Arizona upsets defending champion Duke

Posted March 25, 2011, at 12:32 a.m.
Last modified March 25, 2011, at 9:57 a.m.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Derrick Williams scored a career-high 32 points and his teammates dominated Duke in the second half to upset the defending national champion 93-77 Thursday night and reach the final eight for the first time since 2005.

The top-seeded Blue Devils (32-5) were sent packing from a regional semifinal for the second time in three years. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, with 900 wins, will have to wait until next season to resume his pursuit of Bob Knight’s record as the winningest men’s coach in Division I history.

Williams scored 25 of his points in the first half before his teammates came up big in the final 20 minutes. Lamont Jones added 16 points and Solomon Hill 13.

Williams had 13 rebounds to help his team dominate the boards, 40-27, while playing 15 minutes from his hometown of La Mirada.

Fifth-seeded Arizona (30-7) will play Connecticut (29-9) on Saturday in the West Regional final. The third-seeded Huskies defeated No. 2 San Diego State 74-67 in the other semifinal.

Duke’s Kryie Irving scored 28 points in his most minutes since returning at the start of the NCAA tournament after missing 26 games with a toe injury. Kyle Singler added 18 as one of three Blue Devils in second-half foul trouble. Nolan Smith was held to eight points — well under the senior’s 21-point average.

Down by six points early in the second half, the Wildcats unleashed a scoring rampage that left the Blue Devils looking stunned.

Williams scored just two points during the 19-2 run while five of his teammates did the rest, hitting from long range, driving to the basket and scoring off a fast break. Jones’ basket tied the game at 53 and the spurt ended with Arizona leading 66-55. Jones and Jamelle Horne had five points each.

Horne’s dunk extended Arizona’s lead to 77-63 as the Wildcats’ fans roared, thrilled to see their team making a deep run in the tournament a season after the school’s 25-year streak of consecutive appearances ended.

The Wildcats closed the first half on an 18-13 run, capped by Williams’ 3-pointer just before the buzzer, that left them trailing 44-38. He hit back-to-back shots from the same spot at the top of the 3-point line during the spurt in which his teammates contributed just five points.

The Wildcats closed within one point earlier in the half, and Duke responded by outscoring them 14-7, including eight in a row, to take its largest lead, 31-20.

Irving didn’t start the game, but he quickly had an impact once he got in. He scored seven points in the run that built Duke’s biggest lead.

Butler 61, Wisconsin 54

NEW ORLEANS — Matt Howard scored 19 points and Butler sent home yet another higher seed in the NCAA tournament with a 61-54 victory over Wisconsin on Thursday night.

Shelvin Mack scored 13 points and Shawn Vanzant 10 for the eighth-seeded Bulldogs (26-9), who led by 20 points in the second half before withstanding a late rally by the Badgers.

Jordan Taylor scored 22 for Wisconsin (25-9), which shot 30.4 percent (17 of 56). Jon Leuer, normally one of the Badgers’ top offensive forces with 18.7 points per game coming in, was 1 of 12 shooting and finished with three points.

The victory sends Butler into the Southeast regional final, where the Bulldogs meet Florida (29-7) for a trip to the Final Four.

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