TULSA, Okla. - Ken Tutt scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half, and Larry Owens added a career-high 24 points as Oral Roberts earned its first NCAA Tournament berth in 22 years with an 85-72 win against Chicago State in the Mid-Continent Conference title game Tuesday night.
The top-seeded Golden Eagles (21-11), who lost a heartbreaker in their home city in last year's conference title game, pushed ahead with an 18-0 run early in the second half.
Tutt hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer from the left wing to start the run, and Owens got an already-standing student section fired up in the south stands with a right-handed dunk right in front of them. Green capped the burst with a layup in transition that extended the lead to 62-44.
Chicago State (11-19) tried to fight back with a pressing, man-to-man defense, but that simply led to open shots for the Golden Eagles once they got into the frontcourt.
Oral Roberts' lead reached 70-48 after two free throws by Green, who has attempted and made more foul shots than any player in the nation. Chicago State began cutting into the deficit with 3 minutes left, but the final margin was as close as it got.
Eric Fowlkes dribbled out the final seconds before tossing the ball into the air and off the center-court scoreboard. Fans stormed the court and knocked over several Oral Roberts players in the process.
Green finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for his 15th double-double and his 28th straight game with double-figure scoring.
David Holstson hit five 3-pointers and led Chicago State with 21 points. Michael Henderson added 13 points while Royce Parran, averaging a team-high 18.4 points, finished with eight after being held scoreless after halftime.
The Cougars stayed with Oral Roberts throughout the first half by denying Green, the two-time conference player of the year, and holding him without a field goal try until he spun against a double-team and made a right-handed hook shot with 10:03 left in the first half.
DUKE-NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina's win over then-No. 1 Duke on Saturday was watched by an average of 3.78 million households - the largest audience for a men's college basketball game in ESPN's history.
The Tar Heels' 83-76 victory was shown live on both ESPN and ESPN2, and the total audience number reflects those who watched on both.
The largest audience previously for a men's college basketball game on ESPN was in 1990 when 3.44 million homes watched an NCAA tournament game between Princeton and Arkansas.
FRANCIS MARION COACH WON'T RETURN: Francis Marion basketball coach John Schweitz will not be back next season.
Athletic director Murray Hartzler said Schweitz, who had only one winning season since his hiring in 2000, did not meet expectations on and off the court.
"We regret to have to make this decision, but we feel we have to go in another direction as we plan to move our program to NCAA Division I within the coming years," Hartzler said.
Francis Marion plays in the NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference. Two of its athletic teams, men's golf and women's soccer, were granted full Division I status for the 2007-08 season. The school eventually wants to move all programs up in division.
Schweitz went 73-93 in six seasons since replacing Ed Conroy in 2000. The Patriots were 12-16 this year, finishing eighth in the Peach Belt standings.
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