Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX Helicopter – Over St. Louis

Bluiett finally hits as Xavier takes control

Trevon Bluiett’s first bucket of the game has helped top-seeded Xavier match its biggest lead against Florida State.

Bluiett, the three-time All Big East player and a candidate for national player of the year, missed his first four shots. But the senior stole the ball and went to the other end where he hit a 3-pointer. That gave the Musketeers a 51-40 lead with about 13 minutes left.

The ninth-seeded Seminoles have struggled to shoot in the second half, knocking down just 2 of 5 attempts.

_ Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.

___

10:15 p.m.

The top-seeded Xavier Musketeers have opened the second half in a big way.

Xavier has outscored Florida State 10-3 and now leads 44-35 with 15:44 left. Quentin Goodin has been leading the way for Xavier with a couple free throws and a steal and a fast-break layup. The sophomore guard from Campbellsville, Kentucky, just tossed an alley-oop pass from mid-court to J.P. Macura who laid it up.

Xavier forward Kerem Kanter urged on fans to yell louder as the Musketeers went to the bench for the first media timeout of the second half.

_ Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.

___

10:07 p.m.

The party’s over for UMBC.

The team that made history for being the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament lost to ninth-seeded Kansas State 50-43.

Xavier Sneedhad a couple big buckets late to help the Wildcats hold on for the win and move on to the Sweet 16.

UMBC will still remember this tournament for a while following its stunning 20-point win over No. 1 overall Virginia in the first round.

___

9:55 p.m.

The history-making UMBC Retrievers are in a close game in the second round against Kansas State.

The ninth-seeded Wildcats have a five-point lead with about 4 minutes left in the game. UMBC is shooting just 29 percent from the field.

The Retrievers are in the second round after becoming the first No. 16 seed in the NCAA men’s tournament to beat a No. 1 seed, defeating Virginia on Friday night.

___

9:50 p.m.

The final game of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament has tipped off.

The Mountain State showdown way out in San Diego is underway between No. 5 seed West Virginia and 13th-seeded Marshall. It’s the first meeting between the in-state rivals since December 2015 when the series between the schools abruptly came to an end. The two had played every year since 1977.

Marshall upset No. 4 seed Wichita State in the first round for the school’s first NCAA Tournament victory. Jon Elmore was the star with 27 points. But he’ll face a difficult challenge in West Virginia’s pressure defense that overwhelmed Murray State in a 17-point first-round victory.

The winner will get No. 1 seed Villanova in the regional semifinals.

__ Tim Booth reporting from San Diego.

___

9:45 p.m.

Xavier ran away from the Florida State Seminoles in the second round a year ago. Florida State’s not letting the Musketeers go anywhere in their rematch.

The Musketeers lead 34-32 at halftime after going more than 9 minutes without a field goal before senior guard J.P. Macura hit a 3 from the top of the key with 16 seconds left in the half. That tied it up at 32, and Trevon Bluiett hit a pair of free throws just beforethe buzzer to give Xavier the lead.

Those free throws were Bluiett’s first points of the game, not that he threw up many shots with only two attempts before going to the line.

Xavier led 24-15 on a dunk by Tyrique Jones before going cold, and only a big edge at the free throw line kept the Muskeeters in the game.

Braian Angola led Florida State with 11 points, and his 3 with 2:02 to go capped a 17-4 spurt for the Seminoles and gave them a 32-29 lead.

Xavier blew out Florida State 91-66 in the second round last year on its way to the Elite Eight.

The winner plays Gonzaga on Thursday night in Los Angeles in the West Region semifinal.

_ Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.

___

9:20 p.m.

No. 5 seed Clemson is headed to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1997 after blowing out No. 4 seed Auburn 84-53 in the Midwest Region second round.

Gabe DeVoe led Clemson with 22 points, Elijah Thomas had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcquise Reed added 16 as Clemson used a huge first half run to cruise past its foe from the SEC.

Clemson shot nearly 48 percent, but was above 50 percent for most of the game. Clemson dominated every facet, outscoring Auburn 34-14 in the paint and allowed just two fastbreak points.

Clemson led by as many as 41 and will face top-seed Kansas.

Bryce Brown and Mustapha Heron led Auburn with 12 points each, but Auburn shot just 26 percent for the game and was 7 of 32 on 3-point attempts.

__ Tim Booth reporting from San Diego.

___

9:10 p.m.

Top-seeded Xavier is starting to put some space between the Musketeers and Florida State.

After swapping the lead six times, Xavier took the lead on a 3-pointer by Paul Scruggs. That was the first of 8 straight points by the top-seeded Musketeers, and Scruggs capped the spurt with a layup giving Xavier the biggest lead of the first half with 1:20 left.

Scruggs’ layup put Xavier up 22-15.

Xavier routed Florida State in the second round a year ago, also in the West Region, with a 91-66 victory.

_ Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.

___

8:55 p.m.

Call them the Fallen Four.

The top four seeds in the South Region _ No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 Cincinnati, No. 3 Tennessee and No. 4 Arizona _ have all been eliminated on the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

The NCAA says that it is the first time in tourney history that none of a region’s top four seeds will make the Sweet 16.

Fifth-seeded Kentucky, seventh-seeded Nevada and 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago are already on their way to Atlanta for the South Region semifinals. That trio will be joined by either ninth-seeded Kansas State or UMBC. The Retrievers made history as the first No. 16 seed to beat a top seed.

