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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Duke cruises into second round

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Duke's confident mascot wore a piece of tape across his forehead that read: "Played In, Blown Out."

News photo
Hang time: Vermont's Marqus Blakely flies in for a dunk against Syracuse in their NCAA tournament first-round game on Friday in Buffalo, N.Y. Syracuse won 79-56. AP PHOTO

The Blue Devils didn't disappoint.

Avoiding the upset bug that has taken down several favorites in the NCAA tournament, the top-seeded Atlantic Coast Conference champions opened play in the South Regional with a dominating 73-44 victory Friday night over No. 16 seed Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the South Regional.

"That really didn't cross our minds, that happening to us, the 1 vs. 16," Duke senior Jon Scheyer said.

Kyle Singler had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Duke, which never trailed. Scheyer scored 13 and Lance Thomas 12. Nolan Smith added 10 points on a subpar shooting night (3-for-10) for the junior guard.

The Blue Devils advanced to play Sunday against No. 8 seed California, which beat ninth-seeded Louisville 77-62.

"This was a springboard for us. We were limiting them to one shot and rebounding well," Thomas said. "If we continue doing that we'll beat anybody in the tournament."

The victory gave coach Mike Krzyzewski his 11th 30-win season in three decades at Duke, which has made 10 trips to the Final Four under him, though none since 2006.

Purdue 72, Siena 64

In Spokane, Keaton Grant ignited a decisive 20-3 run with 11 points to begin the second half, and fourth-seeded Purdue rallied past 13th-seeded giant-killer Siena despite playing without do-it-all forward Robbie Hummel.

Texas A&M 69, Utah State 53

In Spokane, Khris Middleton scored a career-high 19 points and fifth-seeded Texas A&M (24-9) beat No. 12 Utah State to advance to the second round for the fifth consecutive year.

California 77, Louisville 62

In Jacksonville, Jerome Randle and Theo Robertson scored 21 points apiece and eighth-seeded California squandered most of a seemingly comfortable lead before pulling away from No. 9 Louisville.


Cornell 78, Temple 65

In Jacksonville, down to their last chance to experience success on college basketball's biggest stage, seniors Ryan Wittman, Louis Dale and Jeff Foote led 12th-seeded Cornell to its first win in five NCAA tournament appearances.

Wisconsin 53, Wofford 49

In Jacksonville, Jon Leuer scored 20 points, including a jumper and two free throws in the final 17 seconds, and fourth-seeded Wisconsin eked out a win over No. 13 seed Wofford.

W. Virginia 77, Morgan St. 50

In Buffalo, Kevin Jones scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half to lead second-seeded West Virginia over No. 15 Morgan State.

Missouri 86, Clemson 78

In Buffalo, Kim English and Keith Ramsey each scored 20 points, and 10th-seeded Missouri's swarming defense lived up to its reputation against No. 7 Clemson.


Xavier 65, Minnesota 54

In Milwaukee, Jordan Crawford scored 17 of his 28 points in the second half and sixth-seeded Xavier kept up its run of tournament success by beating No. 11 Minnesota.

Pittsburgh 89, Oakland 66

In Milwaukee, Jermaine Dixon and Gilbert Brown scored 17 points apiece and third-seeded Pittsburgh avoided becoming the latest Big East powerhouse to get knocked off in the first round, overcoming a slow start to rout No. 14 Oakland.

Gonzaga 67, Florida State 60

In Buffalo, Matt Bouldin scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half in helping the eight-seeded Bulldogs close out a victory over the ninth-seeded Seminoles.

Syracuse 79, Vermont 56

In Buffalo, Wes Johnson had 18 points to lead five Syracuse players in double figures, and the top-seeded Orange beat No. 16 Vermont.

Syracuse's overwhelming start had Vermont trailing by as many as 25 points late in the first half.

And after the Catamounts closed the half with a 15-2 run. Andy Rautins and freshman Brandon Triche started the second by hitting two 3s apiece in the first 4 minutes to erase any doubt about the outcome.


Ga. Tech 64, Oklahoma St. 59

In Milwaukee, Gani Lawal scored 14 points, Derrick Favors came within a rebound of a double-double and 10th-seeded Georgia Tech scored its last 13 points at the line to hold off No. 7 Oklahoma State.

Ohio State 68, UCSB 51

In Milwaukee, Jon Diebler scored 23 points and Dallas Lauderdale blocked a career-high eight shots and grabbed 12 rebounds for the second-seeded Buckeyes (28-7), who won without much offense from the Big Ten player of the year against No. 15 UC-Santa Barbara.

Michigan St. 70, NMSU 67

In Spokane, Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 25 points and Raymar Morgan emerged from a quiet night by hitting key shots down the stretch as fifth-seeded Michigan State edged No. 12 New Mexico State.

Maryland 89, Houston 77

In Spokane, freshman forward Jordan Williams set career highs with 21 points and 17 rebounds, powering the fourth-seeded Terrapins (24-8) past No. 13 Houston.

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