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First Round NCAA Tournament

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Maryland isn't ready to give up its national championship just yet.

Drew Nicholas hit a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Terrapins a stunning 75-73 victory over North Carolina-Wilmington on Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA South Regional.

Aaron Coombs made two free throws with five seconds left to give the 11th-seeded Seahawks a 73-72 lead, putting them in position to pull off a tourney surprise for the second year in a row.

But Nicholas took the inbounds pass, dribbled nearly the length of the court and managed to launch a fall-away 3 off his back foot with Anthony Terrell right in his face.

The ball swished through as the horn sounded, helping No. 6 seed Maryland avoid becoming the first defending champion since UCLA in 1996 to get knocked out in the first round.


KENTUCKY 95 IUPUI 64: NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Top-seeded Kentucky extended its winning streak to 24 with another rout.

Kentucky (30-3) hasn't lost since Dec. 28, and the Wildcats weren't about to slip against the Jaguars. They shot a staggering 62 percent, hitting 40 of 65 attempts from the field.

IUPUI (20-14) was making its first NCAA appearance, having won the Mid-Continent Conference tournament. Kentucky, which breezed through the brutal Southeastern Conference with a perfect record, was playing its 128th tournament game.

Gerald Fitch tied his career high with 25 points for Kentucky, while Josh Murray led the Jaguars with 15 points.

PITTSBURGH 87, WAGNER 61: In Boston, Pittsburgh ruined Wagner's first NCAA tournament, and nothing coach Dereck Whittenburg told his players was enough Friday night — 20 years after he began one of the event's most memorable moments.

In the 1983 championship game, his long shot for North Carolina State didn't reach the rim, but Lorenzo Charles caught it and scored at the buzzer to beat Houston 54-52.

Now it's second-seeded Pittsburgh (27-4) that hopes to reach the round of 16 for the second straight year, and perhaps go even further.

Pittsburgh had balanced scoring as eight players each scored at least eight points. Donatas Zavackas had 16, Carl Krauser 12, Jaron Brown 11 and Brandin Knight 10. Wagner (21-11) was led by Jermaine Hall with 17 and Dedrick Dye with 15.

INDIANA 67, ALABAMA 62: For the first half of the season, no one was stronger than Alabama. The Crimson Tide faded in the second half — just like Friday night.

Bracey Wright scored all 17 of his points after halftime, and Tom Coverdale had 23 points, eight assists and the game's final rebound to lead Indiana to a 67-62 victory in the NCAA Midwest Regional.

Maurice Williams had 26 points, and Erwin Dudley had 18 points and nine boards for Alabama, which was the No. 1-ranked team in the country on New Year's Day before falling apart in the second half of the season.

Alabama had a similar collapse against the Hoosiers.

The 10th-seeded Crimson Tide (17-12) led by 11 at the half but trailed the No. 7 seed by six until Williams hit a long 3-pointer at the 1:00 mark to make it 65-62. Wright missed at the other end, but when Williams had a chance to tie it in the final seconds his 3-point attempt went wide and off the backboard.


BUTLER 47, MISSISSIPPI ST. 46: This time, Butler did more than just take a Southeastern Conference team down to the wire.

Brandon Miller hit a runner with 6.2 seconds left to lift the 12th-seeded Bulldogs to a 47-46 upset of No. 5 Mississippi State on Friday night in the first round of the East Regional.

Miller raced around the court pumping his fist while teammate Michael Monserez stood on the press row table, once again celebrating Butler (26-5) as an NCAA tournament darling.

Butler's players came back on the court and gathered in front of their bench a few minutes later. They'll meet No. 4 Rick Pitino and Louisville on Sunday.

AUBURN 65, SAINT JOSEPH'S 63: In Tampa, Marquis Daniels scored 25 points, five of them in overtime, and the Tigers withstood a brilliant second-half performance by Saint Joseph's star Jameer Nelson to hold on for the victory.

Nelson scored 13 of his team's last 15 points in regulation, including two free throws with a half-second left to tie it at 57. He made a pair of 3-pointers to help Saint Joseph's take a 63-59 lead in overtime, but the Hawks couldn't finish the job.

No. 10 seed Auburn (21-11) pulled within two on Daniels' dunk, and the Tigers took the lead for good on the senior forward's three-point play with 45.2 seconds remaining in the extra period. Nelson missed his last two shots and Saint Joseph's turned the ball over on an offensive foul with 19 seconds left.

The seventh-seeded Hawks then saw their last chance for victory end when Pat Carroll's shot failed to hit the rim with less than a second remaining. Nelson finished with 32 points and nine rebounds.

SYRACUSE 76, MANHATTAN 65: Carmelo Anthony scored 10 of his 17 points after the break as Syracuse improved its play in the second half.

The third-seeded Orangemen (25-5) struggled early, taking a 35-31 lead at halftime after committing 12 turnovers.

Anthony and his teammates played much better after the break, cutting the turnovers down to six. Starting forward Hakim Warrick also improved, scoring all 10 of his points in the second half after being benched following the first three minutes of the game when he played poor defense.

Jared Johnson scored 22 points and Luis Flores added 20 to led the 14th-seeded Jaspers (23-7).

OKLAHOMA STATE 77, PENN 63: Victor Williams scored a career-high 29 points and Oklahoma State made enough free throws down the stretch to win for only the second time in six games.

