NCAA tournament flash: Wichita State can play a little defense, too. Just ask the stunned Flyers.
The Shockers' powerful offense stalled out until the closing minutes, but their defense carried them through to a 64-58 victory over Dayton on Friday night in the South Regional.
Make it 16 consecutive wins for the Shockers (31-4), who brought their reputation for piling up the points on the way to Indianapolis, along with the feeling that they'd been slighted by their No. 10 seed.
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 eight-of-12 shooting from the field 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 consecutive year.
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-seeded Creighton, 84-72, on Friday in the first round 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 consecutive victory.
The program won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since advancing to the Elite Eight and losing to Stanford in 1998.
Star big man Chris Boucher carefully stood with his bulky knee brace to pump his arms and cheer his teammates at every chance. He shimmied his shoulders in delight to celebrate the Oregon Ducks and what they were doing on the big stage without him.
Not quite the shot-blocking menace on the sidelines that he is on the floor for Oregon. He's doing his part.
The Ducks advanced in the NCAA tournament in large part because each player committed to do all the little things that Boucher brings on both ends.
Elijah Stewart has had a streaky season, on then off again, but his heat was rising when he camped out in the corner next to USC’s bench with 36 seconds left, the Trojans down by two points, in an NCAA tournament first-round game against Southern Methodist on Friday.
Jordan McLaughlin penetrated the lane, then found Stewart, who caught the ball with the laces straight. He eyed the rim. The ball hit only net on the way through the rim.
The Trojans trailed for almost all of Friday’s game, until it mattered. The 11th-seeded Trojans used a familiar formula — early deficit, furious comeback — to shock No. 6-seeded SMU, 66-65.