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College Round-up: Queens’ Ivey, Brown to clash in NCAA Sweet 16

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They’ve taken different roads to get to this juncture — the flashy point guard from LeFrak City and the hard-nosed defensive specialist from Hollis — but on Friday night Taliek Brown and Royal Ivey will meet in the Sweet 16.

The winner will be one step closer to the Final Four.

The loser goes home.

Brown, a three-year starter at the University of Connecticut, and Ivey, a three-year starter for Texas, won’t actually go head-to-head when the teams meet Friday at 7:40 p.m. in San Antonio, Tex.

Instead, Brown, who was a McDonald’s All-American out of St. John’s Prep, will face Texas’ T.J. Ford, who was named the 2003 Naismith Player of the Year, while Ivey, a former Cardozo standout by way of Blair Academy, will attempt to shut down Ben Gordon, who leads the Huskies in scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game.

“It’s going to be a real exciting, it’s going to be a fun battle,” Brown told the TimesLedger Monday night. “It’s a real good match-up for everybody.”

Added Ivey: “This is what college basketball is all about, you live for these games. [Gordon] is a prime-time player, he wants the ball, he wants to take the big shots and I have to be on my job. It’s a big task to stop him.”

Ivey was certainly on his game Sunday as he scored 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including six of top-seeded Texas’ final 13 points in a 77-67 South Regional second-round victory over No. 10 Purdue at Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Ala.

The 6-foot-3 shooting guard also limited Purdue’s Willie Dean, who averages 19.8 points per game, to 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting.

Brown, meanwhile, had 6 points, 4 assists and 2 steals as No. 5 UConn defeated fourth-seeded Stanford, 85-74, in Spokane, Wash. Saturday.

Also advancing to the Sweet 16 is former Christ the King standout Mark McCarroll, as No. 2 seed Pittsburgh (28-4) easily defeated No. 7 Indiana, 74-52 at the Fleet Center in Boston, Mass. Sunday.

The 6-foot-11 sophomore played the game’s final minute and missed his only field goal attempt for the Panthers, who face third-seeded Marquette in the Midwest Region semifinal Thursday at 9:40 p.m. in Minneapolis, Minn.

In an 87-61 win over Wagner from Staten Island Friday, McCarroll had 3 points, 2 assists and 1 block in 7 minutes.

For a while Sunday it looked like former Jamaica standout Cheyne Gadson and Oklahoma State would also advance to the Sweet 16, as the Cowboys jumped out to a 17-point lead over Syracuse.

Instead, the Orangemen rallied for a 68-56 victory at the Fleet Center.

Gadson, a 6-foot-3 senior, scored 4 points on 2-for-9 shooting with 3 rebounds and 4 turnovers in 14 minutes off the bench in his final collegiate game.

In a 77-63 first-round win over Penn Friday, Gadson had 2 points and 2 assists in 12 minutes.

For a third straight year, Queensbridge’s Jave Meade had led Holy Cross to the brink of a huge first-round upset only to lose in heartbreaking fashion.

The former Christ the King star point guard had 10 points and 11 assists, including a bucket in the lane to bring No. 14 Holy Cross within two points with 1:06 left. But No. 3 Marquette held on for a 72-68 first-round victory last Thursday in Indianapolis, Ind.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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