BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In a span of three days, Shabazz Napier and Connecticut knocked out both Philadelphia schools in the NCAA tournament. Now, the seventh-seeded Huskies are off to the East Regional semifinals in New York City to see how much more bracket busting they can do a year after being barred from the post-season because of academic sanctions. Second-seeded Villanova became the highest seed to fall so far after Napier scored 25 points in leading UConn to a 77-65 victory Saturday night. The win came on the heels of another upset in Buffalo, where Dayton, the 11th seed in the South, beat third-seeded Syracuse 55-53. "I guess it means something to you guys but at the end of the day, just because theyre No. 2 and were No. 7, they dont get extra points to start the game off," Napier said. "Everybodys the same." UConn was better thanks to Napier, who scored 24 points two days earlier in an 89-81 overtime win against Philadelphias other tournament entry, Saint Josephs. Napier had 21 points in the second half and helped put the game away by hitting three consecutive 3-pointers to give the Huskies a 54-45 lead with 6:08 remaining. The star guard was limited to 8 minutes in the first half by foul trouble, and he avoided a major scare when he briefly left the game after hurting his right shin with 4:01 left. "The pain was excruciating. I couldnt put any pressure on it," Napier said. "Our trainer told me to mentally stay strong. ... He put that Bio-freeze on it, and I was ready to go." The freeze didnt cool him down once Napier returned after missing only about 40 seconds of action. Holding the ball atop the 3-point arc, he blew past a defender while driving into the paint and flipped in an underhanded reverse high off the backboard to put UConn ahead 60-51 with 2:19 remaining. Lasan Kromah scored 12 points for the Huskies, while DeAndre Daniels, Ryan Boatright and Terrence Samuel each had 11. Connecticut (28-8) advanced to face the winner of Sundays game between third-seeded Iowa State and No. 6 seed North Carolina. "Its unbelievable," UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said. "Its extra special, given what this team went through last year. Extra special." Manuel was referring to the academic sanctions that essentially rendered the Huskies 20-10 finish meaningless last year in Kevin Ollies first season as coach. Ollie has improved to 2-0 in his tournament debut, two years since taking over after Jim Calhoun stepped down because of health issues. Ryan Arcidiacono scored 18 points for Villanova (29-5) in a matchup of former Big East rivals. James Bell had 14 and Darrun Hilliard added 13. "Certainly a tough way to end the season," Wildcats coach Jay Wright said. "I didnt want to let this put a damper on what this group has done all year." Villanova fell one win short of matching the school record set in 2009, when the Wildcats lost to North Carolina in the national semifinals. Napiers performance played a significant role. "He was just awesome," Wright said. "There was a period where he hit three 3s, and it just created a separation." Wright was referring to a surge during which UConn took control in a span of 1:32 as Napier made three consecutive 3-pointers to build a 51-40 advantage. Kromah started it and Napier struck a pose for the cameras after hitting the second 3 with 8:59 left. "He led us to victory," Ollie said. "He was just unbelievable in that second half: 21 points, crucial 3s, dagger 3s. He was 30 feet out and he was making them." The Huskies are marching on to Madison Square Garden in their first season as members of the American Athletic Conference after the Big East was realigned following a series of defections. Villanova remained a Big East holdover, but wound up being bounced by a familiar foe. The teams traded leads four times in the opening 5:25 of the second half, with Daniels putting UConn ahead for good, 37-36, with a layup. Poor shooting continued to haunt the Wildcats, who were coming off a 75-53 win over Milwaukee on Thursday. After hitting five of their first eight attempts through the first 6:11, the Wildcats closed the half going 2 of 15. Their offence went stone cold after Hilliard hit a 3 to put them up 19-9 with 11:30 left. Villanova went 11:24 without a field goal, missing 10 straight shots before Arcidiacono hit a 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left in the first half that cut the Huskies lead to 25-24. Villanova was down 42-36 with 11:48 left when Hilliard drove into an opening on the right wing and, as he went up to shoot, the ball slipped out of his hands and bounced out of bounds. Brandon Mebane Jersey
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. The Rangers centre left early in Game 1 with an upper body injury after being checked by Canadiens defenceman Mike Weaver and has not played since. Brassard told reporters after practice that he was good to go. That brought a smile to the face of Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.New Orleans, Portland and Sacramento have agreed to a three-team trade sending guard Tyreke Evans to the Pelicans, centre Robin Lopez to the Trail Blazers and guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings, people familiar with the deal said. The people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because NBA rules prevent confirmation of trades until July 10, say Portland is sending second-round draft pick Jeff Withey to New Orleans and a future draft pick to Sacramento as part of the deal, which was first reported by ESPN. The trade also sends guard Terrel Harris to Portland. Evans, a former Rookie of the Year and restricted free agent, averaged 15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists with the Kings last season, his fourth. At 6-foot-6, he has demonstrated the versatility to play either guard position, or even small forward when matchups favour doing so. The 7-foot Lopez, who was New Orleans starting centre after arriving in a trade with Phoenix, averaged 11.3 points to go with 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks last season, all career highs in what was his fifth NBA season. The 6-6 Vasquez, who started at point guard, averaged career highs of 13.9 points and nine assists and was widely regarded as one of the most improved players in the NBA. For New Orleans, the trade comes on the heels of a draft-day deal that sent sixth overall pick Nerlens Noel to Philadelphia in exchange for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. Because of Evans versatility, he could potentially become a key sixth man, backing up both Holiday or high-scoring shooting guard Eric Gordon as needed and giving all three players the minutes they command. That is, if the Pelicaans decide not to trade Gordon, who has played only 51 games in the past two seasons combined because of lingering knee problems.dddddddddddd The Pelicans also now have a void to fill at centre. If New Orleans does not acquire another starting centre through a trade or free agency, it could potentially move reserve 7-foot power forward Jason Smith into that spot, which he has played periodically during the past few seasons. Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson, who are both 6-10 and generally play power forward, also could fill in at centre in stints if needed. Last season, Portland played J.J. Hickson, a true power forward, at centre alongside two-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum. The addition of Lopez will give the Blazers help at the position while developing 7-1 Meyers Leonard, the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Illinois. It is the second major move the Blazers have made since the NBA draft. On Sunday, Portland added frontcourt depth by acquiring 6-10 forward Thomas Robinson from the Houston Rockets in exchange for a pair of future draft picks and the draft rights to Kostas Papanikolau and Marko Todorovic. Robinson was the fifth overall pick in last years draft by the Sacramento Kings. He was dealt to the Rockets in a three-team trade in February. He played in 70 total games last season, averaging 4.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 15.1 minutes. The Blazers lost their last 13 games to finish 33-49 last season and out of the playoffs for the second straight season. The Hornets were 27-55, missing the playoffs for a second straight season. Sacramento also missed the playoffs last season, going 28-54. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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