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Friday, March 18, 2011
Rocky Mountain highs and lows


Men's college basketball: The first major day of the NCAA tournament seemed to favor the 11 through 13 seeds, but Thursday wasn't such a great day if your favorite team was a four, five or six seed. The first shocking upset of the tournament came in the battle for the state of Kentucky, as 13th-seeded Morehead State knocked off No. 4 seed Louisville 62-61. Morehead State's Demonte Harper hit the game-winning 3 with 4.2 seconds remaining.

As the afternoon progressed, the shockers just kept on coming. No. 12 seed Richmond defeated Vandy, a five seed, 69-66. At night, sixth-seeded St. John's fell to No. 11 seed Gonzaga 86-71. All three major upsets took place in Denver.

There were also a couple close calls on the day. Fourth-seeded Kentucky slipped past Princeton, a 13 seed, 59-57. Princeton required a one-game playoff with Harvard to even get into the Big Dance, while the Wildcats were the winners of the SEC tournament. No. 7 seed Temple edged 10th-seeded Penn State 66-64. West Virginia, a five seed, barely beat Clemson, a 12 seed 84-76, and the Tigers had to win their play-in game to even advance to play the Mountaineers. Seventh-seeded UCLA squeaked out a 78-76 win over No. 10 seed Michigan State. Butler needed a buzzer-beater to edge No. 9 seed Old Dominion 60-58.

The following teams also won their games soundly to advance: No. 1 seed Pitt, No. 2 seeds Florida and San Diego State, No. 3 seeds UConn and BYU, No. 4 seed Wisconsin, No. 5 seed Kansas State and No. 6 seed Cincinnati.

NBA:With the help of Derrick Rose's 21 points on Thursday, the Bulls beat the Nets 84-73. Chicago has now won eight consecutive games, its longest winning streak in six years. New Jersey's 73 points was a season-worst for the Nets. ... The Knicks knocked in 20 3-pointers, a franchise record, in a 120-99 rout of the Memphis Grizzlies. Nine of those 3s came from Toney Douglas, while Carmelo Anthony had 28 points on the night. New York snapped a three-game losing skid and moved ahead of Philadelphia to take sole possession of the sixth spot in the East.

College football: Ohio State's Jim Tressel will miss the first five games next season. On Thursday, Tressel asked for a five-game ban in lieu of the two-game suspension the Buckeyes had already assessed him. The Ohio State head coach said that he wanted the same punishment as his players, whose appeal to the NCAA was denied Thursday evening.