Andre Miller drives
on West Virginia.
March 19, 1998
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Jarrod West couldn't come up with a miracle shot for West Virginia, and this time he even had three chances.
Michael Doleac made two free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining as Utah held off the Mountaineers 65-62 in the West Regional semifinals Thursday night.
Utah, seeded third, faces the winner of the other semi between top-seeded Arizona and No. 4 Maryland on Saturday with a spot in the Final Four at stake.
Even the presence of Jerry West, the most famous West Virginia alumnus of them all, couldn't help the 10th-seeded Mountaineers record another upset.
Jarrod West's 3-point bank shot in the final second last week gave the Mountaineers a 75-74 victory over second-seeded Cincinnati.
But West misfired three times in the last minute - the final time when a 3-pointer would have forced overtime.
Brent Solheim led West Virginia (24-9) with 16 points and seven rebounds. Damian Owens had 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists and West added 11 points for the Mountaineers.
Doleac had 25 points and Andre Miller had 14 points and eight assists for the Utes (28-3), averaging 28 wins the last four seasons. Doleac added nine rebounds.
Doleac made two free throws with 4:45 left to give Utah a 60-56 lead, and another pair with 3:27 remaining to make it 63-58.
However, Solheim, a 58.3 percent foul shooter, made two free throws with 2:17 left and two more with 1:50 to go, drawing the Mountaineers within one point.
Utah then turned the ball over, giving West Virginia a chance to take its first lead since the Mountaineers were up 17-15 midway through the first half.
But West missed from 3-point range with a minute to play as the shot clock expired.
Utah's Drew Hansen missed two free throws three seconds later, but West couldn't connect on a 15-foot jumper with 37 seconds to go.
The Mountaineers elected not to foul, allowing the Utes to run the clock down before Doleac was finally fouled with 6.5 seconds left. He then hit both free throws, making him 13-of-14 in the game.
Utah, which lost to Kentucky in the West Regional final last year, outscored the Mountaineers 22-10 from the foul line.
The Utes didn't make a field goal after Miller's 3-pointer with 9:05 remaining gave them a 53-48 lead, but they did enough at the foul line and on defense to prevail.
A foul shot by Doleac with 8:28 remaining gave Utah a 58-50 lead - equaling its largest - but the Mountaineers scored the next six points to draw within two.
Utah hasn't reached the Final Four since 1966. Sparked by Jerry West, the Mountaineers last got there in 1959, reaching the championship game before losing to California 71-70.
West Virginia hadn't won as many as two NCAA tournament games between 1959 and this year.
Miller's three-point play with 36 seconds left gave the Utes a 34-28 halftime lead.