Florida Gulf Coast stuns No. 2 Georgetown 78-68

Florida Gulf Coast players celebrate after upsetting No. 2 seed Georgetown on Friday in the NCAA Tournament in Philadelphia.

Florida Gulf Coast players celebrate after upsetting No. 2 seed Georgetown on Friday in the NCAA Tournament in Philadelphia. Photo by The Associated Press.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — College basketball, meet Florida Gulf Coast.

A school so new it wasn’t eligible for the NCAA Tournament until last year busted a load of brackets Friday night.

With 24 points from Sherwood Brown and a healthy dose of swagger, FGCU upset second-seeded Georgetown 78-68 in the second round of the South Region.

“This is our first time being in the NCAA Tournament. To actually go out there and win that first game, it means something really special to us,” said Brown, who was the first of the players to head toward the Florida Gulf Coast cheering section with several seconds still on the clock.

The Eagles used a 21-2 second-half run to pull away from the Hoyas and then held on in the final minute to become just the seventh No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. We played a very tough team in Georgetown. They have great players. They’re a historic school,” forward Chase Fieler said. “So being a newer school it’s very exciting for us to be able to win a game like that and for the NCAA history. That’s exciting and impressive to be a part of that.”

Bernard Thompson had 23 points for Florida Gulf Coast, the champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

FGCU (25-10) will play seventh-seeded San Diego State, which beat No. 10 seed Oklahoma 70-55, in the third round Sunday.

“We decided we can play with anybody and we did,” said FGCU point guard Brett Comer, who finished with 12 points,10 assists and just two turnovers.

Just a night before, Harvard — the nation’s oldest university, founded in 1636 — pulled off a major upset over third-seeded New Mexico. Now, one of its youngest — FGCU’s first student was admitted in 1997 — has an even bigger one.

The Eagles’ monster run gave them a 52-33 lead with 12:28 to play. The Hoyas staged a furious rally to get within 72-68 with 52 seconds left but the Eagles went 6-of-10 from the free throw line to seal it.

For those who don’t know FGCU, and that was probably plenty of people as of Friday afternoon, Florida Gulf Coast is a state university in Fort Myers with an enrollment of about 12,000 students.

This is FGCU’s first tournament and Georgetown’s 29th, including the 1984 national championship. But the Eagles did beat Miami earlier this season.

San Diego State 70, Oklahoma 55

PHILADELPHIA — Jamaal Franklin scored 21 points, James Rahon had 17 and San Diego State beat Oklahoma 70-55 to earn its third NCAA Tournament victory.

The seventh-seeded Aztecs (23-10) will play No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday in the South Region. The Eagles introduced themselves to the college basketball world with a 78-68 win over Georgetown.

After that thriller, this game never stood a chance.

South Region

North Carolina 78, Villanova 71

KANSAS CITY — P.J. Hairston scored 23 points, James Michael McAdoo added 17 and North Carolina unleashed a flurry of 3-pointers to subdue gritty Villanova 78-71, giving coach Roy Williams his 700th career victory.

The never-say-die Wildcats (20-14) erased a 20-point deficit that North Carolina built in the first half and then nearly climbed out of a nine-point hole in the final minutes after the Tar Heels hit three consecutive 3s and once again appeared to take control.

The eighth-seeded Tar Heels (25-10) take on No. 1 seed Kansas, where Williams coached for 15 years and rang up more than 400 wins.

Kansas 64, Western Kentucky 57

KANSAS CITY — Jeff Withey scored 17 points and top-seeded Kansas struggled to put away scrappy Western Kentucky in a 64-57 victory that avoided what would have been the biggest upset on a day full of them.

The Jayhawks (30-5), flummoxed by the Hilltoppers’ full-court pressure, trailed 31-30 at halftime. Kansas eventually built an 11-point lead in the second half, but couldn’t put Western Kentucky away until Ben McLemore’s two foul shots with 11 seconds left in the game.

McLemore and Travis Releford scored 11 each for the Jayhawks (30-5), who wearily advanced to play No. 8 seed North Carolina and former coach Roy Williams in the South Region on Sunday.

Florida 79, Northwestern State 47

AUSTIN, Texas — Erik Murphy had 18 points to lead four Florida players in double figures and the Gators shut down the NCAA’s highest-scoring team, beating Northwestern State 79-47 in the second round of the South Region.

No. 3 seed Florida turned this one into a rout with a 19-1 run in the second half and held the 14th-seeded Demons (23-9) to their fewest points this season — 34 below their average.

Patric Young had 16 points and nine rebounds for Florida (27-7). Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin both scored 11.

East Region

Indiana 83, James Madison 62

DAYTON, Ohio — Freshman Yogi Ferrell scored 14 points in the first six minutes as top-seeded Indiana slam dunked its way past James Madison.

Not taking any chances with a No. 16 seed, the Hoosiers (28-6) started fast and built a 33-point lead in the second half over the Dukes (21-15) and opened the tourney with a statement they intend to be around for a while.

Looking every bit like a team capable of cutting down the nets in Atlanta next month, Indiana will play Temple in the second round Sunday.

