Miami University of Ohio made the best of an official's call and eliminated defending NCAA basketball champion Marquette, 84-81, in overtime Saturday.
The Warriors held a comfortable ten-point lead with 3:38 to go in regulation play, and looked like a sure bet to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA divisional championships, when a referee ejected Marquette's 6-ft., 10-in. center Jerome Whitehead from the game for a flagrant personal, a two-shot foul.
Marquette coach Hank Raymonds was slapped with a technical for his protest of the call, and Miami hit on three of the four free throws assessed on the play.
Miami's John Shoemaker penetrated Marquette's defense with 20 seconds remaining to put his team ahead, 75-54. He was called for charging on the drive, but Warrior Jimmy Boylan hit only one of two charity tosses to send the contest into overtime.
Marquette led, 81-79, with 1:19 left in overtime on a Butch Lee turnaround, but two Warrior turnovers, combined with two free throws and a lay-up for Miami, gave the underdogs the lead and the victory.
In East Regional competition today, Ivy League champion Pennsylvania advanced to the semifinal round with a 92-83 victory over St. Bonaventure. Paced by Larry Williams, with 25 points, and Darrell Griffith, with 21, Louisville beat St. John's of N.Y., 76-68.
Four Villanova players each scored 19 or more to down rival LaSalle, 103-97, in a shooting spree. Indiana's Butch Carter hit on three free throws in the last 30 seconds of the game to edge Furman, 63-62. Duke came from behind to nip a scrappy URI five, 63-62, while Utah held on to beat Missouri, 86-79, in two overtimes.
In other games Saturday, a quick Michigan State team outhustled the Friars from Providence, 77-63. Number one Kentucky rallied to beat Florida State, 85-75, and Western Kentucky hung on to beat Syracuse, 87-86, in overtime.
UCLA topped Kansas, 83-76, in West Regional action, and a tough team from Fullerton State surprised New Mexico, 90-85.
Regional semifinal action starts Thursday.