NCAA hoops: Third-seeded Baylor routs 10th-seeded Saint Mary's
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON — LaceDarius Dunn, Tweety Carter and Baylor had all the fun Friday night, ending what had been an entertaining NCAA tournament ride for Omar Samhan and surprising Saint Mary's.
Dunn and Carter both made 3-pointers on their first shots and later combined for a highlight ally-oop dunk as Baylor rushed to a big lead and romped 72-49 in the South Regional semifinals.
The third-seeded Bears (28-7) will play Sunday for a chance at their first Final Four since 1950, when there were only eight teams in the field.
More impressive for Baylor, it is another inspiring step in redemption nearly seven years after coach Scott Drew took over a program reeling and recovering from a murder and scandal that shook the world's largest Baptist university like nothing in its history.
Drew had to rebuild with reduced scholarships, a roster decimated when the top three scorers were allowed to transfer and an unprecedented half-season after the NCAA considered shutting the program down a whole year.
Dunn and Carter, two top Louisiana high school players who were recruiting by other established programs, still came to Baylor. And now they have helped get the Bears, who were picked 10th in the preseason Big 12 poll by the league's coaches, be one of only eight teams still with a chance to win the national title.
Dunn scored 23 points with four 3-pointers and Carter added 14 points for Baylor. Dunn turned away after the teammates combined on their big dunk.
Samhan, who had become a breakout star in the tournament with his dominating play in the first two rounds and the one-liners when talking or tweeting, finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. He had only made only 1-of-8 shots and had only three points at halftime for the Gaels (28-6).