DAYTON, Ohio — Matt Dickey led a late run that brought overtime, and J.P. Primm hit five free throws and had a decisive steal in the closing seconds Tuesday night, sending North Carolina-Asheville to an 81-77 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock in a dramatic opening game for the NCAA tournament.
The Bulldogs (20-13) will play Pittsburgh, the top seed in the Southeast, on Thursday in Washington, D.C.
UNC Asheville opened the "First Four" with a late comeback led by its best player. The Bulldogs led for only 51 seconds in regulation, before Dickey asserted himself. He scored 14 of the Bulldogs' last 18 points in regulation, including a 3 with 10.5 seconds to go that tied it.
Primm and Dickey had 22 points apiece.
Alex Garcia-Mendoza matched his career high with 21 points for Arkansas-Little Rock (19-17).
NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament
No. 16 UNC Asheville 81, No. 16 AR Little Rock 77, OT
No. 12 Clemson vs. No. 12 Alabama-Birmingham, late.
No. 16 UTSA vs. No. 16 Alabama State, 6:30 p.m.
No. 11 Va. Commonwealth vs. No. 12 USC, 9 p.m.
NIT, Round 1
Alabama 68, Coastal Carolina 44
College of Charleston 94, Dayton 84
Cleveland State 63, Vermont 60
Oklahoma State 71, Harvard 54
Murray State (23-8) at Missouri State (25-8), late.
UTEP (25-9) at New Mexico (21-12), late.
Boston College (20-12) at McNeese State (21-11), late.
Fairfield (24-7) at Colorado State (19-12), late.
Kent State (23-11) at St. Mary's, Calif. (25-8), late.