(9) Bucknell 56

(27-5, 14-0 Patriot)

(1) Memphis 72

(32-3, 13-1 C-USA)

    2:15 PM ET, March 19, 2006

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

    1 2 T
    #9BUCK 21 3556
    #1MEM 31 4172

    Top Performers

    Bucknell: C. McNaughton 15 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast

    Memphis: J. Dorsey 12 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

    Tigers maul Bison as Memphis cruises into Sweet 16

    DALLAS (AP) -- The Memphis Tigers can check a few more things off their historic to-do list.

    Having already earned their first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1995 and set a school record for victories with a 72-56 win over Bucknell on Sunday.

    And they may only be warming up.

    "We're just playing basketball," said Antonio Anderson, whose 13 points led a balanced offense featuring six other players with at least eight points. "We're performing really well as a team, executing our plays, doing whatever Coach wants us to do."

    Memphis (32-3) showed off all its skills, making seven 3-pointers and 52.4 percent of all its shots, while forcing 19 turnovers and holding Bucknell to 36.6 percent shooting.

    The Tigers broke the game open with a 20-2 run, the majority coming while the Bison's best player, Charles Lee, was on the bench in foul trouble. Bucknell (27-5) got back within eight, but every comeback was met with another burst of scoring, defending or both.

    "It's amazing," marveled Bison guard Kevin Bettencourt. "It's definitely frustrating because they shut everything down."

    More amazing is that Memphis does it with a rotation featuring four freshmen, three sophomores and only one senior, albeit the Conference USA player of the year, Rodney Carney.

    The Tigers won for the 21st time in 22 games, this one breaking the school victory mark set by the 1985 club that made the Final Four.

    Their bid to match that feat will continue Thursday in Oakland, Calif., against 13th-seeded Bradley. If they advance to the regional finals, they'd get the winner of Gonzaga-UCLA.

    Coach John Calipari showed his players a bracket of what awaits next weekend, telling them "that's our little tournament coming up." While he doesn't want them looking too far ahead, he's also not too concerned about them being spoiled by success.

    "They think they're supposed to win," Calipari said before listing all the state titles and other accomplishments his players achieved in high school. "It makes me laugh. They're looking at me, like, `Would you calm down?"

    Bucknell was trying to become the fourth No. 9 seed to take down a No. 1 and the first team from the Patriot League to win a second-round game. The Bison became the first-ever NCAA winners from their brainy conference last year when they beat Kansas in the first round.

    They advanced again Friday with a 3-pointer-powered win over Arkansas, then opened this game with a 3 in the corner by Lee, the Patriot League player of the year. He followed with a steal that he turned into a layup and soon Bucknell was up by six.

    Then Lee got his second foul with 14:11 left and everything changed.

    The Bison got off only two shots while their small forward was on the bench -- a missed 3 by his replacement and an uncontested dunk off a press-breaking, full-court pass. Seven other possessions all ended in turnovers, mostly bad passes that left coach Pat Flannery hollering things like "Why?" and "Slow down!" when players ran by the bench on defense.

    By the time Lee returned, the Bison were down by nine.

    The Tigers stretched the lead to 16, then it was 10 at halftime. The margin yo-yoed from there: down to eight, up to 19, down to nine, back to 15 following 3-pointers by Anderson and Carney with the shot clock running out. It was 18 when Calipari emptied his bench with 1:19 left.

    Joey Dorsey scored 12 points for Memphis, while Carney and Shawne Williams had 10.

    Chris McNaughton led Bucknell with 15 points and Bettencourt added 12. Lee, who didn't pick up his third foul until there was 2:04 left in the game, finished with 11 points.

    The Bison were 2-of-12 on 3-pointers after making 11-of-21 against the Razorbacks.

    Bucknell, which had won 18 of 19, can take solace in having won the most games in school history. The Bison's handful of defeats included losses at Duke and Villanova.

    The departure of Lee and Bettencourt is somewhat the end of an era for Bucknell as the senior class is the last that entered before the school began giving out athletic scholarships. Both players stopped for long hugs with Flannery when they were taken out in the closing seconds.

    "We don't spend a lot of time patting ourselves on the back, but now that my career is over, I'm going to do that," Bettencourt said. "I have absolutely no regrets. These guys are headed in the right direction. I'm going to be a proud alum."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 56 72
    FG Made-Attempted 15-41 (.366) 23-48 (.479)
    3P Made-Attempted 2-12 (.167) 7-16 (.438)
    FT Made-Attempted 24-29 (.828) 19-26 (.731)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 19


    » Mar 19, 2006 @MEM 72, BUCK 56Recap