Florida Gulf Coast advances to Sweet Sixteen

  • Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013 12:16 a.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, March 25, 2013 8:58 a.m.
Florida Gulf Coast's Sherwood Brown, center, celebrates with teammates after their 81-71 win over San Diego State in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Florida Gulf Coast's Sherwood Brown, center, celebrates with teammates after their 81-71 win over San Diego State in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

SOUTH REGIONAL

Florida Gulf Coast 81 San Diego State 71

PHILADELPHIA — Florida Gulf Coast went from shocking the college basketball world to downright impressing it. And the Eagles were smiling the whole time.

Playing loose and easy, FGCU beat San Diego State 81-71 on Sunday to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

The next opponent for the upstart state school will be the main campus, third-seeded Florida, on Friday night in the South Regional semifinal in Dallas.

Bernard Thompson had 23 points and Sherwood Brown added 17 for FGCU, the 16-year-old school in just its second season being eligible for postseason play.

In its first-ever NCAA tournament game on Friday, the Atlantic Sun champion busted brackets everywhere with an upset win over No. 2 Georgetown, a game the Eagles took control of with a 21-2 run in the second half.

It went much the same way against San Diego State (23-11).

Jamal Franklin had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the seventh-seeded Aztecs.

Florida 78 Minnesota 64

AUSTIN, Texas — Mike Rosario scored 25 points and Florida used an overpowering first half to roll past Minnesota and into the NCAA tournament round of 16 for third consecutive year with a 78-64 win Sunday in the South Regional.

The No. 3 seed Gators (28-7) shot a blistering 65 percent in the first half and led by 21 by halftime. The win earns Florida a return trip to the Lone Star State to play their next game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Andre Hollins scored 25 points to lead the No. 11-seed Gophers (21-13). Hollins’ 3-point shooting sparked a second-half rally that pulled Minnesota within seven points, but Rosario’s sixth 3-pointer with 3 minutes left pushed the Gators’ lead back to 16 and effectively locked up the win.

WEST REGIONAL

La Salle 76, Mississippi 74

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tyrone Garland banked home a scooping layup with 2 seconds left and 13th-seeded La Salle beat Mississippi 76-74 on Sunday, vaulting the Explorers to their deepest run in the NCAA tournament since they played for the championship in 1955.

Ramon Galloway had 24 points for La Salle (24-9), which was playing its third game in five days. No. 12 Ole Miss (27-9) led 74-72 with 1:58 left but failed to reach the regional semifinals for the first time since 2001.

After Tyreek Duren’s two foul shots tied it 74-all at the 1:07 mark, Marshall Henderson failed to hit an off-balance bank shot that would have given Mississippi the lead.

Henderson had 21 points in the game.

Duren had 19 points for La Salle and Garland had 17.

Murphy Holloway had 14 points for Mississippi, which fell one win shy of breaking the school record. Jarvis Summers had 12 and Nick Williams had 10 for the Rebels.

EAST REGIONAL

INDIANA 58, TEMPLE 52

DAYTON, Ohio — On the verge of being the second No. 1 knocked from the NCAA tournament, Indiana finally stopped Temple’s No. 1.

Victor Oladipo hit a key 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining and the top-seeded Hoosiers, their season moments from ending in disappointment, shut down Owls star Khalif Wyatt in the final three minutes to hold off the Owls.

The Hoosiers (29-6) trailed by four with 2:56 left, but closed with a 10-0 run and advanced to the round of 16 for the second straight year.

Indiana will play No. 4 seed Syracuse in the regional semifinals on Thursday in Washington, a rematch of the classic 1987 title game won by the Hoosiers.

Wyatt scored 31 points to lead the Owls (24-10), who gave one of the Big Ten’s big boys all they could handle before collapsing when it mattered most.

Oladipo, who spent the afternoon doing all he could to slow down Wyatt, scored 16 and Cody Zeller added 15 for the Hoosiers.

KANSAS 70, NORTH CAROLINA 58

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas got the best of ‘ol Roy and his Tar Heels once again.

Behind the impassioned play of Travis Releford and Jeff Withey, the top-seeded Jayhawks shook themselves out of a first-half slumber and blitzed No. 8 seed North Carolina down the stretch.

Withey had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Releford finished with 22 points for the Jayhawks (31-5), who also knocked former coach Roy Williams’ team out of the NCAA tournament during their 2008 title run and again last season, when Kansas marched to the Final Four.

It’ll keep marching this year –at least to the Sweet 16 –thanks to a superb second half.

P.J. Hairston scored 15 points and James Michael McAdoo finished with 11 for the Tar Heels (25-11).

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