NCAA Tournament – Daily Overview
Thursday, March 18
(10) Florida State 57, (7) Texas A&M 50
(3) Purdue 65, (14) St. Peter’s 43
(11) Virginia Commonwealth 74, (6) Georgetown 56
Brandon Rozzell made six three-point shots to pace a balanced attack with 26 points, as the eleventh-seeded Virginia Commonwealth Rams upset the sixth-seeded Georgetown Hoyas in an NCAA Tournament Southwest Region round of 64 contest. Senior point guard Joey Rodriguez added 17 points and had seven assists while Bradford Burgess and Jamie Skeen each chipped in 12 points. The Rams made 12-of-25 three-point shots, outscoring the Hoyas 36-15 from long distance in a shockingly easy romp.
(1) Kansas 72, (16) Boston University 53
(9) Illinois 73, (8) UNLV 62
(8) George Mason 61, (9) Villanova 57
George Mason trailed by 10 points in the first half and did not lead until Mike Morrison dunked home a deuce with 55 seconds remaining, but the eighth-seeded Patriots defeated the ninth-seeded Villanova Wildcats in the first game at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday.
The lead was exchanged several times in the first five minutes of the game, but the Wildcats took the lead, seemingly for most of the duration, with 15:10 remaining in the first half. Villanova led 35-29 at the break. The Patriots chipped away at the lead in the second half, pulling within a point with 12 minutes to go, but did not regain the lead until Morrison’s last-minute dunk. Following that throwdown, which gave GMU a 56-54 lead, the Patriots’ Isaiah Tate then fouled Nova’s Corey Fisher beyond the 3-point arc, and the Wildcats’ veteran guard hit all three free throws to give the Wildcats a one-point lead, 57-56. George Mason’s Luke Hancock dropped a 3-pointer on the next trip down to give George Mason the lead back at 59-57, and when GMU’s Ryan Pearson rebounded a missed Corey Stokes jumper, the regular-season champion of the Colonial Athletic Association could smell the finish line. Pearson passed the ball out of a rugby scrum to Morrison for a second dunk to place an exclamation point on the Patriots’ victory.
Villanova finished its season on a seven-game losing streak. The Wildcats were led by Fisher with 20 points and Stokes with 14. Center Mouphtau Uarou had 14 rebounds and six points for the Wildcats. George Mason, 17-1 in its last 18 games, will face No. 1 Ohio State in the next round on Sunday at approximately 5:15 p.m. Eastern time. Hancock posted 18 points for the Patriots, followed by Morrison with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
(1) Ohio State 75, (16) Texas-San Antonio 46
Top-seeded Ohio State had little trouble dispatching the 16th-seeded Roadrunners from Texas-San Antonio on Friday afternoon. Thad Motta’s Buckeyes led by 19 points in the first half and won by 29 points in the late-afternoon installment of the day session at Quicken Loans Arena.
OSU hit 12 of its 24 3-point attempts and shot 56.9 percent for the game. The Buckeyes out-rebounded UTSA 33 to 24 and dished out 24 assists to the Roadrunners’ six. William Buford led Ohio State with 18 points, followed by Jon Diebler with 14 (3-for-8 from 3-point range), Deshaun Thomas with 13, and Jared Sullinger with 11 points.
UTSA finished its season 20-14 and 9-7 as the Southland Conference champion. Devin Gibson finished the game with 24 points and four steals to lead the team.
(11) Marquette 66, (6) Xavier 55
Darius Johnson-Odom scored 22 points, and Jimmy Butler filled the stat sheet with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, as the eleventh-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles upset the sixth-seeded Xavier Musketeers in an NCAA Tournament round of 64 contest. The Golden Eagles were the better team in a sluggish first half, taking a 33-20 halftime lead as the Musketeers’ main man dropped off the planet. Tu Holloway, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year who has always been Xavier’s meal ticket this season, was held scoreless in the first half.
(3) Syracuse 77, (14) Indiana State 60
(2) North Carolina 102, (15) Long Island 87
North Carolina, the second seed in the East Region, defeated No. 15 seed Long Island in the early evening tip at Time Warner Arena on Friday night. The Tar Heels’ front line of John Henson, Tyler Zeller, and Harrison Barnes combined for 84 of UNC’s 102 points in the victory. Carolina coach Roy Williams took advantage of his team’s size advantage over the Backbirds to push the ball inside all night. Beyond Henson’s 28 points and 11 rebounds, Zeller’s 32 points and nine rebounds, and Barnes’s 24 points and 16 rebounds, the Tar Heels were mostly ballhandlers in this early-round game.
LIU, winner of the Northeast Conference Tournament with a record of 16-2 in the conference and 27-6 overall, was led by Julian Boyd with 18 points and 12 rebounds, C.J. Garner with 16 points, and Jamal Olasewere with 15 points.
