Ohio guard Walter Offutt (3) gets a hug from forward Ivo Baltic (23) after Offutt drew a foul against Michigan in the final seconds of a second-round NCAA Tournament game Friday in Nashville, Tenn. The resulting free throws by Offutt sealed a 65-60 win for Ohio.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Walter Offutt got a taste for what it was like to beat Michigan while he was at Ohio State. Clinching an upset win for Ohio over the Wolverines in the NCAA tournament is just a bit sweeter.
Offutt, who ended up at Ohio by way of Wright State, grabbed a loose ball, was fouled by Evan Smotrycz and sank both of his free throws with 6.8 seconds left to preserve Ohio’s 65-60 upset of Michigan on Friday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament’s Midwest Regional.
“It’s been an amazing journey,” Offutt said. “Probably the best thing that ever happened in my life.”
The No. 13 Bobcats have had quite the season, winning the Mid-American Conference tournament and a program-record 28 victories. There’s still time for more great things, starting with a game against the Temple-South Florida winner Sunday.
“We’re playing our best basketball of the year, no doubt about that,” said Ohio coach John Groce, whose 2009-10 Bobcats squad upset third-seeded Georgetown.
Ohio had the Wolverines on their heels throughout the game, but Michigan’s Trey Burke hit a 3 with 4:12 left to cut it to 63-60. But the Wolverines missed their final five shots, including four by the freshman Burke.
“We were really emphasizing (that) this doesn’t have to be a 3-point game,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “Could we have gotten more open (shots)? Well, time would have told, but those were the choices he made, and we live with them.”
On Burke’s third miss, fourth-seeded Michigan (24-10) got the rebound but Smotrycz lost control of the ball in front of the Wolverines bench, and Offutt grabbed it.
Ohio shot 51.2 percent and held Michigan to 40.7 percent shooting, including 7 for 23 from 3-point range, typically the Wolverines’ comfort zone. The Bobcats entered the tournament ranked 13th in the nation in 3-point defense, with opponents shooting just 29.6 percent against them.
“I thought our ability to defend the 3 was going to be critical coming into the game,” Groce said.
D.J. Cooper led the Bobcats with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Offutt scored 11 points, and Ivo Baltic and Reggie Keely both added 10.
Burke scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. Smotrycz scored 15 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 14.
The teams traded the lead three times and were tied a fourth time when Baltic spun around in the lane and hit a jumper that launched a 15-2 run for Ohio. Nick Kellogg was left open and sank a 3-pointer that made it 35-22 with 2:49 in the first half.
The Bobcats smothered the Wildcats often deadly perimeter shooting and dared them to go inside. Even though Michigan was the smaller of the two teams, it outscored Ohio in the paint 16-12 in the first half.
Hardaway Jr. managed to get 10 points by halftime, but Zack Novak, Stu Douglass and Burke, who together average 31.9 points per game, combined for just seven points.
The loss is just another NCAA disappointment for a Michigan program that hasn’t been to the round of 16 since 1994 and its vacated national championship season the year before. The Wolverines are 3-9 in tournament games since then.
But it especially hurts for seniors Douglass and Novak, who helped lead the team to a three-way tie with Ohio State and Michigan State for the Big Ten regular-season championship.
“I haven’t cried over a basketball game since I got knocked out in high school,” said Douglass, whose 136 career games is a record for Michigan. “So that kind of paints the picture for you.”
No. 10 XAVIER 67, No. 7 NOTRE DAME 63: Tu Holloway banked in the go-ahead shot over Jack Cooley with 21.3 seconds left, helping Xavier rally for the win.
Holloway finished with 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting, including a flurry that helped the 10th-seeded Musketeers (22-12) rally from a 10-point second-half deficit against the seventh-seeded Fighting Irish (22-12). His final points came when he rounded a screen from Kenny Frease and sent a high-arcing shot over Cooley’s outstretched arm for the 64-63 lead.
Cooley finished with 18 points on 8-for-8 shooting for the Fighting Irish, who couldn’t slow Holloway in the second half.
Dezmine Wells finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Xavier, which will play No. 15 seed Lehigh in Sunday’s third round.
