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NCAA tournament: Top seeds roll into Elite Eight

Kansas forward Darrell Arthur, right, gets tangled with Villanova's Scottie Reynolds during the Jayhawks' easy victory Friday.
Kansas forward Darrell Arthur, right, gets tangled with Villanova's Scottie Reynolds during the Jayhawks' easy victory Friday. MCT

HOUSTON -- Vulnerable? Not exactly.

The mighty Memphis Tigers humiliated Michigan State and embarrassed all those naysayers who suggested they were the most suspect of the top seeds in this year's NCAA Tournament.

Friday night's final: Memphis 92, Michigan State 74 -- but really, it was worse than that.

Next up in the South Regional, a game Sunday against Texas with a trip to the Final Four on the line, though the message on this overwhelming night was clear: Don't mess with Memphis.

"Everyone picked us to lose. We were the upset special," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "That was us. We were going to get outplayed, outcoached, outskilled, outhustled, out-this, out-that, and we can't shoot free throws."

Didn't quite play out that way.

Freshman Derrick Rose will play at least one more college game after a 27-point, five-assist night that showed he's ready for the NBA. He exited early in the second half with a cut on his forehead that required medical attention, but returned to the floor with 8½ minutes left and started dominating again.

Meanwhile, Michigan State senior Drew Neitzel's career is over, and this was no way to end it. He was held to six points, his first of two buckets coming on a 3-pointer that clanged around the rim and fell, mercifully, with 1:47 left. The game had long been over by then. The score at halftime was 50-20.

"That first half of basketball was one of the best I've been involved in as a coach," said Calipari, whose Tigers closed the half on a 15-0 run.

KANSAS 72, VILLANOVA 57, at Detroit -- The Kansas Jayhawks toyed with Villanova, throwing alley-oop passes off the backboard and raining 3-pointers from all over the court without breaking a sweat.

Brandon Rush scored 16 points, Russell Robinson had 15 and top-seeded Kansas routed the 12th-seeded Wildcats. The Jayhawks will try to reach the Final Four for the first time since 2003.

Kansas coach Bill Self is in the regional finals for the fifth time -- at three schools -- since 2000 and is a win away from no longer being regarded as the best coach to not reach a Final Four.

Villanova trailed 41-22 at halftime. Scottie Reynolds, who had scored at least 20 points in his previous three NCAA Tournament games, finished with 11.

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