DAYTON, Ohio — So much for first-time jitters.
Chris Eversley scored 19 points to help Cal Poly avoid its 20th loss of the season and win its first NCAA tournament game, 81-69 victory over Texas Southern on Wednesday night in the First Four.
The Mustangs (14-19) were 0-3 and 4-9 early before losing nine of 11 heading into the Big West Conference tournament — which they won to earn the program’s first NCAA bid.
The team with the worst record in the tournament now moves on to face the one with the best — top-seeded Wichita State (34-0) — in the second round in St. Louis on Friday.
There have been 23 teams with losing records in the NCAA tournament since 1955. Only three teams had won in the first/opening round.
Aaric Murray closed out his career with 38 points for Texas Southern (19-15), champs of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.
David Nwaba added 17 points and Brian Bennett — who was a perfect 5 for 5 from the field — had 10 for the Mustangs.
The 81 points were the Mustangs’ second-highest total all season. They shot 57 percent from the field (29 of 51).
Murray was the top player on the court, but that wasn’t enough for the Tigers. Originally a blue-chip recruit for La Salle, he left there for West Virginia where he was dismissed from the team. In his final year of eligibility for Texas Southern, he had 28 points against Stanford, 30 against Tulsa and 48 against Temple in his return home to Philadelphia.
Tennessee 78, Iowa 65
DAYTON, Ohio — Jarnell Stokes dominated inside as Tennessee finally caught up in the closing minutes of regulation, and then opened overtime with a three-point play that got the Volunteers headed to a victory.
The Volunteers’ late comeback sent them Raleigh, N.C., where they’ll play sixth-seeded Massachusetts on Friday in the Midwest Regional.
Tennessee (22-12) didn’t lead until Antonio Barton’s 3-pointer put the Vols up 59-57 with 3:05 left regulation. There were five lead changes before the Vols’ Jordan McRae missed a jumper missed at the buzzer, leaving it tied at 64.
Stokes’ three-point play was the key moment in his 18-point, 13-rebound performance. Iowa (21-13) managed only one free throw in overtime, ending a hectic and stressful day for coach Fran McCaffery.
McCaffery started the day in Iowa with his teenage son Patrick, who had surgery to remove a thyroid tumor.
Providence players accused of assault
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Police in Rhode Island are investigating an allegation that two Providence College basketball players sexually assaulted another student on campus in November.
Providence police Maj. David Lapatin told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the complaint was filed about two weeks ago by a female student.
Lapatin would not name the players, but a defense lawyer says unsubstantiated sex assault allegations were made against players Rodney Bullock and Brandon Austin when they were suspended from play. Bullock’s lawyer, Bill Lynch, says the school reviewed them and made no finding of a sex assault.
Bullock and Austin were suspended Nov. 6. A school spokesman would not give details.
Austin now attends the University of Oregon.
By wire sources