). Duke finished with a 2-3 record in games decided by three points or less, and this game demonstrated again that one of their serious liabilities was free-throw shooting (10-of-19 at the stripe).

Congratulations to Indiana and Mike Davis -- they can almost see Atlanta, baby, from Bloomington, Ind. Hats off to Davis and his gutsy Hoosiers!

(10) Kent State 78, (3) Pittsburgh 73 (OT): Talk about a Cinderella story -- Kent State, from the Mid-American Conference, is now in the Elite Eight!

This sets up a one-year-later rematch with Indiana. Hoosiers fans (as well as fans of the Golden Flashes) will remember that Indiana was upset by Kent State in the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament.

Kent State guard Trevor Huffman scored 17 points despite foul trouble, helping the Golden Flashes get to the winner's circle for the 21st straight time (the nation's longest winning streak). Huffman scored the go-ahead basket in overtime on a driving layup. Forward Eric Thomas, who scored 12 big points off the bench, was an unsung hero for Kent State.

The Golden Flashes turned the ball over just 12 times against Pitt's tenacious defense. And they were clutch on the foul line (19-of-23).

Pittsburgh's sophomore guard, Julius Page, was outstanding (18 points). But, unfortunately for the Panthers, point guard Brandin Knight fouled out in overtime, which hurt big-time. Knight scored 18 points with six assists.

So it's 10th-seeded Kent State vs. Indiana for a trip to Atlanta and the Final Four -- unbelievable, baby!

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