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South Regional: Motivated Purdue holds off Siena

Forgotten amid all that angst over Purdue's NCAA Tournament chances without Robbie Hummel: The Boilermakers still have Keaton Grant.

The senior, who became a starter after the do-it-all Hummel blew out his knee three weeks ago, ignited a decisive, 20-3 run with 11 points to begin the second half. JuJuan Johnson had 23 points and rallied fourth-seeded Purdue past No. 13 seed Siena, 72-64, on Friday in the first round of the South Regional in Spokane, Wash.

Johnson, the tallest player on either team at 6-10, tied his career high with 15 rebounds.

E'Twaun Moore added 12 points for the Boilermakers (28-5). They were steamed that even President Barack Obama had joined a national chorus predicting the Saints (27-7) would pull a first-round upset.

"You got the president picking against you, so it's a different thing," Grant said. "We were very aware, and just used it as motivation."

"I think the biggest thing for me was when President Obama just said he kind of felt sorry for us, just everything we've been through and with this team and the adversity we face," said Lewis Jackson, who made key free throws in the final minute. "Guys don't want people to feel sorry for us. We want to prove that we still have a lot of talent and can make a big run."

Edwin Ubiles scored 18 points for Siena, which came from 15 points down to pull within 66-63 with 1:02 left. The small school outside Albany had beaten Ohio State and Vanderbilt to begin its previous two NCAA Tournaments.

Texas A&M 69, Utah St. 53

Khris Middleton erupted for a career-high 19 points as fifth-seeded Texas A & M crushed 12th seed Utah State in Spokane.

"Going into the game, I was a little nervous," the 6-7 Middleton said. "But as we started, I was less nervous and just played." Middleton made 5 of 6 three-point attempts. He came in averaging 7.0 points and shooting 29 percent from three-point range.

Texas A & M (24-9) advanced to the second round for the fifth consecutive year and will face No. 4 seed Purdue on Sunday. Utah State (27-8) lost its fifth consecutive first-round game.

Duke 73, Arkansas-PB 44

Top-seeded Duke dominated the 16th seed and play-in winner in Jacksonville, Fla. Kyle Singler had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Duke (30-5). The victory gave coach Mike Krzyzewski his 11th 30-win season. Arkansas-Pine Bluff finishes 18-16. Duke plays on Sunday against the winner of Friday night's California-Louisville game.- AP

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