NCAA Tournament: South Regional Roundup
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Shot after shot clanged off the rim, if they hit anything at all. Jumpers, 3-pointers, layups ó didn’t matter. Clemson just couldn’t figure out Michigan’s zone defense.
Michigan stymied Clemson with its 1-3-1 defense and survived a late scare in its first NCAA tournament game in 11 years, beating the Tigers 62-59 in the first round of South Regional on Thursday.
The Wolverines (21-13) showed little sign of nerves in their first NCAA game since a booster scandal rocked the program in the 1990s. Manny Harris scored 21 points and Stu Douglass added 12 for the Wolverines, who will face Oklahoma or Morgan State on Saturday.
Clemson (23-9) was led by Trevor Booker with 18 points. K.C. Rivers’ contested 3-pointer at the buzzer that could’ve tied it up was well short.
LSU 75, Butler 71
GREENSBORO ó Butler has put together quite a few upsets in recent NCAA tournaments. Marcus Thornton scored 30 points to keep LSU off that list.Tasmin Mitchell had 14 points and Chris Johnson added 12 for the Tigers (27-7), seeded eighth in the South Regional.
Gonzaga 77, Akron 64
PORTLAND, Ore.ó Josh Heytvelt scored 22 points ó seven during a decisive, late run ó and Gonzaga rallied to get past determined but ultimately overwhelmed Akron 77-64.
Micah Downs added 15 points for fourth-seeded Gonzaga (27-5).
Oklahoma 82, Morgan St 54
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó A dominant Blake Griffin had 28 points and 13 rebounds as Oklahoma rolled past Morgan State 82-54.
Griffin stayed in the game and finished 11 of 12 from the field.
Oklahoma (28-5), which had lost four of its last six, was never threatened by the No. 15 Bears (23-12), who were making their first NCAA appearance.
Western Kentucky 76, Illinois 72
PORTLAND, Ore. ó Western Kentucky is at it again.
The 12th-seeded Hilltoppers, who made an unexpected run in the NCAA tournament last year, pulled off a first-round upset of fifth-seeded Illinois, 76-72.
Steffphon Pettigrew had 17 points to lead Western Kentucky (25-8).