___

8:50 p.m.

Top-seeded Xavier and ninth-seeded Florida State have the challenge of trying to follow up one of the biggest comebacks in NCAA Tournament history.

If the opening minutes are any indication, they appear up to the task.

Florida State opened the game scoring the first five points and jumped out to an 8-2 lead. Xavier, a No. 1 seed for the first time in program history, quickly answered with eight straight points. Kerem Kanter has seven point helping Xavier take a 12-11 lead with 15:06 left in the first half.

Xavier is trying to reach the Sweet 16 for a second straight year and seventh in the past 11 years.

Florida State hasn’t been there since 2011.

The winner plays Gonzaga in Los Angeles in the West Region semifinal.

_ Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.

___

8:30 p.m.

Nevada’s comeback win against Cincinnati is going into the record book.

The seventh-seeded Wolf Pack rallied from 22 points down to beat No. 2 seed Cincinnati 75-73 t advance to the Sweet 16. The NCAA says that it ties the second-biggest comeback in tournament history, behind BYU’s rally from 25 down to beat Iona in the 2012 First Four.

Duke also won after trailing by 22 after beating Maryland in the 2001 Final Four.

___

8:25 p.m.

Kansas State has found its groove and taken its first lead in its second round game against 16th-seeded UMBC.

The Wildcats needed 11 trips down the court to get on the scoreboard and cut UMBC’s lead to 10-2. From there, Kansas State settled down and reeled off a 7-0 run to go up 15-14. Kansas State has yet to his a 3-pointer and has missed all six attempts.

___

8:15 p.m.

The Nevada Wolf Pack just keeps digging out of deep holes. And now they’re on their way to Nevada’s first Sweet 16 since 2004.

The seventh-seeded Wolf Pack trailed this time by 22 before an amazing comeback.

Josh Hall hit a short jumper with 9.1 seconds left to give Nevada its only lead of the game at 75-73, and No. 2 seed Cincinnati couldn’t get a shot off before the clock expired sending the Wolf Pack celebrating and hugging on the court.

Nevada trailed by 14 in the second half of their first-round game when they forced overtime and beat Texas.

Cincinnati was the highest remaining seed left in the South Region after a string of upsets, and now the Bearcats are the latest to go down.

Now Nevada will play another surprising team in Loyola-Chicago in the South Region semifinals Thursday in Atlanta.

_ Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.

___

8:15 p.m.

Kansas State coach Bruce Weber left the door open on leading scoring Dean Wade playing against UMBC, but so far the 6-foot-10 junior has not seen the floor near the midway point of the first half.

Wade is dealing with a stress fracture in his foot and has missed the Wildcats’ last two games.

Meanwhile, UMBC has shown no sgns of a letdown after their historic upset of No. 1 Virginia, jumping out to a 12-6 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half.

___

8:10 p.m.

Clemson is running its way to the Sweet 16.

The Tigers closed the first half on a 30-6 run and have a 43-19 lead over No. 4 seed Auburn at halftime of their second-round game in the Midwest Region. Elijah Thomas has 11 points and Marcquise Reed has 10 to lead Clemson.

Auburn simply couldn’t make shots. The Tigers closed the half missing 18 straight shots and 20 of its final 21 attempts in the half.

Auburn didn’t make a basket the final 10:33 of the half with all six points coming at the free throw line. Auburn shot just 18 percent in the first half.

Clemson normally plays at a slow pace but outscored Auburn 10-0 on fastbreak points and had a 22-2 advantage on points in the paint.

_Tim Booth reporting from San Diego.

___

7:55 p.m.

Nevada went on a 16-0 run to get back into the game, but Cincinnati is trying to hold on by controlling the boards. The Bearcats were up by just three points with about 3 1/2 minutes left.

Second-seeded Cincinnati ended a long drought by converting a pair of putbacks. The Bearcats were outrebounding seventh-seeded Nevada 41-26 and outscoring the Wolf Pack 20-3 in second-chance points.

But don’t count out Nevada just yet.

Nevada trailed by 14 in the second half of their first-round game when they forced overtime and beat Texas.

___

7:42 p.m.

Nevada may have dug itself too deep a hole to pull off another comeback.

Cincinnati opened the second half on an 11-3 run and has extended its lead over Nevada to 59-41 with 14:16 remaining. Nevada’s Cody Martin exemplified the Wolf Pack’s frustrations when he picked up a technical foul early in the second half.

_Steve Megargee reporting from Nashville, Tennessee

___

7:40 p.m.

UMBC entere the Spectrum Center on Sunday night with long-sleeve warm-up jerseys that had “Unleash Chaos” on the front and “Shock the World” written on the back.

UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to beat a 1 seed on Friday night when it toppled Virginia, the nation’s top-ranked team in the biggest upset in college basketball history.

The Retrievers face Kansas State in the second round.

___

7:27 p.m.

Defending national champion North Carolina is done in the NCAA Tournament.

Seventh-seeded Texas A&M dominated the second-seeded Tar Heels in an 86-65 win to advance to the Sweet 16.

The Aggies controlled the boards and held Carolina to a paltry 19 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Texas A&M won in Tar Heel-friendly country in Charlotte. It was North Carolina’s first NCAA loss in Charlotte after winning their first 12 games there.