Illinois State Coach Bob Donewald doesn't like the concept of revenge. "It's an ugly, ugly value to teach," he says. Nonetheless, the Redbirds got theirs at Creighton, shooting 61.0% from the floor to whip the Bluejays 94-63 and avenge an earlier loss in Omaha. The victory secured the top seed for the Red-birds in the MVC tournament. Earlier, Illinois State lost a 61-59 OT decision to Tulsa when the Golden Hurricane's Ricky Ross hit a layup with four seconds left.
By edging Kansas State 49-47 on Jon Sundvold's 18-foot jumper at the buzzer, Missouri became the first Big Eight team in 49 years (the conference was then known as the Big Six) to win four straight undisputed titles. "This one and the first one, we weren't supposed to win," said Tiger Guard Mark Dressier. "Oklahoma was supposed to win this one." The Sooners, who finished second to Missouri, won twice, beating Iowa State 67-65 in overtime and Kansas State 72-70.
"Our strength is playing as a team," said UCLA Coach Larry Farmer after the Bruins' 90-66 rout of Washington. "When we don't, we're very average." UCLA certainly wasn't average against the Huskies. Six Bruins, led by Darren Daye with 18 points and Kenny Fields with 17, scored in double figures. UCLA limited Washington to 43.7% shooting from the floor, and outrebounded the Huskies 44-37.
Nevada-Las Vegas was in trouble at half-time of its PCAA game at San Jose State. After the Spartans had scored six points in the final 1:47 of the half from the free-throw line, the Runnin' Rebels trailed 38-26. "I thought our chances were zero," said UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian later. But in the second half the Spartans fell apart, going scoreless in the final 4:30 as the Rebels won 67-61. A hustling full-court press forced San Jose State into 11 second-half turnovers, and UNLV Center Sidney Green scored 14 of his game-high 21 points after the intermission.
Cal State-Fullerton, UNLV's most formidable challenger in this week's PCAA tournament, has no illusions about an NCAA tournament invitation. "Right now, we are in a position where we will have to win the conference tournament for us to go to the NCAAs, even though we have a good record," said Point Guard Leon Wood. The Titans looked sharp in an 81-60 victory over UC-Santa Barbara, but Fresno State humbled Fullerton two nights later, 94-72.
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