Friday's NCAA Tournament: Duke handles Cal State Fullerton, faces MSU for Sweet 16 berth
Greenville, S.C. — Duke began retiring Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA Tournament with minimal stress, beating Cal State Fullerton 78-61 on Friday night.
Freshman Paolo Banchero scored 17 points to lead the Blue Devils (29-6), who jumped to a double-digit lead in the first 4 1/2 minutes and remained in control throughout. Duke led by 10 at halftime and pushed the margin to 20 midway through the second half.
The West Region’s No. 2 seed had five players score in double figures while playing its neighboring state, backed by vocal sections of fans eager to be part of what they hope will be Krzyzewski’s six-game run to title No. 6. Next up: Michigan State or Davidson in Sunday’s second round.
Damari Milstead scored 12 points to lead 15th-seeded Titans (21-11), who missed 15 of 18 shots to open the game.
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Texas Tech 97, Montana State 62: Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 20 points and set a dominating tone in the opening minutes for Texas Tech, which overwhelmed Montana State with one of the best-shooting games in the first round since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Bryson Williams also scored 20 points for Texas Tech (26-9), which shot 66.7% (36 of 54) from the field, including making 12 of 20 3-pointers. At one point the Red Raiders were trending toward breaking Syracuse’s record of 67.9% (38 of 56) against Southern Illinois in 1995. They settled for a tie for fourth.
Texas Tech, the No. 3 seed in the West Region, was too big, quick and talented for the Bobcats (27-8), who were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996. The Red Raiders will play either No. 6 seed Alabama or 11th-seeded Notre Dame in the second round.
Xavier Bishop led Montana State with 12 points.
Notre Dame 78, Alabama 64: Cormac Ryan scored a career-high 29 points, including seven 3-pointers, and 11th-seeded Notre Dame recovered from a grueling First Four win and late-night flight to beat sixth-seeded Alabama.
Ryan, a senior guard, was 10 of 13 from the field and made a career-best seven of his nine tries from beyond the arc for Notre Dame (24-10), which beat Rutgers in double overtime Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio, to earn a trip to San Diego.
Blake Wesley had 18 points while Paul Atkinson Jr. added 13 points and eight rebounds. The Fighting Irish missed six of their first seven shots but went 28 of 47 the rest of the way.
Keon Ellis led Alabama (19-14) with 16 points and Jaden Shackelford scored 13. Junior guard Jahvon Quinerly suffered a left knee injury early in the game and did not return.
Ohio State 54, Loyola Chicago 41: E.J. Liddell scored 16 points, Big Ten Freshman of the Year Malaki Branham added 14 and seventh-seeded Ohio State shut down 10th-seeded Loyola Chicago from start to finish.
The Buckeyes (20-11) advanced to play Villanova on Sunday while preventing another March run by the Ramblers (25-8), who shot 27% (15 of 56) from the floor.
Braden Norris led Loyola with 14 points but star Lucas Williamson endured perhaps his worst game of the season. The winningest player in program history finished with four points on 1-of-10 shooting and committed three turnovers as Loyola fell in the first round after reaching the Sweet 16 last season and the Final Four in 2018.
Villanova 80, Delaware 60: Justin Moore scored 21 points, Collin Gillespie added 14 and second-seeded Villanova had little trouble with 15th-seeded Delaware.
The Wildcats (27-7) used a 35-10 surge spanning the end of the first half and the start of the second to turn an eight-point deficit into a blowout.
Delaware (22-13) showed some early fight against its northern neighbor in a meeting of programs separated by 43 miles on the map and considerably more in the college basketball landscape.
It wasn’t nearly enough as Villanova overwhelmed the Blue Hens under a barrage of 3-pointers to begin the school’s quest for a third national title in seven seasons.
Jyare Davis led Delaware with 17 points.
Illinois 54, Chattanooga 53: Alfonso Plummer scored 15 points, including the go-ahead free throws with 12 seconds to go, and fourth-seeded Illinois escaped 13th-seeded Chattanooga.
