MIDWEST REGIONAL/Xavier moves along


Xavier coach Pete Gillen finds a way to bring out the best in his teams when it counts the most -- at the end of the season.

That's why the Musketeers have made six straight NCAA tournament appearances. And that's why they're moving into the second round after an 89-84 victory over No. 11 Nebraska last night in Minneapolis.

Was this an upset? The Musketeers were seeded 14th and Cornhuskers third in the Midwest, and it's only the seventh time since the current format started in 1985 that a No. 3 seed lost in the first round.

"I don't want to say who's better. They're the 11th-ranked team in the country, so if you go on paper, it would be an upset," Gillen said. "But we also have an outstanding team and our kids played a little better. I'm not saying we're a top 20 team, but we're pretty good, too."

Jamie Gladden led the Musketeers (22-9) with 20 points as Xavier moves on to face Connecticut in tomorrow's second round.

* Christian Laettner scored eight of his 22 points during a 23-6 second-half run as Duke beat Northeast Louisiana 102-73.

* James Moses made two free throws with 2.8 seconds left to give Iowa a 76-73 victory over East Tennessee. The Hawkeyes will meet Duke in tomorrow's second round.

* Chris Smith scored 25 points as Connecticut shackled Shaquille O'Neal for much of the game in beating LSU 79-62. O'Neal got 14 of his 27 points after the Huskies had built a 22-point lead.

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