Photo courtesy US Presswire
UNDATED (AP) -- Only a late rally and a couple of questionable calls by the officials prevented Syracuse from becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
The Orange trailed with six minutes left before defeating UNC-Asheville 72-65.
Backup forward James Southerland finished with 15 points and a season-high eight rebounds while giving Syracuse more of an inside presence following the loss of Fab Melo due to ineligibility. The Orange didn't do much from outside, missing 17 of their first 20 three-point attempts and finishing 5-for-23.
Kris Joseph and Dion Waiters both had 12 points for Syracuse, while J.P. Primm had a game-high 18 points for Asheville.
The Bulldogs led 34-30 at the breaking, making them just the third No. 16 seed to lead at halftime. But a couple of controversial calls over the final 80 seconds prevented them from getting any closer than three points down the stretch.
Also in the East region, Rodney McGruder scored 30 points to lead eighth-seeded Kansas State over No. 9 Southern Miss 70-64.
Jordan Henriquez added 15 points, nine rebounds and six blocks as the Wildcats earned the right to face the Orange on Saturday.
No. 4 Wisconsin ripped No. 13 Montana 73-49 as Jordan Taylor provided 17 points, six assists and eight rebounds. Ryan Evans added a team-high 18 points for the Badgers, who will take on Vanderbilt on Saturday.
John Jenkins went 6-for-6 from the line down the stretch and finished with 27 points in the Commodores' 79-70 triumph over Harvard. Vanderbilt led by 18 early in the second half and won despite failing to make a field goal over the final 5:22.
Over to the West region, where third seed Marquette blew most of a 19-point lead before whipping BYU 88-68. Jae Crowder finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds, and Darius Johnson-Odom provided 12 of his 20 points after halftime.
No. 4 Louisville was a 69-62 winner against Davidson as Peyton Siva scored 17 points and had six assists. Chane Behanan added 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Cardinals advanced to play New Mexico in the third round.
The fifth-seeded Lobos were 75-68 winners against Long Beach State as Kendall Williams scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Drew Gordon produced 18 points and 13 rebounds while New Mexico was holding Big West player of the year Casper Ware to 17 points on 5-of-19 shooting.
Isaiah Canaan had 15 points and backcourt mate Donte Poole added 13 to lead No. 6 Murray State past Colorado State 58-41. The Racers went on an 18-2 run in the second half to take control earn a third-round meeting with Marquette.
The Associated Press