Massachusetts 86, Georgetown 62
Massachusetts 86, Georgetown 62
Mar. 24, 1996
ATLANTA (AP) _ The team that refuses to lose is going to the Final Four for the first time.
Top-ranked Massachusetts, which has the logo ``Refuse to Lose'' on its warmup suits, dominated Georgetown 86-62 Saturday night to win the NCAA East Regional.
UMass (35-1) got 22 points from All-American Marcus Camby and an in-your-face defensive job by Carmelo Travieso, who shut down Georgetown All-American Allen Iverson.
With their cheerleaders chanting, ``We want the Wildcats!,'' the Minutemen advanced to play Kentucky in the national semifinals next Saturday at the Meadowlands. UMass is one of only two teams to beat Kentucky, which beat Wake Forest 83-63 earlier in the day.
Iverson scored 23 points for Georgetown (29-8), but he was largely ineffective except for a five-minute spurt at the end of the first half that accounted for 11 of his points. Iverson finished 6-of-21 shooting from the field, though he did hit four 3-pointers.
It was a virtuoso effort by Travieso against one of the quickest players in the country, not to mention his work at the offensive end. Travieso scored 20 points and loosened up the inside for Camby with six 3-pointers.
Camby broke the game open after UMass led only 38-34 at halftime. He scored the first three baskets of the second half and also contributed a block on Georgetown center Othella Harrington.
Iverson, meanwhile, was having a terrible time against Travieso, who showed no ill effects from a sore back suffered when he fell from a podium at a Wednesday news conference.
Iverson, who came in as the tournament's leading scorer at 29.1 points a game, missed his first seven shots of the second half before finally hitting a 3-pointer with 8:46 left in the game after Travieso went to the bench for a brief rest.
Camby, shuffling in and out of the lineup after he picked up his fourth foul with 12:34 left in the game, managed to avoid another infraction and punctuated the rout with a thunderous dunk with three minutes to go.
Georgetown, trying to return to the Final Four for the first time since 1985, had no one to step up when Iverson went cold. Harrington, who scored 23 points in a regional semifinal victory over Texas Tech, was held to 13. Except for Jerome Williams, who had 9 points, no other Hoya scored more than 5.
UMass, on the other hand, showed off all of its weapons Saturday in handing Georgetown its worst defeat of the year. Among the other starters, Donta Bright had 17 points, Dana Dingle 10 and Edgar Padilla 8.
UMass, which was upset last season in the finals of the East Regional by Oklahoma State, appears unwilling to accept anything less than a national title this year. After the victory, the Minutemen refrained from the traditional net-cutting ceremony.
After the players had left the court wearing Final Four T-shirts, the UMass cheerleaders removed the nets, which undoubtedly take a place in the school archives.
After UMass built a 31-17 lead, Georgetown went on a 17-7 run to close out the first half. During that spurt, Iverson hit two 3-pointers and converted a three-point play.
But Iverson's hot hand didn't carry over to the second half, and the Hoyas went 5:46 before they finally scored a basket. By then, UMass had a 53-38 lead and, with Georgetown on its way to a 35 percent shooting performance, the result was no longer in doubt.
Now the Minutemen must overcome the one-loss jinx. Since 1976, 13 teams have entered the NCAA tournament with only one loss, but none were able to win the national championship.