NCAA tournament roundup
Louisville 71, Manhattan 64
Now everyone knows why Louisville coach Rick Pitino wanted nothing to do with Manhattan.
Luke Hancock hit two huge 3-pointers in the final 1:19 to help Louisville finally shake free from tenacious Manhattan in the NCAA tournament on Thursday night.
The defending national champions were down 58-55 with less than 4 minutes remaining — getting outplayed for most of the second half — before coming alive from behind the arc.
Silky smooth guard Russ Smith, who finished with 18 points, got things going with a game-tying 3 from the wing. Hancock delivered the knockout blows. He stole an inbound pass, got fouled and made both free throws. He hit the first of two daggers with a little more than a minute left and then sank a wide-open look from behind the arc with 28 second remaining.
Those shots propelled fourth-seeded Louisville (30-5) into the round of 32, where it will face fifth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday in the Midwest Region.
"We needed a couple bounces to go our way," Hancock said. "Nobody wants to go home on the first day. We're trying to build a legacy. This is a first step."
Louisville is trying to become the first since Florida in 2007 to win back-to-back titles.
While many questioned why the Cardinals were given a 4 seed, Pitino criticized the selection committee for pitting his team against 13th-seeded Manhattan, which is coached by Pitino's former assistant, Steve Masiello.
"That's why I didn't want to play them, because I'm sick inside losing to one of my players," Pitino said.
Masiello was equally disappointed in the draw and the outcome.
"It's emotional. It's emotional," he said. "You look down, and the guy who kind of made you who you are is your enemy for 40 minutes. So it's tough. You know, it's an honor to be on the other sideline, but it's about the kids. It's not about me. My kids played. Their kids played. I think it was two very good basketball teams.(backslash)
"But it's tough. It hurts. You know, if I'm going to lose to anyone, I guess lose to him."
Masiello served as Pitino's ball boy with the NBA's New York Knicks in the 1980s, played for him at Kentucky (1996-1997) and then spent another six years coaching alongside him at Louisville (2005-11). They know each other inside and out, with Masiello molding Manhattan to mirror the Cardinals.
And it showed.
The Jaspers (25-8) attacked Louisville's weaknesses and gave the Cards fits on the defensive end. Masiello was at times calling out Louisville's plays.
"That's one of the best coaching jobs that I have seen in my 39 years," Pitino said. "He just made us have to guard on the perimeter with four guards."
The lead changed hands a few times in the second half, but when Manhattan went ahead 58-55 on Rhamel Brown's layup, it looked like Louisville would be the highest seed to lose on the tournament's first full day.
Making matters worse for the Cards, Smith and big man Montrezl Harrell picked up their fourth fouls in the final minutes.
So anything could have happened from there.
Smith and Hancock took over, though, and ensured Louisville would stick around at least another game.
"We could have folded and we didn't," Pitino said. "I think we'll take a big step forward from here."
Harrell finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Cards. Chris Jones chipped in 11 points.
Michigan State 93, Delaware 78
Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points to get Michigan State off to a solid start in the NCAA tournament.
Payne, a 6-foot-10 senior, scored 12 straight points in the first half to help the fourth-seeded Spartans (27-8) to an 18-point lead.
He set an NCAA tournament record by making all 17 of his free throws and broke the program's tournament scoring record, set previously by Greg Kelser in 1979.
Devon Saddler had 21 points and Davon Usher added 20 for the 13th-seeded Blue Hens (25-10).
Travis Trice scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half for the Spartans.
Villanova 73, Milwaukee 53
Darrun Hilliard scored 16 points, JayVaughn Pinkston added 13 for second-seeded Villanova.
No. 15 seed Milwaukee (21-14), the surprise champion of the Horizon League, made it a game all the way, leading much of the first half before fading late.
Villanova (29-4) was eager to get back on the court after being upset last week by Seton Hall in the Big East tournament quarterfinals, but the effect of that loss seemed to linger.
A 12-point run spanning halftime gave the Wildcats a nine-point lead early in the second half and they held on. Hilliard's long 3-pointer from the top of the key with 8:10 left gave them a 53-42 lead, and the Panthers couldn't recover.
Michigan 57, Wofford 40
Glenn Robinson III scored 14 points and second-seeded Michigan started their quest for a second straight trip to the Final Four.
The Wolverines (26-8) capitalized on their decisive edge in athleticism on the undersized and No. 15 Terriers (20-13) but still had some nervous moments after missing 15 of their first 18 shots in the second half.
Karl Cochran's 3-pointer with 9:25 left whittled an 18-point deficit to 40-33.
