No. 1 Gonzaga survives against No. 16 Southern
GONZAGA 64, SOUTHERN 58
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A March Madness warm-up turned into a great escape for Gonzaga.
The Zags got pushed to the limit by Southern, pulling out a victory in the closing minutes to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 in the NCAA tournament.
Kelly Olynyk led the Zags (32-2) with 21 points. They play No. 9 Wichita State on Saturday.
But it was a pair of 3-pointers — one by Gary Bell Jr., the next by Kevin Pagnos — that staked the Bulldogs to a 62-58 lead only moments after the game was tied at 56 with 3:45 left.
Derick Beltran had 21 points to lead Southern (23-10) and his 14-foot baseline jumper tied it at 56. But the Jaguars from the Southwestern Athletic Conference didn't make another field goal.
No. 1 seeds are now 113-0 against 16s.
BUTLER 68, BUCKNELL 56
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Andrew Smith had a double-double including a career-high 16 rebounds, Roosevelt Jones added 14 points and Butler made its free throws down the stretch to hold off upset-minded Bucknell.
After trailing for most of the game, 11th-seeded Bucknell got back into it with a 19-2 second-half run. But after Joe Willman's jumper cut Butler's lead to 43-42 with 6:56 left, the Bison (28-6) went almost five minutes without scoring. Butler went 18-of-20 at the line in the last 4:43.
Willman scored a career-high 20 points for Bucknell, but the Bison couldn't overcome an off day by two-time Patriot League Player of the Year Mike Muscala. Bucknell's all-time leading scorer had nine points, only the second time this season he'd failed to reach double figures.
MICHIGAN STATE 65, VALPARAISO 54
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past the 14th-seeded Crusaders in the Midwest Regional.
The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control, and cruised to an easy victory.
Michigan State (26-8) will play Memphis on Saturday when coach Tom Izzo's Spartans will be shooting for a spot in the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.
The Crusaders (26-8) were no match for Michigan State in their first NCAA tourney in nine years.
Erik Buggs scored 14 and Matt Kenney had 10 points for the Crusaders.
MEMPHIS 54, ST. MARY'S 52
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Matthew Dellavedova's 3-pointer from the right wing missed everything as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary's.
The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds.
With Memphis ahead 54-49, Eividas Petrulis banked in a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play. The Tigers then lost the ball when the Gaels' Jordan Giusti deflected the inbound pass off Joe Jackson of Memphis and out of bounds.
Saint Mary's (28-7) was out of timeouts but had a chance to regroup while officials reviewed the previous sequence. It didn't matter. Dellavedova, the career leader in scoring for Saint Mary's, was able to get a shot off, but it didn't come close to going in.
It was the first win in the NCAA tournament for Memphis since 2009, when John Calipari was still coach. The Tigers face third-seeded Michigan State on Saturday.
D.J. Stephens had nine points and eight blocks for Memphis, and Jackson had 14 points and seven assists. Brad Waldow scored 17 points to lead Saint Mary's.
Dellavedova had 10 points, seven assists and six turnovers in 40 minutes.
SAINT LOUIS 64, NEW MEXICO STATE 44
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points and fourth-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed New Mexico State in the Midwest Regional.
Playing through the death of Rick Majerus in December, Saint Louis reached another mark for its late coach. The Billikens (28-6) eclipsed the 1988-89 team's school record of 27 victories.
Evans shot 11 of 16 and finished a point shy of his career best to propel Saint Louis past 7-foot-5 New Mexico State freshman Sim Bhullar. The Billikens held Bhullar to four points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Saint Louis plays Oregon on Saturday.
Bandja Sy had 17 points and nine rebounds for the 13th-seeded Aggies (24-11), who shot just 28 percent.
OREGON 68, OKLAHOMA STATE 55
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Damyean Dotson scored 17 points and Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds to help 12th-seeded Oregon extend a run that began in the Pac-12 tournament by beating fifth-seeded Oklahoma.
Dominic Artis scored 13 points and helped frustrate Oklahoma State star freshman Marcus Smart on the defensive end to give the Ducks (27-8) their first tournament win in six years.
Smart came into the game with the hype of a top NBA prospect but was held to 14 points on 5 for 13 shooting for the Cowboys (24-9).
WICHITA STATE 73, PITTSBURGH 55
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points, Cleanthony Early added 21 and ninth-seeded Wichita State ousted Pittsburgh.
Freshman Steven Adams led Pitt (24-9) with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Call Hall added 11 points for the Shockers (27-8).
The Shockers forced Pitt into 15 turnovers and held the Panthers to 35 percent shooting, including 1 of 17 from 3-point range.
Pitt's leading scorer, Tray Woodall, missed his first four shots and finished with two points. He shot 1 of 12, including 0 of 5 from beyond the arc, with five turnovers.