Florida Gulf Coast University turned its debut at the men’s college basketball national tournament into the biggest upset of the 2013 championship.
Fifteenth-seeded Florida Gulf Coast won 78-68 against Georgetown, the seventh time since 1985 that a regional No. 2 seed has lost its opening game at the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
Sherwood Brown had 24 points in yesterday’s game at Philadelphia for Florida Gulf Coast, which was established as a school in 1991 and is in its second year of postseason eligibility in college basketball’s top division.
“I think we became discombobulated at the defensive end,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said at a news conference. “There are a lot of things that we have been very good at all year that we were not good at tonight.”
The Round of 32 begins today with 14th-seeded Harvard, which got its first NCAA win two nights ago with an upset victory against New Mexico, taking on No. 6 Arizona. Regional top seeds Gonzaga and Louisville also are in action today.
Bernard Thompson added 23 points for Florida Gulf Coast (25-10), which built a 19-point lead midway through the second half and then held off a Georgetown rally. Markel Starks had 23 points for the Hoyas (25-7).
Florida Gulf Coast moved on to a game tomorrow against seventh-seeded San Diego State, a 70-55 winner against Oklahoma.
“It’s just a great feeling, just excited,” Bernard Thompson said in a news conference. “I don’t really know what to do still with myself.”
Yogi Ferrell scored the first nine points of the game and Indiana University, the top seed in the East region, went on to an 83-62 defeat of James Madison University. Jeff Withey had seven blocks for Kansas, seeded first in the South, which advanced with a 64-57 win against Western Kentucky and next faces No. 8 North Carolina, a 78-71 winner against Villanova.
Regional No. 2 seeds Duke, Miami and Ohio State had comfortable wins yesterday on the second day of play in the tournament’s Round of 64.
Ferrell, a freshman guard, finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Hoosiers (28-6), who led by 21 points at halftime. Indiana will play Temple in the Round of 32.
Seth Curry scored 26 points and Mason Plumlee added 23 as Duke, seeded No. 2 in the Midwest region, beat Albany 73-61. Miami, the East’s No. 2 seed, topped Pacific 78-49 and next will play No. 7 Illinois, a 57-49 winner against Colorado. Ohio State, the West’s second seed, defeated Iona 95-70 and moved on to face No. 10 Iowa State, which ousted Notre Dame 76-58.
Duke shot 58.7 percent from the field in Philadelphia against the 15th-seeded Great Danes from New York’s capital city. Duke advances to play No. 7 seed Creighton, which beat 10th-seeded Cincinnati 67-63.
The Blue Devils were also a No. 2 seed last year when they lost their tournament-opening game to 15th-seeded Lehigh.
Florida, seeded third in the South, strolled to a 79-47 win against Northwestern State and next will play 11th-seeded Minnesota after its 83-63 defeat of UCLA.
La Salle, a No. 13 seed in the West, gave up a 19-point lead to fourth-seeded Kansas State before surviving with a 63-61 win and next will play Mississippi -- which came back to beat Wisconsin 57-46, the third victory so far this year for a No. 12 seed over a No. 5.
Junior guard Marshall Henderson scored a game-high 19 points as the Rebels knocked out Wisconsin in Kansas City, Missouri. The Badgers led 25-22 at halftime and by six with about 11 minutes remaining.
La Salle Survives
La Salle advanced despite being outscored 35-19 in the second half.
Temple, the No. 9 seed in the East, beat eighth-seeded North Carolina State 76-72. Senior guard Khalif Wyatt scored 31 points for Temple, including two free throws that put the game out of reach with 2.2 seconds remaining in Dayton, Ohio. Lorenzo Brown scored 22 for the Wolfpack and C.J. Leslie added 20.
The NCAA championship game will be played April 8 in Atlanta.