Coach Moe Iba of Nebraska announced his resignation Friday night after the first NCAA basketball tournament game in the school's history--a 67-59 loss to Western Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Southeast Regional at Charlotte, N.C.
"I've resigned the coaching position at the University of Nebraska in order to pursue another head coaching job," Iba said after watching his team whittle an 18-point lead in the final 10 minutes to four points down the stretch. "The resignation was effective right after the game. I have no other comment to make."
Iba coached six seasons at Nebraska.
Western Kentucky will meet Kentucky in Sunday's second round. Western beat the Wildcats, 107-83, in their only previous meeting--in the 1971 NCAA tournament.
Western Kentucky is 23-7, while Nebraska closed its season at 20-10.
Kentucky 75, Davidson 55--Kenny Walker scored 20 points as third-ranked Kentucky (30-3) overcame a sluggish start to defeat Davidson (20-11). Kentucky's 12th victory in a row was slow to develop as Davidson built a 16-11 lead in the first seven minutes and still led, 20-17, with 10 minutes left in the opening half.
Roger Harden then began a 12-0 Kentucky run with a 20-footer, and James Blackmon followed with a three-point play off a steal and dunk that gave Kentucky the lead for good at 22-20. Walker ended the spurt with a six-footer with 4:40 left in the half that put the Southeastern Conference champions ahead, 29-20.
Illinois 75, Fairfield 51--Anthony Welch scored 22 points as the 19th-ranked Illini (22-9) used intense defensive pressure to break open the game and defeat the Stags (24-7). Welch scored the first 10 points for the Illini and had 16 in the first half when the Big Ten Conference team rolled to a 34-22 lead over the Metro Atlantic Conference champions.
The victory moves Illinois into a second-round contest Sunday against Alabama.
Alabama 97, Xavier 80--Jim Farmer scored 24 points and Buck Johnson 22 as the Tigers (23-8) beat the Musketeers (25-5). Farmer had 15 points in the first half when Johnson, who had 18 points in the second half, missed seven minutes because of foul trouble.