MTSU shocks No. 2-seed Michigan State in NCAA Tournament
The Associated Press
The NCAA Tournament Friday saw its first true bracket-buster.
No. 15-seed Middle Tennessee State knocked off No. 2-seed Michigan State, which was a trendy pick to win it all. The Blue Raiders became the eighth No. 15 seed to knock off a No. 2 since seeding began in 1985.
It was a great day for the underdog, as No. 14-seed Stephen F. Austin beat No. 3-seed West Virginia, making it a tough two days for the Big 12, after No. 12-seed Yale eliminated No. 5 Baylor on Thursday.
And the buzzer-beating Northern Iowa Panthers did it again to knock out yet another Big 12 team. A half-court shot downed Texas. At almost the same time, Cincinnati looked like it had dunked its way into overtime against Saint Joseph’s, but the shot was a hair too late.
And it’s just Day 2.
NO. 15 MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE 90, NO. 2 MICHIGAN STATE 81
ST. LOUIS (AP) —Middle Tennessee State sent the biggest shock yet through the NCAA Tournament on Friday, topping Michigan State in the first round.
Reggie Upshaw scored 21 points to lead the balanced Blue Raiders (25-9), who shut down player-of-the-year candidate Denzel Valentine. Middle Tennessee never trailed the Spartans (29-6) in one of the biggest upsets since the tournament began seeding teams in 1985.
It was the eighth time a No. 2 seed beat a No. 15, and first since Florida Gulf Coast beat Georgetown in 2013. The Eagles went on to reach the Sweet 16.
The Blue Raiders will try to do the same against No. 10 seed Syracuse on Sunday.
Matt Costello matched a career-best with 22 points for the Spartans, but it wasn’t enough to offset Valentine’s miserable afternoon. The senior had 13 points and 12 assists, but he also had six turnovers — one of them coming with the Spartans trailing 79-76 and less than three minutes to go.
NO. 10 SYRACUSE 70, NO. 7 DAYTON 51
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Malachi Richardson scored 21 points, Syracuse stumped Dayton with its trademark zone and the Orange rolled to a victory in their return to the NCAA Tournament.
Tyler Roberson added 10 points and 18 rebounds for the Orange (19-13), banned from the field last season following an NCAA investigation into academic misconduct and improper benefits.
They looked back at home in the first round of the Midwest Regional.
Tyler Lydon had 14 points, Trevor Cooney had 13 and Michael Gbinije added 10.
Charles Cooke led the Flyers (25-8) with 14 points, but he was just 2 of 9 from beyond the arc, as the regular-season Atlantic 10 champions shot 32 percent from the field.
NO. 2 OKLAHOMA 82, NO. 15 CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD 68
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Buddy Hield scored 27 points to help Oklahoma defeat Cal State Bakersfield.
The senior guard made 8 pf 14 shots, including 3 of 6 3-pointers.
Isaiah Cousins scored 16 points and Jordan Woodard added 15 for the Sooners (26-7), who made 11 of 20 3-pointers and shot 50 percent overall.
Oklahoma enjoyed a homecourt advantage at Chesapeake Energy Arena, just a half hour’s drive north of their Norman campus. The Sooners advanced to play No. 10 seed Virginia Commonwealth, which defeated Oregon State 75-67 earlier in the day.
Aly Ahmed had 16 points and eight rebounds, Kevin Mays had 14 points and eight rebounds and Dedrick Basile added 13 points for Bakersfield (24-9), the Western Athletic Conference Tournament champions.
The Sooners won, despite making just 15 of 25 free throws.
NO. 13 HAWAII 77, NO. 4 CALIFORNIA 66
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Hawaii won its first NCAA Tournament game in school history, when the Warriors ended California’s tumultuous week with an upset victory.
The Golden Bears’ played without popular assistant coach Yann Hufnagel, dismissed amid allegations of sexual harassment, and the loss of leading scorer Tyrone Wallace, who broke his hand Wednesday in practice. As if the Bears (23-11) needed more obstacles, guard Jabari Bird had back spasms during warmups and never played.
Quincy Smith scored a career-high19 points, Roderick Bobbitt had 17 points and Stefan Jankovic 16 for the champions of the Big West Conference regular season and tournament. Hawaii (28-5) used a strong first half from Jankovic to lead by as many as 11, then withstood Jankovic’s foul trouble in the second half thanks largely to Smith.
Smith scored 11 points in the second half and keyed Hawaii’s surge midway through after California had pulled within one.
Jordan Mathews led California with 23 points. The Bears play No. 5 seed Maryland on Sunday.
