KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After overcoming heartbreak and tragedy just to get to the NCAA tournament, the Matadors of Cal State-Northridge could not get past the greatest game of Roburt Sallie’s life.

Sallie, averaging 4.5 points all year for Memphis, scored 35 and the second-seeded Tigers beat the plucky Matadors 81-70 Thursday, dodging what would have been one of the biggest upsets in tournament history.

Sallie kept Cal State-Northridge at bay during a lackluster first half for Memphis (32-3) and wound up hitting 10 of 15 3-pointers, a first-round tournament record.

The Matadors (17-14), who lost one of their top players in a traffic accident during the season and another to a burglary charge, never seemed intimidated despite being 19-point underdogs. Taking advantage of miserable shooting by most of the Tigers, Northridge led much of the second half and went up by six points with 10:08 to play.

Texas A&M 79, BYU 66

PHILADELPHIA – Bryan Davis scored 21, Donald Sloan had 14 and the ninth-seeded Aggies handed the Cougars their seventh straight opening-round loss in a rematch from last year. Both teams drew the same seeds last March when A&M won 67-62.

The Aggies (24-9) will meet No. 1 seed Connecticut on Saturday.

Jimmer Fredette scored 18 and Lee Cummard added 17 for BYU (25-8).

Looking for its first tournament win since 1993, BYU came out flat. An outstanding perimeter-shooting team during the season, the Cougars couldn’t make a shot early.

Purdue 61, Northern Iowa 56

PORTLAND, Ore. – E’Twaun Moore had 17 points and fifth-seeded Purdue held off a late charge to advance.

JaJuan Johnson added 14 points for the Boilermakers (26-9), who led by as many as 14 in the West Regional at the Rose Garden Arena before the Panthers made it interesting down the stretch.

Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 11 points for Northern Iowa (23-11), which closed to within 56-54 on Kerwin Dunham’s 3-pointer with 17.4 seconds left.

Maryland 84, California 71

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Grievis Vasquez had 27 points and Maryland shut down the nation’s best 3-point shooting team.

Tenth-seeded Maryland (21-13) disrupted Cal with its pressure defense, rarely giving the Bears a good look from the perimeter. Vasquez controlled the offense and Dave Neal chipped in 15 points, helping the Terps advance past the first round in their ninth straight NCAA appearance.

Maryland will face No. 2 seed Memphis on Saturday.

Washington 71, Mississippi State 58

PORTLAND, Ore. – Quincy Pondexter scored a season-high 23 points and fourth-seeded Washington took advantage of early foul trouble to Mississippi State’s menacing Jarvis Varnado.

Jon Brockman had 14 rebounds and 10 points for the Huskies (26-8), who looked far better than the last time they played in this city, losing to Portland of the West Coast Conference to begin the season.

Barry Stewart had 11 points but was able to get off just five shots for Mississippi State (23-13), which reached the NCAAs for the sixth time in eight years by winning six consecutive games – including four in its surprising romp to the Southeastern Conference tournament title.

South Regional

North Carolina 101, Radford 58

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Tyler Hansbrough took quick care of his latest record pursuit, then helped North Carolina advance in the NCAA tournament without one of its star playmakers.

Hansbrough set the Atlantic Coast Conference career scoring mark in the opening minutes and finished with 22 points South Regional’s top seed another easy tournament opener in its home state.

Wayne Ellington had 25 points for the Tar Heels (29-4), who led the entire way and had no trouble beating the 16th-seeded Highlanders even with point guard Ty Lawson, who missed his third straight game with a toe injury.

LSU 75, Butler 71

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Butler has put together quite a few upsets in recent NCAA tournaments. Marcus Thornton scored 30 points to keep LSU off that list.

Tasmin Mitchell had 14 points and Chris Johnson added 12 for the Tigers (27-7), seeded eighth in the South Regional. They shot 49 percent against one of the nation’s toughest defenses in advancing to Saturday’s second round against the North Carolina-Radford winner.

Michigan 62, Clemson 59

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manny Harris scored 21 points and Michigan stymied Clemson with its 1-3-1 defense, then survived a late scare in its first NCAA tournament game in 11 years.

The Wolverines (21-13) showed little sign of nerves in their first NCAA game since a booster scandal rocked the program in the 1990s, handling -for the most part – Clemson’s frenetic press to move onto the second round.

Stu Douglass added 12 for the Wolverines, who will face Oklahoma or Morgan State on Saturday.

Gonzaga 77, Akron 64

PORTLAND, Ore. – Josh Heytvelt scored 22 points – seven during a decisive late run – and the Bulldogs rallied to get past determined but ultimately overwhelmed Akron.

Micah Downs added 15 points for fourth-seeded Gonzaga (27-5), which won for the 19th time in 20 games. The Zags are in their 11th consecutive NCAA tournament, but had lost in the first round of the last two.

Getting zapped in the first round by the 13th-seeded Zips seemed possible for a while. Akron (23-13) was up six in the second half.

Oklahoma 82, Morgan St 54

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A dominant Blake Griffin had 28 points and 13 rebounds and survived an ugly incident that got another player ejected Thursday night as Oklahoma rolled past Morgan State 82-54 in the first round of South Regional Thursday night.

Griffin missed most of two games because of a concussion he sustained on Feb. 21. The second-seeded Sooners lost those two games and stumbled into the NCAA tournament.

Western Kentucky 76, Illinois 72

PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Kentucky is at it again.

The 12th-seeded Hilltoppers, who made an unexpected run in the NCAA tournament last year, pulled off a first-round upset of fifth-seeded Illinois, 76-72 on Thursday night in the South Regional.

Steffphon Pettigrew had 17 points to lead Western Kentucky (25-8) which led by as many as 17 points but had to hold off a late charge by the Illini (24-10). It was the 19th time in the last 21 years that a 12 seed has beaten a No. 5.

East Regional

Texas 76, Minnesota 62

GREENSBORO, N.C. – A.J. Abrams hit eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points to help Texas win its NCAA opener for the fifth time in six seasons.

Damion James added 18 points and nine rebounds for the seventh-seeded Longhorns (23-11).

Texas had lost seven of its last 14 games dating to late January, but now heads into the second round of the East Region to face the Duke-Binghamton winner Saturday.

Duke 86, Binghamton 62

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Jon Scheyer and Duke weren’t about to let another one of college basketball’s little guys scare them again.

Scheyer scored 15 points to lead six players in double figures, and the Blue Devils made Binghamton’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament a quick one by routing the Bearcats 86-62 Thursday night in the first round of the East Regional.

Lance Thomas added 14 points and Gerald Henderson and Nolan Smith added 13 apiece for the Blue Devils (29-6), the No. 2 seed. They shot 49 percent, put the game away with a huge run to open the second half and advanced to a second-round matchup with seventh-seeded Texas on Saturday.

UCLA 65, VCU 64

PHILADELPHIA – A long way from home, UCLA barely kept alive its quest for a fourth straight trip to the Final Four.

VCU’s Eric Maynor missed a contested 17-footer at the buzzer and the sixth-seeded Bruins held on for a 65-64 victory over the Rams on Thursday night in the opening round of the East Regional.

UCLA (26-8) advances to play Villanova (27-7) on Saturday.

Josh Shipp scored 16, Jrue Holiday had 13 and three other Bruins scored in double figures.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.