Virginia advances after trailing by 15
orlando, fla.» Defensiveminded Virginia showed it can play with a little offensive tempo, even using five guards to outpace UNC Wilmington.
London Perrantes scored 24 points, Marial Shayok added a career-high 23 off the bench and No. 5-seeded Virginia rallied from 15 points down to beat 12th-seeded UNC Wilmington 76-71 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
Perrantes scored 19 points in the second half as the Cavaliers (23-10) got their slow-paced offense going. His biggest basket was a driving bank shot with 1:37 remaining, which put the Cavaliers up 71-66.
UNCW (29-6) wouldn’t go away, though. Chris Flemmings drained a 3-pointer from the elbow and then Devontae Cacok hit a layup to make it 73-71 with less than a minute to play. But Shayok answered on the other end, banking in a runner that gave the Cavaliers some breathing room in the closing seconds.
“I just wanted to provide energy off the slow start,” Shayok said. “Personally, I just didn’t want to go out like that, and I knew my teammates didn’t either. So I just wanted to come out and provide what I could on both ends and just bring a spark.”
Virginia advanced past the first round for the fourth consecutive year and won as a No. 5 seed for the first time in four tries.
Perrantes was 9-of-14 shooting, and Shayok was 8-of-14. The guard duo set the pace late after Virginia trailed big.
The Cavaliers closed the first half with a 16-1 run that erased a double-digit deficit.
(1) Villanova 76, (16) Mount St. Mary’s 56 B
buffalo, n.y.» Donte DiVincenzo scored 21 points as the top-seeded Wildcats shook off a slow start and stumbled forward to the second round.
Villanova (32-3) wasn’t itself for much of the first half before it opened the second half with a 21-6 run to take control.
Freshman Miles Wilson scored 22 points as the Mountaineers (2016), who defeated New Orleans in a First Four matchup Tuesday, gave the defending champions all they could handle for 20 minutes.
(8) Wisconsin 84, Tech 74 B (9) Virginia
buffalo, n.y.» Bronson Koenig made a school-record eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points and Nigel Hayes added 16 as the eighth-seeded Badgers (26-9) made all the big plays in the closing minutes.
No team understands the survive-and-advance mentality in this tourney better than Wisconsin, the only team in the country to make the Sweet 16 the last three years.
And the Badgers counted on Koenig and Hayes, two of their four senior starters, to get them within one win of another trip to the third round.
Zach Leday scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half to pace the Hokies (22-11), making their first NCAA visit since 2007.
(4) Florida 80, (13) East Tennessee State 65 B
orlando, fla.» Devin Robinson tied his career high with 24 points, Kasey Hill added 14 and No. 4 seed Florida (25-8) used a second-half surge to beat 13th-seeded East Tennessee State (27-8).
Robinson, an NBA prospect who had been relatively quiet late in the season, scored his most points in nearly two months. He made 10-of-17 shots and chipped in seven rebounds. The speedy Hill reached double figures for the fourth consecutive game. He also added six rebounds and five assists for his most complete game in a month.
Kevarrius Hayes, filling in for injured center John Egbunu, finished with seven points, seven rebounds and six steals. He broke the school record for steals in an NCAA Tournament game.
Freshman guard Donte DiVincenzo, scoring Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y., against Mount St. Mary’s, finished with 21 points off the bench for defending national champion Villanova. Elsa, Getty Images