14th seed Ohio ousts Georgetown, 97-83
Who knew that all this time Ohio used the regular season as a warm-up act?
The Bobcats' time to shine is March.
The MAC tournament champion Bobcats, who had a losing record in conference play, have found their way in the only month that matters and now boast an NCAA tournament win for the first time in 27 years.
Georgetown might want to skip the tourney next time it's in Providence, R.I.
Armon Bassett scored 32 points to lead the 14th-seeded Bobcats to a convincing 97-83 win over the Hoyas in the Midwest Regional.
Ohio plays Tennessee in the second round tomorrow.
"We may not be a better team, just got to be a better team on a given night," Bassett said.
In early March, no one expected Ohio (22-14) to be in this position. The team had just finished a 7-9 season in Mid-American Conference play and entered the conference tournament as the ninth seed.
Coach John Groce wouldn't call it the biggest win in team history.
"I certainly think it's one of them," he said. "What it does more than anything is, I think it gives tremendous belief with our guys in what we're doing, in our system."
Ohio seized the lead early on its 3-point shooting and never had a serious letdown the rest of the way. The Hoyas (23-11) made a small run in the second half that cut a 19-point deficit to seven.
No worries. D.J. Cooper, who scored 23 points, made a 3, and the Bobcats cruised from there, winning their sixth straight game.
"There were some times where the only people that really believed in what we were doing and where we were headed were the guys in our locker room and our administration," Groce said.
Chris Wright led the third-seeded Hoyas with 28 points. Georgetown coach John Thompson III said a day earlier his team was playing its best basketball of the season. It certainly didn't extend into the tournament opener.
At Oklahoma City
NO. 1 KANSAS 90, NO. 16 LEHIGH 74
Kansas pulled away from scrappy Lehigh in the second half, avoiding a monumental upset. Marcus Morris had 26 points and Sherron Collins added 18 as Kansas (33-2) fell into its season-long pattern of playing in spurts, giving Lehigh (22-11) hope of making college basketball history. The Jayhawks led by just six in the first half and didn't pull away until midway through the second. Kansas plays Northern Iowa in the second round.
NO. 9 NORTHERN IOWA 69, NO. 8 UNLV 66
Ali Farokhmanesh hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4.9 seconds left to lift Northern Iowa (29-5) over UNLV (25-9). Farokhmanesh found himself open after Kwadzo Ahelegbe had chewed up the majority of the clock following Oscar Bellfield's tying 3-pointer for UNLV with 35 seconds remaining. Johnny Moran reversed the ball to Farokhmanesh, who drained the jumper with the shot clock running down.
At Providence, R.I.
NO. 6 TENNESSEE 62, NO. 11 SAN DIEGO STATE 59
Melvin Goins made his fourth 3-pointer with 19 seconds left after San Diego State cut the deficit to one, and Tennessee held off the Aztecs. Goins and J.P. Prince scored 15 points apiece for Tennessee (26-8) on coach Bruce Pearl's 50th birthday. D.J. Gay had 16 points for San Diego State (25-9).
At San Jose, Calif.
NO. 13 MURRAY ST. 66, NO. 4 VANDERBILT 65
Danero Thomas hit a 15-footer as the buzzer sounded and Murray State stunned Vanderbilt. President Barack Obama must have been on to something picking the revved-up Racers (31-4) to get past the first round in the West Regional. It was the school's first victory in the NCAA tournament in 24 years, and Murray State will play Butler in the second round. For the second time in as many NCAA appearances, Vanderbilt (24-9) bowed out early as the higher seed.
NO. 5 BUTLER 77, NO. 12 UTEP 59
Shelvin Mack hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 18 of his 25 points after halftime to lead the Bulldogs (29-4). Derrick Caracter had 20 points for UTEP (26-7).
At Oklahoma City
NO. 7 BYU 99, NO. 10 FLORIDA 92, 2OT
Jimmer Fredette scored 37 points, including two 3-pointers in double overtime, to seal the Cougars' thrilling win over Florida. Fredette made a 3 from the top of the key to put the Cougars (30-5) ahead 90-83 with 2:42 left, then added another with just over a minute remaining to put the game away. BYU plays Kansas State in the second round. Kenny Boynton scored 27 points for the Gators (21-13).
NO. 2 KANSAS STATE 82, NO. 15 NORTH TEXAS 62
Denis Clemente had 17 points and six assists, and the Wildcats (27-7) had a 46-21 advantage inside to avoid becoming an opening-day upset victim. The Wildcats held the Mean Green (24-9) to 31-percent shooting.
At New Orleans
NO. 11 OLD DOMINION 51, NO. 6 NOTRE DAME 50
Carleton Scott's 3-pointer rattled out in the closing seconds, and Old Dominion (27-8) stunned the Irish and star Luke Harangody. Old Dominion, which plays Baylor in the second round, held Harangody to four points. Ben Hansbrough scored 17 points to lead the Irish (23-12).
NO. 3 BAYLOR 68, NO. 14 SAM HOUSTON STATE 59
Ekpe Udoh had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and LaceDarius Dunn scored 13 to help the Bears (26-7) win an NCAA tournament game for the first time in 60 years. Gilberto Clavell had 23 points for Sam Houston State (25-8).
At Providence R.I.
NO. 7 SAINT MARY'S 80, NO. 10 RICHMOND 71
Omar Samhan had 29 points and 12 rebounds despite spending most of the game in foul trouble, and Saint Mary's (27-5) pulled away to win an NCAA tournament game for the first time in six tries since 1959. St. Mary's faces Villanova in the second round. David Gonzalvez scored 18 for Richmond (26-9).
NO. 2 VILLANOVA 73, NO. 15 ROBERT MORRIS 70, OT
Scottie Reynolds responded to his benching with a clutch performance at the foul line in the final minutes of regulation to help the Wildcats (25-7) survive. Coach Jay Wright sat Reynolds at the start of the game to make a "teaching point," and he missed 13 of 15 shots from the floor for Villanova (25-7). But the senior star made seven of eight free throws in the final 3:06 to send the game into overtime, finishing with 20 points. Karon Abraham scored 23 for Robert Morris (23-13).
At New Orleans
NO. 1 KENTUCKY 100, NO. 16 ETSU 71
Eric Bledsoe's eight 3-pointers set a Kentucky record for an NCAA tournament game, and the Wildcats (33-2) dominated throughout in a victory over East Tennessee State (20-15). Scoring 29 points in all, Bledsoe started 8 of 8 on 3s before finally missing his first from long range late in the second half and finishing 8 of 9. He surpassed Tony Delk's previous school record of seven 3s in the 1996 championship game against Syracuse. Kentucky plays Wake Forest in the second round.
NO. 9 WAKE FOREST 81, NO. 8 TEXAS 80, OT
Ishmael Smith's pull-up jumper from about 17 feet with 1.3 seconds remaining in overtime gave Wake Forest (20-10) a win over Texas (24-10).
At San Jose, Calif.
NO. 11 WASHINGTON 80, NO. 6 MARQUETTE 78
Quincy Pondexter drove for a tiebreaking bank shot with 1.7 seconds left, and Washington (25-9) extended its remarkable late-season run into the NCAA tournament with a victory over Marquette (23-11). The Huskies play New Mexico in the second round.
NO. 3 NEW MEXICO 62, NO. 14 MONTANA 57
Roman Martinez had 19 points, six rebounds and four assists, and New Mexico (30-4) beat Montana (30-4). The Lobos used a 17-0 run after halftime to briefly break open the game after trailing by a point at the break.