PETE IACOBELLI, GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Grayson Allen had 21 points off five 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and second-seeded Duke continued its perfect postseason with an 87-65 victory over Troy in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night to start the East Region.
The Blue Devils (29-7) became the first team to win four games on the way to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament crown last week. They kept up that pace in blowing past the 15th-seeded Trojans (22-15).
Duke will take on either No. 7 seed South Carolina or No. 10 seed Marquette and its coach, former Blue Devils point guard and assistant Steve Wojciechowski, on Sunday.
The Blue Devils improved to 34-7 all-time in openers and put this one out of reach early with their 3-point shooting.
Jordon Varnado had 18 points to lead Troy, which made its first NCAA appearance since 2003.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Josh Jackson insisted a season’s worth of distractions wouldn’t take away from his focus in his first, and likely last, NCAA Tournament.
The standout Kansas freshman proved true to his word in an opening-round 100-62 victory over UC Davis on Friday night, scoring 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting in his return from a one-game suspension for an accumulation of embarrassing incidents.
Jackson scored the first field goal for the Jayhawks (29-5) and 11 of their first 31 points after missing last week’s Big 12 Conference Tournament. His hot start helped Kansas recover from missing its first four shots, and it helped the Jayhawks win their opening game of the tournament for an 11th straight year.
The win ensures top seeds will remain perfect since the tournament expanded, with the schools now 132-0 against No. 16 seeds.
It also puts an end to a dream run for the Aggies (23-13), who were in their first NCAA Tournament and had advanced to face Kansas after winning a First Four game against North Carolina Central.
Chima Moneke scored 20 points to lead UC Davis, while Brynton Lemar added 17 and Siler Schneider 10 in the loss.
All five starters finished in double figures for Kansas, with Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonte’ Graham adding 16 points each and Landen Lucas 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Jayhawks outrebounded UC Davis 45-27 and shot 56.3 percent (36 of 64) in the win.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — For the second straight NCAA Tournament game, Southern California overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half to win.
Elijah Stewart hit a late 3-pointer for No. 11 seed USC as the Trojans upset sixth-seeded SMU 66-65 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
USC trailed SMU by 10 in the second half. The Trojans trailed Providence by 17 in the second half of their First Four game on Wednesday night before winning 75-71.
Stewart had 22 points for the Trojans (26-9), including the game-deciding 3 with 37 seconds to play.
Bennie Boatright and Chimezie Metu each added 14 points for USC, which advanced to play third-seeded Baylor in the second round of the East region on Sunday.
SMU’s Shake Milton missed a floater at the buzzer that would have won it for the Mustangs.
Semi Ojeleye had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Sterling Brown had 17 points for SMU (30-5), which had won 16 straight. The Mustangs’ last loss had been on Jan. 12.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Dan Hurley stole an occasional glance at the raucous Rhode Island section and realized just how much this NCAA Tournament means to a starved program, and to an entire state that loves its basketball even if far more under the radar than so many of the others featuring powerhouse programs.
Who could blame them? Back in the tournament for the first time in 18 years, these Rams are on a roll they hope lasts a little longer.
Jeff Dowtin scored a career-high 23 points with a perfect day at the free-throw line, upstart Rhode Island answered every threat and the Rams ran right into the next round of the NCAA Tournament by stunning cold-shooting No. 6 seed Creighton 84-72 on Friday in an opener of the Midwest Region.
Kuran Iverson scored 17 points and Hassan Martin had 12 points and eight rebounds as 11th-seeded Rhode Island (25-9) earned its ninth straight victory. The program won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since advancing to the Elite Eight and losing to Stanford in 1998.
Ronnie Harrell Jr. scored a career-high 15 points in Creighton’s 40 percent shooting day when little went right.
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