NCAA First Four: Notre Dame beats Rutgers in double-OT
Paul Atkinson Jr.’s putback layup with 1.4 seconds left in the second overtime gave Notre Dame an 89-87 win over Rutgers in a wild First Four game Wednesday night.
Ron Harper Jr. tied it with a long 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in the second OT. Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley then missed a shot before Atkinson grabbed the rebound and put back the winner.
Atkinson finished with 20 points, Nate Laszewski 18 and Cormac Ryan 16 to lead the Irish (23-10), who as the No. 11 seed advance to face sixth-seeded Alabama in a a first-round game Friday in San Diego.
Caleb McConnell had career-high 23 points and Ron Harper Jr. 22 for the Scarlet Knights (18-11).
Both teams shot a respectable 51% for the game.
McConnell scored 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor as Rutgers built a 41-36 lead at the half. He put the finishing touches on the scoring before intermission, going the length of the court and putting up a fast-break layup at the buzzer.
Rutgers went up by eight to open the second half on Harper’s 3-pointer, but Notre Dame chipped away. The Irish got up by as many as five late before the game got tight again.
Geo Baker’s 3-pointer tied it at 69 for Rutgers with 1:24 left. Rutgers got the ball back, but Harper and Baker both missed shots that would have given the Scarlet Knights the win in regulation.
The UCLA Bruins enter the NCAA tournament battle tested after coping with an emergency flight landing, injuries, a COVID shutdown and other hurdles.
Wright State 93, Bryant 82
Tanner Holden had 37 points and 11 rebounds and Wright State beat Bryant 93-82 on Wednesday night for its first NCAA tournament victory.
Playing inside the University of Dayton Arena just 12 miles from its home court, Wright State (22-13) advanced to play top-seeded Arizona in San Diego on Friday in the West Region.
Holden was 11 of 15 from the field. Tyler Calvin added 21 points, and Grant Basile had 14.
Peter Kiss, the NCAA’s leading scorer, led Bryant (22-10) with 28 points.
The Raiders led 44-42 at halftime behind 20 points from Holden.
Both teams were seeded 16th.
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