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NCAA TOURNEY ROUNDUP: Duke, Baylor, Michigan State and Tennessee all reach Elite 8

Photo by Jeff Roberson

Photo by Jeff Roberson

ST. LOUIS -- One Evan Turner is pretty good. Five Tennessee Volunteers are even better.

Brian Williams scored the go-ahead basket on a tip-in with 32 seconds left, Bobby Maze converted a pair of late free throws and J.P. Prince blocked a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer Friday night, leading Tennessee past Ohio State 76-73 and into the NCAA tournament's round of eight for the first time.

Wayne Chism had 22 points -- all but four in the second half -- and 11 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Volunteers (28-8), who pulled out a back-and-forth tussle in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

They'll play No. 5 seed Michigan State on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four.

Few expected this from the Vols considering where they were on Jan. 1. Tyler Smith, their leading scorer last season, was dismissed from the team and Williams, Cameron Tatum and Melvin Goins were suspended after a gun and marijuana were found during a traffic stop.

But nine days later, Tennessee stunned then-No. 1 Kansas, and the Vols emerged as an even stronger team. Now, they're one win from the Final Four.

Turner, a leading contender for national player of the year honors, scored 31 points -- 21 in the second half. But the rest of the Buckeyes were just 3 of 16 from the field in the second half. Jon Diebler, so big for No. 2 seed Ohio State (29-8) in the first two rounds, shot 1 of 7 from 3-point range.

No. 5 Michigan State 59, No. 9 Northern Iowa 52

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- No big shots from Ali Farokhmanesh. No mid-major magic.

Just another trip to the regional finals for Michigan State.

Durrell Summers scored 19 points and Korie Lucious hit a whirling turnaround jumper with 91 seconds left, helping the Spartans survive a scare against pesky Northern Iowa.

Playing without injured star Kalin Lucas, Michigan State (27-8) needed a half to get used to Northern Iowa's grinding style and held the Panthers to 10 free throws and no field goals over the final 10:22.

Always at their best in the NCAA tournament, the Spartans are one win from their sixth trip to the Final Four in 12 years.

Ninth-seeded Northern Iowa (30-5) knocked off one college basketball monster but couldn't make it two straight, unable to contain the athletic Spartans for an entire game after stunning top-seeded Kansas in the second round.

SOUTH REGIONAL

No. 3 Baylor 72, No. 10 Saint Mary's 49

HOUSTON (AP) -- LaceDarius Dunn, Tweety Carter and Baylor had all the fun, ending what had been an entertaining NCAA tournament ride for Omar Samhan and surprising Saint Mary's.

Dunn and Carter both made 3-pointers on their first shots and later combined for a highlight alley-oop dunk as Baylor rushed to a huge lead and romped in the South Regional semifinals.

The third-seeded Bears (28-7) led 46-17 at halftime and could begin looking ahead to Sunday, when they will play No. 1 seed Duke with a chance to reach their first Final Four since 1950, when there were only eight teams in the field.

More impressive for Baylor, it is another inspiring step in redemption nearly seven years after coach Scott Drew took over a program reeling and recovering from a murder and scandal that shook the world's largest Baptist university like nothing in its history.

Dunn scored 23 points with four 3-pointers and Carter added 14 points for Baylor.

Samhan, who had become a breakout star in the tournament with his dominating play in the first two rounds and the one-liners when talking or tweeting, finished with 15 points and nine rebounds for the 10th-seeded Gaels (28-6). He made only one of eight shots and had only three points at halftime.

No. 1 Duke 70, No. 4 Purdue 57

HOUSTON (AP) -- This is more like it for Coach K and Duke.

The top-seeded Blue Devils returned to the round of eight for the first time since 2004, with Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer helping them pull away in the second half against No. 4 Purdue.

Singler scored 24 points and Scheyer added 18, snapping out of a shooting slump just in time to help Duke (32-5) clear a nagging hurdle that had some wondering if the mighty program was losing its edge.

The Blue Devils had lost in the round of 16 in three of the past five seasons, but now stand one victory from their 11th Final Four appearance under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Brian Zoubek grabbed 14 rebounds and Duke dominated the undersized Boilermakers inside, as expected. The absence of injured forward Robbie Hummel finally caught up with Purdue (29-6), which lost in the regional semifinals for the second straight season