Star sophomore point guard Ja Morant had 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for the first triple-double in NCAA Tournament play since 2012 to help Murray State roll to a convincing 83-64 victory over Marquette on Thursday in West Regional play at Hartford, Conn.
Morant dominated the contest from the outset despite taking just nine shots. He recorded his fourth career triple-double as 12th-seeded Murray State (28-4) roughed up the fifth-seeded Golden Eagles (24-10). The previous triple-double in NCAA play was achieved by Michigan State’s Draymond Green, who had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a victory over LIU-Brooklyn.
Freshman guard Tevin Brown made five 3-point baskets and scored a team-best 19 points as the Racers won their 12th straight game. Freshman forward KJ Williams had 16 points, and senior guard Shaq Buchanan added 14 for Murray State, who will face fourth-seeded Florida State on Saturday in the second round.
Junior guard Markus Howard scored 26 points for Marquette, which lost for the sixth time in the past seven games. Junior forward Sam Hauser recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds.
No. 1 Gonzaga 87, No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 49
Rui Hachimura scored 21 points, Killian Tillie had a season-high 17 and the top-seeded Bulldogs dominated from the start in a beat-down of the Knights at Salt Lake City. Gonzaga set a school record for margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game.
Brandon Clarke had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the Bulldogs. He combined with fellow frontcourt players Hachimura and Tillie to make 21 of 32 shots. Gonzaga (31-3) will play in Saturday’s second round against No. 9 Baylor.
Fairleigh Dickinson (21-14) got 10 points apiece from Elyjah Williams and Mike Holloway Jr.
No. 2 Michigan 74, No. 15 Montana 55
Charles Matthews recorded 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Wolverines past the Grizzlies at Des Moines, Iowa. The game was a rematch of last season’s first-round matchup when Michigan beat Montana 61-47.
Ignas Brazdeikis added 14 points, and Jon Teske had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Wolverines (29-6). Jordan Poole scored 10 points, and junior guard Zavier Simpson registered 10 assists and seven rebounds, helping Michigan advance to face 10th-seeded Florida.
Sayeed Pridgett scored 17 points for the 15th-seeded Grizzlies (26-9), and Ahmaad Rorie and Timmy Falls added 10 points apiece.
No. 4 Florida State 76, No. 13 Vermont 69
Mfiondu Kabengele recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Seminoles to a first-round victory over the Catamounts at Hartford, Conn.
Terance Mann scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half as the Seminoles (28-7) controlled the final 11 1/2 minutes.
Anthony Lamb scored 16 points for the Catamounts (27-7), who dropped to 2-7 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Stef Smith, Ben Shungu and Ernie Duncan all scored 15 points.
No. 9 Baylor 78, No. 8 Syracuse 69
Makai Mason scored 22 points, and the Bears hit a season-high 16 3-point shots to beat the Orange in Salt Lake City.
The teams battled from the 3-point arc for much of the game, combining to hit 28 from long distance, an NCAA Tournament record for a non-overtime game. Baylor (20-13) got 14 points from Jared Butler and 13 from Mario Kegler.
Syracuse (20-14) saw the end of its streak of first-round victories in its past eight NCAA Tournament appearances. Elijah Hughes scored a career-high 25 points for the Orange, and Tyus Battle had 16.
No. 10 Florida 70, No. 7 Nevada 61
Kevarrius Hayes scored 16 points to help the Gators produce a victory over the Wolf Pack at Des Moines, Iowa.
Jalen Hudson added 15 points for Florida (20-15). Keyontae Johnson recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds, and KeVaughn Allen also scored 10 points.
Cody Martin scored 23 points, and Caleb Martin added 19 points for the Wolf Pack (29-5). Nevada shot just 34.5 percent from the field, including 5 of 24 from 3-point range.
No. 2 Michigan State 76, No. 15 Bradley 65
Cassius Winston scored 26 points to lead the Spartans to a victory over the Braves in Des Moines, Iowa.
Winston made all eight of his free throws and the Spartans (29-6) finished 25 of 26 at the stripe. Xavier Tillman had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Matt McQuaid added 10 points. Michigan State will next face No. 10 Minnesota on Saturday.
Elijah Childs scored 19 to lead Bradley (20-15), the tournament champions from the Missouri Valley Conference who were back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 13 years. Darrell Brown added 17 points, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye scored 14 and the Braves made nine 3-pointers to keep the game close.
No. 3 LSU 79, No. 14 Yale 74
Naz Reid and Kavell Bigby-Williams both had double-doubles as the Tigers used their superior size to hold off the Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Fla.
LSU (27-6), playing without coach Will Wade — suspended while the school investigates possible NCAA violations — will play sixth-seeded Maryland in the second round Saturday.
Reid had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Bigby-Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds, Skylar Mays added 19 points and Tremont Waters scored 15. Alex Copeland led the Bulldogs (22-8) with 24 points, Jordan Bruner scored 16 and Azar Swain had 12 off the bench.
No. 6 Maryland 79, No. 11 Northeastern 77
Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando had double-doubles as the Terrapins edged the Bruins in Jacksonville, Fla.
