Out of the Blue
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Vander Blue’s layup with 1 second left capped Marquette’s rally from a nine-point deficit and gave the third-seeded Golden Eagles a 59-58 victory over Davidson Thursday in the NCAA tournament.
Blue and Jamil Wilson made consecutive 3-pointers to bring Marquette within 58-57 with 11 seconds left. The Golden Eagles then caught a huge break when De’Mon Brooks’ long inbounds pass went out of bounds at midcourt with 5.5 seconds left, providing another opportunity.
Blue took full advantage after getting Wilson’s inbounds pass, driving left and finding room for the winning basket. He then sealed Marquette’s improbable win by stealing Davidson’s last-ditch inbounds pass at midcourt to set off a celebration among players and Golden Eagles fans at Rupp Arena.
Blue scored seven of Marquette’s final 11 points to finish with 16. Wilson added 14 points as the Golden Eagles (24-8) won for the fifth time in six games and advanced to face Butler in Saturday’s third round.
Jake Cohen’s 20 points led Davidson (26-8), who seemed in control leading 49-40 with 6:30 left.
BUTLER 68, BUCKNELL 56
Andrew Smith had a double-double including a career-high 16 rebounds, Roosevelt Jones added 14 points, and Butler made its free throws down the stretch to hold off upset-minded Bucknell.
After trailing for most of the game, 11th-seeded Bucknell got back into it with a 19-2 second-half run. But after Joe Willman’s jumper cut Butler’s lead to 43-42 with 6:56 left, the Bison (28-6) went almost five minutes without scoring. Butler went 18-of-20 at the line in the last 4:43.
Willman scored a career-high 20 points for Bucknell, but the Bison couldn’t overcome an off day by two-time Patriot League Player of the Year Mike Muscala. Bucknell’s all-time leading scorer had nine points, only the second time this season he’d failed to reach double figures.
CALIFORNIA 64, UNLV 61
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Allen Crabbe had 19 points and nine rebounds, reserve Robert Thurman scored all 12 of his points on dunks, and 12th-seeded California held off UNLV.
Buoyed by the crowd support of a strong contingent so close to Berkeley, the Golden Bears (21-11) held the Runnin’ Rebels (25-10) without a basket for more than 11 minutes in the second half. Cal turned a tie game into a nine-point lead during that stretch and withstood a late UNLV push for its first tournament win since 2009.
The fifth-seeded Rebels rallied to within a point in the final seconds before missed free throws and a costly inbounds pass sealed the loss.
Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 15 points, and Anthony Bennett shook off a poor start to finish with 15 points and 11 rebounds for UNLV, which beat Cal 76-75 in Berkeley on Dec. 9.
SYRACUSE 81, MONTANA 34
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Brandon Triche scored 20 points, C.J. Fair added 13, and the fourth-seeded Orange shut down No. 13 seed Montana with their zone defense in the biggest NCAA tournament blowout by a team seeded third or lower.
Michael Carter-Williams chipped in four points, eight rebounds and nine assists as the Orange (27-9) raced out to an early lead that grew as big as 50 points and coasted past the Grizzlies (25-7) to their most lopsided tournament win since beating Brown 101-52 in the first round in 1986.
LOUISVILLE 79, N. CAROLINA A&T 48
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Russ Smith scored 23 points and set a Louisville NCAA tournament record with a career-high eight steals, and Peyton Siva had eight assists as the Cardinals demolished North Carolina A&T.
Louisville finished with a season-high 20 steals as it forced the Aggies (20-17) into 27 turnovers. It was the 11th straight win for the Cardinals (30-5), who will play Colorado State or Missouri on Saturday.
Rick Pitino and the Big East champions quickly ended a postseason run for the Aggies, who finally earned their first NCAA tournament win on Tuesday. Bruce Beckford led North Carolina A&T with 12 points.
MICHIGAN STATE 65, VALPARAISO 54
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past the 14th-seeded Crusaders in the Midwest Regional.
The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control and cruised to an easy victory.
Michigan State (26-8) will play Memphis on Saturday when coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans will shoot for a spot in the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.
The Crusaders (26-8) were no match for Michigan State in their first NCAA tourney in nine years.
Erik Buggs scored 14 and Matt Kenney had 10 points for the Crusaders.
MEMPHIS 54, ST. MARY’S 52
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer from the right wing missed everything as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary’s.
The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds.
With Memphis ahead 54-49, Eividas Petrulis banked in a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play. The Tigers then lost the ball when the Gaels’ Jordan Giusti deflected the inbound pass off Joe Jackson of Memphis and out of bounds.
Saint Mary’s (28-7) was out of timeouts but had a chance to regroup while officials reviewed the previous sequence. It didn’t matter. Dellavedova, the career leader in scoring for Saint Mary’s, was able to get a shot off, but it didn’t come close to going in.
It was the first win in the NCAA tournament for Memphis since 2009, when John Calipari was still the coach.
D.J. Stephens had nine points and eight blocks for Memphis, and Jackson had 14 points and seven assists. Brad Waldow scored 17 points to lead Saint Mary’s.
Dellavedova had 10 points, seven assists and six turnovers in 40 minutes.
SAINT LOUIS 64, NEW MEXICO ST. 44
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points and fourth-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed New Mexico State in the Midwest Regional.
The Billikens (28-6) eclipsed the 1988-89 team’s school record of 27 victories.
Evans shot 11-of-16 and finished a point shy of his career best to propel Saint Louis past 7-foot-5 New Mexico State freshman Sim Bhullar, who had four points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Saint Louis plays Oregon on Saturday.
