Comment
0
Tweet
0
Print
RSS Feeds

NCAA Rdp: Gonzaga becomes 1st No. 1 seed ousted

Sunday - 3/24/2013, 3:58am  ET

Wichita State's Cleanthony Early (11) celebrates after his team defeated Gonzaga 76-70 during a third-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City Saturday, March 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Associated Press

No. 1 is done.

The fun at the NCAA tournament, though, is far from over. Half the Sweet 16 spots are settled with eight more to be decided Sunday.

Top-ranked Gonzaga became the first No. 1 seed to be eliminated Saturday night, shocked 76-70 by sharp-shooting Wichita State. Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker scored 16 points apiece, and the Shockers made a season-high 14 3-pointers, including five straight late, as they advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in seven years.

"They never quit," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "You know we got the big lead, Gonzaga makes a great run as a No. 1 team in the country would, and these guys dig down."

Elsewhere, Harvard's first winning trip to the tournament ended at the hands of Arizona, and Butler ran out of magic against Marquette. Both Michigan and Michigan State advanced to the round of 16, 12th seeded Oregon beat St. Louis, Syracuse defeated California in what was essentially a road win for the Orange and overall No. 1 Louisville showed no sign of slowing against Colorado State.

Though Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the last three weeks of the season, some questioned whether the small school from the small conference really belonged at the top of the West Region. When the Bulldogs nearly became the first No. 1 to lose to a 16th seed, eking out a win over little Southern on Thursday, the doubters grew.

There are no questions now.

Gonzaga (32-3) fought back after falling behind by 13 early, and a 12-0 run gave the Bulldogs a 49-41 lead with 11:53 left to play. But Wichita State (28-8) outscored the Zags 35-21 from there.

Tekele Cotton, Early and Baker hit three straight 3s to pull the Shockers within 61-60, and Baker gave Wichita State the lead for good with a pair of free throws with 3:10 left. Another 3 by Baker and one more from freshman Fred VanVleet sealed it with 1:28 remaining.

The Shockers were a blistering 50 percent from beyond the arc.

"They deserve a ton of credit," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "It's the first time in a while someone made 50 percent on us, and to bang in 14 3s is pretty amazing."

Wichita State will face the winner of Sunday's game between La Salle and Ole Miss on Thursday in Los Angeles. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, head home, failing to survive the first weekend of the tournament for a fourth straight year and sixth time in seven years. Gonzaga has not reached the regional finals since 1999.

Kelly Olynyk led Gonzaga with 26 points and Kevin Pangos added 19.

"I think we just ... let our guard down a little bit," said Gonzaga's Mike Hart. "That was key. We defended so well at the start of the second half, then we just lost some guys. You can't do that when guys get it going."

___

WEST REGIONAL

ARIZONA 74, HARVARD 51

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Arizona put an emphatic end to Harvard's March Madness success story.

Mark Lyons matched his career high with 27 points to lead the sixth-seeded Wildcats (27-7). Arizona sprinted to a 30-9 lead, as the Crimson (20-10) missed 20 of their first 22 shots.

Lyons led Arizona to the program's 15th appearance in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats will play Iowa State or Ohio State next week in Los Angeles.

Harvard, meanwhile, goes home with its first NCAA win in tow. The 14th-seeded Crimson beat third-seeded New Mexico on Thursday but couldn't recreate the magic.

Kenyatta Smith led Harvard with 10 points. Freshman Siyani Chambers lost part of his front tooth after Arizona's Kevin Parrom elbowed him in the face.

____

EAST REGIONAL

MARQUETTE 74, BUTLER 72

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Vander Blue scored 19 second-half points to rally third-seeded Marquette out of another hole, and the Golden Eagles beat No. 6 Butler to reach the round of 16.

Like November's first meeting between the teams at the Maui Invitational, won 72-71 by Butler on Rotnei Clarke's buzzer-beating 3-pointer, this was a back-and-forth, high-intensity affair that came down to the final shot.

Only this time, Butler missed.

Marquette (25-8) will meet the winner of Sunday's game between Illinois and Miami on Thursday in the regional semifinals in Washington, D.C.

Blue, who made a last-second layup to beat Davidson in Marquette's first tournament game, scored 29 points.

Clarke's 24 points led Butler (28-9).

After Jamil Wilson's two free throws made it 71-69, Davante Gardner deflected Clarke's pass intended for Kellen Dunham underneath and then made the first of three late free throws for a 74-70 lead with 4.7 seconds left.

   1 2  -  Next page  >>