SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — UC Irvine got back-to-back 3-pointers from Evan Leonard to spark the deciding run in a 70-64 upset over Kansas State that marked the Anteaters’ first NCAA Tournament victory in school history.
The Friday victory was the 17th consecutive for UC Irvine, which lost 57-55 to Louisville in 2015 in its only previous NCAA appearance.
Leonard and Max Hazzard each scored 19 points to send UC Irvine (31-5) into the second round of the South Region.
One year after making a run to the Elite Eight, the fourth-seeded Wildcats (25-9) had a short stay in the tournament as they struggled to decipher the Anteaters zone defense and missed star forward Dean Wade, who was sidelined by a foot injury.
Kamau Stokes led Kansas State with 18 points.
TEXAS TECH 72, NORTHERN KENTUCKY 57
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Jarrett Culver had 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to help No. 3 seed Texas Tech shake off a slow start against No. 14 seed Northern Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tariq Owens scored 12 points and Davide Moretti had 10 for Texas Tech (27-6).
Northern Kentucky (26-9) got 23 points from Tyler Sharpe and 11 from Dantez Walton while giving the Red Raiders everything they could handle in the West Region.
OKLAHOMA 95, MISSISSIPPI 72
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Rashard Odomes and Christian James scored 20 points apiece, Kristian Doolittle had 19 points and matched a career-high with 15 rebounds and No. 9 seed Oklahoma blitzed Mississippi with a season high in points in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Sooners (20-13) scored on eight of their first nine possessions for a 12-0 lead and led by 17 at halftime.
The Rebels (20-13) had looked like a tired team for more than a month, and eight days off didn’t appear to help. Terrence Davis led Ole Miss with 17 points.
IOWA 79, CINCINNATI 72
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Luka Garza scored 20 points, Jordan Bohannon made a three-point play during Iowa’s closing surge as the 10th-seeded Hawkeyes rallied past No. 7 seed Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Hawkeyes (23-11) got their first NCAA Tournament win in four years despite what amounted to a home crowd for the Bearcats, who couldn’t overcome a subpar game by Jarron Cumberland. He was 3 of 9 from beyond the arc and finished with 18 points.
Point guard Justin Jenifer scored a career-high 19 points for Cincinnati (28-7), which hasn’t made it past the opening weekend for seven straight years.