At Greensboro, N.C.
(1) North Carolina77
Tyler Zeller had 17 points and 15 rebounds to help the Tar Heels (30-5) beat the Catamounts (24-12) in their NCAA tournament opener despite playing without injured starter John Henson.
The Tar Heels didn’t turn in a rousing performance, but they had a danger-free afternoon. They also bought Henson another two days to recover from a sprained left wrist. The 6-foot-10 junior was hurt during last week’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and missed the last two games in Atlanta.
Doug McDermott scored 16 points and the Bluejays (29-5) overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half to beat the Crimson Tide (21-12) for their first NCAA tournament win in 10 years. Alabama had a chance to win during the frantic final seconds, but Josh Jones blocked Trevor Releford’s 3-point attempt from the top of the key as time expired.
At Columbus, Ohio
Jason Clark scored 21 points, Otto Porter added 16 and Georgetown’s ruthless defense bottled up the Belmont shooters, sending the Hoyas (24-8) past the Bruins (27-8) and into the next round of the NCAA tournament after early exits the past two years.
Henry Sims had 15 points for the Hoyas, who shot 62 percent from the floor.
Georgetown’s previous two seasons ended with embarrassing first-round losses to Virginia Commonwealth and Ohio. The Hoyas weren’t going to let that happen a third time to a pesky underdog.
The Bruins had their 14-game winning streak stopped and fell to 0-5 in NCAA appearances.
Blake Jenkins scored 17 to lead Belmont, which hit just 10 of 27 3-pointers.
(11) North Carolina State79
(6) San Diego State65
Richard Howell scored 22 points, double his season average, and the Wolfpack (23-12) used their muscle inside and a sticky defense to beat the Aztecs (26-8).
Lorenzo Brown added 17 points and C.J. Leslie 15 for the Wolfpack, who improved to 12-5 in NCAA tournament openers. N.C. State has won at least one game in seven of its last eight trips.
Jamaal Franklin had 23 points and Chase Tapley 19 for the Aztecs, regular-season co-champions of the Mountain West Conference.
At Nashville, Tenn.
D.J. Cooper scored 21 points and the Bobcats (28-7) held off the Wolverines (24-10) for yet another Friday upset in the NCAA tournament.
The underdog Bobcats had the Wolverines on their heels throughout the game, but Trey Burke hit a 3-pointer with 4:12 left to cut it to 63-60. Michigan then missed its final five shots, four by Burke.
Michigan got the rebound on Burke’s third miss, a 3-point attempt with 22 seconds left, but Evan Smotrycz lost control of the ball and Walter Offutt grabbed it. He was fouled by Smotrycz and sank both free throws with 6.8 seconds left to seal it.
Ohio shot 51.2 percent and held Michigan to 40.7 percent shooting, including 7 of 23 from 3-point range – typically the Wolverines’ comfort zone. Burke finished with 16 points.
(12) South Florida58
Victor Rudd Jr. and Anthony Collins each scored 17 points, and the Bulls (22-13) shook off a frigid first 20 minutes, upsetting the Owls (24-8).
South Florida took it to the Atlantic 10 regular-season champ with its bruising, Big East-style play and held Temple 20 points below its previous season low in scoring.
That allowed the Bulls, who beat California 65-54 in Dayton on Wednesday night, to overcome a first half in which they went nearly 16 minutes without a field goal.
At Omaha, Neb.
Thomas Robinson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Jayhawks (28-6) rolled over the Titans (22-14).
Elijah Johnson added 15 points and Tyshawn Taylor had 10 for the Jayhawks, who toyed with the Titans for the first 15 minutes before ramping up the defense.
(7) Saint Mary’s69
Lewis Jackson made the go-ahead free throws for the Boilermakers (22-12) with 22.8 seconds left after the Gaels (27-6) rallied late from 11 points down to take their first lead.
Jorden Page hit a 3-pointer with 44.2 seconds remaining to finish a 14-2 run that brought the Gaels back from a 66-55 deficit with 4:24 to play.
Purdue’s Terone Johnson and Clint Steindl of Saint Mary’s were called for traveling before Jackson made his free throws. Page badly missed what would have been a go-ahead 3 with 10 seconds left, and Robbie Hummel made two free throws for a three-point lead.
Rob Jones, who had 23 points, missed a 3 at the buzzer for the Gaels (27-6).
Johnson had 21 points, Jackson 18, and Hummel and Anthony Johnson scored 10 apiece for the Boilermakers.
At Omaha, Neb.
Bradley Beal had 14 points and 11 rebounds, reserve Casey Prather scored a career-high 14 and the Gators (24-10) pulled away in the second half to beat the Cavaliers (22-10).
The Gators finished the first half on a 17-4 run to shake off a slow start and get out to a 30-22 lead.
At Columbus, Ohio
(9) Saint Louis61
Kwamain Mitchell scored 22 points, including three big 3-pointers, and the Billikens (26-7) road their gritty defense to a victory over the Tigers (26-9).
Mitchell closed the first half by banking in a 3, then nailed two others to help coach Rick Majerus and the Billikens overturn an eight-point deficit in the second half.
(1) Michigan State89
(16) Long Island67
Draymond Green scored 24 points in a triple-double, Derrick Nix added 18 points and the top-seeded Spartans (28-7) fought off the upset bug that took down two No. 2 seeds in the NCAA tournament, advancing with a win over LIU Brooklyn (25-9).
The Spartans finally put away the pesky Blackbirds with a 14-4 run midway through the second half.
At Greensboro, N.C.
(7) Notre Dame63
Tu Holloway banked in the go-ahead shot over Jack Cooley with 21.3 seconds left, helping the Musketeers (22-12) rally to beat the Fighting Irish (22-12).
Holloway finished with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including a flurry that helped the 10th-seeded Musketeers rally from a 10-point second-half deficit against the seventh-seeded Fighting Irish. His final points came when he rounded a screen from Kenny Frease and sent a high-arcing shot over Cooley’s outstretched arm for the 64-63 lead.
After a free throw from Dezmine Wells pushed the lead to two, Notre Dame’s Eric Atkins drew a blocking foul to get to the line with 2.8 seconds left. He swished the first free throw, but an official ruled that Jerian Grant left his position behind the 3-point arc too early as he ran in for a rebound, giving the ball back to Xavier.
At Nashville, Tenn.
(3) Florida State66
(14) St. Bonaventure63
Bernard James scored 19 points and the Seminoles (25-9) barely avoided an upset, rallying to beat the Bonnies (20-12), who were trying to win an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1970.
The Seminoles shook off a slow start and won their sixth straight game, including their run to the ACC championship.
Yancy Gates had 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Bearcats (25-10) started strong and then withstood a late rally by the Longhorns (20-14).
The Bearcats jumped out to a 16-2 lead while Texas opened the game 1 of 14 from the field and shot 16 percent for the first half. After trailing 31-17 at halftime, the Longhorns attacked, hitting five of their first seven from 3-point range.
With 3:44 to play, Texas’ Jonathan Holmes made a layup to tie it at 52, but the Longhorns would never lead.
Gates hit a shot over Clint Chapman with 1:11 left to give Cincinnati a 58-52 cushion, and the Bearcats hit five free throws in the final 36 seconds.
Click here to comment on this story »