Baylor falls short in regional final

HOUSTON (AP) - Baylor's road of recovery ended one win shy of the Final Four.

The Bears lost 78-71 to Duke in Sunday's South Regional final, a disappointing finish to an amazing NCAA tournament run for a program shattered by murder and scandal seven years ago.

Baylor (28-8) used feisty defense to stay close, and led 61-60 after Ekpe Udoh's floater in the lane with 3:53 left. Duke's Lance Thomas grabbed an offensive rebound and passed to Nolan Smith for a 3-pointer after that, and the Blue Devils never trailed again.

Baylor couldn't quite crash the Final Four, but what a journey it's been to get so close.

The program was in shambles after the summer of 2003, when a player was killed by a teammate and former coach Dave Bliss was caught in a web of lies and illegal payments.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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