No. 7 FLORIDA 71, No. 10 VIRGINIA 45:
OMAHA, Neb. — Bradley Beal had 14 points and 11 rebounds, reserve Casey Prather scored a career-high 14 and Florida pulled away in the second half to beat Virginia.
The Gators (24-10) finished the first half on a 17-4 run to shake off a slow start and get out to a 30-22 lead. They shot 70 percent in the second half, pushing their lead to more than 20 points.
Florida made it to the regional finals last season. The Cavaliers were in the tournament for the first time since 2007.
Mike Scott had 15 points for Virginia (22-10).
Florida, averaging a nation-leading 9.9 3-pointers a game, was 4 of 23 from long range but made 24 of 30 from inside the arc.
No. 1 MICHIGAN STATE 89, No. 16 LIU BROOKLYN 67:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Draymond Green scored 24 points in a triple-double and top-seeded Michigan State fought off the upset bug that took down two No. 2 seeds in the NCAA tournament.
The Spartans (28-7) finally put away the pesky No. 16 Blackbirds (25-9) with a 14-4 run midway through the second half.
Michigan State will play Saint Louis in the third round Sunday.
Green added 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The Big Ten’s player of the year also provided some encouraging — and a few choice — words for his teammates in the second half when LIU was giving the Spartans all they could handle.
Jamal Olasewere scored 17 for LIU.
No. 9 SAINT LOUIS 61, No. 8 MEMPHIS 54:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kwamain Mitchell scored 22 points, including three big 3-pointers, and Saint Louis rode its gritty defense to a victory over Memphis.
Mitchell closed the first half by banking in a 3, then nailed two others to help coach Rick Majerus and the Billikens (26-7) overturn an eight-point deficit in the second half. They moved on to play the winner of LIU Brooklyn and top-seeded Michigan State on Sunday.
Brian Conklin added 16 points, including five free throws in the final minute to salt the game away.
Will Barton had 16 points for the Tigers (26-9), who had won 20 of their last 23 games.
No. 6 CINCINNATI 65, No. 11 TEXAS 59:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Yancy Gates had 15 points and 10 rebounds as Cincinnati started strong and then withstood a late rally by Texas.
The Bearcats (25-10) jumped out to a 16-2 lead while Texas opened the game 1 of 14 from the field and shot 16 percent for the first half. After trailing 31-17 at halftime, the Longhorns attacked, hitting five of their first seven from 3-point range.
With 3:44 to play, Texas’ Jonathan Holmes made a layup to tie it at 52, but the Longhorns never took the lead. Gates hit a shot over Clint Chapman with 1:11 remaining to give Cincinnati a 58-52 cushion, and the Bearcats hit five free throws in the final 36 seconds.
J’Covan Brown led Texas (20-14) with 19 points. Chapman had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
No. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 77, No. 16 VERMONT 58:
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Tyler Zeller had 17 points and 15 rebounds to help North Carolina beat Vermont in its NCAA tournament opener despite playing without injured starter John Henson.
Freshman forward James Michael McAdoo added a season-high 17 points for the Tar Heels (30-5), who pushed ahead by double figures late in the first half and then broke the game open after halftime. They improved to 30-1 in NCAA tournament games played in their home state.
Sandro Carissimo had 11 points for the Catamounts (24-12), who beat Lamar in one of Wednesday’s First Four games. That earned them a trip to Greensboro to face the Tar Heels in front of a home-state crowd wearing plenty of light blue.
The Tar Heels didn’t turn in a rousing performance, but they had a danger-free afternoon and advanced to play eighth-seeded Creighton on Sunday. They also bought Henson another two days to recover from that sprained left wrist. The 6-foot-10 junior was hurt during last week’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and missed the last two games in Atlanta.
No. 8 CREIGHTON 58, No. 9 ALABAMA 57:
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Doug McDermott scored 16 points and Creighton overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half to beat Alabama for its first NCAA tournament victory in 10 years.
Alabama had a chance to win during the frantic final seconds, but Josh Jones blocked Trevor Releford’s 3-point attempt from the top of the key as time expired.
