March 16, 2001
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Missouri's players will pay extra-close attention to coach Quin Snyder's game plan for the Tigers' second-round NCAA game against Duke.
"We've got the best guy to give us a scouting report," guard Brian Grawer said following Missouri's final-second 70-68 victory over Georgia to close out the opening day of the East Regional at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Clarence Gilbert's 15-foot baseline shot with 0.9 seconds left Thursday night gave Snyder the win and pitted his Tigers against Duke and his former boss Mike Krzyzewski on Saturday.
Top-seeded Duke had little trouble with Monmouth, trying a school record with 18 3-pointers in a 95-52 win.
It will be the first time Krzyzewski faces a former assistant coach in the NCAA tourney.
"I am not facing Quin Snyder, our team is facing Missouri," Krzyzewski said. "If I had to face Quin Snyder, I would say, `Hell, he's a good looking guy and I'm in a lot of trouble.'
"The job of a coach is to get your team ready, and whatever the outcome of the game you get on to your personal relationships. The game is a separate entity from a personal relationship."
Missouri (20-12) almost lost to Georgia (16-15) after bolting to a 15-0 lead and was up 11 with just over two minutes left. But Kareem Rush drove the lane with the clock winding down, got closed down and found Gilbert in the corner.
Gilbert didn't hesitate hitting the game-winner, despite having a rough shooting night. The junior was 3-for-10 prior to his key shot.
"This team is immeasurably different from the beginning of the season," Snyder said. "The younger kids have learned how to compete."
In the opening two games, No. 12 seed Utah State (28-5) upset Ohio State in overtime 77-68, while UCLA needed a late rally to get past Hofstra 61-48.
Duke (30-4) bolted to a 16-1 lead en route to a 43-point blowout.
"I think we're more refreshed, on a different energy curve than we were last year," Krzyzewski said. "We were not a very deep team last year. We're a better basketball team right now than a year ago."
Duke point guard Jason Williams proved his sprained left ankle was OK by scoring 20 of his 22 points in the first half. Shane Battier added 21 points and 10 rebounds as Krzyzewski improved to 51-14 in the NCAA tourney.
The Blue Devils did get a scare while leading by 43 points with 14:28 left when Williams hurt his ankle again following a twisting layup. He left the game and didn't return, getting ice on the bench as his teammates continued the blowout.
Williams said teammate Matt Christensen stepped on his ankle and he'll be ready for Saturday's second round.
"Even if my ankle did hurt a little bit, mentally I made sure I was 100 percent," said Williams, who missed the final 13 minutes of the ACC title game Sunday after injuring his ankle. "You can play hurt. Once I got involved in the game I didn't even feel it."
The Blue Devils didn't let up much on the Northeast Conference champions after leading by 33 at the break.
"One thing about Duke is we keep pushing it, we keep playing that style of basketball," Williams said. "We go for the jugular, and if we see it, we're going to keep going after it. You need to play that way to do well in this tournament."
The biggest upset was produced by Utah State, which outscored Ohio State 17-8 in overtime for its first NCAA win since 1970.
The Aggies of the Big West were 3-for-4 from the field and 11-for-17 from the foul line in the extra five minutes to advance against UCLA, one of the storied programs in college hoops.
"This is huge for our school and huge for our league," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "We were carrying the whole league to get something special done here."
UCLA's victory stopped the nation's longest winning streak at 18. Hofstra's last loss prior to Thursday was Jan. 6.
The Bruins (22-8) struggled some, but went on a game-ending 24-5 run to close out the Pride.
"We are like those old John Wooden teams," UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. "We have interchangeable parts. We don't overwhelm people, but the pieces fit."
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer