CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There were no big upsets in the first half of Day 2 of the NCAA Tournament. There will be, however, some good matchups in the round of 32, including one the state of Kansas has been anticipating for almost 20 years.
MICHIGAN ST. 70, GEORGIA 63
Denzel Valentine scored 16 points and went 6 for 6 at the free throw line in the final 30 seconds to help Michigan State hold off Georgia 70-63 on Friday in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 64.
Travis Trice scored 15 points and Branden Dawson had a strong second half for the seventh-seeded Spartans (24-11), who answered a push from the Bulldogs with a poised run to take back control.
They weren’t so steady coming down the stretch, flirting with blowing a 10-point lead in the final 1:16. Valentine’s free throws were critical as Georgia (21-12) rallied to make it a one-possession game.
Michigan State advanced to face second-seeded Virginia in Sunday’s round of 32.
Charles Mann scored 19 points to lead the 10th-seeded Bulldogs, who were playing in the NCAAs for the first time since 2011 and only the second time since 2008.
VIRGINIA 79, BELMONT 67
Malcolm Brogdon scored 22 points and Justin Anderson re-emerged as a scoring threat for second-seeded Virginia.
Anderson had 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting and Anthony Gill added 16 points as the Cavaliers (30-3) moved on to face No. 7 seed Michigan State on Sunday.
Anderson, playing with his broken left pinky taped to his ring finger, scored for the first time since Feb. 7 against Louisville. He failed to score in two ACC Tournament games.
Like last year when Virginia avoided a historic upset and held on to beat 16th-seeded Coastal Carolina, the Cavaliers needed a late second-half push to advance.
Belmont (22-11) had clawed within two behind 25 points from Crag Bradshaw, but the Cavaliers outscored the Bruins 17-7 over the final 4:37 of the game.
NORTHERN IOWA 71, WYOMING 54
SEATTLE (AP) — Paul Jesperson led five Northern Iowa players in double figures with 16 points and Sean Tuttle added 14 and the fifth-seeded Panthers.
Northern Iowa (31-3) built a 21-point lead after scoring 11 of the first 12 points to start the second half. That lead was whittled to seven points twice but the Cowboys could get no closer. Wes Washpun scored eight of his 10 points in the final 9 minutes to help the Panthers advance to face fourth-seeded Louisville on Sunday.
Larry Nance Jr. led Wyoming (25-10) with 16 points. He had one point and one shot in the first half.
Northern Iowa won for the 20th time in the past 21 games.
LOUISVILLE 57, CAL-IRVINE 55
SEATTLE (AP) — Freshman Quentin Snider hit the winning free throws and Terry Rozier made the saving steal for fourth-seeded Louisville.
With the game tied, Snider snagged a rebound in the corner off a long miss by Luke Nelson and drew a foul when Will Davis II crashed into him.
Snider made the free throws with 8.9 seconds left and the 13th-seeded Anteaters (21-13) never got a final shot, thanks to Rozier’s pick of Alex Young as he was moving up the court.
Wayne Blackshear had 19 points for the Cardinals (25-8), who will play fifth-seeded Northern Iowa on Sunday for a trip to the Sweet 16.
Anteaters 7-foot-6 centre Mamadou Ndiaye, the tournament’s tallest player, finished with 12 points and five rebounds but didn’t touch the ball in the last 2 minutes.
WEST VIRGINIA 68, BUFFALO 62
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Tarik Phillip hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left while the shot clock was winding down, adding the clinching points for fifth-seeded West Virginia.
The Mountaineers (24-9) advanced to Sunday’s game against the winner of 13th-seeded Valparaiso (28-5) and No. 4 Maryland (27-6).
Devin Williams, who led the Mountaineers with 17 points and nine rebounds, hit two free throws with 2:10 left to give his team the lead for good.
Mid-American Conference Tournament champion Buffalo (23-10) did not score over the final 2:42.
Juwan Staten had 15 points and seven assists for West Virginia, with Daxter Miles Jr. adding 10 points.
Xavier Ford had 11 of his 16 points in the second half for the Bulls, with Shannon Evans adding 15 points and MAC player of the year Justin Moss, coming back from an injury, had 13 points and seven rebounds.
It was the NCAA Tournament debut for Buffalo, coached by former Duke star Bobby Hurley who won consecutive titles in 1991-92.
KANSAS 75, NEW MEXICO ST. 56
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Frank Mason III scored 17 points to lead a balanced attack, and the second-seeded Jayhawks gave the Big 12 its first win of the tournament after three losses on Thursday.
Perry Ellis added nine points for the Jayhawks (27-8), who will face seventh-seeded Wichita State in the round of 32.
The schools, separated by a couple hours of highway, have not played since 1993 because of the Jayhawks’ stubborn refusal to schedule the Shockers.
DK Eldridge had 11 points and Remi Barry and Tshilidzi Nephawa scored 10 each for the Aggies (23-11), who had won 13 straight while sweeping the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
WICHITA ST. 81, INDIANA 76
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Fred VanVleet matched his career high with 27 points and Ron Baker made big free throws late for seventh-seeded Wichita State.
By winning, the seventh-seeded Shockers (29-4) set up a much-anticipated Sunflower State showdown with second-seeded Kansas on Sunday.
Baker scored 15 points, making 7 of 8 free throws in the last 2 minutes to allow Wichita State to hold off the Hoosiers (20-14).
Freshman reserve Zach Brown had eight of his career-high 11 points in the second half, with six coming during the Shockers’ decisive run.
Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 24 points for Indiana. James Blackmon Jr. added 14 points and Troy Williams and Collin Hartman had 11 apiece for the Hoosiers.
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