2001 NCAA Men's Tourney

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Hampton's in

15th-seeded Pirates stun No. 2 seed Cyclones 58-57

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Posted: Friday March 16, 2001 12:36 AM
Updated: Friday March 16, 2001 4:41 AM

  Shane Power Shane Power and two-seed Iowa State couldn't get around LeSean Howard and Hampton in the first round. AP

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Some homecoming for Larry Eustachy. His team came out flat, the fans cheered for his opponent and Iowa State became another first-round upset victim.

Tarvis Williams flipped in a 4-footer in the lane with 6.9 seconds remaining as 15th-seeded Hampton stunned second-seeded Iowa State 58-57 in the NCAA West Region on Thursday night.

Williams took a feed from Marseilles Brown and moved the Pirates (25-6) into tournament history as the fourth 15th seed to beat a No. 2 seed since the tournament expanded to 16 seeds per region in 1985.

"Marseilles and I made eye contact and he made a good pass into me underneath," said Williams, who had four fouls for much of the second half. "When I'm underneath, I feel confident with my touch and my jump shot, and I just concentrated on that."

Pirates Steal Cyclones' Zeal
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An emotional Steve Merfeld reacts after Hampton's exciting and improbable upset of Iowa State.Start
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Iowa State's Jamaal Tinsley took the ball down court but missed a layup with 1.2 seconds to go, setting off a midcourt frenzy as the Pirates, their band, their cheerleaders and their fans swarmed the floor in celebration.

David Johnson carried coach Steve Merfeld halfway around the court as Merfeld furiously pumped his fists.

The Cyclones (25-6), who came within one game of the Final Four last season, left the court in shock. Before this game, Iowa State lost to Baylor in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.

"It doesn't matter that we lost to Baylor and Hampton at the end," Eustachy said. "This was one of the best teams ever in Iowa. It just didn't go well at the end."

The Cyclones were outscored 14-2 in the final eight minutes, getting nothing after Martin Rancik's bucket gave Iowa State a 57-48 lead with 7:01 remaining.

"It's just devastating to go out like this," Iowa State's Kantrail Horton said.

Hampton advanced to play Georgetown, which beat Arkansas 61-60 on another late basket.

Close Encounters
Smallest combined margin of victory in a first round region (since 1985):
Year  Region  Pts. 
2001  Boise  7  
1998  Washington, D.C.  17  
1986  Minneapolis  17  
1986  Greensboro  25  
1995  Tallahassee  25  
1989  Nashville  27  
1991  Louisville  27  
1995  Austin  27  

"It was a great win. I thought our kid persevered," Merfeld said. "They took control of the game, but we just hung in there and hung in there ... Tarvis played with four fouls the last 12 minutes, and it's fitting he got the game winner."

Asked what he thought about Georgetown, he said: "I didn't know anything about them."

The Pirates trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half but pulled to 57-54 with 2:53 remaining on a basket by Isaac Jefferson, then forced a turnover at the other end.

It was 57-56 with 1:44 to go when Brown split the lane for a layup, capping a fast break that started when Williams blocked a shot by Iowa State's Rancik.

Eustachy got his first head coaching job at Idaho from 1990-93, and he couldn't have felt too welcome when the Boise fans cheered for Hampton most of the night.

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Pirates were making their first NCAA tournament appearance. Until now, Hampton wasn't known for much other than being the school that produced NBA tough guy Rick Mahorn.

You can bet everyone back in Iowa, from Council Bluffs to Davenport, knows more about the Pirates now.

The Few, The Proud
No. 15 seeds that defeated a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament:
Game  Year 
Hampton 58, Iowa St. 57  2001 
Coppin St. 78, S. Carolina 65  1997 
Santa Clara 64, Arizona 61  1993 
Richmond 73, Syracuse 69  1991 

"They played a good game. They guarded me tough. But I just couldn't make my shots," said Tinsley, who shot 4-of-11.

The Cyclones didn't start like the team that reeled off winning streaks of 10, eight and seven games and won the Big 12's regular-season title. They came out listless, shooting 9-of-27, and trailed 31-27 at halftime.

Things stabilized early in the second half as the Cyclones using a 9-0 run to erase Hampton's lead. Iowa State led 46-35 after a 19-4 run through the midpoint of the second half.

But Hampton pulled within 48-43 on a jumper by Tommy Adams with 10:33 to play and 50-44 after Williams made one of two free throws. Tinsley made a 3-pointer and Shane Power got free for a dunk to give the Cyclones a 55-44 lead.

Hampton had two transfers with NCAA tournament experience.

LaSean Howard was part of Syracuse's run to the Sweet 16 in 1998 and Brown played the point for Richmond the same year when the 14th-seeded Spiders stunned third-seeded South Carolina.

Related information
Statitudes: Two and done for No. 1
Statitudes: Cinderellas collide
Hampton-Iowa State Game Summary
Hampton's Tarvis Williams discusses his game-winning basket against Iowa State. (79 K)
Hampton head coach Steve Merfeld describes his team's approach late in the game. (85 K)
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