Dayton teammates embrace Vee Sanford, center, after defeating Ohio State.
Dayton 60, Ohio State 59
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Vee Sanford hit the game-winning shot with six seconds remaining and Dayton stunned Ohio State 60-59 in today's NCAA tournament opener at the First NIagara Center.
In just the second meeting between the in-state rivals in 26 years, the schools traded baskets in a thrilling finale.
Flyers guard Dyshawn Pierre hit three free throws after a mindless foul beyond the arc by Shannon Scott to put Dayton ahead 59-58 with 24 seconds left. Ohio State guard Craft answered with a go-ahead drive with 16 seconds left, only to be countered by Sanford's drive seconds later.
Craft's last-ditch runner bounced off the rim.
Dayton (24-10) advances to Saturday's third round, where it will play the winner of today's game between third-seeded Syracuse and No. 14-seed Western Michigan. Ohio State ended its season 25-10.
Michigan 57, Wofford 40
MILWAUKEE -- A seven-point burst late in the second half helped the Michigan men's basketball team overcome shooting woes to earn a 57-40 win over Wofford in a second-round NCAA Tournament game tonight at the Bradley Center.
The Wolverines started the second half 3 for 15 from the floor and Wofford (20-13) trailed 43-35 with less than seven minutes left in regulation. Michigan answered with seven points on shots from Jordan Morgan, Glenn Robinson III and Caris LeVert, and led 50-37 with 3:13 left in the half.
Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines with 15 points. Karl Cochran led Wofford with 17 points.
Michigan (26-8) will face either Texas or Arizona State in a third-round Midwest regional game Saturday.
UConn 89, St. Joesph's 81 (OT)
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Shabazz Napier shook off a miss at the second-half buzzer to score nine of his 24 points in overtime and lead seventh-seeded Connecticut to a 89-81 win over Saint Joseph’s in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
DeAndre Daniels scored 18 while freshman center Amida Brimah forced overtime by completing a three-point play in the final minute for UConn (27-8). The Huskies won their first tournament game under coach Kevin Ollie, who took over two years ago after Jim Calhoun stepped down due to health issues.
With the game tied at 70 entering overtime, Daniels opened the scoring by completed a three-point play with 3:47 left during a 5-minute period the Huskies never trailed.
Langston Galloway scored 25 points for Saint Joseph’s (24-10). The Hawks wore down because of a lack of depth, and then lost their top forward Halil Kanacevic, who fouled out early into overtime.
Harvard 61, Cincinnati 57
SPOKANE, Wash. — Siyani Chambers scored 11 points, including five straight in the final two minutes, and 12th-seeded Harvard won its second NCAA tournament game in history, upsetting Cincinnati 61-57 Thursday.
Wesley Saunders led the Crimson (27-4) with 12 points as Harvard pulled off an upset for the second straight year. Last year, Harvard upset New Mexico as a 14 seed.
The Crimson became the first Ivy League school with NCAA tournament wins in consecutive years since Princeton in 1983-84.
Harvard never trailed after the opening moments. They played with confidence and scrap against the No. 5 seed Bearcats, who shared the American Athletic Conference regular season title. Sean Kilpatrick led seed Cincinnati (27-7) with 18 points, but the Bearcats failed to win a tournament game for the second straight year.
Florida 67, Albany 55
ORLANDO, Fla. — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, most of them on dunks, and top-seeded Florida used a second-half surge to beat No. 16 seed Albany 67-55 in the NCAA tournament Thursday.
The Gators (33-2) showed some vulnerability, though, while extending their school-record winning streak to 27 games.
Coach Billy Donovan’s team sleepwalked through the first half, swapping the lead back and forth with the pesky Great Danes, but Florida’s bench provided a much-needed spark.
Finney-Smith, the Southeastern Conference’s sixth man of the year, was 6-of-10 shooting. Freshman guard Kasey Hill, who wasn’t sure he would be able to play because of turf toe, chipped in 10 points.
