NCAA TOURNAMENT: FGCU stuns Hoyas in NCAA tourney debut
PHILADELPHIA — College basketball, meet Florida Gulf Coast.
Sherwood Brown scored 24 points and Bernard Thompson had 23 to lead FGCU to an incredible NCAA tournament debut, a 78-68 upset of No. 2 seed Georgetown.
The Eagles, in their second season of being eligible for Division I postseason, became just the seventh No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2.
FGCU (25-10) will play seventh-seeded San Diego State the third round on Sunday.
A night after America’s oldest university, Harvard, pulled off a major upset over fourth-seeded New Mexico, one of its youngest — FGCU’s first student was admitted in 1997 — got one that was even bigger.
The Eagles took control with a 21-2 run that gave them a 52-33 lead with 12:28 to play, though the Hoyas used a furious rally to get within 72-68 with 52 seconds left.
It was another disappointing NCAA exit for the Hoyas (25-7), who have lost to a double-digit seed in their last four appearances.
Markel Starks had 23 points for the Hoyas.
While Georgetown came in allowing 55.7 points per game, FGCU beat that number with 9:22 to play when it led 57-40. The Hoyas allowed opponents to shoot 37.6 percent from the field, fourth-best in the country. The Eagles shot 42.9 percent (21 of 49) and they held the Hoyas to 37.5 percent from the field (24 of 64).
Big East Player of the Year Otto Porter Jr. had 13 points on 5 of 17 shooting and 11 rebounds. On this night he couldn’t match Brown, the A-Sun’s player of the year.
SAN DIEGO STATE 70, OKLAHOMA 55: Jamaal Franklin scored 21 points, James Rahon had 17 and San Diego State earned its third NCAA tournament victory.
The Aztecs (23-10) did nothing spectacular, but everything well and used a modest 8-0 run late in the second half to snap a tie game and take control.
Romero Osby scored 22 points for the 10th-seeded Sooners (20-12).
The Aztecs are in the tournament for the fourth straight season but they had only won games in 2011 when they reached the round of 16.
NORTH CAROLINA 78, VILLANOVA 71: P.J. Hairston scored 23 points, James Michael McAdoo added 17 and North Carolina unleashed a flurry of 3-pointers to subdue gritty Villanova.
The never-say-die Wildcats (20-14) erased a 20-point deficit that North Carolina built in the first half and then nearly climbed out of a nine-point hole in the final minutes after the Tar Heels hit three consecutive 3s and once again appeared to take control.
The victory set up a possible dream matchup in the third round for Kansas fans, who have been jamming the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, about 30 minutes from the Jayhawks’ campus. The eighth-seeded Tar Heels (25-10) take on Kansas, where Williams coached for 15 years and rang up more than 400 wins.
JayVaughn Pinkston had 20 points for Villanova.
FLORIDA 79, NORTHWESTERN STATE 47: Erik Murphy had 18 points to lead four Florida players in double figures and the Gators shut down the NCAA’s highest-scoring team.
No. 3 seed Florida turned this one into a rout with a 19-1 run in the second half and held the 14th-seeded Demons (23-9) to their fewest points this season — 34 below their average.
Patric Young had 16 points and nine rebounds for Florida (27-7). Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin both scored 11.
DeQuan Hicks had 12 points for the Demons, who upset Iowa as the No. 14 seed in their last NCAA tournament seven years ago. They couldn’t repeat that feat against the Gators, who lost in the regional finals each of the past two seasons.
Florida plays Minnesota or UCLA on Sunday.
INDIANA 83, JAMES MADISON 62: Freshman Yogi Ferrell scored 14 points in the first six minutes as top-seeded Indiana slam dunked its way past James Madison.
Not taking any chances with a No. 16 seed, the Hoosiers (28-6) started fast and built a 33-point lead in the second half over the Dukes (21-15) and opened the tourney with a statement they intend to be around for a while.
Looking every bit like a team capable of cutting down the nets in Atlanta next month, Indiana will play Temple in the second round on Sunday.
Ferrell finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Cody Zeller had four dunks for Indiana.
Freshman Andre Nation led James Madison with 24 points.
TEMPLE 76, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 72: Khalif Wyatt scored 31 points, finishing the game with an injured left thumb that had him grimacing before his clinching free throws, and Temple broke with its one-and-done NCAA tournament trend.
The ninth-seeded Owls (24-9) opened a 17-point lead before Wyatt — the Atlantic 10’s player of the year and top scorer — hurt his left thumb and left the game briefly, returning with black tape on the non-shooting hand.
Every shot was an adventure, but he made enough — including six painful but perfect free throws in the final 32 seconds — to keep Temple around for more than one game. The Owls had lost their opener in four of their last five NCAA trips.
No. 8 NC State (24-11) trailed most of the game and came up short of a deep tournament run on the 30th anniversary of its national title.
