LSU and Memphis advance to Elite Eight

Kali Price

Duke’s Shelden Williams, right, gets his shot blocked by Louisiana State’s Glen Davis, during their NCAA regional game at the Georgia Dome last night in Atlanta. PHOTO COURTESY OF KRT CAMPUS

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Louisiana and Memphis moved on to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament last night.

Top-seeded Duke fell 62-54 to No. 4-seed Louisiana in the Atlanta Regional.

Louisiana (26-8) didn’t take the lead over Duke (32-4) until nine minutes and 42 seconds into the first half and went on a 13-4 run. Starting with a steal by senior Shelden Williams with 4:01 in the half, the Blue Devils were able to hold the Tigers to eight points for the remainder of the half. They ended the half down 31-27.

The Tigers held up their lead in the first eight minutes of the second until Williams hit two free throws to start the Blue Devils on a 12-2 run and take the lead at 40-45 with 8:47 left.

But it was fouls and missed shots that doomed the Blue Devils. Louisiana’s Tasmin Mitchell hit a layup with 5:49 left to tie the game at 47.

The teams went back and forth taking small leads and tying the game up after every shot. After a 3-pointer by senior J.J. Redick at the 3:34 mark to bring the score to 52-51, the Blue Devils did not score another field goal for the rest of the game. The Tigers took the lead for good with a made free throw by Glen Davis with 2:31 left.

Redick, the team’s leading scorer, was held to only 11 points and hit only 3-of-19 field goal attempts and 3-of-9 from long range.

“I think (Redick has) just evolved each year as a better basketball player, and the last two years he’s made a year-round commitment to being in exceptional shape,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a pre-game press conference made availabe through the NCAA. “That means where you can handle the the things go on in basketball, if you just focus on J.J. and just watched him, you’d be shocked at the maze of things that he has to get through usually to get a shot.”

Williams posted a double-double with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Davis led the Tigers with 14 points, including eight from the free-throw line.

The Tigers will play the winner of the matchup between Texas and West Virginia.

Memphis (32-3) advanced to the Elite Eight with an 80-64 win over Bradley (22-10) in the Oakland Regional.

Memphis’ Rodney Carney led the Tigers in stopping Bradley’s Cinderella NCAA Tournament run by scoring a game-high 23 points. Under Carney’s lead, the top-seeded Memphis advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1992.

Memphis took an early lead over Bradley, but let up halfway through the first half as Bradley was able to tie the game up at 29 with 4:39 left in the first half on a 3-pointer by Tony Bennett. But Memphis took the lead back two minutes later and never gave it up for the remainder of the contest.

Memphis dominated Bradley in the second half, outscoring Bradley 45-34. Memphis’ Darius Washington Jr. added 18 points for the Tigers.

Action will continue for Memphis Saturday when they face the winner of the game between Gonzaga and UCLA.

Contact sports editor Kali Price at [email protected].