Patric Young finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the season. Casey Prather (16 points) and Scottie Wilbekin (10) also reached double figures for Florida, which will play ninth-seeded Pittsburgh in the South Region on Saturday.
Michigan State 93, Delaware 78
SPOKANE, Wash. — Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points Thursday to get Michigan State off to a solid start in the NCAA tournament with a 93-78 victory over Delaware.
Payne, a 6-foot-10 senior, scored 12 straight points in the first half to help the fourth-seeded Spartans (27-8) to an 18-point lead.
He set an NCAA tournament record by making all 17 of his free throws and broke the program’s tournament scoring record, set previously by Greg Kelser in 1979.
Devon Saddler had 21 points and Davon Usher added 20 for the 13th-seeded Blue Hens (25-10).
Travis Trice scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half for the Spartans, who became a trendy pick after winning the Big Ten tournament last week. President Barack Obama has them to win it all.
Oregon 87, BYU 68
MILWAUKEE — Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points in a very happy homecoming, helping seventh-seeded Oregon beat 10th-seeded BYU 87-68 the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
Joseph Young had 19 points for the Ducks (24-9), who had to stage a big comeback to beat the Cougars 100-96 in overtime in December. There was no comeback needed this time, with Oregon turning away every charge by BYU in the second half.
Led by Cook, a Milwaukee native who starred at nearby Hamilton High School, the Ducks advanced to a third-round game against No. 2 seed Wisconsin on Saturday in the West Regional.
Tyler Haws scored 19 points for BYU (23-12), which returned to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence. Matt Carlino added 15 points.
Syracuse 77, Western Michigan 53
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Syracuse’s backcourt of Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis combined for 34 points and the Orange defense clamped down in a 77-53 victory over Western Michigan on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Syracuse (28-5), the third seed in the South Regional, will play 11th-seeded Dayton (24-10) on Saturday. Dayton beat Ohio State 60-59 on Thursday.
Western Michigan (23-10), the Mid-American Conference champion, had won 14 of 16 games and was in the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade.
The Orange forced 11 turnovers in the opening half and scored 13 points off them in running out to a double-digit lead before the midpoint of the period.
Cooney led the Orange with 18 points, hitting 4 of 8 from beyond the arc, and Ennis had 16 points and six assists with one turnover.
The Orange used an 18-4 spurt over 10 minutes to take control and led 40-21 at halftime.
Shayne Whittington and Tucker Haymond led Western Michigan with 11 points apiece.
Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48
ORLANDO, Fla. — Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half, helping Pittsburgh build a 28-point on the way to a 77-48 rout of Colorado in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
The Panthers (26-9), seeded ninth in the South Region, shot 51 percent and played stifling defense in advancing to a third-round matchup Saturday against either No. 1 seed Florida or No. 16 seed Albany.
Colorado (23-12) was eager to make amends for an early exit from the tournament a year ago, but had no answers for the 6-foot-9 Zanna. The Pitt center made six of seven shots in the first half, and the Panthers didn’t have any difficulty finishing off the overwhelmed Buffaloes.
Josh Scott led the eighth-seeded Buffaloes with 14 points, however Colorado couldn’t overcome a subpar performance from Askia Booker.
Wisconsin 75, American 35
MILWAUKEE — Ben Brust scored 17 points and Wisconsin devastated American with a 22-5 run to close the first half in a 75-35 victory Thursday before a friendly crowd in the NCAA tournament.
The second-seeded Badgers (27-7) recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of the15th-seeded Eagles (20-13), champions of the Patriot League.
After Wisconsin was ousted in the first round last year as a fifth seed, Brust made sure his senior season didn’t end the same way. He attacked the glass for buckets on back-to-back possessions, ending with a 3-point play with 3:33 left in the first half to give Wisconsin a 23-20 lead.
The rout was on. The Badgers hit 57 percent in the second half.
John Schoof had 11 points for American.