Richard Howell had 14 points and 15 rebounds for NC State.
MIAMI 78, PACIFIC 49: Durand Scott had 21 points and Miami had a triumphant return to the NCAA tournament.
The Hurricanes (28-6), who may be even better than their No. 2 seed in the East Regional would indicate, put the game out of reach with a 14-0 run midway through the first half of their first NCAA tourney game in five years.
Pacific (22-13), the California team that played its last game for retiring longtime coach Bob Thomason, was no match for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s regular season and tournament champions.
Miami plays Illinois on Sunday.
ILLINOIS 57, COLORADO 49: Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson made consecutive 3-pointers to give Illinois back the lead with 6 minutes left and the seventh-seeded Illini pulled out a tough win over Colorado.
Illinois led by 16 at halftime only to watch Colorado rip off a 21-2 run in the second to grab the lead. The Illini looked desperate until Paul and Richardson coolly knocked down their shots to put Illinois ahead 48-44.
Four free throws by Paul eventually put the game away for the Illini (23-12).
Paul led Illinois with 17 points.
Askia Booker scored 14 points for Colorado (21-12).
DUKE 73, ALBANY 61: Seth Curry scored 26 points, Mason Plumlee had 23 and second-seeded Duke beat Albany.
The Blue Devils (28-5) will meet seventh-seeded Creighton in the third round Sunday. Duke shot 58.7 percent (27 of 46), just off its season-beat 60.8 percent against Florida State. The Blue Devils, who lost 75-70 to 15th-seeded Lehigh in the second round last year, never really pulled away from the Great Danes (24-11), who got as close as eight points with 4:40 to play.
Jacob Iati had 15 points for Albany, which was making its third NCAA appearance, all since 2006.
CREIGHTON 67, CINCINNATI 63: Doug McDermott had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Gregory Echenique scored 13 points to help Creighton hold on.
Ethan Wragge added 12 for the Bluejays, who won their NCAA tournament opener for the second straight year.
McDermott made all 11 free throws to help the seventh-seeded Bluejays (28-7) move on to play Duke on Sunday.
Sean Kilpatrick’s driving layup after Cincinnati had the arrow on a jump ball cut it to 64-63 with 17 seconds left.
Austin Chatman then sank two free throws for Creighton. Kilpatrick’s attempt at a tying 3 rimmed out, and the Bearcats were whistled for traveling after grabbing the rebound.
Kilpatrick scored 19 points, and Cashmere Wright had 15 for the 10th-seeded Bearcats (22-12).
MISSISSIPPI 57, WISCONSIN 46: Marshall Henderson shook out of a shooting slump and scored 17 points in the second half, giving the Rebels their first NCAA tournament win since 2002.
For the cold-shooting Badgers (23-12), the upset loss snaps a string of six straight first-game victories. Ole Miss (27-8) trailed 25-22 at halftime and Henderson, who led the Southeastern Conference with 20 points a game, had only two points on 1-for-11 shooting.
Reginald Buckner had nine points and 12 rebounds. Sam Dekkar had 14 points for Wisconsin.
The Rebels will play No. 13 La Salle on Sunday.
LA SALLE 63, KANSAS STATE 61: Jerrell Wright made three foul shots in the final 30 seconds, and No. 13 seed La Salle advanced after blowing an 18-point halftime lead to beat fourth-seeded Kansas State.
Wright, who scored a game-high 21 points for the Explorers (22-9), made the first two free throws to give La Salle a 62-61 lead. Kansas State’s Jordan Henriquez missed in the paint at the other end, and Wright made the first of two more free throws with 9.6 seconds to go.
The Wildcats (27-8) raced down court, but point guard Angel Rodriguez’s off-balance shot over the corner of the backboard missed everything as the final buzzer sounded.
Henriquez and Shane Southwell scored 17 points each for Kansas State.
OHIO STATE 95, IONA 70: Sam Thompson had career highs with 20 points and 10 rebounds, part of a dominating performance by Ohio State’s front line against Iona.
The second-seeded Buckeyes (27-7) have won nine straight, including their last five games of the regular season and a run to the Big Ten tournament title.
Deshaun Thomas had 24 points for the Buckeyes. Ohio State plays either Notre Dame or Iowa State on Sunday, one win away from a fourth straight trip to the round of 16.
Iona (20-14) returned to the court where it suffered the biggest meltdown in NCAA tournament history last year, blowing a 25-point lead against BYU.
IOWA STATE 76, NOTRE DAME 58: Freshman Georges Niang matched a season high with 19 points and Iowa State, showing it can do much more than just fire away from outside the 3-point line, dismantled Notre Dame.
The 10th-seeded Cyclones (23-11) led the nation in 3-pointers this season, but the Cyclones were just as effective from short range in ousting the Irish (25-10).
Melvin Ejim added 17 points for Iowa State.