Page 804 article text (OCR)
i r yury 'v-: 4-v. Vv, ? vm r-v4 -i--wv v 3 8C THE PALM BEACH POST SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 1998 NCAA Final Fours v7 I '(Sate dgh inna HOE! it u '.'j x,fi.V I : Facts and figures ;Men 5 National championship ' WHO: Kentucky (34-4) vs. North -Utah (30-3), 9:18 p.m. .WHEN: Monday, 9:18 p.m. WHERE: Alamodome, San Anto-t fiio, Texas. TV: WPEC-12, WFOR-4. 'r ? Final Four Kentucky 86 i Stanford (OT) 85 1 y 1 f " FS FT R M-A O-T PF Pt STANFORD Mln M-A 1-7 04 : Sauer 4-5 4-5 22 34 . .A t - v-n 'vs. V I sS tr 21 41 41 15 Madsen Young Weems Lea Mosely : AAendez 6-la 4-7 1- 1 0-3 0-1 0-1 2- 5 0-1 1- 1 0-0 2- 3 -9 2-2 0-0 5-7 0- 0 1- 2 5- 11 6- 23 4-12 0- 3 1- 4 1-3 0-1 0-1 II . Jar, Collins 20 1 1 .'McDonald 4 cVan Elswyk 3 - Seaton 6 0-0 2-2 0 0 0-0 0-0 TAt.li ?9 77.AS 70-24 16-44 13 23 85 Percentages: FG .397, FT .133. Three-point 5 -ltt: 11-28, .393 (Lea 5-8, Weems 3-11, Saoer 2-3, Mendei 1-4, Mosely 0-2). Team rtboondi: 1. Blocked shots: 5 (Madsen 2, Sauer, Young, : Weems). Turnover!: 13 (Lee 5, Madsen 2, Mose- ly 2, Seaton 2, Sauer, Weems). Steals: 2 (Jar.Col-. lint, Van Elswyk). Technical fouls: None. FO FT R PPPt 1 II KENTUCKY Mln M-A M-A O-T Edwards 26 4-10 2-3 1-3 ' Padgett 38 2-8 6-6 2-6 Mohammed 24 7-14 4-6 2-5 Turner 3S 2-8 4-9 1-2 'Sheppard 33 9-15 5-7 0-6 Evans 28 2-7 0-0 2-6 Maglolre 19 2-3 2-2 1-4 Smith 14 0-1 0-0 1-2 Mills 7 1-1 0-0 0-2 ' Bradlev 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 w to.iJ 10.1 1A 77 RA Totals L, I a I ) ' . J r-w, w - - " " r ....... cr. ill CT AQ7 Thra-nolnt goals: 5-15, .333 (Sheppard 4-8, Edwards 1-2, Evans 0-2, Padgett 0-3. Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 7 (Mohammed 3, Maglolre 2, Evans, Turner). Turnovers: 6 (Turner 3, Evans, Mills, Sheppard). Steals: 8 (Padgett 3, Sheppard 2, Turner 2, Mohammed). Technical louls: None. 37 36 12- 85 32 41 13- 86 . .Stanford , Kentucky A-40.509. Officlals-TIm Hlggins, Robert Don- ' oto, Larry Rosa. lUtah 65 ? North Carolina 59 FO FT R Mln M-A M-A O-T A PF Pt 0 3 9 1-1 2- 9 3- 4 7 3 4 1 2 16 16 7 I . UTAH . Mottola . Jensen Doleac . Miller Hansen - Jackson McTavlsh Johnson -Caton 2 2 5 1- 5 0-5 2- 14 0-6 0-0 0- 0 1- 2 4-6 0-0 4-7 2-7 2-2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 6- 11 7- 15 1-1 0- 2 1- 2 3-7 0 1 1 1 3 i ft 1 i 1-1 1-3 200 24-54 12-22 6-34 14 15 65 - Totals Percantaoes: FG .444, FT .545. Three-point An 86-85 OT win over Stanford puts Kentucky in the final for the third straight year. By Greg Stoda Palm Beach Post Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO Finish the race. Finish the glass. Finish the game. Those are thoroughbred rules, bourbon-drinking rules and basketball rules. They are, in other words, rules of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And the Wildcats followed the last dictate finish the game to the letter Saturday night in the Alamodome in a mesmerizing 86-85 overtime victory against Stanford in a Final Four semifinal. The triumph earned Kentucky its third championship-game berth in three seasons. The Wildcats beat Syracuse for the title two years ago, and lost to Arizona in defense of the crown one year ago. Now, the Wildcats draw Utah, which beat North Carolina in Saturday night's other semifinal. But it required monumental effort to get there. It required, among other things, Jeff Sheppard's career-high 27 points. "This team believes in three things," Sheppard said. "Hard work. Teamwork. And a positive attitude." Every aspect of the trifecta became a required element in the face of Stanford's assault. The Cardinal ripped to an 8-0 lead, and held an advantage throughout the half despite Kentucky closing to within a point five times. In fact, the Wildcats didn't get their first lead (54-53 on two Scott Padgett free throws) until 10:04 remained in what turned out to be regulation. It was wild from there to the finish. The lead changed hands nine