- Associated Press - Thursday, March 15, 2012

PITTSBURGH — Syracuse was missing its starting center. North Carolina-Asheville thought the Orange got help from three men in striped shirts.

With Syracuse facing the kind of NCAA tournament history no team wants to make, the top-seeded Orange rallied for a 72-65 victory Thursday in the second round of the East Regional.

Two calls by the officials had the sellout crowd of 18,927 at Consol Energy Center - except for those wearing orange - booing throughout the final minute but it didn’t matter.

Syracuse made it 109-0 for No. 1 seeds against No. 16s since the NCAA went to a field of 64 in 1985.

“I don’t think luck had anything to do with this game today,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said, “and I think the better team won.”

The Orange were staring at NCAA tournament history. A No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed, and they were trailing North Carolina-Asheville with just more than 6 minutes to play.

“We gave it everything we had. We battled the best that we could,” Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach said. “These guys are great. They deserved a better fate than they had today.”

Syracuse, which won the national championship in 2003, had already made negative history in the tournament, becoming the first No. 2 seed to lose to a 15 when it fell 73-69 to Richmond in 1991.

The Orange managed to avoid adding another black mark by holding Asheville to one field goal over the final minute while they went 6 of 7 from the free throw line.

Vanderbilt 79, Harvard 70

John Jenkins made all six of his free throws down the stretch and finished with 27 points to help No. 5 Vanderbilt hold off No. 12 Harvard in the game that was billed as “The Brain Bowl.”

Brad Tinsley had 16 for the Commodores (25-10).

N. Mexico 75, Long Beach 68

Kendall Williams scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and bottled up Long Beach State star Casper Ware defensively to help fifth-seeded New Mexico hold on

Drew Gordon added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Lobos.

Louisville 69, Davidson 62

Peyton Siva scored 17 points and Louisville finally moved on in the NCAA tournament after getting ousted in its first tournament game the past two seasons.

Kansas St. 70, So. Miss 64

Rodney McGruder scored 30 points and Jordan Henriquez added 15 points, nine rebounds and six blocks to lead eighth-seeded Kansas State.

Marquette 88, BYU 68

Jae Crowder finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds as Marquette withstood another furious BYU rally.

Wisconsin 73, Montana 49

Rob Evans scored 18 points and Jordan Taylor added 17 points and six assists for Wisconsin.

The loss ended Montana’s school-record 14-game winning streak.

Murray St. 58, Colo. St. 41

Isaiah Canaan scored 15 points in Murray State’s return to the NCAA tournament after a two-year wait.

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