March Madness: Canadian Tyler Ennis leads Syracuse in win
Harvard upsets Cincinnati, No. 11 Dayton edges No. 6 Ohio State
Syracuse 77, Western Michigan 53
The mini basketball nets that hang all over Tyler Ennis's home in Brampton, Ont., have taken a beating over the years.
In a family of six athletic kids, everything becomes a competition.
The 19-year-old Ennis led the Syracuse Orange to a 77-53 victory over Western Michigan in their opening game of March Madness on Thursday, running the offence with a quiet confidence developed over years of playing alongside two bruising older brothers.
"Very competitive," dad Tony McIntyre said of his kids. "Those Fisher Price nets, and the ones you hang on the door, they'd break those off. Then you'd hammer them into the ceiling in the basement. They'd break those.
"It would get heated. You'd have to break up fights. Out on the street when they'd play two-on-two or one-on-one, someone would always end up upset and kicking the ball down the street."
Ennis, who led Syracuse to a No. 3 seed and the school's 37th berth in the NCAA tournament, scored 16 points and doled out six assists in Thursday's resounding victory at First Niagara Center.
Ennis's 22-year-old brother Dylan — a sophomore guard at Villanova — was scheduled to play later Thursday in Buffalo when the Wildcats took on Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Tyler Ennis, one of a crop of rising Canadian stars playing in March Madness, led the Orange to a 25-0 start to this season and the No. 1 ranking in the NCAA for three consecutive weeks, before the Orange lost five of seven games down the regular-season stretch.
Texas 87, Arizona State 85
MILWAUKEE — Cameron Ridley's buzzer-beating layup lifted Texas to an 87-85 victory over Arizona State in the second of the NCAA tournament on Thursday night.
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.
Harvard 61, Cincinnati 57
SPOKANE, Wash. — Those kids from Harvard are getting a passing grade when it comes to the first game of the NCAA tournament.
Ask New Mexico last year. Ask Cincinnati now.
Siyani Chambers scored 11 points, including five straight in the final two minutes, and 12th-seeded Harvard won its second NCAA tournament game in history, upsetting Cincinnati 61-57 Thursday.
Wesley Saunders led the Crimson (27-4) with 12 points as Harvard proved last year's upset of New Mexico as a 14 seed was no fluke. The Crimson became the first Ivy League school with NCAA tournament wins in consecutive years since Princeton in 1983-84. They will play either Michigan State or Delaware in the third round.
Harvard never trailed after the opening moments. They played with confidence and scrap against the No. 5 seed Bearcats, who shared the American Athletic Conference regular season title. Sean Kilpatrick led seed Cincinnati (27-7) with 18 points, but the Bearcats failed to win a tournament game for the second straight year.
Florida 67, Albany 55
ORLANDO, Fla. — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, most of them on dunks, and top-seeded Florida used a second-half surge to beat No. 16 seed Albany 67-55 in the NCAA tournament Thursday.
The Gators (33-2) showed some vulnerability, though, while extending their school-record winning streak to 27 games.
Coach Billy Donovan's team sleepwalked through the first half, swapping the lead back and forth with the pesky Great Danes, but Florida's bench provided a much-needed spark.
Finney-Smith, the Southeastern Conference's sixth man of the year, was 6-of-10 shooting. Freshman guard Kasey Hill, who wasn't sure he would be able to play because of turf toe, chipped in 10 points.
Patric Young finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the season. Casey Prather (16 points) and Scottie Wilbekin (10) also reached double figures for Florida, which will play ninth-seeded Pittsburgh in the South Region on Saturday.
North Dakota State 80, Oklahoma 75
SPOKANE, Wash. — Lawrence Alexander hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to force overtime and freshman Carlin Dupree scored four points in the final 75 seconds as No. 12 seed North Dakota State knocked off Oklahoma 80-75 Thursday night.
The Bison (26-6) picked up their first NCAA tournament win by rallying in the final minute and then outlasting the No. 5 seed Sooners in overtime. Alexander finished with a career-high 28 points, but it'll be his falling-down, fist-pumping celebration after the tying 3-pointer that will be replayed in Fargo for years.
Dupree came on in the closing seconds of overtime after Taylor Braun fouled out. He hit two free throws and scored on a difficult baseline leaner with 41 seconds left.
Cameron Clark led Oklahoma (23-10) with 25 points.
Dayton 60, Ohio State 59
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Vee Sanford scored on a layup with 3.8 seconds left to lift 11th-seeded Dayton to a victory over sixth-seeded Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
Sanford finished with 10 points, while Dyshawn Pierre of Whitby, Ont., led the Flyers (24-10) with 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds in a matchup of Ohio schools separated by about 120 kilometres. Dayton advances to play the winner between third-seeded Syracuse and 14th-seeded Western Michigan in a South Region matchup on Saturday.
Pierre put Dayton ahead when 58-57 with under a minute to go when he was fouled on a three-point attempt and sank all three free throws. Ohio State scored on their next possession to take a brief lead before Sanford's game-winning bucket.