more times before overtime. The last of those came when Sheppard, all liquid steel by this time, pumped in a triple to give Kentucky a 69-68 edge. And then he backed it up with another three-pointer to make it 72-68 with 1:17 remaining. Stanford what else? recovered. The final punctuation was a three-pointer by Arthur Lee, who led the Cardinal with 26 points, that tied it at 73-73 and forced overtime when Kentucky's Wayne Turner failed to convert a driving layup in the closing seconds before Stanford's Kris Weems missed a desperation shot at the buzzer. Kentucky never trailed in overtime, but was never safe, either. Stanford, trailing by what became the final score, tied up the ball but the possession arrow gave possession to Kentucky with six seconds remaining. The Wildcats got the ball m-bounds and survived two missed free throws by Turner to hold off Stanford. Thanks, mostly, to a senior guard who redshirted last year. "I'm glad I did," Sheppard said. "It wasn't a hard decision." Hard or not, the result a year later was what lifted Kentucky (34-4) to another title game and left Stanford (30-5) wondering what else it could possibly have done. "I'm not sure," Lee said. "When did they get the lead? And how did they hang onto it." Late. Barely. And by following the commonwealth's golden basketball rule goals: 5 17, .294 (Jensen l-l, Hansen 1-1, McTa-vish 1-2, Johnsen 1-2, Mottola 1-4, Doleac 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Caton 0-2, Millar 0-3). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 3 (Mottola, Doleac, Johnsen). Turnovers: 9 (Miller 4, Mottola 3, Han-sen, Jackson). Steals: 5 (Jensen 2, Miller, Hansen, Johnsen). Technical fouls: Nona. FO FT R THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Mln M-A M-A O-T 37 3-6 0-0 2-9 A PFPt 13 7 1 4 14 0 5 0 7 2 8 7-19 N. CAROL). . NA Okuiala ' Jamison Ndlaye Cota 1 Carter Kentucky's Wayne Turner (5) tries to knock the ball from Stanford's Mark Madsen during Kentucky's 86-85 overtime victory. 0-2 0-2 04 0-3 4-9 4-12 1-2 1-7 3-5 0-2 10-16 0-1 2-12 2-2 1-2 0-0 1 Sha. Williams 34 ' Haywood 8 2-3 Only place for Edwards is here Totals 200 27-69 2-7 13-40 14 19 59 Percentages: FG .391, FT .286. Three-point goals: 3-23, .130 (Carter 1-4, Okuiala 1-5, Sha.wll-llams 1-9, Jamison 0-1, Cota 0-4). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 5 (Carter 3, Ndlaye 2). Turnovers: 8 (Sha Williams 3, Carter 2, Cota 2, Ndlaye). Steals: 5 (Okuiala 3, Jamison, Cota). Technical fouls: None. bounds, had five assists and three steals in that 35 M-6S 22 37 - 59 Utah North Carolina " A-40,590 Officials-John Clougherty, Andre Pattmo, Don Rutledge. Cheryl Rosenberg Pursuit of women stars is escalating KANSAS CITY, Mo. Tracy Reid told all those agents not to bother her until after the season. She was trying to help her North Carolina Tar I leels get to the Final Four, and she didn't need anv distractions. She was in tears after her team came tantalizingly close to knocking off undefeated Tennessee in the Mideast Regional Championships last week. She didn't feel much better when she checked her voicemail soon after: Among a few well-wishers, there were about 10 messages from agents. "I guess they figured my season was over, so 'Let me call her up,' " said Reid Saturday after the WBCA All-Star game. "I was still in denial that my college career was actually finished. But it made me realize that now, I have to look toward my future." Seeing what the future holds for women's basketball at this weekend's Final Four wasn't too difficult. Both professional leagues, the WNBA and the ABL, threw big parties. Players were everywhere, as were agents, scouts, general managers and coaches. And of course, Nike and Reebok were well represented. The American Basketball League will begin its third season this fall, the WNBA its second this summer. Initially, those leagues wanted to grab the seasoned veteran players, to bring home