March Madness ROUNDUP: Duke routs Oral Roberts in exhilarating first day of NCAA Tournament

Jeremy Roach matched his career high with 23 points, and No. 5 seed Duke beat Oral Roberts 74-51 on Thursday night in the school´s first NCAA Tournament game since Jon Scheyer took over as Blue Devils coach.

Dariq Whitehead added 13 points for the Blue Devils (27-8), winners of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Roach has now scored 23 points in back-to-back games after setting his career high in the ACC championship game.

Scheyer helped Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski win two of five national titles as a former Duke player and assistant. 

He’s now trying to orchestrate some March Madness magic of his own.

In his first NCAA Tournament game as Krzyzewski’s replacement, Scheyer led Duke to a 10th consecutive win and a second-round matchup in the East Region against either fourth-seeded Tennessee or No. 13 seed Louisiana-Lafayette.

Duke players celebrate during the final moments of the win over Oral Roberts on Thursday

Duke players celebrate during the final moments of the win over Oral Roberts on Thursday

Auburn 83, Iowa 75

When it comes to Auburn and the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers know how to make an opening statement.

Johni Broome had 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots, and No. 9 seed Auburn beat Iowa 83-75 on Thursday for its 10th consecutive opening-round win dating to the mid-1980s.

The Tigers (21-12) made 11 of 12 free throws over the final four minutes to lock up a second-round matchup with No. 1 seed Houston or Northern Kentucky.

The Tigers appeared poised to pull away in front of a partisan orange-and-blue crowd, going up by 17 with a 13-2 run midway through the second half sparked by Tre Donaldson’s three 3-pointers off the bench.

The eighth-seeded Hawkeyes climbed back into it, twice cutting it down to four but coming no closer.

Auburn's Johni Broome #4 rebounds the ball against Filip Rebraca #0 of the Iowa Hawkeyes

Auburn’s Johni Broome #4 rebounds the ball against Filip Rebraca #0 of the Iowa Hawkeyes

Maryland 67, West Virginia 65

Maryland overcame a sluggish start and a final heave at the buzzer by Kedrian Johnson to beat West Virginia.

Johnson led all scorers with 27 points, but his potential winner bounced off the side of the rim as the horn sounded, allowing the eighth-seeded Terrapins (22-12) to advance.

Maryland, led by Julian Reese with 17 points and nine rebounds, meets top-seeded Alabama in the South Region on Saturday.

Neither team could pull away over the final 20 minutes, and a late traveling call on Jahmir Young gave West Virginia (19-15) a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer. But the ninth-seeded Mountaineers could not find anyone open beyond the arc, forcing Tre Mitchell to bank it in under the basket.

Young was fouled but made only one of two free throws. West Virginia got the ball in the hands of the guy it wanted, only to have Johnson come up short.

Patrick Emilien #15 of the Maryland Terrapins reacts from the bench against West Virginia

Patrick Emilien #15 of the Maryland Terrapins reacts from the bench against West Virginia

Tennessee 58, Louisiana 55

Tyreke Key scored 12 points, Jahmai Mashack added 11 and No. 4 seed Tennessee survived a late scare to hold off Louisiana-Lafayette 58-55 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

The Ragin´ Cajuns (26-8) whittled an 18-point deficit to three in the final minute – creating some tense moments and a couple technical fouls – but the Volunteers (24-10) closed it out by forcing tough shots and making just enough free throws.

Tennessee, which lost six of 10 heading into the tournament, advanced to face fifth-seeded Duke in the East Region´s second round at the Amway Center. The Blue Devils routed No. 12 seed Oral Roberts 74-51 earlier Thursday, giving Duke coach Jon Scheyer a win in his tournament debut.

It will be the first meeting between Tennessee and Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

The Vols should hope to take much better care of the ball than they did against the Sun Belt Conference Tournament champions after finishing with 18 turnovers Thursday.

Tyreke Key (right) led the Volunteers in scoring with 12 points against Louisiana-Lafayette

Tyreke Key (right) led the Volunteers in scoring with 12 points against Louisiana-Lafayette

Arkansas 73, Illinois 63

Ricky Council IV scored 18 points and Arkansas survived some anxious moments in the second half against an Illinois team that wouldn´t go away.

