Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, Notre Dame Win in NCAA Tournament

Kyrie Irving returned to score 14 points and lead defending national champion Duke University to an 87-45 defeat of Hampton University in the men’s college basketball tournament.

Regional top seeds Ohio State University and the University of Kansas, as well as the University of Notre Dame, George Mason University and the University of Michigan, won today on the second full day of National Collegiate Athletic Association play. The University of North Carolina and Purdue University also advanced.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski got his 899th career victory to pull within three wins of his mentor, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Knight, as freshman point guard Irving played for the first time since injuring a toe on Dec. 4.

“I thought our team was sharp and I thought Kyrie was sharp,” Krzyzewski said in a news conference. “I thought he was very confident as it moved along.”

William Buford scored 18 points and the Ohio State Buckeyes, the tournament’s top overall seed and No. 1 in the East Region, hit 57 percent of their shots in a 75-46 win against the University of Texas-San Antonio.

Kansas, the top seed in the Southwest Region, won 72-53 against Boston University at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa. Duke is the top seed in the West Region. The University of Pittsburgh, No. 1 in the Southeast Region, won its opening game yesterday.

Kansas next will play the University of Illinois, which became the fifth Big Ten conference team to reach the Round of 32 by defeating the University of Nevada-Las Vegas 73-62.

Notre Dame Wins

Notre Dame topped the University of Akron 69-56. The second-seeded Fighting Irish got 15 points from Ben Hansbrough, 14 from Tim Abromaitis and 11 from Scott Martin in its win against the 15th-seeded Zips in a Southwest Region matchup at the United Center in Chicago. Quincy Diggs had 11 points to lead Akron.

George Mason used a 13-3 game-ending run to beat Villanova University 61-57. Luke Hancock’s 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining put No. 8 seed George Mason ahead for good in its East Region win over No. 9 Villanova at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

The Wildcats, with 20 points from guard Corey Fisher, led by as many as 10 points during the game and by six as it headed into the final two minutes.

Michigan Beats Tennessee

In a West Region matchup at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, eighth-seeded Michigan trailed the ninth-seeded University of Tennessee Volunteers 23-17 during the first half before taking over for a 30-point victory.

Zack Novak’s 14 points led five Wolverines scoring in double figures. Michigan went 0-for-1 from the free-throw line, becoming the first team in tournament history to win a game without converting a foul shot.

North Carolina, the No. 2 seed in the East, won 102-87 against the Long Island University Blackbirds. Tyler Zeller had 32 points for the Tar Heels and John Henson added 28.

Purdue, the third seed in the Southwest, defeated St. Peter’s College 65-43. Marquette University became the sixth team from the Big East conference to advance to the Round of 32 when it won 66-55 against Xavier University, which shot 2-for-13 on 3-pointers.

The University of Texas beat Oakland University 85-81, and West Region fifth seed Arizona beat Memphis 77-75.

Texas Advances

Sophomore guard J’Covan Brown scored 21 points to lead Texas past Oakland in a West Region game. The fourth-seeded Longhorns got 19 points and 11 rebounds from Jordan Hamilton, while teammate Tristan Thompson added 17 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks.

Texas next faces Arizona. Michigan will meet Duke. Notre Dame’s next opponent is Florida State University, which won 57-50 against Texas A&M University. George Mason will take on Ohio State.

The tournament, which this year was expanded to 68 teams from 65, concludes April 4 in Houston.

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