America's best, who'd been exiled overseas. Now, these leagues are going after more college players as both are on pretty firm ground. But where should they draw the line? "I'm excited by the opportunities, but then get out of my face," Reid said. "It's like going back to college recruiting all over again, talking to coaches who are telling me what's good for me, what's the best for me. It's bugging my mom to death." Talk about double-edged swords. Everyone knows the struggles women's sports have gone through trying to gain credibility and recognition. But with the success comes baggage. Bruce Levy, who has been Theresa Weatherspoon's agent for 11 years, has a strict policy of not speaking to athletes until they're through with their college careers. Other agents aren't quite so restrained, and Levy estimates there are probably 100 new agents in the business since last season including rap star Puff Daddy and O.J. Simpson defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran. "It's crazy," Levy said. "Every agent tries to take it one step further. Things have gotten out of control. I don't have a shot with some players, because I'm too late." How soon until players start leaving school early to go pro? Chamique Holdsclaw, a junior at Tennessee, could certainly become a star in one of the professional leagues right now. She's accomplished everything she can as an athlete. She is considered the best women's player ever, and if the Vols win the National Championship tonight, she will have a ring for each year she's been at the school. But the money isn't enough of a draw. At least, not yet. "If there's a $30 million package that comes her way, that's a no-brainer," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. "But right now, staying in school is the best option for her." Allison Feaster is certainly a benefactor of the increased exposure. Her dominating performance as 16th-seeded Harvard upset No. 1 Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament drew the interest of the pro leagues. Her answering machine is full now, too. No agents are offering her cash, or jewelry', or cars or trips or clothes, dangling carrots agents have been said to use in men's college sports. "I really can't see women's sports getting to that level." Feaster, a senior, said. "I hope it won't get bad. We will maintain a certain amount of dignity." Mavbe. Tennessee freshman Semek'a Randall throws letters she's already getting from agents right in the garbage can. She's in no hurry to get to the next level. This season, the team met Michael Jordan, and one piece of advice stuck with her: Enjoy it now, because 'ater in life, it becomes a business. What kind of a business wi.1 be up to these women. victory. All of that set up Edwards' fourth participation m an NCAA Tournament in four years. But he's an important cog, rather than an inconsequential spare part, at Kentucky these days. He played only three minutes two years ago when the Wildcats beat Syracuse for the title. And he played only six minutes one year ago when the Wildcats lost their crown to Arizona. He has scored in double figures all five tournament games this time around. And it was Edwards to whom Kentucky entrusted its final in-bounds play against Stanford while protecting the one-point lead at the end of overtime. The set play Jeff Sheppard coming off a staggered screen was clogged by Stanford. Edwards, stuck along the sideline with the Wildcats having used all their timeouts, lofted a length-of-the-court pass to streaking Wayne Turner, who managed to control the ball. Turner was fouled. He missed both free throws, but Stanford, too, was out of timeouts and failed on a desperate heave. So, it is that Edwards has another game. One more game. A championship game for himself, and his mother. "I think about her, but I don't worry about her too much," Edwards said. "She's in a better place." He knew of the diagnosis of