Devo Davis had 16 points for the eighth-seeded Razorbacks, who used relentless defense and rebounding to build big leads but couldn´t get comfortable until the final minute. Arkansas (21-13) faces top-seeded Kansas on Saturday.

Terrence Shannon Jr., held scoreless the first 16 minutes, finished with 20 points to lead the Illini (20-13). It was the first time in five tournament appearances since 2011 that Illinois didn´t make it out of the first round.

The Razorbacks were up double digits in the middle of the first half, but no lead has been safe this season. In seven games they blew leads with scoring droughts of five minutes or longer. That didn´t happen this time.

Illinois guard Sencire Harris (1) shoots the ball against Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr.

Illinois guard Sencire Harris (1) shoots the ball against Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr.

Northwestern 75, Boise State 67 

Boo Buie scored 22 points to lead Northwestern past Boise State in the Wildcats’ second appearance ever in the NCAA Tournament.

The seventh-seeded Wildcats (22-11) previously made it to the Big Dance in 2017, and just like that time, they made sure they wouldn´t be one-and-done.

Northwestern never trailed in a game that was close most of the way and advanced to play either UCLA or UNC Asheville.

The 10th-seeded Broncos (24-10) are still searching for their first tournament win, losing their opener for the ninth time in as many tries. Max Rice scored 17 points to lead Boise State and Naje Smith added 14.

Chase Audige added 20 points for the Wildcats and Ty Berry scored 13, including three 3-pointers.

Northwestern guard Chase Audige (1) celebrates his team's win against Boise State Thursday

Northwestern guard Chase Audige (1) celebrates his team’s win against Boise State Thursday

Missouri 76, Utah State 65

Missouri used a second-half scoring spurt from Kobe Brown to win its first NCAA Tournament game in 13 years, beating Utah State.

Brown hit three 3-pointers in a span of just over three minutes to fuel a 13-2 run that turned a two-point deficit into a 62-53 lead.

The seventh-seeded Tigers (25-9) held on from there, stopping a six-game tournament skid with their first win since beating Clemson in the first round in 2010. Missouri advanced to play 15th-seeded Princeton.

The 10th-seeded Aggies (26-9) have dropped their last 10 tournament games since beating Ohio State in the first round in 2001. The loss was also the 11th straight for a Mountain West team in the NCAAs.

The game was close for most of the second half until Brown and D´Moi Hodge took it over midway through the second half by scoring 20 straight points for the Tigers.

Missouri Tigers forward Noah Carter (35) dunks the ball in the win over the Utah State Aggies

Missouri Tigers forward Noah Carter (35) dunks the ball in the win over the Utah State Aggies

San Diego State 63, Charleston 57

Matt Bradley scored 17 points, including two free throws in the final minute, and No. 5 seed San Diego State held on to beat 12th-seeded Charleston.

The Aztecs (28-6) won their first game in the Big Dance since 2015 – ending a four-game losing streak – and snapped an 11-game skid for the Mountain West Conference.

The Cougars (31-4) lost for the first time in six weeks and have not won an NCAA Tournament game since 1997.

San Diego State advanced to face 13th-seeded Furman on Saturday.

Ante Brzovic led Charleston with 12 points and eight rebounds. Ryan Larson added 11 points, and seventh-year senior Dalton Bolon finished his college career with 10 points.

Micah Parrish #3 of the San Diego State Aztecs celebrates during the team's win

Micah Parrish #3 of the San Diego State Aztecs celebrates during the team’s win

Penn State 76, Texas A&M 59

Andrew Funk had the shooting game of his career on Penn State’s biggest stage in over two decades.

Funk made 8 of 10 3-pointers and scored 27 points Thursday night in a 76-59 win over Texas A&M for the Nittany Lions’ first NCAA Tournament victory in 22 years.

Funk, in his first year at Penn State after transferring from Bucknell, led the Nittany Lions to their ninth win in their last 11 games. They next play Texas in the second round of the Midwest Region on Saturday.

Penn State’s previous tournament win was its second round upset of North Carolina in New Orleans in 2001. The Nittany Lions lost to Temple in the Sweet 16, and they lost to the Owls again when they returned to the tournament in 2011.

Texas A&M (25-10) had won 10 of 12 as it entered its first NCAA Tournament since 2018. The Aggies lost in the first round for only the second time in nine appearances since 2006.

