North Carolina A&T University and St. Mary’s College of California advanced to the round of 64 in the national men’s college basketball tournament with victories in the opening first four.
North Carolina A&T defeated Liberty 73-72 for its first National College Athletic Association tournament win in 10 tries and St. Mary’s topped Middle Tennessee 67-54 in the Midwest region at Dayton, Ohio.
In the second set of opening games tonight, Long Island University-Brooklyn faces James Madison and La Salle meets Boise State for a spot in the first full round of the NCAA tournament.
North Carolina A&T’s Jeremy Underwood made two free throws with one minute, 49 seconds remaining to give the Aggies (20-16) a 73-67 lead. The Flames (15-21) rallied with five unanswered points before John Caleb Sanders missed a layup with two seconds left.
Underwood came off the bench to score 19 points, Bruce Beckford had 16 points and Lamont Middleton added 14 for the Aggies, seeded 16th in the Midwest region.
Davon Marshall led the Flames with 22 points, followed by Sanders with 21.
In the East region, Matthew Dellavedova scored 22 points and Stephen Holt contributed 18 for the 11th-seeded Gaels (28-6). Marco Knight had 16 points and Kerry Hammonds added 10 for the Blue Raiders (28-6) at University of Dayton Arena.