The Buckeyes (25-10) had one last chance to pull out the victory, but Aaron Craft's driving 10-footer hit off the backboard and rolled off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Sam Thompson scored 18 points and Craft added 16 for Ohio State, which was eliminated after one game for only the third time in its 26 tournament appearances.
St. Louis 83, North Carolina State 80 (OT)
ORLANDO, Fla. — Fifth-seeded Saint Louis worked five extra minutes to stay alive in the NCAA tournament.
Rob Loe scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, helping St. Louis wipe out a late double-digit deficit and beat North Carolina State 83-80 in the second round of the Midwest Regional on Thursday night.
Atlantic-10 Conference player of the year Jordair Jett overcame a slow start to score 18, doing most of his damage while the fifth-seeded Billikens (27-6) were erasing a 59-45 deficit over the last five minutes of regulation.
With better free throw shooting, Saint Louis would have won without having to work overtime against a team playing its second game in three nights.
No. 12 seed NC State (22-14) beat Xavier in an opening round game in Dayton, Ohio, and fatigue very well could have been a factor in the Wolfpack missing 17 attempts from the foul line.
Michigan 57, Wofford 40
MILWAUKEE — Glenn Robinson III scored 14 points and second-seeded Michigan started their quest for a second straight trip to the Final Four by beating 15th-seeded Wofford 57-40 on Thursday night.
The Wolverines (26-8) capitalized on their decisive edge in athleticism on the undersized 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 State 93, Delaware 78
SPOKANE, Wash. — Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points Thursday to get Michigan State off to a solid start in the NCAA tournament with a 93-78 victory over Delaware.
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, who became a trendy pick after winning the Big Ten tournament last week. President Barack Obama has them to win it all.
Wisconsin 75, American 35
MILWAUKEE — Ben Brust scored 17 points and Wisconsin devastated American with a 22-5 run to close the first half in a victory before a friendly crowd.
The second-seeded Badgers (27-7) recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of the15th-seeded Eagles (20-13), champions of the Patriot League.
After Wisconsin was ousted in the first round last year as a fifth seed, Brust made sure his senior season didn't end the same way. He attacked the glass for buckets on back-to-back possessions, ending with a 3-point play with 3:33 left in the first half to give Wisconsin a 23-20 lead.
The rout was on. The Badgers hit 57 per cent in the second half.
John Schoof had 11 points for American.
Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48
ORLANDO, Fla. — Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half, helping Pittsburgh build a 28-point on the way to a rout of Colorado.
The Panthers (26-9), seeded ninth in the South Region, shot 51 per cent and played stifling defence in advancing to a third-round matchup Saturday against either No. 1 seed Florida or No. 16 seed Albany.
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 centre 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.
Oregon 87, BYU 68
MILWAUKEE — Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points in a very happy homecoming, helping seventh-seeded Oregon beat 10th-seeded BYU 87-68 the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
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.
Led by Cook, a Milwaukee native who starred at nearby Hamilton High School, the Ducks advanced to a third-round game against No. 2 seed Wisconsin on Saturday in the West Regional.
Tyler Haws scored 19 points for BYU (23-12), which returned to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence. Matt Carlino added 15 points.
Connecticut 89, Saint Joseph's 81 (OT)
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Shabazz Napier shook off a miss at the second-half buzzer to score nine of his 24 points in overtime and lead seventh-seeded Connecticut to a 89-81 win over Saint Joseph's in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
DeAndre Daniels scored 18 while freshman centre Amida Brimah forced overtime by completing a three-point play in the final minute for UConn (27-8). The Huskies won their first tournament game under coach Kevin Ollie, who took over two years ago after Jim Calhoun stepped down due to health issues.
With the game tied at 70 entering overtime, Daniels opened the scoring by completed a three-point play with 3:47 left during a 5-minute period the Huskies never trailed.
Langston Galloway scored 25 points for Saint Joseph's (24-10). The Hawks wore down because of a lack of depth, and then lost their top forward Halil Kanacevic, who fouled out early into overtime.
Villanova 73, Milwaukee 53
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Darrun Hilliard scored 16 points, JayVaughn Pinkston added 13 and Villanova beat Milwaukee 73-53 on Thursday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Wildcats (29-4), the No. 2 seed in the East Region, will play seventh-seeded Connecticut (27-8) in the third round Saturday. The Huskies held off Saint Joseph's 89-81 in overtime.
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 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.
Louisville 71, Manhattan 64
ORLANDO, Fla. — Luke Hancock hit two huge 3-pointers in the final 1:19 to help Louisville finally shake free from tenacious Manhattan, 71-64 in the NCAA tournament Thursday night.
The defending national champion Cardinals were down 58-55 with less than 4 minutes to play before coming alive from the 3-point line.
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 dagger with 1:19 remaining and sank a wide-open look from behind the arc with 28 second left.
Hancock finished with 16 points.
Behind those shots, fourth-seeded Louisville (30-5) advanced to face fifth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday in the Midwest Region.
Ashton Pankey led 13th-seeded Manhattan (25-8) with 16 points.
San Diego 73 State, New Mexico State 69
SPOKANE, Wash. — In the fourth and final overtime game on Day 1 of March Madness, San Diego State outlasted New Mexico State for a 73-69 victory.
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.
With files from The Canadian Press