Fairleigh Dickinson topples Purdue
GREENSBORO, N.C. >> Fairleigh Dickinson became the second No. 16 seed in history to win an NCAA Tournament game, stunning top-seeded Purdue 63-58 behind 19 points from Sean Moore and a relentless, hustling defense on Friday night.
The shortest team in the tourney, the Knights (21-15) showed no fear in swarming 7-foot-4 All-America center Zach Edey from the start. FDU’s players were quicker and more composed than the Big Ten champion Boilermakers (29-6).
Five years ago, UMBC showed the way for the little guys by overwhelming Virginia in the first 16-over-1 victory after numerous close calls over the years. Still, No. 16s had a 1-150 record against No. 1s and were 1-151 overall before FDU’s shocker.
The Knights will now meet Memphis or Florida Atlantic on Sunday for a Sweet 16 berth in the East Region and a trip next week to play at Madison Square Garden in New York — just a short drive from the private school’s campus in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Fairleigh Dickinson didn’t even win the Northeast Conference Tournament, falling by one point in the title game to Merrimack,
which couldn’t participate in the NCAA Tournament because of an NCAA rule that bars it from the postseason because it’s still completing its fouryear transition from Division II.
FDU held Purdue scoreless for more than 5 1/2 minutes down the stretch and moved ahead by five on a 3-pointer by Moore — who is from suburban Columbus — with 1:03 left. The Knights held on from there, becoming the second straight double-digit seed to send the Boilermakers home. Purdue was a 3 seed when it lost to 15 seed Saint Peter’s, another small New Jersey school, in the Sweet 16 last year.
KENTUCKY 61, PROVIDENCE 53>>
Oscar Tshiebwe pulled down 25 rebounds, the second-most in the tournament since 1973, and Kentucky beat Providence.
Antonio Reeves scored 22 points and Jacob Toppin had 18 for the sixth-seeded Wildcats (22-11), who advanced to face either Montana State or Kansas State Sunday in the East Region.
Eleven of Tshiebwe’s rebounds came on the offensive glass — a big factor in the Wildcats staying in control as both offenses grinded to a halt after halftime.
MICHIGAN STATE 72, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 62>> Joey
Hauser scored 17 points and No. 7 seed Michigan State clamped down defensively on No. 10 seed Southern California in the second half.
Coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans (20-12) will face Marquette on Sunday in the East Region for a spot in the Sweet 16.
Tyson Walker and Jaden Akins added 12 points apiece for Michigan State, which held USC to 34% shooting in the second half.
MARQUETTE 78, VERMONT 61>>
Kam Jones scored 18 straight points for Marquette in the second half, and the second-seeded Golden Eagles beat No. 15 seed Vermont for their first NCAA Tournament victory in a decade.
Jones finished with 19 points. Oso Ighodaro scored 14 points and David Joplin added 12 as Marquette (29-6) pulled away in the last 10 minutes. Marquette won its first NCAA Tournament game in a decade and advanced to face Michigan State on Sunday.
Midwest Region XAVIER 72, KENNESAW STATE 67>>
Jack Nunge blocked Terrell Burden’s driving attempt at a go-ahead layup in the final seconds, and
Xavier dug out of a 13-point hole against surprising Kennesaw State.
Souley Boum hit four clinching free throws in the final 2.6 seconds for the third-seeded Musketeers (26-9), who ran off 15 unanswered points as part of a game-ending 24-6 run. That was enough to turn away the 14th-seeded Owls (26-9) in the program’s firstever March Madness game.
Xavier moves on to face Pittsburgh on Sunday.
PITTSBURGH 59, IOWA STATE 41 >>
Nelly Cummings scored 13 points and No. 11 seed Pittsburgh held sixthseeded Iowa State to 23% shooting.
Jamarius Burton added 11 points and Greg Elliott had 10 for coach Jeff Capel’s Panthers, who stormed to a 22-2 lead after Iowa State missed its first 11 shots. Things didn’t get much better for the Cyclones, who had three stretches in which they missed at least eight consecutive shots. MIAMI 63, DRAKE 56 >> Nijel Pack scored 21 points, including the go-ahead jumper and a pair of free throws in the final minute, and No. 5 seed Miami rallied past 12th-seeded Drake.
The Hurricanes (26-7) scored the final 10 points.
Norchad Omier added 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Hurricanes, who were held to a season low in scoring. Wooga Poplar had 15 points.
SAINT MARY’S 63, VCU 51 >> Mitchell Saxen had 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, and Saint Mary’s beat ailing VCU.
Alex Ducas also scored 17 points as the fifth-seeded Gaels (27-7) advanced to the second round for the second straight year. Logan Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and reserve Augustas Marciulionis scored 13 points. Saint Mary’s will face UConn on Sunday. UCONN 87, IONA 63 >> Adama Sanogo scored 10 of his 28 points in the first five minutes of the second half as fourth-seeded UConn took control and beat Iona.
The Huskies (26-8) advanced to play fifth-seeded Saint Mary’s on Sunday after losing in the first round under coach Dan Hurley the last two seasons. GONZAGA 82, GRAND CANYON 70 >> Slow-starting Gonzaga finally started playing like a title contender, then wore out Grand Canyon behind 28 points and 10 rebounds from Julian Strawther.
Zags senior Drew Timme brought his sweatband and handlebar moustache back to March Madness and finished with 21 points, six rebounds and three blocks for the third-seeded Bulldogs (29-5), who haven’t lost a first-round game in the tournament since 2008.
BAYLOR 74, UC SANTA BARBARA 56 >> Caleb Lohner scored a season-best 13 points in just 18 minutes, and No. 3 seed Baylor beat UC Santa Barbara.
Adam Flagler led the Bears with 18 points, and LJ Cryer scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half. CREIGHTON 72, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 63>> Ryan Kalkbrenner scored a careerhigh 31 points and sixthseeded Creighton overcame an abysmal 3-point shooting day to fend off No. 11 seed North Carolina State.
The 7-foot-1 Kalkbrenner did a little bit of everything for the Bluejays, which included hitting a big 3-pointer on a day the team finished 3 of 20 from long range. Kalkbrenner had six dunks and seven rebounds, and N.C. State big men D.J. Burns Jr. and Ebenezer Dowuona were hampered by foul trouble.