Upsets, overtime and more on first day of tourney
SALT LAKE CITY Montana had a double-digit seed, little if anything positive to draw upon from its last NCAA tournament appearance and could barely look eye-to-eye with Nevadas best player.None of that mattered. The Grizzlies had 12th-seed magic on their side.The little team from the Big Sky Conference carried on the winning tradition of No. 12 seeds in the NCAA tournament by beating fifth-seeded Nevada 87-79 Thursday in the first round of the Minneapolis Regional.Wis.-Milwaukee 82, Oklahoma 74JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Wisconsin-Milwaukee wavered, but never cracked. The Panthers almost never do at this time of the year.Once again showing why theyve stopped surprising themselves in the NCAA tournament, the Horizon League champions pulled off their third upset in two years by eliminating No. 6 seed Oklahoma 82-74 in the Minneapolis Regional on Thursday.George Washington 88, UNC Wilmington 85, OTGREENSBORO, N.C. The last wild momentum swing in a game full of them went George Washingtons way.Maureece Rice scored 20 points and had a key defensive play in overtime to help the Colonials rally from an 18-point deficit and beat UNC Wilmington 88-85 Thursday night.LSU 80, Iona 64JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Once Big Baby asserted himself, there was no stopping LSU.Glen Davis scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half and the fourth-seeded SEC regular-season champions overcame a sluggish start to beat No. 13 seed Iona 80-64 in the first round of the Atlanta Regional on Thursday night.Alabama 90, Marquette 85SAN DIEGO Alabamas Jean Felix quickly brought the focus back to basketball with every 3-pointer he swished.Felix was nearly perfect in scoring a career-high 31 points for the Crimson Tide, which beat Marquette 90-85 in a thrilling first-round game on Thursday that was delayed 70 minutes after bomb-sniffing dogs detected something suspicious at San Diego States Cox Arena.UCLA 78, Belmont 44SAN DIEGO Once the UCLA Bruins started scoring, the Belmont Bruins never stood a chance.Freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored a career-high 17 points and UCLA routed the small Nashville school 78-44 Thursday. Ryan Hollins added 10 points for No. 2 seed UCLA (28-6.Wichita State 86, Seton Hall 66GREENSBORO, N.C. Score an early victory for the Missouri Valley Conference against its critics.Sean Ogirri had 23 points and hit six 3-pointers to lead Wichita State past Seton Hall of the vaunted Big East 86-66 Thursday in the first round of the Washington regional. Paul Miller scored 15 points for the seventh-seeded Shockers (25-8).Tennessee 63, Winthrop 61GREENSBORO, N.C. Chris Loftons remarkable shot allowed Tennessee to avoid a major upset and sent the Volunteers into the NCAA tournaments second round for the first time in six years.Boston College 88, Pacific 76, 2OTSALT LAKE CITY Baldheaded Boston College got the first NCAA thriller out of the way Thursday, a double-overtime 88-76 victory that derailed scrappy Pacific and the Maraker Express. Smith led the Eagles with 25 points and 13 rebounds; Dudley had 23 points.Illinois 78, Air Force 69SAN DIEGO The critics were probably half right. At times it looked like Air Force belonged in the NCAA tournament. Other times, the Falcons played like a dubious pick.Illinois was just too big and too talented, and finally overpowered the Falcons, winning 78-69 in a first-round game on Thursday night.Guard Jamar Smith had six 3-pointers among his 20 points for the fourth-seeded Fighting Illini (26-6).Gonzaga 79, Xavier 75SALT LAKE CITY Adam Morrison was teased, taunted and frustrated. So when Gonzaga finally grabbed control for good against Xavier, he let all that emotion out by slamming the ball against his head three times.With that out of his system, he calmly made two free throws to seal Gonzagas 79-75 come-from-behind win over Xavier on Thursday night. Morrison was 11-for-21 from the floor and had four assists. Florida 76, South Alabama 50JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Lee Humphrey scored 20 points, including 12 on four 3-pointers in the second half, and the third-seeded Gators advanced in front of a partisan crowd at Veterans Memorial Arena.Florida (28-6) extended its winning streak to six games and will play Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday.Texas A&M 66, Syracuse 58JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Maybe the Big East was overrated.It would be hard to argue that after the opening day of the NCAA tournament.Acie Law scored 23 points, including a dozen in the final 2:25, and helped 12th-seeded Texas A&M upset fifth-seeded Syracuse 66-58 Thursday night in the Atlanta Regional.Duke 70, Southern 54GREENSBORO, N.C. Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick were as good as advertised. Their teammates? Well, thats another story altogether.Dukes dynamic duo combined for all but 12 of their teams points to help the top-seeded Blue Devils overcome a sluggish start in a 70-54 victory over Southern University on Thursday night.Williams finished with 29 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks, while Redick matched those 29 points and made five 3-pointers.Indiana 87, San Diego St. 83SALT LAKE CITY Robert Vaden hit a clutch 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left and finished with 18 points to help Indiana advance to the second round.Marco Killingsworth and Earl Calloway also scored 18 points for the Hoosiers (19-11).Washington 75, Utah St. 61SAN DIEGO So much for this being an upset special.Behind 28 points by Brandon Roy, fifth-seeded Washington defeated Utah State 75-61 Thursday night.
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