Dayton players have a wild celebration following their 60-59 victory over Ohio State in a second-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday,.BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dayton is re-configuring the college basketball map in Ohio.
It no longer runs through Columbus after Vee Sanford’s layup with 3.8 seconds left secured 11th-seeded Dayton’s 60-59 victory over sixth-seeded Ohio State in the second round of the of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
“I guess they called us the little brother, or whatever,” Flyers guard Jordan Sibert said. “We can’t be called that anymore.”
Sibert has seen it from both sides after transferring to Dayton following two seasons at Ohio State.
“To be able to go out there and play with this group of guys, to be able to come up with this win, it’s unbelievable,” Sibert said.
Leave it to another transfer, Sanford, to secure the victory in a back-and-forth game that featured 15 lead changes between two schools separated by some 75 miles.
After Ohio State’s Aaron Craft hit a reverse layup with 15.5 seconds remaining, the Flyers set up a play during a timeout with 10.8 seconds left.
Dayton inbounded the ball and worked it to Sanford on the right wing. Driving the lane without hesitation, he got a step on Craft and laid in a shot from about 4 feet away.
“No, I wasn’t nervous,” said Sanford, who transferred to Dayton from Georgetown. “We’ve drawn up a play like that, and I messed it up previously. But (coach Archie Miller) just kept his trust in me, and I’m just thankful that the shot went in.”
Sanford finished with 10 points, while Dyshawn Pierre led Dayton with 12 points. For Miller, in his third year, the win came against his former mentor, Thad Matta.
The Flyers (24-10), of the Atlantic-10 Conference, who have won 11 of 13, advance to play the winner between third-seeded Syracuse and 14th-seeded Western Michigan in a South Region matchup on Saturday.
It’s one and done for the Big Ten Conference Buckeyes (25-10), who were eliminated in the first game for only the third time in 26th tournament appearances. This season, Ohio State got off to a 15-0 start, and then stumbled down the stretch, splitting its final 20 games.
The loss marked the end for three seniors, including Craft, who were part of a team that had advanced past the third round in each of the previous three years.
Craft had a chance to pull out the win.
Driving the length of the court on the Buckeye’s last possession, Craft bulled his way through three defenders only to have his 10-footer hit off the backboard and roll off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Craft remained on his back in disappointment as the Flyers rushed to celebrate at their bench at the other end of the court.
“I just wanted to do everything I could to help our team win, and down the stretch I couldn’t do that today,” Craft said. “I can take the blame for that.”
Sam Thompson led Ohio State with 18 points, and Craft scored 16.
Craft had no time for questions about whether Dayton can stake claim to being the state’s better basketball school for one year at least.
“Sorry, I have zero thoughts on that right now,” he said. “I’m upset at the way we played this game, and the way we didn’t take the opportunity and make the most of it.”
Craft was involved in a questionable play when he draped his arms around Sibert and was called for an intentional foul with 2:35 left. Sibert hit both free-throws to put Dayton up 55-52, but the Flyers couldn’t score on the ensuing possession. Craft made up for that at the other end, when he was fouled while hitting a 6-footer, and then completed the three-point play.
Miller was antsy right up to the final buzzer. Having spent two seasons at Ohio State, he was fully aware of Craft’s ability to score clutch baskets.
“I thought it was going in,” Miller said, referring to Craft’s miss at the buzzer. “I’ve watched those guys win that game 1,000 times. He’s a bulldozer with the ball. He got it down there in about three dribbles and got a good look. And it ended up rimming out. And we got lucky today.”
The Flyers have shown a flare for dramatics this season.
Sanford’s basket marked the third time the Flyers have won a game on a shot in the final 4 seconds.
Sibert hit a 3-pointer with 1 second left in an 81-80 win over IPFW on Nov. 9. Then there was Devin Oliver’s buzzer-beater in an 83-80 overtime win at Ole Miss on Jan. 4.
“A lot of people were going to make a big case out of beating Thad, or beating Ohio State,” Miller said. “We didn’t get real complicated. It wasn’t about Ohio State or where they’re from, or blah, blah, blah. It was about us.”
Harvard 61, CINCINNATI 57
SPOKANE, Wash. — Siyani Chambers scored 11 points, including five straight in the final 2 minutes, and 12th-seeded Harvard won its second NCAA tournament game in history, upsetting fifth-seeded Cincinnati 61-57 on Thursday in the East Regional.
