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Ducks stifle Kansas to reach Final Four

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Oregon lost one of its best players to an injury just before the NCAA Tournament, had to survive two nail-biters to reach the Midwest Regional finals, and then faced a top-seeded Kansas team that had romped to the brink of the Final Four.

Of course, the Ducks would rise to the occasion.

With swagger and verve and downright prolific shooting, the plucky team that everybody wanted to count out rolled to a 74-60 victory over the Jayhawks on Saturday night, earning the Ducks their first trip to the national semifinals in nearly 80 years.

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Zags rout Xavier, break Final Four jinx

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The criticism dogged Gonzaga wherever it went, no matter how much it won.

The Zags run up their record by beating up on teams in a weak conference, then always seemed to come up short as the calendar went deep into March. Few outside of Spokane believed the program Mark Few helped build from scratch belonged in the national powerhouse conversation.

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Indiana hires Dayton's Miller as coach

Fred Glass wanted to hire a proven winner for Indiana's next coach. The athletic director didn't have to wait long - or travel far to find what he was looking for.

On Saturday, less than 24 hours after UCLA coach Steve Alford pulled his name out of the sweepstakes, Glass announced he had hired Archie Miller from Dayton. Miller replaces Tom Crean, who was fired March 16 after missing the NCAA Tournament five times in nine seasons.

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Ball going pro, Alford staying at UCLA

LOS ANGELES (AP) Lonzo Ball is leaving and Steve Alford is staying. The expectations at UCLA remain the same.

Ball said he planned to enter the NBA draft after the Bruins lost to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on Friday night, dashing their national title hopes. The freshman phenom helped UCLA to a 31-5 record while averaging 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists.

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UNC savors second chance at Kentucky

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Roy Williams wanted another chance at Kentucky after his North Carolina Tar Heels lost to the Wildcats in December.

John Calipari is certain someone knew he hoped not to see North Carolina in the same bracket.

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Jayhawks stumble again on Elite 8 stage

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Landen Lucas buried his head in a towel as time ran out. Devonte' Graham, on the verge of tears, walked off the court with his jersey pulled up over his face. Coach Bill Self fiddled with his tie a bit and stared blankly into the crowd as his players headed toward the locker room.

Kansas came up short - again - as a No. 1 seed in the Elite Eight. The Jayhawks and their faithful never get used to the disappointment of losing in regional finals, but this 74-60 loss to No. 3 Oregon on Saturday night was excruciating.

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Gonzaga, Oregon give West Coast flair

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Tyler Dorsey had just led Oregon to its first Final Four in nearly eight decades when he looked into a TV camera and passed along a very simple message to all those East Coast fans.

The ones who are often asleep before the Ducks have even taken the floor.

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Freshman Fox leads Kentucky into Elite 8

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Kentucky coach John Calipari can point to the reason why freshman guard De'Aaron Fox has blossomed into the Wildcats' offensive leader at the most crucial time of the season.

"What he's learned to do is play physical," Calipari said of Fox. "Not take a hit and fly and throw a ball. He's learned to play through bumps. He's learned to work. He's understands the grind now."

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Sour ending to Xavier's eventful season

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The biggest celebration for Xavier came on a shot that didn't end up counting.

That was the kind of day it was for the Musketeers, whose memorable March run to the third Elite Eight in school history ended with a lopsided 83-59 loss to No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Saturday in the West Regional final.

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Wisconsin in transition as seniors leave

Zak Showalter and Ethan Happ walked quietly down the middle of the court, arm in arm, away from Florida's celebration of a last-second victory.

This NCAA Tournament loss is going to sting for a while for the Wisconsin Badgers.

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