Penn State Nittany Lions guard Andrew Funk made eight three-pointers and scored 27 points

Penn State Nittany Lions guard Andrew Funk made eight three-pointers and scored 27 points

Texas 81, Colgate 61

Texas continued its strong play after winning the Big 12 tournament last weekend, easing past Colgate in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Jabari Rice led the Longhorns in scoring with 23 points, while Marcus Carr and Dylan Disu chipped in with 17 points apiece. 

Kansas 96, Howard 68

Filling in for Bill Self, who continues to recover from a recent heart procedure, Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts led the Jayhawks to an easy first-round win over Howard in front of Vice President Kamala Harris in Des Moines on Thursday.

Jalen Wilson had 20 points and seven rebounds for No. 1 seed and defending national champion Jayhawks, who cruised to a 96-68 win.

Houston 63, Northern Kentucky 52

With All-American Marcus Strasser watching from the bench after re-aggravating a groin injury, top-seeded Houston shook off Northern Kentucky for a 63-52 victory to open the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

Chants of “NKU!” and “Overrated!” filled Legacy Arena as the 16th-seeded Norse trailed by only three at halftime and made it 36-all with under 16 minutes to go against the Cougars (32-3).

But Houston pulled away behind 16 points from Jarace Walker, advancing to face ninth-seeded Auburn on Saturday.

Texas forward Dylan Disu celebrates after making a basket in the second half

Texas forward Dylan Disu celebrates after making a basket in the second half

Kansas Jayhawks celebrate against the Howard Bison during the second half of their win

Kansas Jayhawks celebrate against the Howard Bison during the second half of their win

Houston guard Marcus Sasser (0) passes the ball as Northern Kentucky forward Chris Brandon (21) defends during the first half

Houston guard Marcus Sasser (0) passes the ball as Northern Kentucky forward Chris Brandon (21) defends during the first half

UCLA 86, UNC Asheville 53 

Jaime Jaquez Jr. produced 17 points, eight rebounds and five steals as second-seeded UCLA dominated from the start and cruised to an 86-53 victory over 15th-seeded UNC Asheville in an NCAA Tournament West Region first-round game on Thursday in Sacramento.

Amari Bailey also scored 17 for the Bruins (30-5), who raced to a 14-0 lead and made their first seven shots from the field. The outcome was never in doubt after that, as the Bulldogs (27-8) trailed by 21 at halftime and fell behind by 33 in the second half.

UCLA will play seventh-seeded Northwestern, a 75-67 winner over 10th-seeded Boise State, in a second-round game on Saturday.

Princeton 59, Arizona 55

Princeton stunned No. 2 seed Arizona in Sacramento, California on Thursday, eliminating the Pac-12 Tournament champions in the first round of March Madness.

The Tigers, who trailed for most of the second half, ended the game on a 9-0 run as Arizona was unable to get their offense going late. 

Alabama 96, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 75

Embattled NBA prospect Brandon Miller went scoreless, but top-seeded Alabama still buried Texas A&M-Corpus Christi under an early 3-point onslaught, launching the Crimson Tide to a 96-75 first-round romp on Thursday.

The Crimson Tide (30-5) set aside their off-court distractions and buried 10 first-half 3s in a predictably easy win over the 16th-seeded Islanders (24-11) at Legacy Arena, less than an hour from campus.

Furman 68, Virginia 67

Furman kickstarted the March Madness by causing the first upset by defeating fourth-seed Virginia in dramatic fashion.

The No. 13 seed handed Virginia another first-round NCAA Tournament loss, 68-67 on Thursday.

JP Pegues made a three-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining to help Furman complete a rally from a 12-point second-half deficit.

The UCLA Bruins celebrate a three-pointer during their win vs. UNC Asheville on Thursday

The UCLA Bruins celebrate a three-pointer during their win vs. UNC Asheville on Thursday

Princeton Tigers guard Blake Peters (24) reacts after scoring a basket against Arizona

Princeton Tigers guard Blake Peters (24) reacts after scoring a basket against Arizona

Brandon Miller, of the Alabama Crimson Tide, went scoreless on his March Madness debut

Furman kickstarted March Madness by shocking Virginia with a late three-pointer

Furman kickstarted March Madness by shocking Virginia with a late three-pointer

source: dailymail.co.uk