Ohio U., Murray upset balance

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Danero Thomas hit a 15-footer as the buzzer sounded and 13th-seeded Murray State stunned No. 4 seed Vanderbilt 66-65 on Thursday in the NCAA tournament.

President Barack Obama must have been onto something picking the revved-up Racers (31-4) to get past the first round in the West Regional. It was the school’s first victory in the NCAA tournament in 24 years, and Murray State will play Butler in the second round.

For the second time in as many NCAA appearances, Vanderbilt (24-9) bowed out early as the higher seed. The Commodores were a first-round upset victim of Siena in 2008 when seeded fourth.

Jermaine Beal made two free throws with 12.7 seconds left to give Vandy the lead. B.J. Jenkins missed a rushed 3-pointer on the other end, but the ball went out of bounds off a Vanderbilt player with 4.2 seconds left, giving Murray State the final shot.

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No. 5 Butler 77, No. 12 UTEP 59

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Shelvin Mack hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 18 of his 25 points after halftime to lead the fifth-seeded Bulldogs.

Gordon Hayward scored 13 points and Matt Howard added 11 as Butler (29-4) won its 21st straight game to extend the sport’s longest active winning streak.

Derrick Caracter had 20 points for UTEP (26-7), which won 16 straight games and a league title before a tournament loss to Houston last Saturday. Randy Culpepper added 16 points, but the Miners’ defense couldn’t stop the patient outside shooting of the Bulldogs.

No. 7 BYU 99, No. 10 Florida 92, 2OT

OKLAHOMA CITY — Jimmer Fredette scored 37 points, including two 3-pointers in double overtime, to seal the Cougars’ thrilling win over 10th-seeded Florida.

Fredette made a 3 from the top of the key to put the seventh-seeded Cougars (30-5) ahead 90-83 with 2:42 left, then added another with just over a minute remaining to put the game away.

Michael Loyd Jr. added a career-high 26 points for BYU.

Kenny Boynton scored 27 points for the Gators (21-13), who rallied from a 13-point deficit in their first NCAA tournament game since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

No. 2 Kansas State 82, No. 15 North Texas 62

OKLAHOMA CITY — Denis Clemente had 17 points and six assists, and the second-seeded Wildcats had a 46-21 advantage inside to avoid becoming an opening-day upset victim.

Kansas State (27-7) gathered itself after a shaky start, riding its defense into the second round for the second time in three years. The Wildcats held the Mean Green (24-9) to 31 percent shooting and stymied Josh White to only three points.

Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly added 15 points each for Kansas State, which will play BYU and sharpshooter Jimmer Fredette.

East

Washington 80, Marquette 78

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Quincy Pondexter drove for a tiebreaking bank shot with 1.7 seconds left, and 11th-seeded Washington extended its remarkable late-season run into the NCAA tournament with an 80-78 victory over Marquette in the first round of the East Regional on Thursday night.

Pondexter scored 18 points and Isaiah Thomas 19 as the Huskies (25-9) won their eighth straight game in dramatic fashion, rallying from a 15-point deficit with 13½ minutes left.

Kentucky 100, ETSU 71

NEW ORLEANS — To call this one a yawner would be understating things.

Kentucky’s blowout of East Tennessee State in the first round of the NCAA tournament was so thorough that fans were sleeping in the stands — and not even the collective laughs of conscious spectators could awaken some of those caught snoozing on large video boards.

That’s what happens when a No. 1 seed leads by 30 in the first half and keeps piling on.

At least the Kentucky fans who stayed awake were rewarded with a record performance by Eric Bledsoe.

South

No. 11 Old Dominion 51, No. 6 Notre Dame 50

NEW ORLEANS — Carleton Scott’s 3-pointer rattled out in the closing seconds, and 11th-seeded Old Dominion stunned the Irish and star Luke Harangody.

The Fighting Irish rushed the ball up the court as the clock wound down, but Scott’s attempt to tie the game didn’t fall and Harangody’s putback at the buzzer wasn’t enough.

Frank Hassell scored 15 to lead Old Dominion (27-8), which held Harangody to four points — and scoreless until the final minute. The Monarchs will play Baylor in the second round.

No. 3 Baylor 68, No. 14 Sam Houston 59

NEW ORLEANS — Ekpe Udoh had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and LaceDarius Dunn scored 13 to help the third-seeded Bears win an NCAA tournament game for the first time in 60 years.