Ferrell finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Cody Zeller had four dunks for Indiana.

Temple 76, North Carolina State 72

DAYTON, Ohio — Khalif Wyatt scored 31 points, finishing the game with an injured left thumb that had him grimacing before his clinching free throws, and Temple broke with its one-and-done NCAA Tournament trend.

The ninth-seeded Owls (24-9) opened a 17-point lead before Wyatt — the Atlantic 10’s player of the year and top scorer — hurt his left thumb and left the game briefly, returning with black tape on the non-shooting hand.

Every shot was an adventure, but he made enough — including six painful but perfect free throws in the final 32 seconds — to keep Temple around for more than one game. The Owls had lost their opener in four of their last five NCAA trips.

No. 8 N.C. State (24-11) trailed most of the game.

Miami 78, Pacific 49

AUSTIN, Texas — Durand Scott had 21 points and Miami had a triumphant return to the NCAA Tournament.

The Hurricanes (28-6), who may be even better than their No. 2 seed in the East Regional would indicate, put the game out of reach with a 14-0 run midway through the first half of their first NCAA tourney game in five years.

Illinois 57, Colorado 49

AUSTIN, Texas — Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson made consecutive 3-pointers to give Illinois back the lead with 6 minutes left and the seventh-seeded Illini pulled out a tough win over Colorado.

Illinois led by 16 at halftime only to watch Colorado rip off a 21-2 run in the second to grab the lead. The Illini looked desperate until Paul and Richardson coolly knocked down their shots to put Illinois ahead 48-44.

Midwest Region

Duke 73, Albany 61

PHILADELPHIA — Seth Curry scored 26 points, Mason Plumlee had 23 and second-seeded Duke beat Albany.

The Blue Devils (28-5) will meet seventh-seeded Creighton in the third round Sunday.

Duke shot 58.7 percent (27-of-46), just off its season-beat 60.8 percent against Florida State.

The Blue Devils, who lost 75-70 to 15th-seeded Lehigh in the second round last year, never really pulled away from the Great Danes (24-11), who got as close as eight points with 4:40 to play.

Creighton 67, Cincinnati 63

PHILADELPHIA — Doug McDermott had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Gregory Echenique scored 13 points to help Creighton hold on.

McDermott, the two-time Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and 2012 All-American, made all 11 free throws to help the seventh-seeded Bluejays (28-7) move on to play Duke on Sunday.

Sean Kilpatrick’s driving layup after Cincinnati had the arrow on a jump ball cut it to 64-63 with 17 seconds left.

Austin Chatman sank two free throws for Creighton. Kilpatrick’s attempt at a tying 3 rimmed out, and the Bearcats were whistled for traveling after grabbing the rebound.

West Region

Mississippi 57, Wisconsin 46

KANSAS CITY — Marshall Henderson shook out of a shooting slump and scored 17 points in the second half, giving the Rebels their first NCAA Tournament win since 2002.

For the cold-shooting Badgers (23-12), the upset loss snaps a string of six straight first-game victories. Ole Miss (27-8) trailed 25-22 at halftime and Henderson, who led the Southeastern Conference with 20 points a game, had only two points on 1-for-11 shooting.

But the flamboyant and outspoken guard found his touch just in time for Ole Miss, and wound up hitting 6-of-21. His back-to-back 3-pointers tied it 36-36 and his layup and two free throws in the final minute sealed the win.

La Salle 63, Kansas State 61

KANSAS CITY — Jerrell Wright made three foul shots in the final 30 seconds, and No. 13 seed La Salle advanced after blowing an 18-point halftime lead to beat fourth-seeded Kansas State.

Wright, who scored a game-high 21 points for the Explorers (22-9), made the first two free throws to give La Salle a 62-61 lead. Kansas State’s Jordan Henriquez missed in the paint at the other end, and Wright made the first of two more free throws with 9.6 seconds to go.

The Wildcats (27-8) raced down court, but point guard Angel Rodriguez got hung up in the corner by the Kansas State bench, and his off-balance shot over the corner of the backboard missed everything as the final buzzer sounded and the Explorers leaped off their bench to celebrate the upset.

Ohio State 95, Iona 70

DAYTON, Ohio — Sam Thompson had career highs with 20 points and 10 rebounds, part of a dominating performance by Ohio State’s front line, and the Buckeyes ran away to a 95-70 victory over Iona in the second round of the West Region.

The second-seeded Buckeyes (27-7) are in prime March form with nine straight wins, including their last five games in the regular season and a run to the Big Ten Tournament title.

Forward Deshaun Thomas has led them in scoring during the streak, averaging 17.6 points. He had 24 points as the Buckeyes’ fast breaks led to dunks and a season high in points, thrilling the large Ohio State contingent.

Iowa State 76, Notre Dame 58

DAYTON, Ohio — Freshman Georges Niang matched a season high with 19 points and Iowa State, showing it can do much more than just fire away from outside the 3-point line, dismantled Notre Dame 76-58.

The 10th-seeded Cyclones (23-11) will play No. 2 seed Ohio State on Sunday. The Buckeyes advanced with a 95-70 thrashing of Iona.

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