North Dakota State pulls off big upset, sending Oklahoma home from the West Regional
Lawrence Alexander scores 28 points for the 26-6 Bisons
The Associated Press
SPOKANE — The guys in green raced off the court and into the locker room where they danced and sang, compared whose shot was most likely to end up featured on “One Shining Moment,” and checked Twitter to see who was giving them a shoutout.
North Dakota State pulled off yet another No. 12-seed stunner and enjoyed every moment of it.
“I just want to keep coaching this team,” NDSU coach Saul Phillips said. “I don’t want to have to say goodbye to this locker room.”
Lawrence Alexander’s three-pointer with 11 seconds left forced overtime and Carlin Dupree came off the bench to score four unlikely points in the final 75 seconds of the extra session, and the Bison knocked off No. 5 seed Oklahoma 80-75 Thursday.
NDSU (26-6) picked up its first NCAA tournament victory by rallying in the final minute and outlasting the Sooners (23-10) in overtime. Alexander finished with a career-high 28 points, but it’ll be his falling-down celebration after the tying three-pointer that will be replayed in Fargo for years.
But that was just the first act. Dupree came on in the closing seconds of overtime after Taylor Braun fouled out, hit two free throws and scored on a difficult baseline leaner with 41 seconds left that put the Bison up by four and ignited the celebration.
While players were monitoring Twitter to see who had been watching, the school’s own athletic department account probably had the best line.
“We’ll gladly be your Cinderella, America.”
Cameron Clark led Oklahoma with 25 points, including 16 in the final five minutes of regulation and OT. Isaiah Cousins added 17.
San Diego State 73, New Mexico St. 69, OT
SPOKANE — In the fourth and final overtime game on Day 1, the fourth-seeded Aztecs (30-4) outlasted the 13th-seeded Aggies (26-10) to set up a meeting with North Dakota State.
New Mexico State’s Kevin Arnois made a three-pointer with six seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
The four extra periods were the most in a single day in NCAA tournament history.
Xavier Thames scored the first basket of the extra session and the Aztecs never trailed. Thames, formerly with Washington State, finished with 23 points.
Seven-foot-5 Sim Bhullar had 14 points and seven boards for the Aggies.
Oregon 87, Brigham Young 68
MILWAUKEE — Backed by a vocal group of family and friends, Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points to power the seventh-seeded Ducks (24-9) to victory over the No. 10 Cougars (23-12).
Joseph Young had 19 points for the Ducks (24-9). Led by Cook, a Milwaukee native who starred at nearby Hamilton High, the Ducks advanced to meet No. 2 seed Wisconsin on Saturday.
Tyler Haws scored 19 points for BYU. Matt Carlino and Eric Mika had 15 points apiece. Carlino started in place of Kyle Collinsworth, who tore a knee ligament in the WCC tournament final. The 6-foot-6 Collinsworth averaged 14 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists.
Wisconsin 75, American 35
MILWAUKEE — Ben Brust scored 17 points and the second-seeded Badgers (27-7) devastated the Eagles (20-13) with a 22-5 run to close the first half.
Wisconsin recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of American for a matchup with Oregon.