Zags send St. John's packing
DENVER — Marquise Carter scored a career-high 24 points, lifting 11th-seeded Gonzaga to an 86-71 victory over sixth-seeded St. John's on Thursday in a Southeast Regional game.
The Bulldogs (25-9) were the third lower seed to spring an upset in the Mile High city, joining No. 12 Richmond and No. 13 Morehead State.
These days, Gonzaga can hardly be considered an underdog, especially with its rich history of tournament upsets. The Bulldogs move on to face third-seeded BYU.
Pittsburgh 74, UNC Asheville 51
At Washington, Ashton Gibbs scored 20 of his 26 points after halftime, and bigger, stronger Pittsburgh kept the No. 1s perfect against the No. 16s in the NCAA tournament.
The Panthers out-rebounded the Bulldogs 50-27 to make up for so-so shooting by nearly everyone but Gibbs. Pitt (28-5) led by only three early in the second half before putting the game away with a 13-5 run.
Florida 79, UC Santa Barbara 51
At Tampa, Fla., Erving Walker scored 18 points, Chandler Parsons flirted with his first triple-double and Florida coasted to victory over 15th-seeded UC Santa Barbara.
Parsons finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-high 10 assists. Florida (27-7) made 11 of its first 15 shots, opened up a double-digit lead and kept piling on the rest of the way.
Wisconsin 72, Belmont 58
At Tucson, Ariz., Jon Leuer scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half and Wisconsin methodically dispatched Belmont in the Badgers' fifth consecutive NCAA tournament-opening victory.
Kansas State 73, Utah State 68
At Tucson, Ariz., Jacob Pullen scored 22 points and hit some big free throws down the stretch, helping Kansas State hold off Utah State.
The Wildcats allowed Utah State (30-4) climb back in it with a string of late mistakes, but closed it out from the free throw line to squelch the 12-5 upset.
Butler 60, Old Dominion 58
At Washington, Matt Howard scored on a tip-in at the buzzer, giving eighth-seeded Butler a victory.
After Shawn Vanzant missed, Howard went up with his right hand and put the ball in an instant before time expired.
BYU 74, Wofford 66
At Denver, Jimmer Fredette scored 32 points to lift third-seeded Brigham Young over No. 14 Wofford.
Hounded, double teamed and trapped by Wofford defenders much of the night, the nation's leading scorer still got off 25 shots and made 12 trips to the free-throw line.
Richmond 69, Vanderbilt 66
At Denver, Kevin Anderson scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half, including a floater with 18.7 seconds remaining that helped seal 12th-seeded Richmond's win.
Fifth-seeded Vanderbilt had a chance to tie the game with 2.5 seconds left, but Rod Odom's desperation heave was nowhere near the hoop as time expired.
Kentucky 59, Princeton 57
At Tampa, Fla., freshman Brandon Knight, held scoreless for more than 39 minutes, made a driving layup with 2 seconds remaining to lift No. 4 seed Kentucky over 13th-seeded Princeton.
Knight missed his first seven shots and even found himself on the bench in the closing minute.
West Virginia 84, Clemson 76
At Tampa, Fla., Darryl Bryant scored 19 points and Kevin Jones added 17 to help fifth-seeded West Virginia overcome a slow start and wear down No. 12 Clemson.
Temple 66, Penn State 64
At Tucson, Ariz., Juan Fernandez sank an off-balance 18-footer with under a second to play to end coach Fran Dunphy's NCAA tournament record 11-game losing streak.
Fernandez, double-teamed as time was running out, got off a shot off his right foot while fading to his left just inside the 3-point line.
San Diego State 68,Northern Colorado 50
At Tucson, Ariz., Kawhi Leonard had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and second-seeded San Diego State survived Devon Beitzel's scoring burst to earn its first NCAA tournament win.
The Aztecs (33-2) had their hands full with the Bears of the Big Sky early. San Diego State pulled away behind its defense in the second half, holding Northern Colorado (21-11) scoreless for nearly 7 minutes.
Connecticut 81, Bucknell 52
At Washington, Kemba Walker had 18 points, a career-high 12 assists and eight rebounds, and No. 3 seed Connecticut earned coach Jim Calhoun his 850th career victory.
Roscoe Smith scored 17 for the Huskies (27-9), who showed no signs of fatigue after winning five games in five days last week to capture the Big East tournament.
Cincinnati 78, Missouri 63
At Washington, Yancy Gates had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Cincinnati made a successful return to the NCAA tournament.
The sixth-seeded Bearcats used their stalwart defense to hold the run-all-the-time Tigers to 29 percent shooting in the first half and 38 percent for the game.