his mother's breast cancer several years ago, but said she hadn't told him the disease had spread. It was, he said, always Laura Mae's way to spare him any concern. But you wonder about Allen Edwards now. You wonder about a young man who admits he doesn't have a favorite classroom subject. You wonder about a young man who figures he'd be working in a fast-food restaurant without college hoops. And you hope one more game isn't the most important thing that remains in a young man's life in the wake of his mother's death. STODA From 1C in life, in fact for someone mourning the passing of a family member or friend to return immediately to familiar and time-consuming tasks ... to, as much as possible, reconstruct business as usual. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. It is no one's right to dictate anyone else s healing process. Or even to suggest what it should be. So it was that Edwards returned to the University of Kentucky basketball team as quickly as he could after his mother, Laura Mae Edwards, died last month. Of course, said the 22-year-old Edwards, it was what she would have wanted. It was, he didn't say, exactly what he needed. Laura Mae died of cancer Feb. 26, and Edwards, who had started all but one game during the year, missed the Wildcats' regular-season finale. He was back at practice prior to the start of the Southeastern Conference tournament, and took solace in his teammates' affection. One of them, Scott Padgett, had inscribed K.I.P. L.M.E. on each shoe. That didn't make Edwards cry, but almost. What it did do was reassure him that he was in the right place at a difficult time. There was, he had told buddies, nothing to do at home but talk and think. And cry. And what good would that do? Edwards played in the Wildcats' first game of the conference tournament on the Friday after his mother's death, missed Saturday's game to attend the funeral in Holly Hill, S.C., and then returned to the team again for Sunday's championship game in Atlanta. ,. , , Edwards scored 15 points, grabbed three re Tournament results IASTRIOIONAL ' First round North Carolina 88, Navy 52 North Carolina Charlotte 77, Illinois-Chicago 62 Princeton 69, UNLV 57 Michigan State 83, Eastern Michigan 71 Washington 69, Xavler 68 , Richmond 62, South Carolina 61 1 Indiana 94, Oklahoma 67, OT , Connecticut 93, Fairlelgh Dickinson 85 . Second round - North Carolina 93, UNC Charlotte S3, OT Michigan State 63, Princeton 56 Washington 61, Richmond 66 Connecticut 76, Indiana 68 Regional semifinals North Carolina 73, Michigan State 51 Connecticut 75, Washington 74 . Regional ehamplenshlp , North Carolina 75, Connecticut 64 SOUTH RROIONAL . First round Syracuse 63, lona 61 New Mexico 79, Butler 62 Oklahoma State 74, George Washington 59 Duke 99. Radford 63 i Kentucky 62, South Carolina State 67 ' - Saint Louis 51, Massachusetts 46 . Michigan 80, Davidson 61 UCLA 65, Miami 62 Second round i Duke 79, Oklahoma State 73 Syracuse 56, New Mexico 46 Kentucky 88, Saint Louis 61 UCLA 85, Michigan 62 Regional semifinals Duke 80, Syracuse 47 , Kentucky 94, UCLA 68 Regional championship Kentucky 86, Ouka 84 . MIDWBST RROIONAL . First round . Valparaiso 70, Mississippi 69 ' Florida State 96, Texas Christian 87 Rhode isiend 97, Murray State 74 Kansas 110, Prairie View 52 Western Michigan 75, Ciemson 72 Stanford 47, College of Charleston 57 - Purdue 95, Delaware 56 Detroit 66. St. John's 64 Second round Valparaiso 83. Florida State 77 - Rhode island 80. Kansas 75 Stanford 83, western Michigan 65 Purdue 60. Detroit 65 Regional semifinals Stanford 67, Purdue $9 Rhode Island 74, Valparaiso 68 ', Stanford 79, R node Island 77 WEST RROIONAL First round Maryland 82. Utah State 66 - Illinois 64, South Aiebama 51 Illinois State 82. Tennessee 61, OT Arlrone 99, NichoMs State 60 West Virginia 62, Temple 52 Cincinnati 65, Northern Arliona 62 Utah 85, San Francisco 68 Arkansas 74, Nebraska 65 Second round Maryland 67. Illinois 61 Anion. 