DALLAS — Title contenders Kansas, Duke and Villanova were among the winners on Thursday’s first full day of the NCAA Tournament after picking up First Round wins on a day in which sixth seed Miami was stunned.
EASY FOR KANSAS JAYHAWKS
WICHITA, Kan. — No. 1 seed Kansas turned things up after halftime to cruise to a comfortable 76-60 victory over Pennsylvania in its opening round game of the NCAA Tournament in Wichita, Kansas.
Senior guard Devonte Graham battle through a sluggish day to finish with 29 points, but on only 9 of 24 shooting. He also added six rebounds, six assists and three steals in the win.
Lagerald Vick contributed 14 points, while Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Malik Newman each scored 10 points for the Jayhawks (28-7), who trailed Pennsylvania by 10 points in the first half before using a 19-2 spurt late in the period to take control.
“We didn’t play well offensively the first half. We stunk,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “It’s hard for us to play well offensively if we don’t make shots because we don’t have a big guy to throw it into right now.
“The way they defended us, we needed a guard to take it on himself to get downhill.”
A.J. Brodeur had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Pennsylvania with Jackson Donahue finishing with 14 points off the bench.
Antonio Woods and Darnell Foreman each scored 10 points for the Quakers (24-9), who shot 22 of 56 from the field for 39 percent in the defeat.
Kansas advanced to the second round to take on Seton Hall on Saturday.
Pirates (22-11) held on to beat North Carolina State in its NCAA Tournament opening game on Thursday evening.
VILLANOVA ROLLS OVER RADFORD
PITTSBURGH, PA — Villanova, the other No. 1 seed in action on the day, easily earned an 87-61 win over Radford, as all five starters for the Wildcats scored in double-figures.
Jalen Brunson led the way for Villanova with 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting to go with four assists.
Mikal Bridges added 13 points and six rebounds and Eric Paschall ended with 11 points and five boards for the No. 2 overall seed at this year’s tournament.
Omari Spellman had 10 points and seven rebounds, while Phil Booth and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree each scored 10 points in for the Wildcats (31-4), who shot 68 percent in the first half, made 8 for 14 from 3-pointers and led 44-23 at the end of the first period.
Donald Hicks led Radford with 13 points and Carlick Jones added 11 for the Highlanders (23-13).
BAGLEY III, DUKE EASILY ADVANCED
PITTSBURGH, PA — Second seed Duke had little trouble putting away 15th seed Iona 89-67 in their Midwest Region battle.
Freshman talent Marvin Bagley III had 22 points with seven rebounds in his NCAA Tournament debut as Duke shot almost 54 percent from the field and made 13 three-pointers in the win.
Fellow classmate Trevon Duval added 19 points and eight assists, Grayson Allen had 16 points, nine assists and four rebounds and Gary Trent supported with 16 points and six rebounds for the Blue Devils (27-7), who led 53-39 at halftime.
Duke forward Wendell Carter Jr., who had nine points and eight rebounds on Thursday, said after the game that he is playing through a sore Achilles’ tendon.
Roland Griffin paced Iona with 21 points and five rebounds in a reserved role.
TK Edogi added in 11 points and nine boards and Zach Lewis and Rickey McGill had 10 points each for the Gaels (20-14), who fell to 1-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournaments.
Duke takes on seven-seeded Rhode Island in the second round on Saturday after the Rams held on to win against Trae Young and Oklahoma in overtime in their opening game of the tournament.
MIAMI HURRICANES SHOCKED
DALLAS, Tex. — Meanwhile, Donte Ingram hit a deep 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the game to lift No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago to a stunning 64-62 win over No. 6 seed Miami.
Trailing 62-61 after Lonnie Walker IV missed a free throw for the Hurricanes at the other end, Ingram collected a pass from Marques Townes before connecting on a long 3-pointer from above the key to give the Ramblers (29-5) a two-point lead with only 0.3 seconds remaining.
Needing some luck to extend the contest, Miami tossed the ball long into the Loyola-Chicago area hoping for a tip-in, but was unsuccessful as the buzzer sounded.
The game was tied up a 28-28 at halftime and was also knotted at 60-60 in the second half.
“I thank Marques for making that pass,” said Ingram. “Anyone of us could have hit that shot, but I was just fortunate enough to be in the position.”
In the meantime, other notable winners on the table were fourth seed Gonzaga, which avoided being upset with a 68-64 win over the 13th-seeded UNC Greensboro, while No. 5 Ohio State beats 12th seed South Dakota State 81-73.