But the Wolverines regrouped, and Caris LeVert's 3 with 4:17 left gave them a 15-point lead to deflate Wofford's dreams of an upset.
Cochran finished with 17 points, while Robinson hit big shots in the same arena his father played in as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1990s.
Michigan will play No. 7 seed Texas.
Saint Louis 83, North Carolina State 80 (OT)
Rob Loe scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, helping St. Louis wipe out a late 14-point deficit and pull away in overtime.
Jordair Jett overcame a slow start to score 18, doing most of his damage while the fifth-seeded Billikens (27-6) were making their comeback in the last five minutes of regulation.
Both teams shot horribly from the free-throw line, with Saint Louis shooting 12-for-26 and No. 12 seed NC State shooting 20-for-37.
T.J. Warren scored 28 points for the Wolfpack (22-14), but the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year made just six of his 14 free throw attempts, including one that could have tied it in the final minute of OT.
Texas 87, Arizona State 85
Cameron Ridley's buzzer-beating layup lifted Texas into the third round.
Jonathan Holmes missed badly on a long 3-pointer for the seventh-seeded Longhorns in the final seconds, but Ridley emerged from the scrum with the ball and banked it in as time expired over the outstretched fingers of an ASU defender.
The call stood after a video replay, giving Texas its first win in the NCAA tournament since 2011.
Ridley finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Longhorns (24-10).
Jordan Bachynski scored 22 points for No. 10 seed Arizona State (21-12), which was making its first tournament appearance since 2009.
Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48
Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half, helping ninth-seeded Pittsburgh build a 28-point lead.
The Panthers (26-9) shot 51 percent and played stifling defense.
Colorado (23-12) was eager to make amends for an early exit from the tournament a year ago, but had no answers for the 6-foot-9 Zanna. The Pitt center made six of seven shots in the first half, and the Panthers didn't have any difficulty finishing off the overwhelmed Buffaloes.
Josh Scott led the eighth-seeded Buffaloes with 14 points, however Colorado couldn't overcome a subpar performance from Askia Booker.
Syracuse 77, Western Michigan 53
Syracuse's backcourt of Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis combined for 34 points and the Orange defense clamped down.
Western Michigan (23-10), the Mid-American Conference champion, had won 14 of 16 games and was in the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade.
The third-seeded Orange (28-5) forced 11 turnovers in the opening half and scored 13 points off them in running out to a double-digit lead before the midpoint of the period.
Cooney led the Orange with 18 points, hitting 4 of 8 from beyond the arc, and Ennis had 16 points and six assists with one turnover.
The Orange used an 18-4 spurt over 10 minutes to take control and led 40-21 at halftime.
Shayne Whittington and Tucker Haymond led Western Michigan with 11 points apiece.
Oregon 87, BYU 68
Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points for seventh-seeded Oregon.
Joseph Young had 19 points for the Ducks (24-9), who had to stage a big comeback to beat the Cougars 100-96 in overtime in December. There was no comeback needed this time, with Oregon turning away every charge by BYU in the second half.
Cook, a native of Milwaukee, is the son of former NBA All-Star Alvin Robertson.
Tyler Haws scored 19 points for 10th-seeded BYU (23-12), which returned to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence. Matt Carlino added 15 points.
San Diego State 73, New Mexico State 69
In the fourth and final overtime game on Day 1 of March Madness, San Diego State outlasted New Mexico State.
New Mexico State's Kevin Arnois made a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left in regulation Thursday night to push the game to overtime.
The four extra periods were the most in a single day in NCAA tournament history.
Xavier Thames scored the first basket of the extra session and the fourth-seeded Aztecs (30-4) never trailed. Thames finished with 23 points for San Diego State, which will play 12th-seeded North Dakota State — an overtime winner itself over Oklahoma earlier in the day.
Seven-foot-5 Sim Bhullar had 14 points and seven boards for the 13th-seeded Aggies (26-10) before fouling out in the OT. Daniel Mullings led the Aggies with 18.
Wisconsin 75, American 35
Ben Brust scored 17 points and second-seeded Wisconsin devastated American with a 22-5 run to close the first half.
The second-seeded Badgers (27-7) recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of the 15th-seeded Eagles (20-13).
After Wisconsin was ousted in the first round last year as a No. 5 seed, Brust made sure his senior season didn't end the same way. He attacked the glass for baskets on consecutive possessions, ending with a three-point play with 3:33 left in the first half to give Wisconsin a 23-20 lead.
The Badgers shot 57 percent from the field in the second half.
John Schoof had 11 points for American.
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