NCAA: Johnson III leads Texas-San Antonio to first-ever tourney win
DAYTON, Ohio – Shot by shot, Melvin Johnson III played up to his penmanship.
The smooth guard with “SWISH” scrawled on the side of each orange shoe scored a career-high 29 points Wednesday night, putting on the most scintillating show so far in the NCAA tournament while leading Texas-San Antonio to a 70-61 victory over Alabama State in the “First Four” round.
The Roadrunners (20-13) and their smooth guard head to Cleveland for a game Friday against top-seeded Ohio State, which won’t allow all those open shots.
Against Alabama State (17-18), Johnson took advantage of every one. The 6-foot-5 sophomore had a career high in the first half alone, when he outscored the star-struck Hornets 25-21.
Tramayne Moorer and Jeff Middlebrooks had 12 points apiece for Alabama State, which had the worst record in the expanded 68-team tournament.
VCU 59, USC 46
DAYTON, Ohio – Jamie Skeen scored 16 points and Virginia Commonwealth more than held its own inside against bigger and stronger Southern California to beat the Trojans in the finale of the NCAA’s inaugural “First Four” tournament games at the University of Dayton Arena.
The 11th-seeded teams traded elbows and punishing defense all night, with the Rams (24-11) pulling away down the stretch to earn the chance to face sixth-seeded Georgetown (21-10) on Friday in Chicago.
Joey Rodriguez had eight points and five assists for VCU.