You could say Syracuse and Stephen F. Austin weren’t in the zone because they were in zones.

The teams combined for a total of four 3-pointers in 37 attempts in Syracuse’s 59-44 first-round victory Friday, but that should have been expected when teams that play zone defenses face each other.

Stephen F. Austin, making its first NCAA appearance, came into the game second in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 27.1 percent. The Orange, who missed the tournament the last two years, was eighth in the same category at 29.4.

Syracuse is known for its 2-3 zone, a staple for years under coach Jim Boeheim, while the Lumberjacks add a pretty good 1-3-1 to its man-to-man defense.

The Orange finished 2-for-16 from beyond the arc Friday, while Stephen F. Austin was 2-for-21, missing its first 15 attempts.

“The only big disappointment was when they went zone we looked like we didn’t know what we were doing,” Boeheim said. “That was a little disappointing. We play some zone ourselves, so we should have been a little bit better.”

Lumberjacks coach Danny Kaspar second-guessed himself after the game.

“Where I might look in the mirror and say if I had to do it again I might go to that 1-3-1 zone earlier,” he said. “We were so successful with our man defense all year, I didn’t want to send a message to our kids that I’m going to give up on it early. But the 1-3-1 did bother them. I don’t think they prepared any for it, and perhaps we should have gone to it a little sooner.”

The other end of the 3-point spectrum in the NCAA tournament was last year’s first-round game between Drake and Western Kentucky when the teams combined for 30 3-pointers. Drake, which lost 101-99 in overtime, had 16 3s, which tied for fifth on the all-time list.

Century mark

Louisville’s 74-54 victory over Morehead State gave No. 1 seeds a 100-0 record over No. 16 seeds.

Since St. John’s, Georgetown, Oklahoma and Michigan beat Southern University, Lehigh, North Carolina A&T and Fairleigh Dickinson, respectively, in the opening round of the 1985 tournament, top-seeded teams have won every meeting. There have been plenty of scares along the way, including Pittsburgh’s 72-62 victory over East Tennessee State on Friday when the Buccaneers were within 59-57 with 4:27 to play.

There have been two one-point games – Georgetown over Princeton and Oklahoma over East Tennessee State, both in 1989. And there was one two-point game – Purdue over Western Carolina in 1996 – and one that went overtime – Michigan State 75-71 over Murray State in 1990.

“We survived. And that was a tough, hard-fought game,” Panthers center DeJuan Blair said. “They’re an excellent team. They’ve got excellent players, and we survived. So I give credit to them for fighting like they did.

“They shouldn’t put their head down. They did that against the No. 1 team; that was excellent.”

Another 12

Western Kentucky had already taken care of a No. 12 seed beating a No. 5, downing Illinois 76-72 on Thursday night.

Arizona added another notch for the 12s with an 84-71 victory over Utah on Friday night.

A 12 seed has beaten a 5 in 19 of the last 21 years.

The Wildcats’ victory meant a second straight year of two wins by the 12s and made it nine times since the run began in 1989 that two 12s won.

The big year was 2002 when three 12s – Missouri, Tulsa and Creighton – all won. The only years since 1989 when the 5s swept were 2000 and 2007.

The 12 seeds had a chance to match that with Wisconsin facing No. 5 Florida State on Friday night.

On Thursday, No. 5 Purdue beat Northern Iowa 61-56.


North Dakota State lost 84-74 to Kansas and Stephen F. Austin lost 59-44 to Syracuse, meaning the four schools making their first NCAA tournament appearances went 0-4. Morgan State and Binghamton both lost Thursday.

North Dakota State was a true rookie, however, since this was the Bison’s first year eligible for the tournament after its transition from Division II. Quite a few fans made the trip from Fargo to Minneapolis, but they weren’t enough to hand the defending champion Jayhawks a first-round loss.

“That’s something that I will never forget in my entire life,” Ben Woodside, who had 37 points for the Bison, said of taking the court at the Metrodome. “I remember walking out there. We were doing layup lines, and I couldn’t even hear my teammates who were standing right next to me it was so loud.

“You have to give the community, the Fargo fans credit. They came down, and they supported us well. You know, it’s very fulfilling when you look up in the stands and all you see is green and yellow. And it definitely helped us, but it is something myself and the rest of this team I think will never forget.”

Itching ivy

Cornell’s 78-59 loss to Missouri on Friday extended the Ivy League’s first-round losing streak to 11 years. The last Ivy team to win a game was Princeton, which beat UNLV 69-57 in 1998. This was Cornell’s second straight year in the tournament; the other losses in the streak belonged to Penn (7) and Princeton (2).

Two years before the current streak started Princeton beat UCLA 43-41, the last time a defending champion lost in the first round.

Seven bids

None of the three conferences that received seven bids made it through the first round unscathed.

Through Friday night’s early games, the Big East was 6-1 with West Virginia the team that lost, while the Atlantic Coast Conference was 3-2 with Clemson and Boston College falling. The Big Ten split its first four games with Minnesota and Illinois both going down Thursday.

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