Franklin sparks Aztecs over Oklahoma
PHILADELPHIA — Jamaal Franklin scored 21 points, James Rahon had 17 and San Diego State earned its third NCAA tournament victory, a 70-55 triumph over Oklahoma.
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
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 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 No. 1 seed Kansas, where Tar Heels coach Roy Williams coached for 15 years and rang up more than 400 wins.
JayVaughn Pinkston had 20 points and Darrun Hilliard scored 18 for Villanova.
KANSAS 64, WESTERN KENTUCKY 57
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jeff Withey scored 17 points and top-seeded Kansas struggled to put away scrappy Western Kentucky, but avoided what would have been the biggest upset on a day full of them in the NCAA tournament.
The Jayhawks (30-5), flummoxed by the Hilltoppers’ full-court pressure, trailed 31-30 at halftime. Kansas eventually built an 11-point lead in the second half, but couldn’t put Western Kentucky away until Ben McLemore’s two foul shots with 11 seconds left in the game.
McLemore and Travis Releford scored 11 each for the Jayhawks (30-5).
Jamal Crook scored 13 points and T.J. Price had 12 for the Hilltoppers (20-16), who would have made history by becoming the first No. 16 seed to upend a No. 1 seed in the tournament.
FLORIDA 79, NORTHWESTERN STATE 47
AUSTIN, Texas — 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 on Sunday.
MINNESOTA 83, UCLA 63
AUSTIN, Texas — Andre Hollins scored 28 points and Minnesota rolled past punchless UCLA in what could be Bruins freshman Shabazz Muhammad’s last in college and coach Ben Howland’s final one leading the program.
Austin Hollins scored 16 for the 11th-seeded Gophers (21-12). The Gophers eased some pressure on coach Tubby Smith by giving him his first NCAA tournament win in six seasons.
Another early-round exit by the sixth-seeded Bruins (25-10) won’t help Howland, who is facing public speculation back home about his future despite winning the Pac-12 regular-season title this year.
Muhammad, expected to leave for the NBA, led the Bruins with 20 points.
INDIANA 83, JAMES MADISON 62
DAYTON, Ohio — 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, N.C. STATE 72
DAYTON, Ohio — 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
AUSTIN, Texas — 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.
ILLINOIS 57, COLORADO 49
AUSTIN, Texas — 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.
DUKE 73, ALBANY 61
PHILADELPHIA — 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.
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. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski extended his all-time lead with his 80th career victory in the tournament that he has won four times.
CREIGHTON 67, CINCINNATI 63
PHILADELPHIA — 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.
MISSISSIPPI 57, WISCONSIN 46
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 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.
LA SALLE 63, KANSAS STATE 61
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 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.
Henriquez and Shane Southwell scored 17 points each for Kansas State.
OHIO STATE 95, IONA 70
DAYTON, Ohio — 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 as the Buckeyes’ fast breaks led to dunks and a season high in points, thrilling the large Ohio State contingent in Dayton.
IOWA STATE 76, NOTRE DAME 58
DAYTON, Ohio — 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.
Melvin Ejim added 17 points for Iowa State, which shot better than 70 percent for much of the second half.
Tom Knight scored 14 to lead the Fighting Irish.