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ROUND 2, DAY 5: 'Heels, 'Pack advance, 'Noles fall

March 18, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Draymond Green scored 16 points with 13 rebounds and set up Keith Appling's crucial 3-pointer with 1:34 left, giving top-seeded Michigan State a 65-61 win over Saint Louis on Sunday and sending the Spartans to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.

Michigan State will play No. 4 seed Louisville in the West Regional semifinals Thursday in Phoenix.

Appling added 19 points for the Spartans (29-7), who had to scrap their way past the ninth-seeded Billikens (26-8). Saint Louis controlled the tempo but never got a complete handle on Green, Michigan State's superb senior. He added six assists and even helped mop up sweat off the floor in the final minute.

Kwamain Mitchell scored 13 and Brian Conklin 11 for Saint Louis, back in the tournament for the first time since 2000.

No. 7 FLORIDA 84, No. 15 NORFOLK STATE 50

OMAHA, Neb. — Kenny Boynton scored 20 points and Florida routed Norfolk State to reach the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.

Norfolk State shook up the West Regional when it upset No. 2 seed Missouri 86-84 on Friday and was trying to become the first 15 seed to reach the round of 16.

Florida put a quick end to that idea, making five 3-pointers during a 25-0 run that made it 29-6 midway through the first half.

The Gators (25-10) made it to the regional semifinals for the sixth time in 12 NCAA tournament appearances under coach Billy Donovan. They will play No. 3 seed Marquette on Thursday in Phoenix after their second straight runaway win.

Florida was 4 for 23 from beyond the arc in its tournament opener, but still managed to beat Virginia 71-45. It rediscovered its shooting touch early against Norfolk State (26-10), making five of its first eight 3-point attempts and 10 of 28 for the game.

MIDWEST REGIONAL

No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 87, No. 8 CREIGHTON 73

GREENSBORO — John Henson proved he's healthy enough to help North Carolina's latest push for the Final Four. It remains to be seen if Kendall Marshall will be able to help the Tar Heels.

Henson had 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in his return from a wrist injury, but Marshall broke a bone in his right wrist during the second half of North Carolina's third-round victory over Creighton.

Coach Roy Williams confirmed the injury after the game, and said he would talk to Marshall and his parents about his status Sunday night. The point guard still finished with 18 points and 11 assists.

North Carolina got off to a fast start and built a 15-point lead in the first half, then kept control and pushed the margin to 19 after the break on the way to its second straight double-digit victory in the Midwest Regional. The top-seeded Tar Heels (31-5) reached the round of 16 for a record 25th time.

Doug McDermott scored 20 points for the Bluejays (29-6), who shot 41 percent and couldn't keep up with the hot-shooting Tar Heels.

No. 13 OHIO 62, No. 12 SOUTH FLORIDA 56

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Walter Offutt scored 21 points, D.J. Cooper had 19 and Ohio beat South Florida to advance to the regional semifinals.

The Bobcats (29-7) will play No. 1 seed North Carolina in their second trip to the round of 16.

Ohio trailed by two when Offutt swished a 3-pointer, launching a 10-0 run for the Bobcats. A pair of free throws by Cooper made it 54-46 with 3:28 left.

The Bobcats had a 59-53 lead when Toarlyn Fitzpatrick connected for South Florida's first 3-pointer of the half. But Cooper went 3 for 4 from the line while the Bulls missed three shots in the final 36 seconds.

Victor Rudd Jr. and Anthony Collins both scored 13 points for the Bulls (22-14).

No. 2 KANSAS 63, No. 10 PURDUE 60

OMAHA, Neb. — Elijah Johnson scored 18 points, including the go-ahead basket off a steal in the final minute, and Kansas rallied to beat Robbie Hummel and Purdue after trailing almost the entire way.

Thomas Robinson had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Jayhawks (29-6), who were down by 10 in the second half but still managed to advance to St. Louis. They'll play No. 11 seed North Carolina State on Friday in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

Purdue was clinging to a 60-59 lead and had the ball when Lewis Jackson, with the shot clock winding down, lost control at the top of the key. Johnson picked it up and went the other way for the go-ahead layup with 23.3 seconds left.

Hummel missed a 3-pointer at the other end and Tyshawn Taylor scored a transition dunk for Kansas with 2.5 seconds left. After a timeout, Purdue sharpshooter Ryne Smith unloaded a long 3-point try that hit the backboard and the rim before falling away.

Hummel finished with 26 points and nine rebounds to lead the Boilermakers (22-13).

No. 11 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 66, No. 3 GEORGETOWN 63

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lorenzo Brown hit three free throws in the final 10.6 seconds and North Carolina State conjured up its glorious tradition by upsetting Georgetown.

The Wolfpack (24-12) had to survive a furious comeback by the Hoyas (24-9) and only were assured of the win when Jason Clark's hurried 3-point attempt from the right wing was off the mark at the buzzer.

C.J. Williams, Scott Wood and C.J. Leslie each had 14 points, and Brown added 12 for the Wolfpack, who earned their first trip to the round of 16 since 2005.

Hollis Thompson led the Hoyas with 23 points.

SOUTH REGIONAL

No. 10 XAVIER 70, No. 15 LEHIGH 58

GREENSBORO — Senior center Kenny Frease scored a career-high 25 points to go with 12 rebounds and Xavier knocked off upset-minded Lehigh to reach the round of 16 for the fourth time in five years.

Lehigh, which stunned No. 2 seed Duke on Friday, was looking to become the first 15 seed to make it to the regional semifinals. But the 7-foot Frease stood in the way.

He dominated in the paint, hitting 11 of 13 shots, and Tu Holloway was his normal productive self with 21 points as Xavier (22-12) advanced to play No. 3 seed Baylor on Friday in the South Regional at Atlanta.

The Musketeers held C.J. McCollum, the nation's fifth-leading scorer, to 14 points on 5-of-22 shooting and overcame a 15-point first-half deficit. Mackey McKnight had 20 points for Lehigh (27-7), which tied a Patriot League record for wins in a season.

EAST REGIONAL

No. 6 CINCINNATI 62, No. 3 FLORIDA STATE 56

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dion Dixon stole the ball and dunked to put Cincinnati ahead for good with 1:32 left and the Bearcats edged Florida State to reach their first regional semifinal in the NCAA tournament since 2001.

Cincinnati (26-10) will play No. 2 seed Ohio State in Boston on Thursday night in the East Regional, giving the state of Ohio four teams out of the last 16 still standing.

Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 points and Dixon finished with 15 for Cincinnati. Yancy Gates had 10, and JaQuon Parker grabbed 11 rebounds.

Florida State (25-10) had its six-game winning streak snapped. The Seminoles won their first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title this season but fell short of the NCAA regional semifinal they reached a year ago.

Luke Loucks led Florida State with 14 points.

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