No. 15 seed Princeton uses late run to stun 2 seed Arizona
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Langborg lifted Princeton to its first lead with 2:03 to play and the Tigers used a late-game run to earn their first NCAA Tournament win in 25 years, topping No. 2 seed Arizona 59-55 on Thursday.
The 15th-seeded Tigers (22-9) scored the final nine points, holding the Pac-12 Tournament champion scoreless over the final 4:43.
Tosan Evbuomwan scored 15 points in Princeton’s first tournament victory since beating UNLV in 1998 when current coach Mitch Henderson was a player for the Tigers.
Princeton advanced to play seventh-seeded Missouri in the second round of the South Region.
Azuolas Tubelis scored 21 points for the Wildcats (28-7), who haven’t won a tournament game in consecutive years since 2014-15.
It marked the third straight year and 11th time overall that a No. 15 seed won a first-round game. Arizona is the only school to be on the wrong end of one of those upsets twice, also losing to Steve Nash and Santa Clara in 1993.
MISSOURI 76, UTAH STATE 65
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Missouri used a second-half scoring spurt from Kobe Brown to win its first NCAA Tournament game in 13 years, beating Utah State.
Brown hit three 3-pointers in a span of just over three minutes to fuel a 13-2 run that turned a two-point deficit into a 62-53 lead.
The seventh-seeded Tigers (25-9) held on from there, stopping a six-game tournament skid with their first win since beating Clemson in the first round in 2010. Missouri advanced to play 15th-seeded Princeton.
The 10th-seeded Aggies (26-9) have dropped their last 10 tournament games since beating Ohio State in the first round in 2001. The loss was also the 11th straight for a Mountain West team in the NCAAs.
The game was close for most of the second half until Brown and D’Moi Hodge took it over midway through the second half by scoring 20 straight points for the Tigers.
FURMAN 68, VIRGINIA 67
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — JP Pegues made a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining, and No. 13 seed Furman completed a rally from a 12-point second-half deficit to hand fourth-seeded Virginia another first-round loss.
Making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 43 years, the Paladins (28-7) advanced to the second round in the South Region, where they will play fifth-seeded San Diego State on Saturday.
Furman earned its first tournament berth since 1980 by beating Chattanooga for the Southern Conference title, capping a season-long quest to redeem itself after losing the league’s automatic berth to the Mocs on a 35-foot buzzer-beater in last year’s Southern final.
In the aftermath of that loss, Jalen Slawson and Mike Bothwell both decided to return for their fifth seasons with the Paladins. Slawson took over the game when Bothwell fouled out with just over six minutes remaining, scoring nine consecutive points to turn a 54-48 deficit into Furman’s first lead of the game, 57-54, with 5:02 to go.
Slawson, the Southern Conference player of the year, finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Kihei Clark threw a bad pass that Garrett Hien intercepted at midcourt with 7 seconds to go, setting up Pegues’ go-ahead basket, his only 3 of the game.
Virginia (25-8) was eliminated in the first round as the higher-seeded team for the third time in its past four NCAA tournaments. Kadin Shedrick led the Cavaliers with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks.
SAN DIEGO STATE 63, CHARLESTON 57
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Matt Bradley scored 17 points, including two free throws in the final minute, and No. 5 seed San Diego State held on to beat 12th-seeded Charleston.
The Aztecs (28-6) won their first game in the Big Dance since 2015 — ending a four-game losing streak — and snapped an 11-game skid for the Mountain West Conference.
The Cougars (31-4) lost for the first time in six weeks and have not won an NCAA Tournament game since 1997.
San Diego State advanced to face 13th-seeded Furman on Saturday.
Ante Brzovic led Charleston with 12 points and eight rebounds. Ryan Larson added 11 points, and seventh-year senior Dalton Bolon finished his college career with 10 points.
MARYLAND 67, WEST VIRGINIA 65
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Maryland overcame a sluggish start and a final heave at the buzzer by Kedrian Johnson to beat West Virginia.
Johnson led all scorers with 27 points, but his potential winner bounced off the side of the rim as the horn sounded, allowing the eighth-seeded Terrapins (22-12) to advance.
Maryland, led by Julian Reese with 17 points and nine rebounds, meets top-seeded Alabama in the South Region on Saturday.
Neither team could pull away over the final 20 minutes, and a late traveling call on Jahmir Young gave West Virginia (19-15) a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer. But the ninth-seeded Mountaineers could not find anyone open beyond the arc, forcing Tre Mitchell to bank it in under the basket.
Young was fouled but made only one of two free throws. West Virginia got the ball in the hands of the guy it wanted, only to have Johnson come up short.
ALABAMA 96, TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI 75
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama buried Texas A&M-Corpus Christi under an early 3-point onslaught, and the NCAA Tournament’s top seed won easily even with star freshman Brandon Miller going scoreless.
The Crimson Tide (30-5) set aside their off-court distractions and buried 10 first-half 3s in a predictably easy win over the 16th-seeded Islanders (24-11) at Legacy Arena, less than an hour from campus.
Miller, the All-American who has been beset by questions about his presence at the scene of a fatal shooting, sat out the final 14 minutes and missed all five field goal attempts.
Alabama advanced to play eighth-seeded Maryland. The Tide coasted after leading 54-34 by the half.
Nick Pringle scored 17 points and had a season-high 13 rebounds. Mark Sears made three 3s in a 58-second span of the first half and scored 15 points.
Trevian Tennyson led the Islanders with 20 points. Isaach Mushula scored 16 and Owen Dease 14.
KANSAS 96, HOWARD 68
DES MOINES, IOWA (AP) — Jalen Wilson had 20 points and seven rebounds for No. 1 seed and defending national champion Kansas, which allowed absent and recovering coach Bill Self to rest during an easy victory over Howard.
Self is still recovering from a recent heart procedure.
Gradey Dick had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the freshman’s first NCAA Tournament game. K.J. Adams Jr. scored 13 points and Dajuan Harris Jr. added 11 points for the Jayhawks (28-7), who will play Arkansas in the second round on Saturday.
Kansas, which has won 16 consecutive first-round games, is trying to become the first repeat NCAA winner in 16 years.
Shy Odom had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Bison (22-13), who were making the program’s first tournament appearance since 1992.
ARKANSAS 73, ILLINOIS 63
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Ricky Council IV scored 18 points and Arkansas survived some anxious moments in the second half against an Illinois team that wouldn’t go away.
Devo Davis had 16 points for the eighth-seeded Razorbacks, who used relentless defense and rebounding to build big leads but couldn’t get comfortable until the final minute. Arkansas (21-13) faces top-seeded Kansas on Saturday.
Terrence Shannon Jr., held scoreless the first 16 minutes, finished with 20 points to lead the Illini (20-13). It was the first time in five tournament appearances since 2011 that Illinois didn’t make it out of the first round.
The Razorbacks were up double digits in the middle of the first half, but no lead has been safe this season. In seven games they blew leads with scoring droughts of five minutes or longer. That didn’t happen this time.
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