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NCAA tournament roundup: Albany wins in First Four, advances

NCAA tournament roundup: Albany wins in First Four, advances

NCAA tournament roundup: Albany wins in First Four, advances

Albany guard DJ Evans (3) drives agai...


    DAYTON, Ohio — D.J. Evans scored 22 points, including two clinching free throws with 12.6 seconds left, to lead Albany to its first NCAA tournament victory, 71-64 over Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday night in the First Four.
    The Great Danes (19-14) advance to meet overall No. 1 seed and top-ranked Florida on Thursday in Orlando.
    It was a wild game of incredible turnarounds, with the Great Danes bolting to leads of 13-0 and 21-2, only to have The Mount (16-17) bounce back with a 21-2 run of its own to pull even.
    Peter Hooley had 20 points and Gary Johnson 13 for Albany, winless in its three previous NCAA trips.
    Hooley, one of three Australians on the Albany roster, hit two free throws with 2:43 remaining to stretch the lead to 65-62. After Julian Norfleet countered with a bucket, Hooley again pounded his way to the basket and lofted a shot over a defender for a 67-64 lead at the 2-minute mark.
    It stayed that way with the teams missing big shots. Rashad Whack and Norfleet each missed potential tying 3s before Evans was fouled with 12.6 seconds left and hit both shots to increase the lead to five points.
    Norfleet then missed another 3 and Albany finally could call itself an NCAA winner.
    Will Miller led The Mount with 21, all on 3s. He didn't get a shot off in the last 3:32.
Whack added 16 points and Sam Prescott 14 for The Mount, which electrified the crowd at the University of Dayton with 3-point fireworks. The Mountaineers hit 12 of 37 shots behind the arc to time and again come back from deficits.
    The glut of 3-pointers was nothing new for the Mountaineers. They came in with an offense heavily dependent on shots behind the arc. They averaged 9 of 25 on 3-pointers coming in.
    Albany had made some racket in the NCAAs before, but had never come out on top. In 2006, the Great Danes led by double figures in the second half but lost to Connecticut, 72-59. A year later, they held their own before falling Virginia, 84-57. A year ago, as a 15 seed, they battled Duke throughout before coming up short, 73-61.

Vols to face Iowa in play-in game
    DAYTON, Ohio — Iowa coach Fran McCaffery will be in and out of Dayton as the Hawkeyes get ready for their first NCAA tournament game in eight years.
    He had a flight arranged to Iowa City on Tuesday night so he could be with 13-year-old son Patrick, who is having surgery on Wednesday morning to remove a thyroid tumor. The coaching staff will lead the team through its morning meeting and a light practice while he's away.
    McCaffery expects to be back in time for the game against Tennessee (21-12) in the NCAA First Four on Wednesday night.
    The Hawkeyes (20-12) have a lot on their minds during their long-awaited return to the tournament. A team that was ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 25 poll two months ago wound up with one of the final at-large bids after dropping six of its last seven games.
    They'll face a Tennessee team that has won five of six and is in the tournament for the seventh time in the last nine years. The Volunteers lost to Michigan in their last appearance in 2011.
    Iowa and Tennessee already spent some time together at a tournament in the Bahamas last November.
    They scouted each other in case they'd play, but never met. Instead, both of them beat Xavier, which also ended up in the First Four in Dayton playing on Tuesday night.
    They still have those scouting reports, but so much has changed that they're not really all that helpful.

"I think we're a totally different team in all aspects from top to bottom," Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon aid.

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