The Big Ten co-champion Illini (23-9) never led until the final minute and survived when Chattanooga star Malachi Smith missed twice in the closing seconds.
Illinois will play either fifth-seeded Houston or 12th-seeded UAB on Sunday.
Illinois All-America center Kofi Cockburn had 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. His putback gave the Illini a 52-51 lead with 48 seconds to go. Smith, the Southern Conference Player of the Year, responded by drilling a pair of free throws to put Chattanooga back in front.
Plummer, who hit three 3-pointers to help Illinois climb back from an 11-point second-half deficit, drove the left side and was fouled. He knocked down both shots.
Arizona 87, Wright State 70: Christian Koloko scored 17 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and keyed a big second-half surge for top-seeded Arizona, which beat Wright State.
Bennedict Mathurin scored 18 points and Dalen Terry had 16 for the Wildcats (32-3). Arizona won its seventh straight game and earned its first NCAA Tournament win since beating Saint Mary’s in the second round in 2017. First-year coach Tommy Lloyd, a longtime assistant at Gonzaga, has Arizona in the NCAAs for the first time since 2018.
Arizona advanced to face the winner of the nightcap between No. 8 Seton Hall and No. 9 TCU.
Grant Basile scored 21 points and Trey Calvin had 16 for Wright State (22-14).
Houston 82, UAB 68: Houston looks like a problem again.
A Final Four team a year ago, the Cougars played like a group capable of making another deep run this March as they opened the NCAA Tournament with an 82-68 win over UAB on Friday night.
Offensively, Houston can light up the scoreboard with highlight-reel plays. Defensively, these Cougars are pretty ferocious cats.
“Their reputation precedes them,” UAB coach Andy Kennedy said. “They give you nothing easy. They’re tenacious off the glass. They’re disruptive.”
They’re moving on.
Kyler Edwards scored 25 points, Fabian White Jr. added 14 and Houston’s defense clamped down in the second half to make things even tougher on UAB’s leading scorer, Jordan “Jelly” Walker, who made 1 of 10 3-pointers.
Edwards, who played three years at Texas Tech before transferring to Houston this season, made six 3-pointers – the last an exclamation point in the final minute – and controlled the fast tempo along with Jamal Shead, who had seven assists.
The Cougars (30-5) advanced in the South Region and will play fourth-seeded Illinois on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16. The Fighting Illini rallied to beat Chattanooga 54-53 and avoid a second straight early-round exit.
TCU 69, Seton Hall 42: Mike Miles Jr. scored 21 points and ninth-seeded TCU got its first NCAA Tournament victory in 35 years, easily dispatching eighth-seeded Seton Hall.
The Horned Frogs’ last tournament victory was in 1987 against Marshall, when coach Jamie Dixon was a senior at his alma mater. They haven’t had many opportunities since: This was their third appearance since 1988 and second in Dixon’s six seasons.
“Well, I can’t do anything about the last 35. I’ve been saying that for a while,” said Dixon, who led Pittsburgh to 11 NCAA trips in 13 years. “We’ve done good things since we’ve been back. Hopefully this is the start of more to come.”
Damion Baugh scored 14 points for TCU, which shot 27 of 53 (50.9%) from the field and led most of the game. It also dominated inside, outscoring Seton Hall 40-14 in the paint. Sixteen of TCU’s 27 field goals were layups.
“We got them in foul trouble early, which made them hesitant on the offensive end with their attack,” said Emmanuel Miller, who had 10 points. “I think going forward that’s a huge thing in what we need to do because we realize how important it was to do that today.”
The Horned Frogs (21-12) will take on the South Region’s top seed, Arizona, on Sunday in the second round. The Wildcats defeated Wright State 87-70 earlier Friday.
Purdue 78, Yale 56: Jaden Ivey raced his way to 22 points and Zach Edey controlled the action inside, helping Purdue overpower Yale.
