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Injured West Virginia star misses game

INDIANAPOLIS — Injured West Virginia point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant is apparently parked for the Final Four.

Bryant was in uniform for Saturday night's semifinal against Duke but remained on the bench once the game started.

Bryant had hoped his broken right foot would heal in time for the game, but he didn't practice last week. Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins had said Bryant would have to practice to play and that he'd be shocked if the sophomore was able to go.

Bryant broke his foot March 23 and missed the next two NCAA Tournament games. He tried to wear a special insert in his shoe to take the pressure off his fractured fifth metatarsal, but it didn't help.

MISTAKES CRIPPLE SPARTANS: With key players on the bench seemingly all night in foul trouble, Michigan State failed to find a rhythm. Butler outscored the Spartans 17-10 at the free-throw line. "We didn't get it done," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "I thought the physical play bothered us; that surprised me."

Raymar Morgan, Michigan State's second-leading scorer, played just 23 minutes and had four points and four fouls.

The Bulldogs also took advantage of sloppy ballhandling, turning 16 Michigan State turnovers into 20 points. The Spartans managed only two points off Butler's eight turnovers.

TWEETNESS: Duke guard Nolan Smith was doing it for his dad again. Smith, who had the game of his life after dedicating the South Region final to his late father, Derek, made a similar declaration on his Twitter page roughly four hours before facing West Virginia.

"This one is for my dad and my family!! Yall already know!! Love you 43," Smith tweeted, mentioning the jersey number his father wore three decades ago when he helped lead Louisville to a national championship.

RUFF LIFE: Blue II, Butler's English bulldog mascot, made the rounds at Lucas Oil Stadium before the game. He hung with the guys from CBS, posed for pictures with adoring fans and got a pat on the head from former Butler coach Thad Matta, now at Ohio State.

He was on his best behavior.

"Normally, we're dragging him. He's dragging us today," said owner Michael Kaltenmark, Butler's director of development. "We came in here, and his spirits just lifted."

ELSEWHERE: New Mexico coach Steve Alford agreed on a contract extension through 2020. The school athletic department said details will be announced when the contract is complete. Alford is 76-26 in three seasons with the Lobos.

Injured West Virginia star misses game 04/03/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 3, 2010 11:45pm]

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