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Hoyas shake off feisty 'Dores

Associated Press • Mar 24, 2007 at 8:09 AM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Jeff Green squeezed between two defenders and Georgetown squeezed out a win.

Green spun and banked in a short, off-balance shot with 2.5 seconds to play and the Hoyas earned a harder-than-expected 66-65 victory over Vanderbilt in the East Regional semifinals on Friday night.

The victory was the seventh straight and 18th in 19 games for second-seeded Georgetown (29-6) and put the Hoyas in the regional final for the first time in 11 years.

Vanderbilt (22-12) had one last chance to win the game but a long 3-pointer by Alex Gordon was contested by Green, the Big East Player of the Year.

The sixth-seeded Commodores had taken a 65-64 lead with 17.9 seconds to play when Dan Cage hit two free throws after being fouled grabbing the rebound of Patrick Ewing Jr.'s missed jumper.

After a timeout, Georgetown inbounded the pass and Jessie Sapp brought the ball upcourt and gave it to Green at the foul line extended.

Green started to make a move and fumbled the ball. He recovered, made a turnaround move and banked home the short jumper. Replays seemed to indicate he may have walked by switching his pivot foot.

ST. LOUIS - Florida started slowly, again, and staved off another challenge with a late surge. If these Gators are going to repeat, it seems they're going to do it the hard way.

Al Horford had 16 points, seven rebounds and a key block in the final minute to help the top-seeded Gators hold off undersized Butler.

Florida (32-5), trying to become the first team since Duke in 1992 to win consecutive national titles, advanced to the Midwest Regional final Sunday against Oregon.

The defending national champions trailed by as many as nine points and never found their comfort zone against the scrappy Bulldogs (29-7).

But they took control in the final two minutes - thanks mostly to Horford.

The 6-foot-10 forward converted a three-point play with 2:34 remaining, then blocked a shot with 16.3 seconds left. He got plenty of help, too.

Corey Brewer hit a baseline jumper with 1:43 remaining that made it 59-54. Brewer later made two free throws and finished with 11 points.

ST. LOUIS - Tajuan Porter, the little guy nobody wanted, has third-seeded Oregon one game away from the Final Four. The diminutive freshman tied an NCAA regional record with eight 3-pointers and finished with 33 points, and Oregon withstood a frantic comeback to top seventh-seeded UNLV.

Malik Hairston had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Oregon (29-7), which has not reached a Final Four since winning it all in 1939. Maarty Leunen hit three 3-pointers and added 11 points.

After Porter and Hairston hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 66-49 with 5:23 to play, UNLV began chipping away.

Kevin Kruger and Michael Umeh combined for 13 points during a 17-4 run that got the Runnin' Rebels within 70-66 with 50.2 seconds to play. But Porter went 2-of-3 from the line in the last 41 seconds and UNLV's Joe Darger missed a 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go.

Umeh nailed another 3 with 12 seconds to go, and after a quick foul, Porter hit the first of two free throws to make it a five-point game.

Back came Darger, this time hitting a 3 from the top of the key with 3.2 seconds left. But the Rebels couldn't foul Oregon guard Bryce Taylor until 0.9 seconds left, and he hit both free throws to seal the win.

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