Ivey, one of the fastest players in college basketball, went 3 for 6 from 3-point range and 7 for 9 at the free-throw line in 27 minutes. The 7-foot-4 Edey made the most of his size advantage against the Ivy League champion Bulldogs, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes.
No. 3 seed Purdue (28-7) won its NCAA opener for the fourth time in its last five tournaments. Next up is the winner of Virginia Tech-Texas in the second round on Sunday.
Azar Swain scored 18 points on 8-for-19 shooting for Yale (19-12), which had won 11 of 13.
Texas 81, Virginia Tech 73: Andrew Jones scored 21 points, Marcus Carr beat the halftime buzzer with a shot from well beyond halfcourt to put Texas ahead for good, and the Longhorns beat Virginia Tech.
The sixth-seeded Longhorns (22-11) won their first tournament game since 2014.
Texas built on the momentum from Carr's improbable basket and led by 17 with 5 1/2 minutes left.
Carr had 15 points and Timmy Allen added 14. Texas went 10 of 19 from 3-point range while ending a five-game tournament losing streak.
Sean Padulla scored 19 points for Virginia Tech (23-13) with 13 coming in the last 4 1/2 minutes.
Auburn 80, Jacksonville State 61: Freshman Jabari Smith had 20 points and 14 rebounds as second-seeded Auburn pulled away from Jacksonville State late in the first half.
Walker Kessler, Smith’s partner in the paint, finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks. The Tigers (28-5) won their 10th straight NCAA opener and will face either Southern California or Miami on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
K.D. Johnson ended his shooting slump — he was 0-for-14 in a Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinal loss to Texas A&M — and had 10 points and a couple of 3s during a 17-3 run that put the Tigers in control.
Jalen Gibbs hit four 3s and led the Gamecocks (21-11) with 20 points.
Miami 68, Southern California 66: Charlie Moore made two free throws with 3 seconds left and finished with 16 points to lift 10th-seeded Miami over No. 7 seed Southern California.
Moore drove the lane in the final moments and appeared to have his layup blocked by Chavez Goodwin. But a foul was called and Moore made the free throws.
Miami (24-10) got its first tournament win in six years.
Isaiah Wong led Miami with 22 points before fouling out with 2:07 to play with his team ahead 59-58. The Hurricanes stretched the lead to 65-58 with 44 seconds left, but Drew Peterson, who led the Trojans (26-8) with 17 points, hit consecutive 3s and his inside basket tied it.
Miami led 29-16 late in the first half, but the Trojans opened the second half on 17-2 run to go ahead and set up a tight battle to the finish.
Iowa State 59, LSU 54: Freshman Tyrese Hunter scored 23 points and Iowa State used its hard-nosed defense to beat No. 6 seed LSU.
Izaiah Brockington added 19 points as the 11th-seeded Cyclones (21-12) got their first win in the NCAA tourney since 2017 — also in Milwaukee. They held the Tigers to 37% shooting and forced 19 turnovers, stopping a three-game slide.
The Cyclones will face the Colgate-Wisconsin winner on Sunday.
Tari Eason scored 18 points for LSU (22-12) and senior Darius Days had 14. It was the first game for the Tigers since coach Will Wade was fired last weekend amid allegations of NCAA violations.
Wisconsin 67, Colgate 60: Johnny Davis offered a simple explanation for how Wisconsin stepped up down the stretch to avoid a first-round upset.
“We just stopped being lazy on defense and non-fundamental,” the All-America guard and Big Ten player of the year said. “That’s all it was.”
Davis scored Wisconsin’s last 14 points and finished with 25 as the Big Ten co-champion Badgers came from behind to beat Colgate 67-60 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.
The third-seeded Badgers (25-7) snapped Colgate’s 15-game winning streak and advanced to a second-round game Sunday against No. 11 seed Iowa State (21-12). The Cyclones defeated LSU 59-54 earlier Friday.
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