Bandja Sy had 17 points and nine rebounds for the 13th-seeded Aggies (24-11), who shot just 28 percent.
OREGON 68, OKLAHOMA STATE 55
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Damyean Dotson scored 17 points and Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds to help 12th-seeded Oregon extend a run that began in the Pac-12 tournament by beating fifth-seeded Oklahoma.
Dominic Artis scored 13 points and helped frustrate Oklahoma State star freshman Marcus Smart on the defensive end to give the Ducks (27-8) their first tournament win in six years.
Smart came into the game with the hype of a top NBA prospect but was held to 14 points on 5 for 13 shooting for the Cowboys (24-9).
COLORADO STATE 84, MISSOURI 72
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and eighth-seeded Colorado State ran away from Missouri.
Green, who went scoreless with five turnovers in last year’s second-round loss to Murray State, did much better this time as the Rams shot nearly 58 percent in the first half.
Phil Pressey’s 20 points led the Tigers (23-11).
HARVARD 68, NEW MEXICO 62
SALT LAKE CITY —Wesley Saunders scored 18 points, and Laurent Rivard made five 3-pointers to help the 14th-seeded Crimson pull off the biggest upset on the first full day of NCAA tournament games.
The Ivy League advanced for the first time since a very good Cornell team made the regional semifinals in 2010.
Harvard will play Arizona on Saturday.
The Crimson (20-9) put the clamps down on New Mexico’s Tony Snell, holding him to nine points on 4-for-12 shooting after he dominated in the MWC tournament. They banged inside with Lobos big men Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk, whose 22 points provided New Mexico’s only consistent offense.
Mostly, they showed none of the jitters that marked their trip to the tournament last year — a 79-70 loss to Vanderbilt in Harvard’s first NCAA appearance since 1946.
Rivard went 5-of-9 from behind the 3-point arc, with three of them coming in the first half, while Harvard was holding a small lead and, more importantly, answering every surge the Lobos (29-6) threw at them.
Rivard finished with 17 points.
GONZAGA 64, SOUTHERN 58
SALT LAKE CITY — A March Madness warm-up turned into a great escape for Gonzaga.
The Zags got pushed to the limit by Southern, pulling out a victory in the closing minutes to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 in the NCAA tournament.
Kelly Olynyk led the Zags (32-2) with 21 points. They play No. 9 Wichita State on Saturday.
But it was a pair of 3-pointers — one by Gary Bell Jr., the next by Kevin Pagnos — that staked the Bulldogs to a 62-58 lead only moments after the game was tied at 56 with 3:45 left.
Derick Beltran had 21 points to lead Southern (23-10), and his 14-foot baseline jumper tied it at 56. But the Jaguars from the Southwestern Athletic Conference didn’t make another field goal.
No. 1 seeds are now 113-0 against 16s.
WICHITA STATE 73, PITTSBURGH 55
SALT LAKE CITY — Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points, Cleanthony Early added 21, and ninth-seeded Wichita State ousted Pittsburgh.
Freshman Steven Adams led Pitt (24-9) with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Call Hall added 11 points for the Shockers (27-8).
The Shockers forced Pitt into 15 turnovers and held the Panthers to 35 percent shooting, including 1-of-17 from 3-point range.
Pitt’s leading scorer, Tray Woodall, missed his first four shots and finished with two points. He shot 1-of-12, including 0-of-5 from beyond the arc, with five turnovers.
ARIZONA 81, BELMONT 64
SALT LAKE CITY — Mark Lyons scored 23 points, and sixth-seeded Arizona rolled past Belmont.
The Wildcats (26-7) used their huge size advantage to shut down the Bruins (26-7), who are 0-6 in tourney games. Arizona held a 44-18 edge on the boards, outscored Belmont 36-18 in the paint, blocked five shots and outshot the Bruins from 3-point range.
The Wildcats made 9 of 17 3-pointers, including a critical one from Solomon Hill with 4:40 remaining to stop an 11-2 Belmont run, and shot 57 percent overall.
Kerron Johnson led Belmont with 22 points, and Ian Clark finished with 21.
Kevin Parrom, Kaleb Tarczewski and Nick Johnson added 12 points each for Arizona, which will play Harvard on Saturday.
MICHIGAN 71, SOUTH DAKOTA 56
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Glenn Robinson III scored 21 points, and Mitch McGary added 13 points and nine rebounds, helping fourth-seeded Michigan overcome a rough night for star Trey Burke.
Burke made only two field goals and left the game briefly in the second half after a hard fall under the basket. The star point guard came back after that, but he finished with only six points.
Michigan (27-7) advanced anyway behind Robinson, McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr., who also scored 21 points.
South Dakota State (25-10), the 13th seed, trailed by only four at halftime but couldn’t keep up. High-scoring guard Nate Wolters scored only 10 points.
Burke was held in single digits for the first time all season.
Michigan plays VCU on Saturday.
VCU 88, AKRON 42
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Troy Daniels had 23 points, Juvonte Reddic scored 21 and VCU routed Akron in the most lopsided victory by a fifth-seeded team over a No. 12 in NCAA tournament history.
The previous mark was set by Wyoming in a 35-point win over Howard in 1981 and matched by Tennessee against Long Beach State in 2007, according to STATS.
The Rams (27-8) forced 22 turnovers.
Akron (26-7) was short-handed, and it showed. In addition to playing without suspended point guard Alex Abreu, the Zips had other problems. Starting guard Brian Walsh and reserve center Pat Forsythe were limited by the flu, and guard Deji Ibitayo wasn’t even in uniform because of back spasms.