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Balanced VCU routs Georgetown

VCU’s Brandon Rozzell tries to get away from Georgetown’s Henry Sims, left, and Austin Freeman.

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VCU’s Brandon Rozzell tries to get away from Georgetown’s Henry Sims, left, and Austin Freeman.

CHICAGO — Brandon Rozzell led four players in double figures as Virginia Commonwealth made 12 3-pointers to stun Georgetown 74-56 Friday.

Rozzell tied his career high with six 3-pointers and finished with 26 points. Joey Rodriguez had 17 points and seven assists, and Bradford Burgess and Jamie Skeen scored 12.

It is the first time the 11th-seeded Rams (25-11), who beat Southern Cal on Wednesday, have won more than one game in the tournament.

Not even the return of point guard Chris Wright could help the sixth-seeded Hoyas (21-11), who were handed their worst loss in the tournament since a 24-point drubbing by Massachusetts in the 1996 region final. Wright, who broke his left hand Feb. 23 against Cincinnati, scored six on 3-of-13 shooting with just three assists.

VCU's win gave the Colonial Athletic Association a 2-0 sweep Friday of the Big East. Earlier in the day, George Mason beat Villanova.

Kansas 72, Boston 53: Twins Marcus and Markieff Morris combined to score 31 for the top-seeded Jayhawks in Tulsa, Okla.

Kansas (33-2) led only 33-29 at halftime. The Morrises were a combined 5-of-15 from the field while John Holland scored 15 of his 19 for the 16th-seeded Terriers (21-14). He was 6-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-5 on 3-pointers.

The fast start didn't carry over. He missed his first eight shots of the half and finished 1-of-9. Kansas, meanwhile, opened with a 10-3 run to go up 43-32, the Morrises scoring eight. The duo combined to go 7-of-8 from the field in the half.

Soon after, Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor and Markieff Morris hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to make it 58-43.

"I knew (a run) was coming," Boston coach Patrick Chambers said. "That's what they do. They score in bunches."

Kansas shot 62 percent in the half, 51 percent for the game.

"We played tight in the first half," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Second half, I thought we loosened up a little bit offensively."

Notre Dame 69, Akron 56: Up 34-30, the second-seeded Irish scored the first nine of the second half in Chicago.

Ben Hansbrough, the Big East player of the year, scored 15 while making just 4 of 11 shots from the field for Notre Dame (27-6). But he made all six of his free throws and added six assists in his first game since shooting 3-of-16 in a Big East semifinal loss to Louisville.

"I thought he forced plays at times in the first half," Irish coach Mike Brey said. "In the second half, his decision-making was excellent, and it helped us flow."

The 15th-seeded Zips (23-13) shot only 35.9 percent, including missing its first eight shots of the second half. And 7-foot center Zeke Marshall was 2-for-13 from the floor.

"We just couldn't put enough baskets together on a continuous basis to win," coach Keith Dambrot said. "That's what a mid-major has to do to beat a major with a seed that high. You have to shoot the ball better than that. We felt like we got good shots even from the outside that just didn't go in."

Purdue 65, St. Peter's 43: JuJuan Johnson had 16 points and 16 rebounds in Chicago for the third-seeded Boilermakers, who have won their past 13 openers.

"Johnson's awesome. I mean, he's good," said John Dunne, coach of the 14th-seeded Peacocks (10-14). "You almost can't double-team him because all his shots are little fadeaways. And he makes them even when he's double-teamed."

Johnson's dunk off an alley-oop inbound pass highlighted a 9-0 run that put Purdue (26-7) up 15-4. And up 33-17, it scored the first seven of the second half.

The Boilermakers had been faltering, losing their regular-season finale at Iowa then getting blown out by Michigan State in their first Big Ten tournament game. But they were ready Friday.

"It's huge. After Michigan State, a lot of people might've counted us out," Johnson said. "But our team was confident in our abilities."

Illinois 73, UNLV 62: Mike Davis tied a season high with 22 points and added 10 rebounds for the ninth-seeded Illini in Tulsa. Illinois (20-13), which entered 6-10 in its previous 16 games, took control with an early 15-0 run and was up 46-24 at halftime.

"We always talk about it. It's not what you do at the beginning of the year. It's about what you do now," said Demetri McCamey, who had 17 points and seven assists for Illinois. "Everybody will forget about what you did at the beginning of the season or the Big Ten season if you go out and win in March."

Illinois led by double digits throughout the second half against the eighth-seeded Rebels (24-9).

"It's disappointing for the guys because they played really well in the last month especially and were doing the things they needed to do to create the opportunity to be here," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "To play like that in the first half, everyone was disappointed for sure."

Balanced VCU routs Georgetown 03/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 19, 2011 1:51am]

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