Smith had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Fernando added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Darryl Morsell scored 18 and Eric Ayala added 12 as the Terrapins (23-10) prevailed in a back-and-forth game.
Dylan Windler had 35 points and 11 rebounds and Kevin McClain scored 19 to lead Belmont (27-6), which defeated Temple 81-70 in a play-in game Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. The Bruins fell 10 points short of their scoring average of 87.4, which is second to only Gonzaga in Division I.
No. 10 Minnesota 86, No. 7 Louisville 76
Gabe Kalscheur scored 24 points to lead the Golden Gophers to a victory over the Cardinals in Des Moines, Iowa. The Gophers (22-13) won their first tournament game since 2013 when they opened with a victory over UCLA.
Kalscheur was 5 of 11 from 3-point range as Minnesota made 11 triples, its second-highest total all season. Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey scored 18 points each while Daniel Oturu and Dupree McBrayer each scored 13 for the Gophers.
Louisville (20-14) entered the game having won just two of its last seven games and could never seize the momentum against Minnesota. Christen Cunningham scored 22 to lead the Cardinals while Steven Enoch scored 14. Darius Perry added 12 points while Jordan Nwora scored 10 and grabbed 11 rebounds.
No. 2 Kentucky 79, No. 15 Abilene Christian 44
Keldon Johnson poured in 25 points, and Kentucky pounded Abilene Christian in a battle of Wildcats at Jacksonville, Fla. Kentucky played without team scoring and rebounding leader PJ Washington, who had his left foot in a cast from an injury sustained in last week’s Southeastern Conference tournament.
Kentucky’s Reid Travis, a graduate transfer from Stanford in his first NCAA Tournament game, racked up 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and freshman Tyler Herro added 14 points. Kentucky (28-6) plays seventh-seeded Wofford in the second round.
Jaren Lewis scored 17 points for Abilene Christian (27-7). Lewis shot 7 of 12 from the field, while the rest of his teammates were a combined 10 of 41.
No. 5 Auburn 78, No. 12 New Mexico State 77
Jared Harper scored a game-high 17 points as the Tigers survived potential game-winning free throws by the Aggies to win in Salt Lake City.
Auburn (27-9) took a 13-point lead with 7:10 left but committed six turnovers after that and was hanging on to a 78-76 lead with 6.0 seconds left after Samir Doughty made the second of two free-throw attempts.
The Aggies’ Terrell Brown missed a 3-point shot but was fouled with 1.7 seconds left. He missed the first, made the second and his third attempt went in and out, with the rebound going out of bounds to New Mexico State (30-5) with 1.1 seconds to go and Auburn up one. Trevelin Queen, off a screen, got an open look from the left corner but shot an airball.
No. 4 Kansas 87, No. 13 Northeastern 53
Dedric Lawson recorded 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Jayhawks trounced the Huskies at Salt Lake City.
The Jayhawks (26-9) extended their streak of first-round wins to 13 while making their 30th consecutive NCAA appearance, a tournament record. Kansas advances to play No. 5 Auburn on Saturday.
Kansas also was stingy defensively, holding the Huskies (23-11) to 28.1 percent shooting. Northeastern’s leading scorer, senior guard Vasa Pusica, was held to seven points (10 below his average) on 2-of-13 shooting. Junior guard Jordan Roland paced Northeastern with 12 points.
No. 7 Wofford 84, No. 10 Seton Hall 68
Fletcher Magee scored 24 points and set a record as the Terriers won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time, overcoming the Pirates in Jacksonville, Fla.
Magee made seven 3-point baskets to become the NCAA all-time leader with 509 treys. Magee, who was 7 of 12 on 3-point attempts, broke the mark of 504 set by Travis Bader of Oakland, who ended his career five years ago.
Nathan Hoover finished with 18 points for Wofford (30-4), which has a 21-game winning streak. Myles Powell scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half for Seton Hall (20-14).
No. 3 Purdue 61, No. 14 Old Dominion 48
Carsen Edwards scored 26 points as the Boilermakers recorded a victory over the Monarchs at Hartford, Conn.
Matt Haarms scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half for Purdue (24-9), which advances to face reigning national champion Villanova in a second-round contest on Saturday.
Purdue guard Nojel Eastern, who started every game for the team this season, turned his ankle in pregame warm-ups. He was replaced in the lineup by Eric Hunter Jr. before entering the contest early in the second half. Ahmad Caver scored 19 points, and B.J. Stith added 14 points for the Monarchs (26-9).
No. 6 Villanova 61, No. 11 Saint Mary’s 57
Phil Booth scored 20 points as the Wildcats posted a victory over the Gaels at Hartford, Conn.
Booth shot 7 of 13 from the field and added 14 points for reigning NCAA champion Villanova (26-9).
Jermaine Samuels finished with 12 points to help Villanova gain a measure of revenge after being bounced by Saint Mary’s in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Jordan Ford and Malik Fitts each scored 13 points for the Gaels (22-12).
—Field Level Media