- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

The Latest on Day 2 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

1 a.m.

The final numbers from the first round are in, and the voters in The Associated Press Top 25 poll did a pretty good job of nailing the best teams.

Of the 32 teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s second round, 30 spent at least one week in the AP Top 25. The ones that didn’t - Arkansas and Middle Tennessee.

And only one of the teams in the final AP poll failed to make it to the round of 32 - No. 11 SMU, which as a No. 6 seed was upset by 11th-seeded Southern California 66-65 on a late 3-pointer Friday.

___

12:35 a.m.

Bam Adebayo had 15 points and 18 rebounds and Kentucky showed the new kids on their block how it’s done at NCAA Tournament time, gritting out a 79-70 victory over stubborn Northern Kentucky.

The second-seeded Wildcats won their 12th straight and got their first-game NCAA Tournament jitters out of the way. They also wound up with a surprisingly close finish after pulling ahead by 18 points in the second half.

Northern Kentucky reached the tournament in its first year of eligibility, only the seventh team to do so since 1970.

___

12:15 a.m.

TJ Leaf scored 23 points, Thomas Welsh added 16 and UCLA pulled away late for a 97-80 victory over scrappy Kent State in the South Region.

UCLA jumped to a 14-point lead in the opening minutes, but the third-seeded Bruins had numerous breakdowns and let Kent State claw back into it by halftime before eventually stretching the lead midway through the second half.

Lonzo Ball and Aaron Holiday each had 15 points for UCLA, which will face No. 6 seed Cincinnati in the second round on Sunday.

Jaylin Walker had 23 points and Jimmy Hall Jr. added 20 for Kent State.

___

12:10 a.m.

South Carolina is back in the win column at the NCAA Tournament.

Sindarius Thornwell had 29 points and 11 rebounds to help the seventh-seeded Gamecocks win its first NCAA Tournament game in 44 years, a 93-73 victory over Marquette to close first-round play in the East Region.

The drought finally came to end in front of a boisterous South Carolina crowd that traveled the 2 hours north from Columbia to witness the end of an ugly run they couldn’t have imagined would last this long.

Jujuan Johnson had 16 points to lead Marquette.

If the Gamecocks want an NCAA winning streak, they’ll have to beat No. 2 seed Duke on Sunday.

___

11:45 p.m.

UCLA freshman point guard Lonzo Ball has become the school’s all-time leader for assists in a season.

Ball dished out his third assist in the South Region against Kent State, giving him 257 this season. He passes the record of 256 set by Larry Drew II in 2012-13.

Ball was the national leader with 7.7 assists per game during the regular season.

___

11:33 p.m.

Nick Ward scored 19 points to help Michigan State atone for last season’s early NCAA Tournament disappointment with an opening-round 78-58 victory over Miami.

The ninth-seeded Spartans trailed by as many 12 points in the first half before blitzing past the stunned Hurricanes the rest of the way, using a 20-2 first half run to take control for good.

Ja’Quan Newton scored 16 points to lead Miami, which had won at least one tournament game in each of its previous three trips.

11:00 p.m.

The 7-10 game between South Carolina and Marquette to close the East Region is a tight one.

The Golden Eagles hit eight 3-pointers in the opening half to lead by as many as 10.

The Gamecocks, however, rallied to cut the deficit to 40-39 at the break. Seventh-seeded South Carolina is seeking its first NCAA victory since 1973.

___

10:50 p.m.

UCLA leads Kent State 47-39 at halftime in the South Region, but its lead has quickly dwindled.

The third-seeded Bruins opened the game with a 16-2 run, holding the Golden Flashes to 1-of-11 shooting.

Kent State, the No. 14 seed, began to fight back and whittled away at the lead, hitting 14 of its final 29 shots.

UCLA made 20 of 33 from the floor.

___

10:40 p.m.

Defensive-minded Cincinnati turned on the scoring for a change and shot its way past Kansas State 75-61 in the South Region.

Cincinnati was knocked out the first round a year ago and No. 6 seeds were 0-3 before the Bearcats took the floor, with Maryland, Creighton and SMU all losing to No. 11 seeds.

The Bearcats took care of their business and the No. 6 jinx with an impressive shooting display, shooting 62 percent.

The Cincinnati defense prevented Kansas State from making much of a run after building a 17-point lead.

Troy Caupain scored 23 points and Kyle Washington added 16 for the Bearcats.

Wesley Iwundu led Kansas State with 19 points.

___

10 p.m.

Wichita State is still unbeaten since mid-January.

The 10th-seeded Shockers won their 16th in a row - the second-longest streak in school history - by clamping down on defense and swatting away shots down the stretch in a 64-58 victory over Dayton.

Wichita State blocked eight shots and held the seventh-seeded Flyers to a season-low 31 percent from the field.

Zach Brown’s 3-pointer put Wichita State up 51-45 with 5:38 left, the biggest lead by either team up to that point, and Dayton never threatened again.

Point guard Scoochie Smith had 25 points for Dayton.

___

9:45 p.m.

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens holds a special place in his heart for Indiana, but he says he’s not going back.

