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Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2004 7:55 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(3) Georgia Tech 79, (4) Kansas 71 (ot)

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Will Bynum gets a chance to join his high school teammate in the Final Four, thanks mostly to Jarrett Jack.

Bynum nailed a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:56 left in overtime to lift No. 3 Georgia Tech to a 79-71 victory over No. 4 Kansas in the St. Louis Region final, ending the Jayhawks' bid for a third straight Final Four appearance.

Georgia Tech (27-9), which blew a seven-point lead with 3:56 left in regulation, will make its second Final Four trip in school history with the first coming in 1990. The Yellow Jackets will face Oklahoma State in a national semifinal.

Oklahoma State star Tony Allen and Bynum were high school teammates in Chicago and Bynum wanted to join his good friend when he transferred from Arizona. But the Cowboys were out of scholarships and he ended up with the Yellow Jackets, becoming eligible in December.

"He told me, 'We're still going to be friends after we beat you,'" Bynum said. "It's crazy. It has been a long journey. I'm just happy to get a chance to play against him in the Final Four - it doesn't get any sweeter than that, and to beat him."

Jack led a magnificent effort for Georgia Tech, which prevailed despite getting a limited effort from leading scorer B.J. Elder, who moved gingerly because of a sprained right ankle suffered in Friday's win over Nevada.

Jack scored a career-high 29 points, but his biggest play was his pass to Bynum for the 3-pointer that snapped a 71-71 tie.

"Today was Jarrett Jack's day," Hewitt said. "He came here because he loved Georgia Tech's point guard tradition."

Kansas (24-9) missed a chance to tie when Michael Lee's 3-pointer rimmed out. Jack converted four foul shots and Marvin Lewis added one in the final 46 seconds to seal the win and an unexpected trip to the Final Four after losing Chris Bosh to the NBA.

"Coach put us in a great situation," Jack said. "We lost Chris Bosh, but we still have a lot of talent. I just really believe in this guy."

The Jayhawks were hampered when Keith Langford and Lee each fouled out in overtime - Langford drew his fifth on an offensive foul with 2:44 to go. Lee's basket that forged a 71-71 tie 29 seconds later accounted for Kansas' final points.

Georgia Tech did an outstanding job bottling up Kansas star forward Wayne Simien, who made 4-of-14 shots for 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Yellow Jackets did it by starting in a collapsing zone defense and also using double- and triple-teams out of their man-to-man schemes.

The Georgia Tech big men also had big games offensively, exposing Kansas' weakness inside. Luke Schenscher made all five shots and scored 15 points and Clarence Moore added 14.

"They played us smart, they had the big fella (Schenscher) in there playing behind (Simien) and everyone else dove hard," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "When our big guys did catch it, they felt guarded, no question."

The Yellow Jackets appeared to have the game in hand after Jack fed Anthony McHenry for a layup and a 65-58 advantage with 3:56 left in regulation to cap a 7-0 tear. The Jayhawks fought back with eight of the final nine points of the half, tying the game at 66-66 on freshman J.R. Giddens' 3-pointer with 16 seconds to go.

After a timeout by Hewitt, Georgia Tech went to Marvin Lewis, whose shot was blocked and Bynum's hurried follow shot went awry.

"Once we got to overtime, we were supposed to put them away and we didn't do that," Giddens said.

Self, who has never reached the Final Four, earned the dubious distinction of losing a regional final for the third time in five years with three different schools. He lost to North Carolina with Tulsa in 2000 and to Arizona with Illinois in 2001.


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