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Fast Break

"I had to open it up," Burns said. "I had to make them play me so John could get his shots."

Before the game, about 75 protesters from University of North Dakota groups opposed to the school's use of the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo held a march and rally outside Ralph Engelstad Arena.

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Syracuse Region

North Carolina forward Jawad Williams doesn't expect his hip injury to hinder him in today's game against Wisconsin.

"I'm never going to use an injury as an excuse," he said before practice on Saturday. "I haven't been playing as well as I'd like. My shots aren't falling, but I can still do other things like rebound and play defense."

Williams had been one of the Tar Heels' most reliable scorers before straining his hip flexor in the ACC tournament against Clemson.

Since then, he has scored in single digits in three consecutive games, totaling just 12 points in the first three rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Williams scored two points on 1-for-4 shooting and grabbed two rebounds in 23 minutes of a 67-66 victory over Villanova on Friday night.

"I will be fine," he said emphatically.

Austin Region

After losing to Iowa, 71-69, in the Big Ten tournament, Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo was looking for something to fire up his team and get them ready for the NCAA tournament.

A hammer and a couple of game tapes provided all the inspiration the Spartans needed.

After a practice on Selection Sunday, Izzo gathered his team around and brought out the game tapes of a win over Penn State and the loss to Iowa.

"Coach brought everybody in and was like, 'All right guys, it's time to make a run,' " senior guard Alan Anderson said.

Izzo smashed the tapes to smithereens with a couple of swings of the hammer.

"It wasn't silly because nobody was in a happy mood," said Anderson, who was sitting closest to the tapes and had to duck to avoid flying pieces of plastic. He had felt particularly bad about the Iowa loss because he had missed two free throws with less than seven seconds left that could have won the game.

Izzo jokes about the smashing now.

"I put the tape right by Alan," the coach said. "I was trying to miss the tape and hit Alan, but I didn't. I hit the tape." . . .

In his 14 years as a head coach, Tubby Smith can't remember ever starting a freshman at point guard before he turned the offense over to Rajon Rando.

"Patience is a virtue when you have young players," Smith said Saturday.

Patience is easy when a freshman turns in numbers like Rando's this season. He came into the Austin Region averaging eight points and has a freshman team record with 84 steals.

"It helps that Rajon is a very mature player," Smith said.

-- From News Services

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