Desi Rodriguez had career highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds and Seton Hall all but clinched its first NCAA tournament berth in a decade with a stunning 90-81 victory over No. 5 Xavier on Sunday in Newark, N.J.
Isaiah Whitehead had 22 points, Angel Delgado added 17 and the Pirates (21-7, 11-5 in Big East Conference) used a suffocating defense in knocking off Xavier (25-4, 13-4), which upset No. 1 Villanova just four days ago.
The Pirates, who have not been in the NCAA tournament since 2006, had a season-high point total and shot 50% from the field in winning their fourth consecutive game and eighth of nine. Seton Hall never trailed after scoring the nine unanswered points and it beat Xavier in every aspect.
James Farr and Trevon Bluiett had 17 points apiece for Xavier, which was coming off a 90-83 win over Villanova.
at Pittsburgh 76, No. 15 Duke 62: Jamel Artis scored 17 points and the Panthers gave their NCAA tournament hopes a needed jolt with the dominating victory over the Blue Devils.
Senior point guard James Robinson added 14 points, seven assists and three rebounds in his final home game at the Petersen Events Center as the Panthers (20-8, 9-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) overwhelmed the Blue Devils (22-8, 10-6). Sheldon Jeter had 11 points for Pitt while Michael Young and Ryan Luther had 10 points each.
The Panthers held Duke to 37% shooting (18 for 48) and outscored the Blue Devils in the paint, 24-6.
Grayson Allen had 17 points for Duke and stayed out of trouble after being admonished by the ACC for his role in tripping a Florida State player in a Blue Devils victory last Thursday.
at Ohio State 68, No. 8 Iowa 64: Marc Loving scored 25 points, including both ends of a 1-and-1 with less than 2 seconds to go, and the Buckeyes rallied from a late deficit to stun the Hawkeyes.
Keita Bates-Diop added 19 points while Kam Williams added 11 for the Buckeyes, who ended the game on a 12-2 run.
After Bates-Diop preserved a two-point lead for Ohio State (19-11, 11-6 Big Ten) by blocking Mike Gesell’s layup with under 5 seconds to go, Loving made the free throws to ice the game.
Gesell and Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa (20-8, 11-5) with 16 points apiece while Peter Jok had 12. Iowa led by as many as six points in the second half.
at No. 6 Michigan State 88, Penn State 57: Denzel Valentine started slow and finished strong with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists to help the Spartans (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten) win their fourth in a row and eight of the last nine.
The Nittany Lions (15-14, 6-10) had won three consecutive games and four of five, including victories over then-No. 4 Iowa and then-No. 22 Indiana.
at No. 24 Southern Methodist 74, Tulane 53: Ben Moore scored 16 points and Sterling Brown added 15 as the Mustangs beat the Green Wave.
The win moves SMU (24-4, 12-4) back into a first-place tie in the American Athletic Conference with Temple.
Malik Morgan had 15 points and Louis Dabney added 12 for Tulane (10-19, 3-13), which dropped into a last-place tie with East Carolina.