Instant Analysis: WKU hits 3s, including buzzer-beater, to edge Drake
Editor's Note: ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach provides instant analysis of Western Kentucky's 101-99 overtime upset over No. 5 Drake in the first round of the West Regional at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Drake came back from a 16-point deficit in the second half and forced overtime on a late 3-pointer. But after going ahead by one point with 5.7 seconds to go in overtime, the Bulldogs lost on a buzzer-beater in what will probably be remembered as one of the classics in NCAA tournament history.
Game analysis: Western Kentucky 101, Drake 99 (overtime)
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: With Western Kentucky trailing 99-98 with 5.7 left in OT, Hilltoppers guard Tyrone Brazelton frantically drove the basketball up the court. With about two seconds to go, he kicked a pass out to senior Ty Rogers on the right wing. Rogers let a 3-pointer fly with 1.2 seconds left and nailed it at the buzzer for a 101-99 victory.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Brazelton scored a career-high 33 points on 11-for-20 shooting. He went 6-for-10 on 3-pointers, including one in overtime, after Drake had gone ahead 96-93 with less than 1:30 to play. The senior from Chicago also had five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
PLAYER OF THE GAME II: Drake's Jonathan Cox scored 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, both career highs, and nearly led the Bulldogs to an improbable comeback. Drake roared back from a 16-point deficit in the second half, tying the score at 88-88 on Cox's 3-pointer with 30.6 seconds to go in regulation. Cox made two foul shots with 5.7 seconds to go in overtime to put Drake ahead, 99-98.
STAT OF THE GAME: 14-for-28. Western Kentucky shot 50 percent on 3-pointers and seemed to answer Drake each time the Bulldogs tried to gain momentum.
STAT OF THE GAME II: 42. The number of 3-pointers the Bulldogs attempted. Drake took 69 shots in the game.
STAT OF THE GAME III: 0-for-10. Shooting line for Drake guard Adam Emmenecker, the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. He scored 11 points at the foul line and had 14 assists and came up with two of the biggest defensive plays of the game. But it was a dreadful shooting performance for the senior.
BEST OFF THE BENCH: Western Kentucky's A.J. Slaughter scored 10 points with four rebounds and four assists before fouling out with 24.6 seconds to go in overtime.
WHAT IT MEANS: Western Kentucky moves to the second round to face either No. 4 seed Connecticut or No. 13 seed San Diego in the West Regional on Sunday. The Bulldogs, the MVC regular-season champions, end the season with a 28-5 record.
First-half analysis: WKU 47, Drake 38
TURNING POINT: When Western Kentucky senior Courtney Lee picked up his second foul with 4:26 to go in the half, the Hilltoppers seemed to be in trouble. Lee, who averaged 20.4 points per game, spent the rest of the half on the bench. Western Kentucky led 34-32 when Lee went out. After Drake tied the score at 34-34 on Josh Young's two foul shots with 3:56 to play, Western Kentucky closed the half with a 13-4 run to take a 47-38 lead at the half. Three Hilltoppers -- Tyrone Brazelton, Orlando Mendez-Valdez and A.J. Slaughter -- made 3-pointers during the big run to end the half.
PLAYER OF THE HALF: Drake was hot from the perimeter early in the first half and took a 15-10 lead with 14:03 left to play. But Brazelton made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to pull the Hilltoppers within 18-16 with 12:43 to go in the half. The senior guard from Chicago scored nine points on 3-for-5 3-point shooting in the first half. He also had four assists, two rebounds and one steal. His 3-pointers couldn't have come at better times for the Hilltoppers.
STAT OF THE HALF: Western Kentucky shot 60.6 percent in the first half, making 20 of 33 shots. Only one of Drake's last eight opponents shot better than 50 percent from the floor.
STAT OF THE HALF II: The Bulldogs attempted 28 shots in the first half, including a whopping 17 3-pointers. Drake often settled too quickly for 3-pointers and rarely allowed its offense to progress.