Wesley Saunders led the Crimson (27-4) with 12 points as Harvard pulled off an upset for the second straight year. Last year, Harvard upset New Mexico as a 14 seed.
The Crimson became the first Ivy League school with NCAA tournament wins in consecutive years since Princeton in 1983-84.
Harvard never trailed after the opening moments. They played with confidence and scrap against the Bearcats, who shared the American Athletic Conference regular season title.
Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati (27-7) with 18 points, but the Bearcats failed to win a tournament game for the second straight year.
MICHIGAN ST. 93, DELAWARE 78
Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points to get Michigan State off to a solid start in the NCAA tournament.
Payne, a 6-foot-10 senior, scored 12 straight points in the first half to help the fourth-seeded Spartans (27-8) to an 18-point lead.
He set an NCAA tournament record by making all 17 of his free throws and broke the program’s tournament scoring record, set previously by Greg Kelser in 1979.
Devon Saddler had 21 points and Davon Usher added 20 for the 13th-seeded Blue Hens (25-10).
Travis Trice scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half for the Spartans.
SYRACUSE 77, W. MICHIGAN 53
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Syracuse’s backcourt of Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis combined for 34 points and the Orange defense clamped down.
Western Michigan (23-10), the Mid-American Conference champion, had won 14 of 16 games and was in the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade.
The third-seeded Orange (28-5) forced 11 turnovers in the opening half and scored 13 points off them in running out to a double-digit lead before the midpoint of the period.
Cooney led the Orange with 18 points, hitting 4 of 8 from beyond the arc, and Ennis had 16 points and six assists with one turnover.
The Orange used an 18-4 spurt over 10 minutes to take control and led 40-21 at halftime.
Shayne Whittington and Tucker Haymond led Western Michigan with 11 points apiece.
PITTSBURGH 77, COLORADO 48
ORLANDO, Fla. — Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half, helping ninth-seeded Pittsburgh build a 28-point lead.
The Panthers (26-9) shot 51 percent and played stifling defense.
Colorado (23-12) was eager to make amends for an early exit from the tournament a year ago, but had no answers for the 6-foot-9 Zanna. The Pitt center made six of seven shots in the first half, and the Panthers didn’t have any difficulty finishing off the overwhelmed Buffaloes.
Josh Scott led the eighth-seeded Buffaloes with 14 points, however Colorado couldn’t overcome a subpar performance from Askia Booker.
FLORIDA 67, ALBANY 55
ORLANDO, Fla. — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, most of them on dunks, and top-seeded Florida used a second-half surge to beat 16th-seeded Albany.
The Gators (33-2) showed some vulnerability, though, while extending their school-record winning streak to 27 games.
Coach Billy Donovan’s team sleepwalked through the first half, swapping the lead back and forth with the pesky Great Danes, but Florida’s bench provided a much-needed spark.
Finney-Smith, the Southeastern Conference’s sixth man of the year, was 6-of-10 shooting. Freshman guard Kasey Hill, who wasn’t sure he would be able to play because of turf toe, chipped in 10 points.
Patric Young finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the season. Casey Prather (16 points) and Scottie Wilbekin (10) also reached double figures for Florida.
DJ Evans led Albany (19-15) with 21 points and seven rebounds.
WISCONSIN 75, AMERICAN 35
MILWAUKEE — Ben Brust scored 17 points and second-seeded Wisconsin devastated American with a 22-5 run to close the first half.
The second-seeded Badgers (27-7) recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of the 15th-seeded Eagles (20-13).
After Wisconsin was ousted in the first round last year as a No. 5 seed, Brust made sure his senior season didn’t end the same way. He attacked the glass for baskets on consecutive possessions, ending with a three-point play with 3:33 left in the first half to give Wisconsin a 23-20 lead.
The Badgers shot 57 percent from the field in the second half.
John Schoof had 11 points for American.
OREGON 87, BYU 68
MILWAUKEE — Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points for seventh-seeded Oregon.
Joseph Young had 19 points for the Ducks (24-9), who had to stage a big comeback to beat the Cougars 100-96 in overtime in December. There was no comeback needed this time, with Oregon turning away every charge by BYU in the second half.
Cook, a native of Milwaukee, is the son of former NBA All-Star Alvin Robertson.
Tyler Haws scored 19 points for 10th-seeded BYU (23-12), which returned to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence. Matt Carlino added 15 points.MORE IN Wire Sports
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