82. Illinois Stete 49 West Virginle 75, Cincinnati 74 Utah 75. Arkansas 69 ' Regional semifinals U'ah 65. West Virginia 62 Ar.iona 67 Maryland 79 : Regional ehameienahlp Utah 76, Aniona 51 ! FINAL POUR Kentucky 86. Stanford 65. OT j Utah 65, North Carolina 59 finish the game. Utes knock off another No. 1 team, advance to final for a handshake. "They were tremendous, Carter finally allowed in brief post-game analysis. . . Sometimes, tremendous is just what plain ol' Utah looks like all bundled up in their work. Conference records We knew we could play with them, but coming out of the blocks so well . . that helped. ' MICHAEL DOLEAC Utah center (Selection In perentheeet) Conference w Pet. than functional while scoring 14 points in support of Vince Carter's 19. A measure of Utah's effectiveness? North Carolina shot a miserable 39 percent from the field, and the shackling still allowed them only seven free-throw attempts (they made two). And the Heels were 3-of-23 on three-pointers. Miller and Doleac each scored 16 points for Utah, and Miller grabbed 14 rebounds from his guard spot to more than offset the Cota-Williams tandem for North Carolina. "They shoot a lot of long jumpers," Miller said. Review the three-point statisi-tic if you don't believe him. Everybody doing everything. That's how it worked for Utah (30-3). Nobody doing enough is how it worked against North Carolina (34-4. The Tar Heels, though, remained disdainful to the end. It was left to Doleac to come to the North Carolina bcnii to find Carter and Makhtar Ndiaye (zero points, fouled out in 14 minutes) UTAH From 1C time with its offense or its defense. Eventually, it bled the Tar Heels dry. "We knew we could play with them," said Utah center Michael Doleac, "but coming out of the blocks so well . . . that helped." The Utes stretched their early advantage to 28-12, and reached the break with a working margin of 35-22 as North Carolina sputtered through a half in which guards Ed Cota and Shammond Williams combined for exactly zero field goals and points. North Carolina did make its inevitable run, and closed within 57-55 as Utah went more than seven minutes without a basket until Andre Miller's length-of-the-court burst restored some order for the Utes. "I thought," Utah coach Rick Majerus said, "we were playing not to lose right there." But the Tar Heels, who by-then were no longer smiling while either feigning no concern or mis- Updates and scores CaD 511 and enter the ; codes below for fre- . . quent updates and Elf ; final results for the JFMMl ' college basketball tournaments. 50 for up to 5 mm. See 2A for more details. FINAL FOUR ! 3038 Men $ 309 Women .733 .667 667 .667 .600 .583 583 .500 .500 500 .500 35 333 333 250 000 000 000 .000 .000 coo .000 .000 Pac-10(4) " Atlantic Coast (5) 10 Western Athletic ) ... 6 VKJ-Continent (1) 2 Southeastern (5) 6 Big East (5) 7 Big Ten (51 7 Conference USA (3) 3 Colonial ( 1 ) ' Ivy league ( 1 ) 1 Missoun vaiiey il) ' Atlantic 10 5) 3 B g 12 (4) 2 Mid-Aencan (2j 1 MCC(3) 1 America East (1) 0 B'gSkvO) 0 B g South (1! 0 B g west (I) 0 Metro tnte (1) O VEAC ill 0 Vxtbeast ( 1 ) O Oho vaiiey ( 1 ) 0 takenly believing there wasn't any need to worry, never caught the Utes. Why? Mostly because they never solved Utah's defensive premise, which was to play to Antawn Jamison's left shoulder and contest his favorite spin shot. The primary responsibility went to Doleac, who paid close attention to the Tar Heel forward lurking near the basket. "We wanted to stay down (on the floor) on him," Doleac said, "and not let him get off more than one shot." Jamison, who was college basketball's Player of the Year, implements a quick-release jumper-hook as a signature move. But he often appeared more panicked On the net For the latest scores, games, contests and polls, go to Palm Beach Interactive: vww.GoPBI.cofTLSpctjTowTi i 4 -' w if ell Ae itin ...... M. kumU .