|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 01 April 2008 18:28|
Gary Forbes scored 19 points, Chris Lowe and Ricky Harris added 16 each, and the starters scored all but two points for the Minutemen, who will play Ohio State on Thursday night.
UMass (25-10) took its first lead since early in the game when Etienne Brower hit a 3-pointer with 9:49 left. Milligan scored a couple minutes later, then stuffed Walter Hodge at the other end, leading to another 3 from Brower and a 59-51 lead with 7:25 to go.
The Gators (24-12) never could get closer than six the rest of the way, ending a disappointing season with a lackluster finish miles away and far removed from the consecutive titles they won on college basketball's biggest stage.
Marreese Speights had 12 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for Florida, the first defending champ to miss the NCAA tournament since 1989.
Star freshman Nick Calathes added 12 points on just 5-of-19 shooting, and Dan Werner had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Ohio State 81, Mississippi 69
NEW YORK (AP) - Jamar Butler and Evan Turner scored 17 each, and the Buckeyes used a buckling halfcourt trap and an early 14-0 run to beat Ole Miss.
The game was tied when the Buckeyes (23-13) went on their big run, getting eight of 14 straight points off turnovers and taking a 27-10 lead on a jumper by Turner with 10:20 to go.
David Lighty and Kosta Koufas added 16 points each for the Buckeyes, who lost Oden, Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook to the NBA draft from last year's national runner-up - a crippling blow to most programs.
Ole Miss (24-11) tried to summon a second-half comeback, slapping on its own trap and slowly whittling down a 27-point deficit.
The lead was 56-38 when freshman Chris Warren hit a 3-pointer and Trevor Gaskins followed with a pair of free throws - the first points by a nonstarter for Ole Miss. Seconds later, Kenny Williams converted a turnover by Butler to make it 56-45 with 12 minutes left.
The Rebels put one last run together, with Warren hitting three 3s on consecutive possessions to get within 75-68 with 1:32 remaining. But Butler, the all-Big Ten guard, scored on a driving layup to help put the game away.
Warren had 18 points for Ole Miss, which already had the second-most wins in school history despite having three freshman and two sophomores in its regular rotation.