(7) Washington 68, (10) Georgia 65
The No. 7 seed Washington Huskies struggled to defeat Georgia in the first round of the NCAA tournament in the Charlotte nightcap on Friday. In a low scoring first half, the tenth-seeded Bulldogs led by as many as seven points, but only three of their players had scored at the break with the score tied at 28. Washington found energy in the second half though, and garnered its first-ever victory in North Carolina in its ninth attempt, hitting its foul shots down the stretch to secure the victory.
Washington will face second-seed North Carolina on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. Eastern time for a seat in the Sweet 16 in Newark, N.J., next weekend. The Huskies were led by Isaiah Thomas with 19 points and seven assists, and Scott Suggs with 10 points. Eight of Washington’s nine players had more than five points in the game. Georgia was led by Trey Thompkins with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Gerald Robinson and Travis Leslie had 12 points, Jeremy Price had 11, and Dustin Ware rounded out the only Bulldogs on the scoreboard with four points, Georgia’s bench was scoreless in the game.
(4) Texas 85, (13) Oakland 81
The Texas Longhorns almost blew a 17-point second-half lead, but hung on to defeat the Oakland Golden Grizzlies on Friday afternoon. The Longhorns’ lead was 15 with five minutes left, but the offense-minded Grizzlies went on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to five with 1:20 left. Texas responded by hitting its free throws down the stretch, ending the Grizzlies hope of an upset. Texas, which had been making only 65 percent of its foul shots this season, hit 21 of 26 free throws (over 80 percent) to stave off an upset bid from the Summit Conference champion. The Longhorns shot 47.6 percent from the field, led by J'Covan Brown's 21 points, Jordan Hamilton's 19 points, and Tristan Thompson's 17 points (Thompson added 10 boards and 7 blocked shots). The Grizzlies, who averaged 85 points per game, were held to 44-percent shooting, including an unfortunate 7-of-29 afternoon from long range. Reggie Hamilton led the way with 25 points for Oakland, while star pivot man Keith Benson was limited to 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Each team had four players score in double figures in the game.
(5) Arizona 77, (12) Memphis 75
Derrick Williams blocked a potential game-tying shot in the final seconds, helping the Arizona Wildcats fend off the Memphis Tigers. The game found the Tigers' Joe Jackson at the line with five seconds left and the Wildcats up three points at 77-74. After hitting the first free throw, Jackson intentionally missed the second one to give the Tigers a shot to tie the game up. Wesley Witherspoon grabbed the offensive rebound just as the Tigers had planned and went up with a shot, but Williams was there to block the attempt and all but end the game. Arizona was fouled with 0.4 seconds left, and even though Jamelle Horne missed both foul shots, Memphis couldn’t manage a shot attempt off the rebound. Williams led the Wildcats with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Lamont Jones added 18 points, including a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:35 left and two crucial free throws with 7.4 seconds left, to give the U of A its late three-point cushion. Antonio Barton had 17 points to lead the Tigers, and his brother Will Barton added 12 points. The Wildcats advanced to play Texas in the round of 32.
(8) Michigan 75, (9) Tennessee 45
The Michigan Wolverines outscored the Tennessee Volunteers 42-16 in the second half, becoming the first team to win a NCAA game without hitting a free throw (0-for-1 on the afternoon). Part of the damage was done on defense, where Tobias Harris (6-of-6 from the field and 7-of-7 from the line for 19 first half points) was held scoreless in the second half. No other Volunteer had more than 6 points in the embarrassing loss. The Vols, who plainly quit in the face of the raging controversies surrounding their coach, Bruce Pearl, were held to 35 percent shooting from the field and just 17 percent from long range. The Wolverines, on the other hand, shot 52 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point territory. Zack Novak led the way for the Wolverines with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Four other players also hit double figures in points for Michigan, which advanced to face Duke in the round of 32.
(1) Duke 87, (16) Hampton 45
In a result that shocked no one, the Duke Blue Devils, the No.1 seed in the West, raced to an early lead and routed the Hampton Pirates to begin their defense of the national championship. The Blue Devils gave coach Mike Krzyzewski his 899th career victory in the process. The game was never in doubt - the Blue Devils started on a 16-4 run and were ahead by a large margin before the Pirates could even snag their first rebound. By the 15-minute mark of the second half, the Blue Devils had expanded their lead to 30 and coasted to victory. Kyrie Irving, in his first game back after missing most of the season with a foot injury, led the team with 14 points while three other players also scored at least 10 points for the Blue Devils. The Pirates, in shooting just 34.5 percent from the floor, had no player break double figures in the scoring column. The Blue Devils won the battle of the boards, 36 to 25, and had 17 assists to just 4 for the Pirates. The Pirates also coughed up 17 turnovers. Duke advanced to play Michigan on Sunday.
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