NCAA Tourney Update
Kansas State easily cruised past North Texas, the #15 seed in the West region. The Wildcats, the #2 regional seed, took command of the game early and were never threatened. Denis Clemente led the way to the 82-62 victory, with 17 points. Three other players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, who face BYU in the second round.
The upset of the day thus far belongs to the Murray State Racers, a #13 seed, taking out #4 Vanderbilt on a buzzer-beater by Danero Thomas, 66-65. The Racers clawed all day long to maintain short leads, but eventually found themselves down by a point with 4.8 seconds remaining. Thomas' 15-footer caught nothing but nylon as a celebration ensued with the ball going cleanly through the hoop. Murray State's next opponent is the winner of the Butler-UTEP game, the last of the Thursday day games. It was the second one-point win of the day.
The St. Mary's Gaels, winners of six straight, including the final of the West Coast Tournament over Gonzaga, took over after the break, and outgunned Richmond, the #7 seed from the Atlantic-10, 80-71. The big problem for the Spiders was 6'11" Omar Samhan, who scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, both game highs. Samhan dominated the interior, while his teammates lined up open outside shots. The Gaels earned their first tournament win since 1959, shooting 49%. They face Villanova in the second round on Saturday in Providence.
Baylor unknotted a tight game with a late spurt to put down pesky Sam Houston, 69-58, in the South region. Ekpe Udoh registered a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. The Bears advance to the second round game against upset winner Old Dominion on Sunday.
Trailing by 6 at the half, the Bulter Bulldogs advanced into the second round in the West region with a 77-59 win over UTEP, the region's #12 seed and will face upset winner, Murray State on Sunday. The Bulldogs roared out of half time, going on a 22-4 run. Shelvin Mack, on fire from outside, canned 7 of 9 3-pointers for a game high 25 points.