American University worked all week on defending Tennessee's Chris Lofton, trying to keep the sharpshooter from getting the ball off screens for open 3-point shots.
The strategy worked, even though American lost by 15 points. Lofton, the Southeastern Conference's career 3-point leader, missed on his five long-range attempts and was held to five points - 11 below his season average - in the second-seeded Volunteers' 72-57 win Friday in Birmingham, Ala.
``The fact that he only got seven shots up is pretty remarkable,'' American coach Jeff Jones said. ``We wanted to try to take Lofton out as best we could and then try to guard the rest of them and keep them from getting layups and dunks.''
The defensive strategy included Garrison Carr frequently shadowing Lofton and sticking with his man even when the Vols' star set a screen for a teammate.
``We went through all the plays that they have for him to get his shots,'' said Carr, who had 26 points. ``And basically all week we were just practicing getting through screens, anticipating when the screens would come.''
Lofton was coming off a 25-point performance against Arkansas in the SEC tournament in which he made 5-of-9 3s. Plus, he made 13 from beyond the arc in last season's three NCAA tournament games.
Defensive tactics aside, Lofton also was worn out from trying to guard Carr.
``One person can't guard him,'' he said. ``He comes off eight or nine screens. I had to take a break in the first half. I was dead.''
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GATE CRASHER: Denver police arrested a 64-year-old man at the Pepsi Center who is known around the country for trying to sneak into major sporting events.
Police said Jerry Berliant, known to authorities as ``Jerry the Gate Crasher,'' tried to get into NCAA tournament games using what appeared to be a fake media credential on Thursday. Authorities said an alert Pepsi Center employee spotted Berliant and pointed him out to a police officer.
Berliant was found with credentials for several media outlets and business cards from various professions, police said. He is under investigation for evading admissions fees and trespassing charges.
``Berliant boasts about his ability to sneak into major events without paying,'' police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. ``He is believed to have been an 'uninvited guest' at prize fights, political conventions, the Oscars, and several major sporting events.''
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NO SCALPING: Fans of one-and-done teams shouldn't plan on getting a huge windfall from scalping second-round tickets in Omaha, Neb., on Saturday - police are cracking down.
Undercover officers arrested eight people Thursday for scalping the most desired tickets this side of a Hannah Montana concert, and cited them for misdemeanors.
``We've done it for the College World Series and for other major events,'' said officer Bill Dropinski, who added that the NCAA had not asked police to set up the sting.
Dropinski wouldn't say how much the tickets were marked up, but StubHub.com was selling seats for the Kansas-UNLV/Wisconsin-Kansas State double bill for anywhere from $275 to $530.
The few tickets that actually made it to the public at face value were sold at $159 for the whole weekend - a total of six games. That works out to $26.50 a game. But the only locals who could buy seats - Creighton season ticket holders - had to pay for the full weekend pass.
Fake tickets haven't been a problem, Dropinski said, but undercover officers plan to be on the streets again for the second round.
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