NO. 5 MARYLAND 79, NO. 12 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 74
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Maryland needed a turnover in the closing seconds to ensure it would avoid a place with all the other top seeds that lost in the first round of this topsy-turvy NCAA Tournament, holding off South Dakota State behind a career-high 27 points from Jake Layman.
Deondre Parks fumbled a pass from Keaton Moffitt for the 12th-seeded Jackrabbits (26-8) and Rasheed Sulaimon picked up the ball and stuffed it for the final score. South Dakota State was seeking its first victory in the NCAA Tournament, but was undone by cold shooting in the first half.
Melo Trimble added 19 points and Jared Nickens 14 for fifth-seeded Maryland (26-8), which made 51 percent of its shots, including nine 3-pointers.
Parks scored 22 points for the Jackrabbits.
NO. 7 IOWA 72, NO. 10 TEMPLE 70
NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Woodberry put back a missed shot at the overtime buzzer to give Iowa a victory over Temple.
With the game tied at 70, Mike Gesell worked his way to the baseline and put up about a 10-foot jumper that missed the rim and went right to Woodberry, who put it in as the red lights around the backboard lit up.
Iowa (22-10) will play second-seeded Villanova in the second round on Sunday.
The Hawkeyes got the chance at the game-winner when Daniel Dingle of Temple, who played just 6 minutes and was in the game because Devin Coleman had fouled out a minute earlier, missed the front end of a 1-and-1.
Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa with 23 points, while Peter Jok had 16 and Woodberry finished with 10.
Quenton DeCosey, who made three free throws with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, had 26 points for the Owls (21-12).
NO. 2 VILLANOVA 86, UNC ASHEVILLE 56
NEW YORK (AP) — Ryan Arcidiacono scored 14 points, including a buzzer-beating 3 at the end of the first half, and Daniel Ochefu had 17 points inside as Villanova beat UNC Asheville to roll into the second round.
The Wildcats (30-5) are looking to reach the second weekend of the tournament for the first time since their 2009 Final Four run.
Dylan Smith led 15th-seeded UNC Asheville (22-12) with 14 points as the Big South champions bowed out quietly.
Kris Jenkins scored 12 and Jalen Brunson had 10 points for the Villanova, which spent three weeks at No. 1 this season but is under pressure to return to the Sweet 16.
NO. 14 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 70, NO. 3 WEST VIRGINIA 56
NEW YORK (AP) — Thomas Walkup scored 33 points and Stephen F. Austin faced down West Virginia’s full-court pressure with some of its own in-your-face defense, pulling off a rugged first-round upset of the Mountaineers.
The Lumberjacks (28-5) ran the nation’s longest winning streak to 21 games and will face six seed Notre Dame on Sunday in the second round.
The Mountaineers (26-9) and Lumberjacks played physical, chest-to-chest defense, contesting not just every shot, but every pass. Neither team shot better than 31 percent.
Walkup, the two-time Southland Conference player of the year, took it to the teeth of West Virginia’s defense and went to the line 20 times. He made 19, including two to make it 60-47 with 5:15 left in the second after West Virginia coach Bob Huggins’ griping to officials drew a technical on the Mountaineers.
NO. 6 NOTRE DAME 70, NO. 11 MICHIGAN 63
NEW YORK (AP) — V.J. Beacham scored 18 points, including the 3-pointer that gave Notre Dame the lead for good, and the Fighting Irish beat Michigan.
The Fighting Irish (22-11) didn’t take a lead in the game until Beacham’s 3 with 9:26 left to make it 51-48. From there on there were five lead changes and three ties.
Michigan (23-13) controlled the first half, taking a 41-29 lead. Notre Dame scored the first eight points of the second half, a run that included 3-pointers by Steve Vasturia and Matt Farrell, matching the team’s total of the first half. It brought the Fighting Irish within 41-37.
Beacham’s 3 with 4:24 left gave Notre Dame a 62-59 lead, one they never gave up.
Michigan beat Tulsa 67-62 on Wednesday in the First Four. Wichita State, the other 11th seed to win a First Four game, advanced to the second round with a victory over Arizona.
NO. 7 WISCONSIN 47, NO. 10 PITTSBURGH 43
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ethan Happ had 15 points and nine rebounds, none bigger than one he pulled down in the closing seconds, as Wisconsin beat No. 10 seed Pittsburgh.
Nigel Hayes had 12 points and Vitto Brown scored 11 for the Badgers (21-12), who advanced despite an awful shooting night. Hayes was just 3 for 17 from the field, Bronson Koenig failed to hit a 3-pointer for the first time in 44 games and the Badgers finished 4 of 19 from beyond the arc.
It was still enough to knock off the equally cold-shooting Panthers.
