Spartans, Gators, Huskies and Wolverines advance
Michigan St. 93, Delaware 78
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — 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.
Florida 67, Albany 55
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, most of them on dunks, and top-seeded Florida used a second-half surge to beat 16th-seeded Albany.
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.
DJ Evans led Albany (19-15) with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Connecticut 89, Saint Joseph's 81, OT
AP Sports Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — 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 center 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.
Michigan 57, Wofford 40
GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP) — 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.