NCAA Tournament: East Regional
BOISE, Idaho ó After spending all night doing the dirty work on defense, Trevon Hughes got a more glamorous role at the end: Shooter of the crazy, spinning, bank shot with the game on the line.
Otherwise known as the game-winner for Wisconsin.
Hughes’ twisting shot over Florida State’s outstretched arms dropped with 2 seconds left to lift the Badgers to a 61-59 victory in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday night.
Next up for 12th-seeded Wisconsin (20-12) is a meeting with Xavier in the second round of the East Regional.
It’s doubtful the Badgers or Hughes will face a tougher test than what they had in Seminoles star Toney Douglas, the unheralded guard who averages 21 points and led the fifth-seeded Seminoles (25-10) to their first tournament appearance in 11 years.
Douglas finished with 26 points, not a single one of them easy, thanks to Hughes’ huge defensive work.
Douglas’ 3-point shot with 1:16 left gave the Seminoles a 59-56 lead but, smothered by the Wisconsin defense, he missed another one that would have put it away with less than 10 seconds to go.
That set the stage for Hughes, who had the ball all the way. He dribbled left, spun right into the lane, then flipped the game-winner over Douglas and Chris Singleton. Drew contact, too, and made the free throw to make it 61-59.
If that wasn’t enough, he capped things by batting away Florida State’s desperation pass at the end and the Badgers mobbed him at halfcourt to celebrate the victory.
Jason Bohannon led Wisconsin with 16 points.
Xavier 77, Portland St. 59
BOISE, Idaho ó C.J. Anderson scored 14 points and Xavier shot 54 percent from the field, beating Portland State 77-59to reach the second round of the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.
The Musketeers (26-7) stifled Portland State’s usual barrage of 3-pointers.
Oklahoma St. 77, Tennessee 75
DAYTON, Ohio ó Byron Eaton found a clear path to the basket for a three-point play with 7.2 seconds left, sending the Cowboys (23-11) to a scintillating victory over Tennessee.
Tyler Smith had a chance to win it for Tennessee (21-13), but his jumper from behind the arc hit the side of the rim and bounced up to the top of the backboard as the buzzer sounded. Smith led all scorers with 21 points.
Pittsburgh 72, East Tennessee State 62
DAYTON, Ohio ó DeJuan Blair had 27 points and 16 rebounds as the Panthers, playing their first game as a top seed, survived a frightful 40 minutes from East Tennessee State.
Pittsburgh (29-4) will play eighth-seeded Oklahoma State in the second round.