Jamel Artis had 13 points to lead Pittsburgh (21-12), which started the season 14-1 before struggling when it hit ACC play. Leading scorer Michael Young was held to six points and five rebounds.
Wisconsin will play No. 2 seed Xavier on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
NO. 2 XAVIER 71, NO. 15 WEBER STATE 53
ST. LOUIS (AP) — James Farr had 18 points and 15 rebounds, fellow big man Jalen Reynolds added 12 points and Xavier pulled away late for a victory over pesky Weber State.
Remy Abell added 11 points and Trevon Bluiett had 10 for the Musketeers (28-5), who never trailed the Big Sky Tournament champs.
Weber State (26-9) was within 54-47 midway through the second half when Farr and Reynolds, both of them heftier than anybody on the Wildcats’ bench, began to impose their will. The managed to power right through Weber State’s back line for easy buckets, allowing the Musketeers to slowly draw away.
Joel Bolomboy finished with 14 points for the Wildcats. McKay Cannon had 10.
NO. 1 OREGON 91, NO. 16 HOLY CROSS 52
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Carrying the marquee for the underachieving Pac-12, Oregon showed no nerves playing as a top seed and rolled past Holy Cross.
Chris Boucher led Oregon (29-6) with 20 points , while Dillon Brooks and Elgin Cook both added 11 points as the Ducks won their ninth straight and advanced to the round of 32 for the fourth straight season.
With nearly all of the Pac-12 making a quick exit out of the NCAA Tournament, the Ducks used their overwhelming athleticism to quickly build a double-digit lead and never allowed the Crusaders to sniff a potential 16-seed upset. Boucher slammed a trio of lob dunks in the first 12 minutes and the expected blowout quickly developed.
Robert Champion led Holy Cross (15-20) with 22 points off the bench.
Oregon faces either Cincinnati or Saint Joseph’s in the second round Sunday.
NO. 8 SAINT JOSEPH’S 78, NO. 8 CINCINNATI 76
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Isaiah Miles sank a 3-pointer with 9 seconds and a dunk at the buzzer by Cincinnati was waved off to lift Saint Joseph’s to a win over the Bearcats.
Octavius Ellis appeared to tie the game with his dunk as time expired, but officials after a lengthy review determined that the shot came too late.
DeAndre Bembry scored 23 points and Miles finished with 19 to lead eighth-seeded Saint Joseph’s (28-7). Twenty of Bembry’s points were in the first half.
Jacob Evans scored 26 points to lead ninth-seeded Cincinnati (22-11).
NO. 3 TEXAS A&M 92, NO. 14 GREEN BAY 65
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Danuel House scored 20 points as Texas A&M pulled away in the second half to win its first NCAA Tournament game since 2010 with a first-round victory over Green Bay.
The third-seeded Aggies (27-8) trailed by as many as eight points in the first half before using a 26-9 first-half run to take control on the way to a comfortable victory.
House was 8 of 12 from the field and hit a pair of 3-pointers for Texas A&M, which shot 56.1 percent (32 of 57) in the win.
Khalil Small scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Horizon League Tournament champion Phoenix (23-13), who were making their first tournament appearance in 20 years.
Texas A&M plays No. 11 Northern Iowa on Sunday.
NO. 11 NORTHERN IOWA 75, NO. 6 TEXAS 72
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul Jesperson banked in a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to give Northern Iowa a win over Texas.
Northern Iowa passed the ball in under its basket after Isaiah Taylor tied the game on a layup with 2.7 seconds to play. Jesperson caught the ball, took a few dribbles and heaved.
Wes Washpun scored 17 points, Jeremy Morgan scored 16 and Jesperson added 14 for the Panthers (23-12), who claimed their fifth NCAA Tournament win in school history.
Taylor scored 22 points, Eric Davis Jr. scored 13 and Javan Felix added 12 for the Longhorns (20-13).
Jesperson’s shot came in the same building where Golden State’s Stephen Curry hit a dramatic game-winner against the Oklahoma City Thunder last month.
NO. 10 VCU 75, NO. 7 OREGON STATE
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — JeQuan Lewis had 21 points, eight assists and seven rebounds as Virginia Commonwealth won its first NCAA Tournament game since 2013 with a first-round victory over Oregon State.
The tournament appearance is the sixth straight for VCU (25-10), and the experience showed as the Rams led by eight points at halftime and held off a charge by the Beavers in the second half.
Mo Alie-Cox added 20 points and was 7 of 8 from the field in the win, while Melvin Johnson also finished in double figures with 12 points.
Gary Payton II scored 19 points to lead the Beavers (19-13), who were making their first tournament appearance in 26 years, while Derrick Bruce finished with 15 and Drew Eubanks 13.