GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Jack Nunge blocked Terrell Burden’s layup attempt in the final seconds and Xavier rallied from a 13-point hole against surprising Kennesaw State to escape with a 72-67 victory in the first round of the tournament at NCAA on Friday.
Souley Boum hit four crucial free throws in the final 2.6 seconds for the third-seeded Musketeers (26-9), who ran off 15 unanswered points as part of a late-game 24-6 run. It was enough to knock off the 14th-seeded Owl (26-9) in the first-ever March Madness game.
Xavier faces Pittsburgh on Sunday in the Midwest Regional.
Burden and Chris Youngblood each scored 14 points to lead Kennesaw State.
Iowa State 41
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Nellie Cummings scored 13 points and No. 11 Pittsburgh held sixth-seeded Iowa State to 23 percent shooting.
Jamarious Burton added 11 points and Greg Elliott had 10 for coach Jeff Capel’s Panthers, who jumped out to a 22-2 lead after Iowa State missed its first 11 shots. Things didn’t get much better for the Cyclones, who had three stretches in which they missed at least eight consecutive shots.
Pitt (24-11), which edged Mississippi State in the First Four, moves on to play third-seeded Xavier on Sunday.
Gabe Kalsheur and Jaren Holmes each had 12 points for Iowa State (19-14).
MICHIGAN STATE 72, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 62
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Joey Houser scored 17 points and No. 7 Michigan State clamped down on defense against No. 10 Southern California in the second half.
Coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans (20-12) will face Marquette on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
Tyson Walker and Jaden Akins each added 12 points for Michigan State, which held USC to 34 percent shooting in the second half.
MARQUETTE 78, VERMONT 61
COLUMBUS (AP) — Cam Jones scored 18 straight points for Marquette in the second half and the second-seeded Golden Eagles beat No. 15 Vermont for their first NCAA Tournament win in a decade.
Jones finished with 19 points. Oso Ighodaro scored 14 points and David Joplin added 12 as Marquette (29-6) pulled away in the final 10 minutes. Marquette won its first NCAA Tournament game in a decade and advanced to face Michigan State on Sunday.
SAINT MARY’S 63, VCU 51
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Mitchell Saxen had 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks and St. Mary’s defeated ailing VCU.
Alex Ducas also scored 17 points as the fifth-seeded Gaels (27-7) advanced to the second round for the second year in a row. Logan Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds and reserve Augustas Marchoulionis had 13 points. St. Mary’s will face UConn on Sunday.
Ace Baldwin led 12th-seeded VCU (27-8) with 13 points but appeared to sprain his right ankle landing after taking a jumper with just over 14 minutes left in regulation. The Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year went to the locker room for treatment and missed about five minutes as VCU extended its lead from four points to nine.
UCONN 87, IONA 63
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Adama Sanogo scored 10 of his 28 points in the first five minutes of the second half as fourth-seeded UConn took control and beat Iona.
The Huskies (26-8) advanced to play fifth-seeded St. Mary’s on Sunday after losing in the first round under coach Dan Hurley the past two seasons.
Coach Rick Pitino’s Gaels (27-8) had their 14-game winning streak snapped. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions led by two at halftime, but didn’t have the depth to handle one of the Big East’s best for 40 minutes.
UC SANTA BARBARA 56
DENVER (AP) — Caleb Lohner scored a season-best 13 points in just 18 minutes and No. 3 Baylor beat UC Santa Barbara.
Adam Flagler led the Bears with 18 points and LG Cryer scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half.
Baylor (23-10) overcame a one-point halftime deficit to advance against Creighton on Sunday.
Miles Norris led the No. 14 Gauchos (27-8) with 15 points. Ajay Mitchell added 13.
72 CREIGHTON, NC ST. 63
DENVER (AP) — Ryan Kalkbrenner scored a career-high 31 points and sixth-seeded Creighton overcame a terrible 3-point shooting day to hold off No. 11 North Carolina State.
The 7-foot-1 Kalkbrenner did a little bit of everything for the Bluejays, which included hitting a big 3-pointer on a day when the team finished 3 of 20 from long range. Kalkbrenner had six digs and seven rebounds, and NC State big men DJ Burns Jr. and Ebenezer Dowuona were hampered by foul trouble.
Next up for the Bluejays (22-12) is third-seeded Baylor in the second round.
Terquavion Smith led the Wolfpack (23-11) with 32 points.