Jonathan Palmer | Lexington Herald
Louisville’s Peyton Siva drives the lane to score against North Carolina A&T. in an NCAA Tournament game Thursday at Lexington, Ky. Louisville moved on, 79-48.
Lexington, Ky. — Russ Smith led a relentless attack by totaling 23 points with eight steals, and top-seeded Louisville left no doubt in a 79-48 trouncing of 16th-seeded North Carolina A&T at Rupp Arena.
Fresh off winning the Big East Tournament title game in convincing fashion, the Cardinals (30-5) made their presence felt on both sides of the ball by complementing 27 forced turnovers with a 57.4 shooting percentage. They will take on Colorado State in Saturday’s third round matchup.
Smith had 14 of his points early in the second half to turn the contest into a full-fledged blowout and finished the contest 10-for-16 shooting from the floor.
Wichita State 73, Pittsburgh 55
Salt Lake City, Utah -- Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points as Wichita State defeated Pittsburgh. Cleanthony Early tallied 21 points off the bench for the Shockers (27-8), who lost to VCU in the second round of the tourney last season.
Michigan State 65, Valparaiso 54
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Derrick Nix dominated with 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, as Michigan State rolled to a 65-54 victory. Keith Appling added 15 points and Gary Harris chipped in 10 for Michigan State (26-8), which built a 17-point halftime lead and opened a 27-point advantage in the second half before cruising.
Memphis 54, Saint Mary’s 52
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Joe Jackson scored 14 points and Memphis warded off a furious late comeback attempt from Saint Mary’s. Jackson added seven assists and six rebounds to lead the sixth-seeded Tigers (31-4) into a matchup with No. 3 seed Michigan State on Saturday.
Marquette 59, Davidson 58
Lexington, Ky. — Vander Blue made the game-winning layup with one second left in regulation and Marquette edged out Davidson. Blue had 16 points, but none more important than the final shot.
Butler 68, Bucknell 56
Lexington, Ky. — Rotnei Clarke scored 17 points to lead Butler over Bucknell. Andrew Smith scored 14 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Bulldogs (27-8), who failed to reach the NCAA Tournament last spring after playing in the national championship game in 2010 and 2011.
Saint Louis 64, New Mexico State 44
San Jose, Calif. — Dwayne Evans scored 16 of his 24 points in the first half as Saint Louis pulled away late over New Mexico State. Cody Ellis had 12 points and made 3-of-4 shots from behind the arc to go along with six rebounds for the fourth-seeded Billikens (28-6), who set a new school record for wins and advance to the third round for the second straight year, to face 12th-seeded Oregon.
Oregon 68, Oklahoma State 55
San Jose, Calif. — Damyean Dotson scored 17 points to lead four Oregon players in double figures, while Arsalan Kazemi donated 11 points to go along with a game-high 17 rebounds as Oregon eased past Oklahoma State.
Michigan 71, South Dakota State 56
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range to push Michigan past South Dakota State. Glenn Robinson III also scored 21 points and shot 8-of-9 from the floor to go along with six rebounds for the fourth-seeded Wolverines (27-7).
California 64, UNLV 61
San Jose, Calif. — California had just a 50-mile trek down from Berkeley to San Jose for its NCAA Tournament opener. And the Golden Bears took advantage of their golden opportunity. Allen Crabbe had 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists and Cal hung on over UNLV.
Arizona 81, Belmont 64
Salt Lake City, Utah — Mark Lyons scored a game-high 23 points on Thursday, as the sixth-seeded Arizona Wildcats handled the Belmont Bruins.
Colorado State 84, Missouri 72
Lexington, Ky. — Dorian Green scored 26 points and eighth- seeded Colorado State is moving on to third round play of the NCAA Tournament after ousting ninth-seeded Missouri.
VCU 88, Akron 42
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Troy Daniels had 23 points on 6-of-11 3- point shooting, Juvonte Reddic scored 21 and the VCU Rams crushed the Akron Zips,. Rob Brandenberg netted 14 points and Melvin Johnson added 10 for the Rams (27-8).
Harvard 68, New Mexico 62
Salt Lake City, Utah — Wesley Saunders scored a team-high 18 points to lift Harvard to its first ever NCAA Tournament victory, as the 14th- seeded Crimson upended No. 3 seed New Mexico.
Laurent Rivard followed with 17 points, while Christian Webster and Kenyatta Smith added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Harvard (20-9). The Crimson will next face sixth-seeded Arizona in Saturday’s third round.
Syracuse 81, Montana 34
San Jose, Calif. — Syracuse’s stellar showing in the Big Apple transitioned into its opener of the NCAA Tournament. Brandon Triche had 20 points and five steals in the Orange’s rout of Montana Syracuse raced out to an early advantage and led by as many as 50 in its most lopsided tourney win since defeating Brown 101-52 in the first round of the 1986 NCAA Tournament.