Lowly Hampton stuns Iowa State

15th seed wins it, 58-57

Hoyas' layup at buzzer reviewed, counted, 63-61

West at Boise, Idaho

March 16, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

BOISE, Idaho - Hampton guard Marseilles Brown had been here before, so he knew what would happen if his team was in position to win late in the game.

"The crowd is going to be on your side," said Brown, who helped Richmond upset third-seeded South Carolina in the 1998 NCAA tournament. "Being the underdog, they are going to cheer for you."

And the crowd did. So, the Pirates, in their first NCAA tournament game, gave the fans that filled BSU Pavilion last night what they wanted - a thrilling 58-57 upset of second-seeded Iowa State.

It was one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history, right next to Coppin State's 1997 win over second-seeded South Carolina. Hampton, which is in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference along with Coppin State, is the fourth 15th seed to knock off a No. 2 seed.

Hampton ( 25-6) will face Georgetown in the second round of the NCAA tournament tomorrow.

"It's great for our league," said Hampton coach Steve Merfeld. "Our league has gotten better and better every year."

The Pirates, in only their sixth year of Division I play, overcame an 11-point second-half deficit mostly because of center Tarvis Williams. The MEAC Player of the Year ended a stellar night by scoring the game-winner with six seconds left.

With Iowa State up 57-56 and 21 seconds left to play, Brown found Williams posted up just outside of the paint. Iowa State sent an immediate double team at Williams, who turned to his left into the paint, elevated and then made a six-footer that gave the Pirates their first lead since early in the second half.

"Me and Marseilles had eye contact," Brown said. "I knew I had a defender behind me. He gave me a good pass. I focused on trying to get the ball, and when I got it, I was pretty confident about my touch around the basket. And I'm pretty confident about my jumping ability. I knew I would be able to get the ball off comfortably."

The shot did not even touch the rim. Rather than call time, Iowa State decided to bring the ball upcourt with 6.9 seconds left. Guard Jamaal Tinsley got all the way to the basket but his layup attempt rimmed out. The Cyclones got the rebound but were unable to get a shot off before the buzzer.

It was a rough night for Tinsley, the Cyclones' leading scorer, who had nine points on 4-for-11 shooting.

"I think that our team has been spent for a long time," Cyclones coach Larry Eustachy said. "I'm not surprised.

"It's unfortunate, but you learn from it, and I'm proud of them. I feel like I let them down. I somehow couldn't get through to them just what needed to be done."

All the Cyclones needed to do, really, was get a basket. Iowa State led 57-48 with seven minutes left but did not score the rest of the game. Hampton, meanwhile, converted four turnovers and two blocked shots into points.

The Pirates' best defensive stand came with just under two minutes left when Williams, who played most of the second half with four fouls, blocked a shot almost to the Cyclones' backcourt, leading to an easy layup by Brown and cutting the lead to one point.

Williams finished with a game-high 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. He picked up his fourth foul with 17:45 remaining in the second half. Merfeld then took Williams out the game - and Iowa State went on a 13-3 run. Williams quickly returned, and soon after, the momentum swung back toward the Pirates.

"When you center an offense around an individual and he gets in trouble with fouls, you don't always function very well," Merfeld said. "The other thing about it is Tarvis can play with fouls. A lot of times, I sit him with two fouls in the first half, and he finishes the game with two fouls."

Williams finishing the game is why the Pirates won for the 14th time in their past 15 games. And, of course, it helped that at the end, the Pirates got a boost from thousands of fans.

"They were loving our band and our cheerleaders," said Brown (14 points, four assists). "That was a big help. Everybody was behind us, and it help keep our confidence up."

Georgetown 63, Arkansas 61: Nathaniel Burton hit a driving layup at the buzzer that survived an official's instant-replay review and gave the Hoyas (24-7) the win.

With the score tied at 61, Georgetown took possession with 35.8 seconds left. The Hoyas ran down the 35-second clock, with Burton holding the ball at halfcourt until there were only a few seconds to play.

He began his drive down the left side of the lane and flipped up a shot almost simultaneous with the shot-clock horn.

As soon as the ball went through the net, Burton's teammates mobbed him underneath the basket. But the celebration was cut short when the officials went to the television replay to review the sequence.

"We looked to see if it was a shot-clock violation. It was not," umpire Ted Hillary said in a statement. "The ball was out of his hand. It is an NCAA rule [to review it]. Time had expired before the ball went through the net."

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