Luck is with the Irish as Notre Dame advances
Princeton’s frantic rally in final two minutes comes up short
buffalo, n.y.» Notre Dame avoided the dreaded upset from a 12th seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Barely. Bonzie Colson scored 18 points and the West Region’s fifth-seeded Fighting Irish avoided a meltdown in the final two minutes to hang on for a 60-58 win over the Princeton Tigers on Thursday afternoon.
After Notre Dame’s Matt Farrell missed the front end of a one-andone with a 59-58 lead, Princeton had a chance to win on its final possession. Devin Cannady missed an open 3-pointer, and Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia pulled down the rebound and was fouled.
“I looked at the rim and when it went out of my hand, I thought it was good,” said Cannady, who hit just 2-of-10 3-point attempts and finished with seven points.
Ferrell finished with 16 points but in a game the Fighting Irish (26-9) nearly squandered an 11point second half lead.
Spencer Weisz led Princeton with 15 points. The Ivy League champion Tigers (23-7) had a 19game winning streak going into the NCAA Tournament.
(4) West Virginia 86, (13) Bucknell 80 B Nathan
buffalo, n.y.» Adrian had 12 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Mountaineers past the Bison.
Tarik Phillip scored 16 points for West Virginia (27-9), which avoided a repeat of last year’s first-round meltdown when the third-seeded Mountaineers lost to Stephen F. Austin.
Kimbal Mackenzie made 5-of-7 3-point attempts and led the Patriot League-champion Bison with 23 points. Bucknell (26-9) entered the tournament having won six straight and 14 of 16.
(1) Gonzaga 66, (16) South Dakota State 46 B
salt lake city» Jordan Mathews scored 16 points to help the Zags slowly pull away from the Jackrabbits.
The Jackrabbits (18-17), champions of the Summit League, led for the first 17 minutes and stayed in range for most of the game.
They did it without a breakout game from Mike Daum. The nation’s second-leading scorer finished 7-for-16 from the floor with 17 points — more than eight below his average.
(2) Arizona 100, (15) North Dakota 82 B
salt lake city» Freshman Lauri Markkanen scored 20 points as the Wildcats used a 13-1 run early in the first half to take 24-13 lead and never look back.
Arizona (31-4) led 53-37 at halftime thanks to a dominant 16point half from Markkanen and a 61.1 shooting percentage.
Quinton Hooker led the Fighting Hawks (22-10) with 25 points and Cherokee Trail High School alum Drick Bernstine added 20.
(11) 65 B Xavier 76,
fla.» Trevon Bluiett scored 21 points and Sean O’Mara had 18 to help the Musketeers move on to the second round for the third consecutive year.
After a slow start, Bluiett came through with 18 second-half points to help the Musketeers rally from an early six-point deficit.
Freshman Kevin Huerter led the Terps with 19 points.
(3) Florida St. 86, (14) Florida Gulf Coast 80 B
orlando, fla.» Dwayne Bacon scored 25 points and Jonathan Isaac added 17 points and 10 rebounds to help the Seminoles (26-8), who were making their first appearance in the NCAAs since 2012.
The Eagles (26-8) saw their tournament hopes end in the first round for the second straight year. But FGCU made it interesting in the waning moments as the Seminoles let a sizeable lead slip away because of missed free throws and untimely fouls. Isaac and Xavier Rathan-Mayes made enough plays down the stretch to not allow the lead to slip completely away.
(7) Saint Mary’s 85, (10) VCU 77
B salt lake city» Jock Landale had 18 points and 13 rebounds as the Gaels led most of the way, but had to fight to hold on after the VCU defensive pressure started to become too much in the second half.
Joe Rahon and Calvin Hermanson finished with 16 points apiece for Saint Mary’s (29-4).
JeQuan Lewis paced VCU (26-9) with 30 points.
Saint Mary’s took a 46-31 lead into halftime thanks to a 23-6 run.
The Princeton players lament seeing their season come to an end against Notre Dame on Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y.
Maryland forward Damonte Dodd blocks the shot of Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett on Thursday. Wilfredo Lee, The Associated Press