Big Ten starts perfectly
The Big Ten Conference got off to a strong start in the NCAA tournament with Michigan State and Michigan winning second-round games Thursday.
Glenn Robinson III scored 21 points and Mitch McGary added 13 points and nine rebounds, helping fourth-seeded Michigan overcome a rough night for star Trey Burke to beat South Dakota, 71-56 at Auburn Hills, Mich.
Burke made only two field goals and left the game briefly in the second half after a hard fall under the basket. The star point guard came back after that, but he finished with only six points.
Michigan (27-7) advanced anyway behind Robinson, McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 21 points.
South Dakota State (25-10), the 13th seed, trailed by only four at halftime but couldn’t keep up. High-scoring guard Nate Wolters was held to only 10 points.
Burke was held in single digits for the first time all season.
Michigan plays VCU on Saturday.
Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past the 14th-seeded Valparaiso, 65-54.
The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control, and cruised to an easy victory.
Michigan State (26-8) will play Memphis on Saturday when coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans will be shooting for a spot in the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.
The Crusaders (26-8) were no match for Michigan State in their first NCAA tourney in nine years.
Erik Buggs scored 14 and Matt Kenney had 10 points for the Crusaders.
In other games Thursday, in the East Regional, it was:
-- Butler 68, Bucknell 56—Andrew Smith had a double-double including a career-high 16 rebounds, Roosevelt Jones added 14 points and Butler made its free throws down the stretch to hold off upset-minded Bucknell.
After trailing for most of the game, 11th-seeded Bucknell got back into it with a 19-2 second-half run. But after Joe Willman’s jumper cut Butler’s lead to 43-42 with 6:56 left, the Bison (28-6) went almost five minutes without scoring. Butler went 18-of-20 at the line in the last 4:43.
-- California 64, UNLV 61—At San Jose, Calif., Allen Crabbe had 19 points and nine rebounds, reserve Robert Thurman scored all 12 of his points on dunks and 12th-seeded California held off UNLV.
Buoyed by the crowd support of a strong contingent so close to Berkeley, the Golden Bears (21-11) held the Runnin’ Rebels (25-10) without a basket for more than 11 minutes in the second half.
-- Louisville 79, North Carolina A&T 48—Russ Smith scored 23 points and set a Louisville NCAA tournament record with a career-high eight steals, and Peyton Siva had eight assists as the Cardinals demolished North Carolina A&T at Lexington, Ky.
Louisville finished with a season-high 20 steals as it forced the Aggies (20-17) into 27 turnovers.
-- Memphis 54, St. Mary’s 52—At Auburn Hills, Mich., Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer from the right wing missed everything as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary’s.
The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds.
-- Saint Louis 64, New Mexico State 44—At San Jose, Calif., Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points and fourth-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed New Mexico State in the Midwest Regional.
Playing through the death of Rick Majerus in December, Saint Louis reached another mark for its late coach. The Billikens (28-6) eclipsed the 1988-89 team’s school record of 27 victories.
-- Oregon 68, Oklahoma State 55—At San Jose, Calif., Damyean Dotson scored 17 points and Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds to help 12th-seeded Oregon extend a run that began in the Pac-12 tournament by beating fifth-seeded Oklahoma.
-- Colorado State 84, Missouri 72—At Lexington, Ky., Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and eighth-seeded Colorado State used good shooting to run away from No. 9 Missouri.
Green, who went scoreless with five turnovers in last year’s second-round upset to Murray State, did much better this time as the Rams shot nearly 58 percent in the first half.
-- Gonzaga 64, Southern 58—At Salt Lake City, a March Madness warm-up turned into a great escape for Gonzaga.
The Zags got pushed to the limit by Southern, pulling out a victory in the closing minutes to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 in the NCAA tournament.
No. 1 seeds are now 113-0 against 16s.
-- Harvard 68, New Mexico 63—Give those Harvard kids an A-plus in another subject: Bracketbusting 101.
Wesley Saunders scored 18 points and Laurent Rivard made five 3-pointers to help the 14th-seeded Crimson pull the biggest upset in Thursday’s flurry of NCAA tournament games, a 68-62 win over No. 3 New Mexico.
-- Wichita State 73, Pittsburgh 55—Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points, Cleanthony Early added 21 and ninth-seeded Wichita State ousted Pittsburgh.
Freshman Steven Adams led Pitt (24-9) with 13 points. and 11 rebounds.
Call Hall added 11 points for the Shockers (27-8).
-- Arizona 81, Belmont 64—At Salt Lake City, Mark Lyons scored 23 points and sixth-seeded Arizona rolled past Belmont.