COLLEGE PARK -- The final chapter of Rodney Monroe's storied North Carolina State career read more like science fiction than a final coronation.
Who could imagine the Wolfpack's all-time leading scorer finishing his college career with a wretched shooting slump in the NCAA's East Regional?
Hard to imagine, but true. Monroe, the silky-smooth 6-foot-3 guard from Hagerstown, shot 12-for-38 (.315) in two games at Cole Field House. That included 3-for-14 from three-point range. Guarded by either Darwyn Alexander or Corey Williams of Oklahoma State, Monroe went more than 29 minutes between field goals in a career-ending, 73-64 loss on Saturday.
"I thought they were all good shots," said the ACC's Player of the Year. "It got to be frustrating."
Largely because he was a perfect 17-for-17 at the foul line, Monroe still managed 44 points in the two games. His total of 836 for the season is two off David Thompson's 1975 single-season record at N.C. State. And with 2,551 career points, he ranks third among the ACC's all-time scorers.
* FAST COMPANY: Monroe wasn't the only All-America guard with a cold touch at Cole. Temple's Mark Macon was a modest 13-for-30, but hit some big baskets for the Owls, who advance to the Sweet 16 in the Meadowlands next week.
Macon and Monroe have almost identical numbers for the past four years. In 124 games, Macon has scored 2,552 points to rank 27th all-time in the NCAA. Monroe scored 2,551 in 124 games to rank 28th. Macon's scoring average is 20.58 to Monroe's 20.57.
* HONOR ROLL: Terry Connolly of Frederick made his final college appearance in Richmond's 77-64 loss to Temple. The 6-5 senior, who has served as both team captain and sixth man for the Spiders, exited to a standing ovation after fouling out with 1:39 left.
"The fans acknowledged that we played hard," Connolly said. "It wasn't just me, but the whole team."
Said Richmond coach Dick Tarrant, "I hope I can have Terry Connollys on my squad as long as I coach. There aren't many of them. He will teach and coach and touch a lot of people."
* HAPPY RETURNS: Sean Sutton, who followed his father and coach, Eddie, to Oklahoma State after the Kentucky scandal, will be making his second trip to the Sweet 16. The first time, he was a non-playing freshman guard at Kentucky, and the Wildcats lost their regional semifinal to Villanova.
"This time it's more exciting because I'm playing," Sutton said. There's another big difference between Stillwater and Lexington. Kentucky they expect you to win," he said. "Anything you can accomplish there, they've already done before."