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Up by 16, Vols barely win

Tobias Harris scores 20 for Tennessee, which faces Florida tonight after getting a late first-round scare from Arkansas.

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Tobias Harris scores 20 for Tennessee, which faces Florida tonight after getting a late first-round scare from Arkansas.

ATLANTA — Freshman Tobias Harris scored 20 and Tennessee recovered after blowing a 16-point lead to beat Arkansas 74-68 on Thursday night and advance to tonight's quarterfinal game against Florida.

Tennessee (19-13) bolstered its NCAA Tournament case after a 3-6 finish to the regular season.

The Vols led by 16 at 68-52 before Arkansas (18-13) went on a 16-0 run to tie it with 2:08 left.

Brian Williams scored for Tennessee with 54 seconds remaining to end the Razorbacks' run. The Vols then forced a turnover by Julysses Nobles, and Harris hit two free throws.

Rotnei Clarke had 18 points for Arkansas.

Delvon Johnson had 15 points and eight rebounds for Arkansas.

Williams, a 6-foot-10 senior and Tennessee's leading rebounder who had been out with a sore back, had nine points and eight rebounds in his return. He made his first 3-pointer of the season.

Before the game, Arkansas said it is reviewing a report suggesting coach John Pelphrey had contact with 2012 recruits in violation of NCAA rules.

The report from CBSSports.com includes a picture of Pelphrey with Sylvan Hills (Ark.) High's Archie Goodwin and Trey Smith, both juniors, at a high school tournament in December. Coaches cannot have off-campus contact with a prospect until the July 1 after the prospect's junior year in high school. Pelphrey promised to cooperate.

Georgia 59, auburn 51: Trey Thompkins, moving past a series of injuries, had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (21-10) past the Tigers (11-20).

Thompkins, a 6-foot-10 junior, is ranked among the SEC leaders at 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds despite battling ankle, shin and toe injuries.

"I feel like I'm myself again," Thompkins said.

Coach Mark Fox, noting Georgia shot only 41.2 percent, said his team hasn't peaked.

Auburn coach Tony Barbee said the Tigers' frontcourt couldn't match Georgia's: "It seems like they go to the bench and there's another 6-foot-9 guy that's about 260 (pounds). They're all men out there. We had boys on the floor."

Ole Miss 66, S. Carolina 55: Chris Warren scored 20 and the Rebels (20-12) prevailed in a game of spurts.

Ole Miss had lost its opening tournament game three years in a row. Now the Rebels have a chance to win two straight for the first time since 2001.

Bring on today's opponent, Kentucky, Rebels coach Andy Kennedy said.

"It really is the sadistic nature of coaches. I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be a great experience," he said.

"At the end of the day, it's about creating an experience for these kids."

The final run was decisive for the Rebels, whose only shot at the NCAAs is probably to win four games in four days. After South Carolina (14-16) closed to 50-45 with 9½ minutes to go, Ole Miss put it away with an 11-1 run.

South Carolina shot 20-of-67 (30 percent). Ramon Galloway led the Gamecocks with 17 points, but only one teammate, Sam Muldrow with 12, reached double figures.

"It's hard to get a rhythm when shots are not falling," said Malik Cooke, who was 2-for-12.

Up by 16, Vols barely win 03/10/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 11, 2011 6:00pm]
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