ANN HEISENFELT / AP Enlarge
MINNEAPOLIS - Playing in his hometown, Cole Aldrich was pumped up.
Patrolling the post for Kansas with those long arms, the 6-foot-11 sophomore forced the Dayton Flyers into a whole bunch of bad shots and sent them down for a rough landing.
Aldrich put up a triple-double with 13 points, 20 rebounds and a career-high 10 blocked shots to lead the defending NCAA champion Jayhawks past 11th-seeded Dayton 60-43 in the second round yesterday.
"I've been blocking shots since I was a little kid," said Aldrich, who grew up just a few miles away in the suburb of Bloomington. "I was 6 foot in fifth grade. I had a little height advantage, or what have you. That's the one thing I try to do if guys get beat. I just try to go up there and block 'em."
Shaquille O'Neal set the NCAA tournament record with 11 blocks in a game for LSU in 1992. Shawn Bradley had 10 in 1991 for BYU. Aldrich's feat was, officially, the sixth triple-double in the history of the tournament.
Sherron Collins had 25 points to pace the third-seeded Jayhawks (27-7), who moved on to play the Michigan in the Midwest Region semifinals Friday in Indianapolis.
Chris Wright had 10 points on 4-for-16 shooting for Dayton, which went a woeful 22.2 percent for the game. Charles Little was 2-for-10, and Marcus Johnson went 1-for-11. Frequently settling for off-balance runners or floaters in the lane, Dayton barely had any chances for those fast-break tomahawk dunks Wright has made his signature this season.
"I guess their flight team, or whatever they call it, wasn't flying," Collins said, grinning.
This was Dayton's lowest scoring total of the season. The Flyers shot 9-for-40 in the first half, and the misses didn't stop there. Mickey Perry's layup cut the Kansas edge to 35-30 midway through the second half, but with Aldrich getting a brief break on the bench Tyrel Reed sank a 3-pointer and
Collins followed with a layup to stretch the lead back to 10.
The official list of NCAA tournament triple-doubles dates to 1986, when steals and blocks were formally added as statistics. Assists were added in 1984. Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson had a handful of unofficial triple-doubles before the stats were streamlined. The last one was in this building, actually, by Dwyane Wade for Marquette in the 2003 regional final win over Kentucky.
This, also, was the first official triple-double in Kansas history. Wilt Chamberlain would have had dozens, of course, but he played before the statistical expansion.
Arizona State 67
MIAMI - With Syracuse's season on the cusp of slipping away, Eric Devendorf picked the perfect time to be at his best.
Devendorf hit a pair of 3-pointers less than a minute apart to snuff out a big Arizona State rally, and the third-seeded Orange held on for a 78-67 win over the sixth-seeded Sun Devils.
Devendorf finished with 21 points and Andy Rautins added 17 for Syracuse (28-9), which moves on to play second-seeded Oklahoma (29-5) in Memphis on Friday.
Rihards Kuksiks scored a career-high 20 points, and Ty Abbott also finished with 20 for Arizona State (25-10), which struggled mightily against Syracuse's zone and led for only 31 seconds all afternoon.
Oklahoma State 76
DAYTON - Pittsburgh powered its way to a familiar place.
Sam Young, the Panthers' poet in motion, scored 32 points and DeJuan Blair (10 points, 12 rebounds) added another double-double as top-seeded Pittsburgh advanced to the round of 16 for the fifth time in eight years with a win over Oklahoma State.
Pitt (30-4) will play Xavier in the East Regional semifinals in Boston on Thursday.
Obi Muonelo scored 19 points for the eighth-seeded Cowboys (23-12), who gave the Panthers all they could handle before losing their touch in the final minutes. Oklahoma State made 10 3-pointers in the first half but made only 2 of 12 from long range after halftime.
Cleveland State 57
MIAMI - The new role as long shots seems to suit the Arizona Wildcats fine.
Seeded only 12th, the NCAA tournament perennials took an early 14-point lead and advanced to the round of 16 by beating upstart Cleveland State.
The Wildcats are appearing in the tournament for the 25th year in a row, two shy of the record. But they've never been seeded so low and drew criticism as undeserving of a berth.
Nic Wise scored 21 points to lead four double-figure scorers for the Wildcats (21-13), who will play Louisville in Indianapolis on Friday.
Cleveland State (26-11), a 13 seed, got 17 points from Norris Cole.
Missouri 83, Marquette 79
BOISE - Four unbelievable minutes. Two gargantuan free throws.
Freshman Kim English came off the bench to "pinch shoot" for the hurting J.T. Tiller and made two free throws with 5.5 seconds left to give Missouri the go-ahead points in a victory over Marquette.
It was quite an encore for English, who had an out-of-body 4 1/2-minute shooting spree in the first half, scoring 15 points and helping third-seeded Mizzou (30-6) turn a six-point deficit into a 16-point lead.
English was on the bench for most of the second half, watching sixth-seeded Marquette chip away at the lead and eventually go ahead. But when Tiller fell hard after being fouled with the score tied at 79, coach Mike Anderson took advantage of the college rule that allows teams to substitute for an injured free-throw shooter.
He chose English, who made both.
It ruined a wonderful effort from Marquette's Jerel McNeal, who matched his career high with 30 points.43.60698 -116.1934