Prior to Friday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center, Stevens shot down speculation he could replace Tom Crean at Indiana.

“I don’t really speak to the rumor mill or anything else, but I made it pretty clear that I am going to be here,” Stevens said. “I’ve been asked about that quite a bit. I’ll just keep saying the same thing - I’ll be here until the Celtics decide to move in another direction.”

Stevens was born in Indianapolis and led Butler to two straight national title games before making the jump to the NBA.

Crean was fired Thursday after the Hoosiers finished the season 18-10, 7-11 in the Big Ten in his seventh season.

___

9:30 p.m.

Grayson Allen had 21 points off five 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and second-seeded Duke continued its perfect postseason with an 87-65 victory over Troy in the East Region.

The Blue Devils became the first team to win four games on the way to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament crown last week. They kept up that pace in blowing past the 15th-seeded Trojans.

The Blue Devils improved to 34-7 all-time in openers and put this one out of reach early with their 3-point shooting.

Jordon Varnado had 18 points to lead Troy, which made its first NCAA appearance since 2003.

___

9:15 p.m.

North Carolina State has made it official - the school issued a news release Friday night saying it has hired Kevin Keatts away from UNC Wilmington as its new head coach.

The 44-year-old Keatts replaces Mark Gottfried, who was fired after a sixth season that saw the Wolfpack quickly unravel after four straight NCAA Tournament trips.

Athletic department spokesman Fred Demarest says the school is planning to hold a news conference Sunday to formally introduce Keatts.

___

9:05 p.m.

Top seeds remain perfect since the NCAA Tournament expanded. They’re 132-0 against No. 16 seeds after the Kansas Jayhawks beat UC Davis 100-62.

Frank Mason scored 22 points and had eight assists for Kansas. Freshman Josh Jackson added 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting for the Jayhawks.

Chima Moneke scored 20 points to lead the Aggies, who were in their first NCAA Tournament.

Kansas has won its opening game 11 straight years.

___

8:35 p.m.

Hot-shooting Cincinnati leads Kansas State 39-28 in the South region.

Known for their defense, the Bearcats hit their first eight shots of the game and 15 of 23 in the opening 20 minutes.

Troy Caupain made all five of his shots for 14 points and Gary Clark had 10 on 4-of-6 shooting.

___

8:15 p.m.

Scoochie Smith is giving the large Dayton contingent many chances to do its “Scooooooooochie” cheer.

The senior guard has 15 points as the Flyers lead Wichita State 29-27 at halftime in Indianapolis. He’s the only one who’s been able to score with any consistency. No other player has more than five points or two baskets.

Smith’s best move came on a drive to the basket. He switched hands for the layup, fell on his back and slid across the floor.

Neither team is doing much on offense - outside of Smith, that is. Wichita State is shooting only 35.7 percent from the field. Dayton is shooting 34.5 percent.

___

8:10 p.m.

Think Duke may have watched rival North Carolina’s put up 100 points in its NCAA opener? Maybe so.

The Blue Devils are halfway there as they lead Troy 52-38 at the half in an East region opener played in Greenville.

The Tar Heels were the game played here right before Duke and Troy took the floor. Duke has not scored 100 points in an NCAA game since defeating Southern Illinois 105-70 to start the 1993 tournament.

___

8 p.m.

The Cincinnati Bearcats can’t miss.

Cincinnati opened its South Region game in Sacramento against Kansas State by hitting its first eight shots against a team known for its defense.

The Bearcats led 19-11 near the midpoint of the first half, hoping to end a streak of No. 6 seeds losing to No. 11 seeds. Maryland, Creighton and SMU already went down as No. 6 seeds.

___

7:55 p.m.

Kansas leads UC Davis 50-28 at the half as the top seeds continue to roll.

The Jayhawks took a commanding lead with a 29-7 run against UC Davis, in its first NCAA Tournament and fresh from a victory in the First Four over North Carolina Central on Wednesday night.

Frank Mason III has 11 points as all but three of the 50 points have come from the five Kansas starters.

Kansas coach Bill Self was smiling as he tried to find something to criticize.

“We’ve just been living with the jump shot a little too much,” Self said as he walked off the court in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Kansas entered the tournament 16th in the country with an average of 82.7 points per game.

___

7:35 p.m.

As a No. 6 seed, Cincinnati has reason to feel wary heading into tonight’s game with Kansas State.

So far in this tournament, the No. 6 seeds are 0-3 against No. 11 seeds.

Xavier knocked off Maryland. Rhode Island defeated Creighton. Southern California edged SMU.

No. 11 seeds have a history of doing well in this tournament. No. 6 seeds have posted a winning record against No. 11 seeds just once in the last eight years.

___

7:25 p.m.

One day after UNC Wilmington lost to Virginia in the NCAA Tournament, it appears the Seahawks have lost their coach to a different Atlantic Coast Conference team.

North Carolina State has reached an agreement with UNC Wilmington coach Kevin Keatts, a person with knowledge of the decision said Friday night. The person said the school is expected hold a news conference Sunday to formally introduce Keatts as the Wolfpack’s new coach.

Keatts replaces Mark Gottfried, who was fired after six seasons.

___

For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide