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Creighton Stuns Florida 83-82 (2OT)

March 15, 2002

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CHICAGO (AP) _ When in Chicago, give the ball to No. 23.

Creighton rode that simple strategy to stun fifth-seeded Florida 83-82 in double overtime Friday in a Midwest Regional opener on Terrell Taylor’s 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left.

As the ball swished through the net for the last of his eight 3-pointers, Taylor _ wearing Michael Jordan’s number _ turned to the frenzied crowd with a look of steely confidence. He then pulled on one side of his jersey and pounded his chest as the Creighton fans roared.

``Before the game I watched a DVD of Michael Jordan. That inspired me a lot,″ Taylor said. ``I made a big deal of coming to the United Center and seeing the statue.″

Time ran out before Florida’s Udonis Haslem could get a desperation shot off. The Creighton players ran to midcourt as the buzzer sounded, bouncing up and down as they lifted Taylor up.

Taylor tied his career-high with 28 points, and Kyle Korver added 16 despite fouling out in the first overtime. After going 0-for-5 on 3-pointers in the first half, Taylor was 8-for-10 from long range the rest of the way.

It was the first NCAA victory since 1999 for the Bluejays (23-8), seeded 12th. Add in Missouri’s victory over Miami, and Tulsa’s upset of Marquette _ both Thursday _ and this is the first time three No. 12-seeded teams have won first-round games in the same NCAA tourney.

In 2000, Florida needed Mike Miller’s last-second basket to defeat 12th-seeded Butler 69-68, but wound up in the championship game, where the Gators lost to Michigan State.

But these aren’t the same Gators. Florida coach Billy Donovan questioned his players’ heart after a loss to Mississippi State in the SEC tournament quarterfinals last week, and the Gators didn’t have nearly the energy they needed against scrappy Creighton.

Haslem finished with 20 points, but all but six of them came in the last 10 minutes of regulation and two overtimes. Matt Bonner, who normally averages almost 16 points, had just 10.

And Brett Nelson, whose right eye was still puffy and discolored from the broken cheekbone he got in a practice fight with LaDarius Halton on Tuesday, was just 4-of-19 from the floor.

The Gators were sloppy, too. They turned the ball over 17 times and had several untimely miscues and fouls. The costliest might have come with 29 seconds left in the second overtime, when Orien Greene was called for a 5-second violation.

Creighton guard Ismael Caro got tangled up with Justin Hamilton with about 5 seconds left, and the ball squirted free. But it rolled out of bounds, and the Bluejays got it back, setting up Taylor’s dramatic shot.

So accurate from long range in the second half, he squared up again from just left of the key and let fly. The ball headed straight for the net and swished through as Taylor watched, crouching.

The Gators had no answer for Taylor, who kept Creighton in the game. Trailing 69-62 with 2:07 to play in regulation, Taylor made a pair of 3-pointers to force overtime.

Taylor had a chance to end the game with a jumper at the end of the first overtime, but he just missed. After Bonner converted a three-point play to give Florida an 82-78 lead with 45 seconds in the second OT, Taylor scored on a runner along the baseline, pulling Creighton within 82-80 with 35 seconds left.

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