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Georgetown and Duke must be wondering whatever happened to...

By TOM GREEN, UPI Sports Writer

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Georgetown and Duke must be wondering whatever happened to that famous Western hospitality.

Georgetown, ranked No. 2 in the nation and the top seed in the NCAA's West Regional, barely escaped Sunday with a 37-36 decision over Southern Methodist.

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The Hoyas needed a crucial tip-in by All-America center Patrick Ewing on a missed free throw with less than a minute left in a tense win that was more notable for its tactics than its good play.

'I didn't think it was the big guy's best game,' said John Thompson, the Georgetown coach, referring to Ewing. 'But I've always said he's a prime-time player. He made the big play.'

However, Duke, one of five ACC teams invited to the NCAA Tournament this year, wasn't as fortunate as the Hoyas.

The 14th-ranked Blue Devils were upended by No. 15 Washington 80-78, as Detlif Schrempf, the Huskies' versatile forward, scored 30 points.

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It was Schrempf on offense, collecting 21 points in the second half, and a half-court trap on defense, that enabled the Huskies to nudge ahead after trailing 43-35 at halftime.

'That was the turning point,' said Washington coach Marv Harshman, referring to the Husky's trapping defense. 'We got some momentum -- everybody took some encouragement. We had patience offensively when we did get ball control, and that was the key.'

Georgetown, 30-3, and Washington, 24-6, will travel to Los Angeles next weekend for the regional finals. The Hoyas will face Nevada-Las Vegas while Washington, with its dream of reaching the Final Four in its hometown (Seattle) later this month still alive, meets Dayton.

Georgetown's razor-thin victory over SMU was the Hoyas' first game since winning the Big East Conference Tournament last weekend, and the eight-day layoff probably had a great deal to do with their problems Sunday.

'I know they're more than one point better than us, but they were a little rusty,' said SMU coach Dave Bliss. 'If ever there was an example of where both teams deserve to win, I think this game was it.'

SMU scored the first 6 points of the game and never trailed in the first half. The Mustangs had good success getting the ball inside to their two big men -- center Jon Koncak and power forward Larry Davis. The two combined for 15 points in the first half as SMU took a 24-16 lead at intermission.

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Georgetown, which played a zone defense for most of the first half, got back into it with the help of a tenacious man-to-man defense that held SMU to just 2 points over a span of almost 14 minutes.

'We went into the zone in the first half because we picked up those early fouls,' said Thompson. 'We went to the man-to-man defense to get the adrenalin flowing, but I don't think we had much flowing all day.'

The Hoyas gradually built a 32-26, with less than eight minutes left, but SMU wasn't done yet. Davis hit a short hook over Ewing in the key to tie it 34-34 with 2:46 remaining.

Ewing's tip-in with 51 seconds left broke the tie and Michael Jackson gave the Hoyas a 37-34 lead with a foul shot with just eight seconds to go. That proved to be the decisive point when SMU's Carl Wright hit a desperation heave at the buzzer.

Ewing led Georgetown with 10 points, while Davis and Koncak had 13 and 12 points for SMU.

Washington, the last Pac-10 team still alive in post-season play, is the first Husky team in three decades to progress this far in the NCAA Tournament. Harshman, who will retire after next season, is thrilled with his team's success.

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'I can't talk too well right now because I was yelling the whole game -- sometimes in joy and sometimes in frustration,' he said.

Duke outscored the Huskies 19-6 over the last seven minutes of the first half to take a 43-35 lead into halftime, but Washington's half-court trap helped reverse Duke's momentum.

Schrempf, the only player to play the entire 40 minutes, hit 11-of-14 field goal attempts, while the Huskies, as a team, shot 71 percent from the field.

Washington led by as many as 10, 70-60, after regaining the lead in the second half, but they had to withstand a Duke rally over the final seven minutes that fell just short.

'I thought it was a good game,' said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. 'Washington played hard and well. We played great defense for 16 minutes in the first half but we seemed to tire in the second half. We just didn't look as fresh.'

The Blue Devils, 24-10, were led by Johnny Dawkins with 22 points and Mark Alarie with 20.

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