McDermott, the MVP of the Missouri Valley Conference and the nation’s third-leading scorer at 23.2 points per game, was held scoreless for more than 14 minutes but then scored nine points down the stretch for the Bluejays (29-5).
It was Creighton’s first tournament victory since Terrell Taylor drilled a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in double overtime to lift the Bluejays to an upset win over Florida in 2002.
Releford led Alabama (21-12) with 14 points and Trevor Lacey added 13.
No. 12 SOUTH FLORIDA, No. 5 TEMPLE 44:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Victor Rudd Jr. and Anthony Collins each scored 17 points, and South Florida shook off a frigid first 20 minutes to earn the upset.
The 12th-seeded Bulls (22-13) took it to the Atlantic 10 regular-season champ with their bruising Big East-style of play and held Temple 20 points below its previous season low in scoring.
That allowed the Bulls, who beat California 65-54 in Dayton on Wednesday night, to overcome a first half in which they went nearly 16 minutes without a field goal and missed 22 straight. They will play No. 13 seed Ohio, on Sunday.
Khalif Wyatt led Temple (24-8) with 19 points.
No. 3 GEORGETOWN 74, No. 14 BELMONT 59:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jason Clark scored 21 points, Otto Porter added 16 and Georgetown’s ruthless defense bottled up Belmont’s shooters, sending the Hoyas into the next round of the NCAA tournament after early exits the past two years.
Henry Sims had 15 points for the Hoyas (24-8), who shot 62 percent from the floor and will play No. 11 seed North Carolina State in the third round Sunday.
Georgetown’s previous two seasons ended with embarrassing first-round losses to Virginia Commonwealth and Ohio. The Hoyas weren’t going to let that happen a third time to a pesky underdog.
The Bruins (27-8) had their 14-game winning streak stopped and fell to 0-5 in NCAA appearances.
Blake Jenkins scored 17 to lead Belmont, which went just 10 of 27 on 3-pointers.
No. 11 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 79, No. 6 SAN DIEGO STATE 65:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Richard Howell scored 22 points, double his season average, and North Carolina State used its muscle inside and sticky defense to beat San Diego State.
Lorenzo Brown added 17 points and C.J. Leslie 15 for the Wolfpack (23-12), who improved to 12-5 in NCAA tournament openers. N.C. State has won at least one game in seven of its last eight trips.
Jamaal Franklin had 23 points and Chase Tapley 19 for the Aztecs (26-8), regular-season champions of the Mountain West Conference.
No. 2 KANSAS 65, DETROIT 50:
OMAHA, Neb. — Thomas Robinson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and second-seeded Kansas rolled to the victory.
Elijah Johnson added 15 points and Tyshawn Taylor had 10 for the Jayhawks (28-6), who toyed with the Titans (22-14) for the first 15 minutes before ramping up the defense and making sure they didn’t accompany fellow No. 2 seeds Missouri and Duke on the way out of the NCAA tournament.
Kansas advanced to play No. 10 seed Purdue on Sunday.
Doug Anderson led the Horizon League-champion Titans with 15 points before fouling out with 11:06 left. Ray McCallum, the son of the Detroit coach, added eight on 4-for-15 shooting.
No. 10 PURDUE 72, No. 7 SAINT MARY’S 69:
OMAHA, Neb. — Lewis Jackson made the go-ahead free throws for Purdue with 22.8 seconds left after Saint Mary’s had rallied late from 11 points down to take its first lead.
Jorden Page hit a 3-pointer with 44.2 seconds remaining to finish a 14-2 run that brought the Gaels back from a 66-55 deficit with 4:24 to play.
Purdue’s Terone Johnson and Saint Mary’s Clint Steindl were called for traveling before Jackson made his free throws. Page badly missed what would have been a go-ahead 3 with 10 seconds left, and Robbie Hummel made two free throws for a three-point lead.
Rob Jones, who had 23 points, missed a 3 at the buzzer for the Gaels (27-6).
Johnson had 21 points, Jackson 18 and Hummel and Anthony Johnson scored 10 apiece for the Boilermakers (22-12).