PREGAME LUCK: Drake's players and coaches are staying at a rather ritzy hotel near the Tampa airport. The hotel is close to the New York Yankees' spring training facility, and outfielder Johnny Damon had dinner Thursday night at an Italian restaurant inside the hotel. Alas, Damon has shaved his beard and cut his hair, so he couldn't offer any good luck charms for the Bulldogs.
Mark Schlabach is a college football and basketball writer for ESPN.com.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Florida, Wichita St. remain 1-2; UK falls out
- Self 'confident' Embiid will play despite back
- Gators' Donovan harps on quick turnaround
- Players support South Carolina coach Martin
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
NCAA Tournament 2008
Analysis• Katz: Sneak peek at Sweet 16
• Forde: Dorsey a confusing, entertaining enigma
• Low: Vols figuring out unsteady point-guard play
• Schlabach: Horn, Lee break through at WKU
• Dinich: Davidson proves it is no one-man show
• ATR: UCLA wins, Day 3 recaps
• Katz: Neitzel shoots Spartans into Sweet 16
• Gene Woj: Trent Johnson nearly costs his team
• Miller: Tough to stop Cardinal's Twin Towers
• Griffin: Wisconsin gives vintage performance
• O'Neil: WVU players embrace Huggs' toughness
• ATR: The end to IU's tumultuous season
• Katz: What's on tap for the weekend?
• Forde: Tampa was awesome ... wish I was there
• Schlabach: Still can't believe the 'Tampa Turmoil'
• Schlabach: Siena joins upset party in Tampa
• Schlabach: USD's Grier no long in the shadows
• Schlabach: WKU's Rogers hits 'dream' shot
• Dinich: Curry puts on a show against Gonzaga
• ATR: Arizona's questions, Pitt and MSU roll
• O'Neil: Belmont lets Duke upset slip away
• Griffin: Beasley, Walker team up to down USC
• Gene Woj: Kentucky's roller coaster ends
• O'Neil: Xavier survives Dawgs' upset bid
• Forde: Best case/Worst case scenarios
• Lunardi: Ranking the teams 64-1
• Experts: "Best of" lists for tourney
• Whelliston: Mount St. Mary's honors friend
• Forde: Bruce Pearl's purgatory
• Katz: Officiating has had a rough season
• Gottlieb: Scrutiny on officials higher than ever
• Katz: Mayo, Love exceed freshman expectations
• Rittenberg: Baby Boilers lead Purdue to Dance
• Wojciechowski: Liking Psycho T isn't about race
• Bilas: Grading the committee and talking snubs
• Regions: East | South | West | Midwest
• Forde: Super-sized edition of Forde Minutes
• O'Neil: Serendipitous storylines fill bracket
• Katz: Committee chair talks hot topics
• Wojciechowski: 15 suggestions to improve Dance
• Dinich: UNC's Tobacco Road to San Antonio
News• Curry says he's returning to Davidson next year
• Ford Field, Reliant raise NCAA tourney to new level
• UCLA's Mbah a Moute to have MRI
• Nova's Drummond done for season
• Vols' Pearl explains decision to start Prince
• Stanford's Johnson not changing after ejection
• UConn: Price tore ACL, likely to miss six months
• Love, Mbah a Moute on mend for UCLA
• Arkansas' Weems hurts knee, expected to play
Video• Vitale: Rounds 1 & 2 MVP
• Vitale: Round 1 prime-time players
• Gottlieb: Mid-majors make their mark
• Lunardi: Video previews for all 65
• Breaking down the East region
• Breaking down the West Region
• Breaking down the Midwest region
• Breaking down the South region
• ESPN experts fill out their brackets
Audio• Podcast: Bilas looks at Thursday's games
• Podcast: Gottlieb makes bracket predictions
Strategies• Tiernan: "Low-risk" bracket strategy
• Tiernan: "Medium" bracket advice
• Tiernan: "High-risk" bracket strategy
• Tiernan: "Dangerous" bracket advice
Photos• Day 4 photo gallery
• Day 3 photo gallery
• Day 2 photo gallery
• Day 1 photo gallery
More• Tournament Challenge | Bracket Master
• Insider tourney guide | BracketCaster