Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

Kent State fans root for their team during overtime win over Pittsburgh. ncaa tournament 3/21/02
AP
Upsets were in abundance Thursday night as NCAA tournament action resumed in the South and West regions.

With a never-give-up rally and a wild ending, Indiana produced an upset of Duke as stunning as any in the Hoosiers' storied hoops history.

Chipping away at a deficit that was as big as 17 points, Indiana took advantage of a Jason Williams miscue at the foul line and beat the defending national champion Blue Devils 74-73 in the South Regional semifinals Thursday night.

Top-seeded Duke had a chance to tie it with 4.2 seconds left when Williams — a unanimous All-American — was fouled as he made a long 3-pointer to get the Blue Devils within a point. But he missed the free throw, and Carlos Boozer couldn't convert a follow shot.

Indiana (23-11), seeded fifth, makes it first trip to a regional final since Bob Knight took them to the final eight in 1993. The Hoosiers will play the winner of the Kent State-Pittsburgh game with a chance to move on to the Final Four.

"No one believed in us, that we could win this basketball game," Hoosiers coach Mike Davis said.

"I hope now that people know I can coach."

It was the most significant victory of his tenure, which began when Knight was fired in 2000. Davis has had to deal with the pressure of succeeding a coach who won three national titles in a state that treats basketball as religion.

Davis jumped high in the air and raced onto the court with his players to celebrate the victory over Duke, which returned four starters from last year's title team.

Williams, only a 67 percent free-throw shooter, left the Rupp Arena court in tears.

Jared Jeffries had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Hoosiers, who held Duke to 33 percent shooting in the second half.

"The team worked so hard the whole year to get to this point," Jeffries said.

"Duke's a very good team, they put a lot of pressure on us."

The last words from Davis to his team before they ran onto the floor: "Let's go shock the world."

Indiana will meet Kent State in the South Region's final as the 10th-seeded Golden Flashes played smothering defense and slowed the tempo at every opportunity Thursday night, defeating No. 3 Pittsburgh 78-73 in overtime in the other South Region semifinal.

Kent State (30-5) had never advanced beyond the second round of the NCAA tournament before this year. Now it's one victory away from the Final Four after knocking off higher-seeded Oklahoma State, Alabama and Pittsburgh to stretch the country's longest winning streak to 21 games.

In the first West region semifinal, Hollis Price scored 26 points, including a season-high six 3-pointers, to lead No. 2-seeded Oklahoma past third-seeded Arizona 88-67.

Oklahoma hadn't reached a regional final since 1998.

Arizona, which lost to Duke in last year's NCAA championship game, could not overcome the Sooners' tough defense or Price, whose accurate outside shooting kept Oklahoma in it early before a sustained second-half rally.

``In the end I don't think there was any question,'' Arizona coach Lute Olson said. ``Oklahoma was quicker and a whole lot more explosive.''

Jason Gardner, probably playing his last college game, led the Wildcats with 14 points. Luke Walton, the son of former UCLA and NBA great Bill Walton, had nine points and seven assists.

The Sooners will face Missouri on Saturday in an all-Big 12 regional final thanks to a big second half surge by the Tigers.

Clarence Gilbert scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half, and Kareem Rush scored 20 points to help the Tigers roar to their third upset of the tournament, beating eighth-seeded UCLA 82-73 Thursday night.

Arthur Johnson hadded 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Tigers.

Missouri, ranked as high as No. 2 early in the season before slumping during conference play, go to the final eight for the first time since 1994.

With Arizona and Duke losing, both participants in last season's final were knocked out within 30 minutes.

Friday's "Sweet 16" matchups pit surprising Southern Illinois vs. Connecticut and Kentucky vs. Maryland in the East, and Texas vs. Oregon and Illinois vs. Kansas in the Midwest.