Udoh also had five assists, two blocks and two steals for Baylor (26-7), which broke open a close game down the stretch. It’s the school’s first tournament win since beating BYU in 1950.

Gilberto Clavell had 23 points and Preston Brown added 13 for 14th seed Sam Houston State (25-8), which tied it at 55 on a short floater by Ashton Mitchell with 3:48 to go.

The game remained tied until Quincy Acy dunked to put Baylor ahead for good with 2:30 left.

No. 7 Saint Mary’s 80, No. 10 Richmond 71

 PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Omar Samhan had 29 points and 12 rebounds despite spending most of the game in foul trouble, and Saint Mary’s pulled away to win an NCAA tournament game for the first time in six tries since 1959.

The 10th-seeded Gaels (27-5) will play Saturday against Villanova in the second round.

Mickey McConnell, the West Coast Conference tournament MVP, scored 23 points for the Gaels, who had a 40-18 rebounding edge and 21-4 advantage in second-chance points.

David Gonzalvez scored 18 and Kevin Anderson had 16 for Richmond (26-9).

No. 2 Villanova 73, No. 15 Robert Morris 70

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Scottie Reynolds responded to his benching with a clutch performance at the foul line in the final minutes of regulation to help the Wildcats survive.

Coach Jay Wright sat Reynolds at the start of the game to make a “teaching point,” and he missed 13 of 15 shots from the floor for Villanova (25-7). But the senior star made seven of eight free throws in the final 3:06 to send the game into overtime, finishing with 20 points.

Karon Abraham scored 23 for Robert Morris (23-13), which had a shot at the buzzer to tie the game in overtime that was no good.

Midwest

Ohio 97, Georgetown 83

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Armon Bassett scored 32 points to help No. 14 seed Ohio beat Georgetown 97-83 and become the second team seeded in the teens to win in the NCAA tournament on Thursday night.

The Mid-American Conference tournament champion Bobcats (22-14) took the lead early on their 3-point shooting and were never seriously threatened by the Hoyas. The Bobcats, their green-clad fans cheering them on the whole way, won their first tournament game in 27 years.

Ohio joined 13th-seeded Murray State, which knocked off Vanderbilt 66-65 at the buzzer, as the two big upset winners on Thursday.

Northern Iowa 69, UNLV 66

OKLAHOMA CITY — Using a grind-it-out defense and a clutch shot by Ali Farokhmanesh, Northern Iowa is moving on in the NCAA tournament for the first time in two decades. Farokhmanesh hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4.9 seconds left to lift ninth-seeded Northern Iowa over UNLV 69-66 on Thursday night in the first round of the Midwest Regional.

Farokhmanesh found himself open after Kwadzo Ahelegbe had chewed up the majority of the clock following Oscar Bellfield’s tying 3-pointer for UNLV with 35 seconds remaining.

Johnny Moran reversed the ball to Farokhmanesh, who drained the jumper with the shot clock running down.

Kansas 90, Lehigh 74

OKLAHOMA CITY — Marcus Morris scored 26 points, Sherron Collins added 18 and No. 1 overall seed Kansas survived a 90-74 win over scrappy Lehigh in the Midwest Regional on Thursday night.

Kansas (33-2) fell into its season-long pattern of playing in spurts, giving No. 16 seed Lehigh (22-11) hope of making college basketball history.

The Jayhawks led by just six in the first half and didn’t pull away until midway through the second to keep from becoming the greatest Goliath to be crossed off the brackets on a wild opening day of the NCAA tournament.

Tyrel added four big 3-pointers for Kansas as it moves on to face gritty Northern Iowa in a second-round game that suddenly seems much more daunting.

Tennessee 62, San Diego State 59.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Melvin Goins made his fourth 3-pointer with 19 seconds left after San Diego State cut the deficit to one point, and Tennessee held off the Aztecs 62-59 on Thursday night to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament’s Midwest Regional.

The sixth-seeded Volunteers (26-8) will play Saturday against No. 14 seed Ohio, an easy upset winner over third-seeded Georgetown. A victory would put Tennessee in the round of 16 for the third time in four years. Goins and J.P. Prince scored 15 points apiece for Tennessee on coach Bruce Pearl’s 50th birthday.

D.J. Gay had 16 points for No. 11 seed San Diego State (25-9). Kawhi Leonard scored 12 with 10 rebounds, but he missed a well-guarded 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied it.

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