West goes to seed: Louisville, Ariz. advance Going inside out, Cardinals defeat Minnesota, 60-55 NCAA TOURNAMENT

March 21, 1994|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The only rumble felt in the West yesterday was the 5.3 earthquake in the San Fernando Valley.

Sixth-seeded Minnesota had a 13-point lead on third-seeded Louisville, but the Cardinals took flight in the second half for a 60-55, second-round victory in the NCAA tournament at Arco Arena and a form-fitting West Regional in Los Angeles.

In the only region in which the top four seeds lived up to the positions given them by the selection committee, Louisville will meet second seed Arizona, and top-seeded Missouri will get fourth-seeded Syracuse at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles Thursday.

When it took a 32-19 lead with 1:53 remaining in the first half, Minnesota (21-12) looked ready to crash the party, but Louisville (28-5) stopped trying to force the ball into All-America center Clifford Rozier and instead kicked it back out, where the Cardinals made 11 of 24 (45.8 percent) three-point attempts.

Minnesota's Clem Haskins, who used to coach at Western Kentucky, was on the verge of seeing the state's two giants, Kentucky and Louisville, fall in the span of four hours. Instead, Cardinals coach Denny Crum, who has a 23-season record of 546-197, will continue his quest for a seventh Final Four berth and third NCAA title.

"If we get them all playing on the same page . . . ," said Crum, whose team won for the eighth time in nine games. "Statistically, we had only one guy play as well as he's capable."

That would be senior forward Dwayne Morton, one of the three hometown players Louisville starts. With Rozier taking five shots in the first half and none in the second against the collapsing defense that got the Golden Gophers through the Big Ten, Morton scored 26 points and didn't miss a field-goal or free-throw attempt until he erred on a meaningless free throw with a second to play.

Morton made all five of his three-point tries. The shooting show came two days after he made three of 10 in the first round against Boise State.

Rozier, who transferred from North Carolina in 1991, had his 23rd double-double of the season in the first round. Minnesota held him to nine rebounds, three assists and a single field goal, but he scored plenty of points with Crum.

"I told Cliff at the half that we weren't going to win with him shooting when he's being triple-teamed," Crum said. "For him to give it up to someone else who has an open shot, that's a major improvement in his game. A year ago, he wouldn't have been able to do that."

While Rozier didn't try to do too much, Minnesota guard Voshon Lenard did. A junior from Detroit who teamed with Jalen Rose in high school, Lenard had 20 points, but he missed five of his last six shots and committed a costly turnover with 19 seconds left.

Lenard's three-pointer from the right wing gave the Gophers a 55-53 lead with 2:52 left, but two missed field-goal attempts, two missed free throws and two turnovers meant they never scored again.

Louisville, which began the second half with a 17-4 run that erased Minnesota's 34-22 halftime lead, went ahead for good at 56-55 on a three-pointer by Morton with 1:24 left.

"You look at college basketball these days, and no lead is safe," said Haskins, whose team was done in by 32.0 percent shooting in the second half that led to its lowest scoring total of the season. "We just didn't score. If you told me before the game that we would hold Louisville to 60 points, I'd tell you that we'd win anywhere from one to 15."

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