Ugonna Onyekwe matched a career high with 30 points for Penn, which won its previous 15 games and went undefeated in the Ivy League. The Quakers (22-6) were within four with 2:58 left, but they gave up the last 10 points of the game.

Ivan McFarlin had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma State (22-9), which lost eight of its previous 12 games as it stumbled to the finish of the Big 12 season. But once it got out of the conference — home to six tournament teams and two No. 1 seeds — it found things more to its liking.

WAKE FOREST 76, EAST TENNESSEE STATE 73: Josh Howard made two key free throws and finished with 12 points as the second-seeded Demon Deacons survived a major scare from No. 15 East Tennessee State.

With his 22-point performance and frenetic floor game, Tim Smith got most of the credit for ETSU's scintillating effort. During an unbelievable 65-second stretch late in the game, he almost took the Bucs (20-11) to the second round on his own.

The 5-foot-9 freshman made a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to cut a 72-64 deficit to three with 47 seconds left, then hit a 3-pointer from the left side to tie the game.

After Howard made two free throws with 21 seconds to go, ETSU's Zakee Wadood (20 points, 14 rebounds) had a chance to tie it. But Wake Forest (25-5) called timeout to ice him, and Wadood missed the second of two free throws.

Justin Gray made one of two free throws for a 75-73 lead with 10.9 seconds left, then Smith drove to the left corner and launched a 3-pointer that missed.

LOUISVILLE 86, AUSTIN PEAY 64: In Birmingham, Ala., Rick Pitino returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1997 and did it in style, this time guiding Louisville over flustered Austin Peay.

While Luke Whitehead had 20 points and 11 rebounds and star Reece Gaines scored 18, Pitino clearly was the biggest attraction for the fourth-seeded Cardinals (25-6). The Louisville coach stomped his foot, clapped his hands, called out picks and shouted at the officials the entire game.

Pitino also slapped on all-court pressure, as planned, and that was the difference. He knew 13th-seeded Austin Peay (23-8) could be sloppy handling the ball, but waited until midway through the first half to start trapping.

Josh Lewis scored 20 points and Adrian Henning had 17 for Austin Peay, the Ohio Valley Conference tournament champions.


TEXAS 82, NORTH CAROLINA ASHEVILLE 61: Brandon Mouton scored 15 points, Brian Boddicker had 14 points and 12 rebounds and James Thomas had 13 points as top-seeded Texas easily won.

The Longhorns (23-6), who hadn't played in a week since being chased by Bobby Knight and Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament, advanced to the second round.

T.J. Ford was at the forefront the whole way. The 5-foot-10 whirlybird sophomore showed why he might be the best guard in the country, zipping passes from all angles. Ford finished with only eight points, but had 11 assists.

Asheville (15-17) was the only team in the tourney with a losing record even after beating Texas Southern in Tuesday night's play-in game. Andre Smith scored 19 points and Ben McGonagil had 16 for the Bulldogs.

PURDUE 80, LSU 56: The ninth-seeded Boilermakers scored the first 13 points of the second half to begin a 28-8 tear to turn a tie game into a rout.

Melvin Buckley finished with a career-high 20 points for the Boilermakers (19-10), matching his combined total from the last six games and nine more than his previous best. He went 5-of-6 from 3-point range and made all three in the second half.

Kenneth Lowe scored all 14 of his points in the first half despite a lingering shoulder injury. Willie Deane finished with only 11 points, but did have the creative assist.

Jaime Lloreda carried the Tigers (21-11) with 21 points and 14 rebounds but hit just 5-of-11 free throws. Torris Bright finished with 10 points.

MICHIGAN STATE 79, COLORADO 64: Playing with the poise and tenacity expected of them in March under coach Tom Izzo, the Michigan State Spartans had little trouble getting past Colorado.

Freshman Erazem Lorbek led a balanced offense with 17 points, Chris Hill added 15 and Alan Anderson had 14 for Michigan State. Another freshman, reserve Paul Davis, scored 10 for the Spartans.

Michigan State (20-12) improved to 17-4 in the NCAAs under Izzo, whose .809 winning percentage is the best among active coaches. The seventh-seeeded Spartans, who won the national championship in 2000, advanced to a second-round matchup against No. 2 Florida or No. 15 Sam Houston State.

Michel Morandais led 10th-seeded Colorado (20-12) with 15 points.

FLORIDA 85, SAM HOUSTON STATE 55: Florida looked more like a title contender than a team on a losing streak Friday night.

Sophomore David Lee scored a career-high 23 points to help the second-seeded Gators to an 85-55 victory over 15th-seeded Sam Houston State in the opening round of the South Regional.

Florida (25-7) was the only team to come into the NCAA tournament with three straight losses.

XAVIER 71, TROY STATE 59: In Nashville, Handed their highest seed ever in the NCAA tournament, third-seeded Xavier got through a sluggish start and held off Troy State.

David West, the Atlantic 10 player of the year, was slowed by foul trouble and scored only 12 points. Lionel Chalmers hit five 3-pointers to lead the Musketeers with 20, and Romain Sato added 18 as Xavier won for the 17th time in its last 18 games.

The Musketeers (26-5) had never been seeded higher than sixth in the tournament, and they appeared just as nervous in the opening minutes as 14th-seeded Troy State (26-6), whose only previous NCAA tournament experience came in Division II.

Greg Davis led Troy State with 20 points.