OSU gets Craft-y at buzzer

Florida Gulf Coast makes NCAA history

Ohio State’s Aaron Craft scored 18 points Sunday, none bigger than his 3-pointer with less than a second to play to put the Buckeyes in their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament round of 16 with a 78-75 win over Anthony Booker and Iowa State. Enlarge photo

Skip Peterson/Associated Press

Ohio State’s Aaron Craft scored 18 points Sunday, none bigger than his 3-pointer with less than a second to play to put the Buckeyes in their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament round of 16 with a 78-75 win over Anthony Booker and Iowa State.

Capsules from the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday:

DAYTON, Ohio – Aaron Craft dribbled in place at the top of the arc, watching to see if any of his Ohio State teammates were getting open near the basket for a game-winning shot.

Nothing there.

The point guard had a clear look at the clock as it raced toward zero atop the backboard. He realized what he had to do – take a little Ohio State tournament history into his hands.

Craft held the ball until he had no other choice, then swished a 3-pointer with a half-second left Sunday for a 78-75 victory over 10th-seeded Iowa State, sending the Buckeyes to a school-record fourth consecutive trip to the round of 16.

No. 2 seed Ohio State managed to escape as the lone high seed left in the NCAA Tournament’s most-busted bracket.

Ohio State (28-7) needed Craft’s fearless shot – over 6-7 defender Georges Niang – to avoid yet another upset in the oh-so-wild West Regional.

The Buckeyes’ 10th consecutive win sent them to Los Angeles for a game Thursday against sixth-seeded Arizona.

La Salle 76, Mississippi 74

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tyrone Garland banked home a scooping layup with 2 seconds left, and 13th-seeded La Salle beat Mississippi, vaulting the Explorers to their deepest run in the NCAA Tournament since they played for the championship in 1955.

Ramon Galloway had 24 points for La Salle (24-9), which was playing its third game in five days. No. 12 Mississippi (27-9) led 74-72 with 1:58 remaining in the game but failed to reach the school’s first regional semifinal since 2001.

After Tyreek Duren’s two foul shots tied it 74-all at the 1:07 mark, Marshall Henderson failed to hit an off-balance bank shot that would have given Mississippi the lead.

SOUTH REGIONAL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas got the best of ’ol Roy and his Tar Heels once again.

Behind the impassioned play of Travis Releford and Jeff Withey, the top-seeded Jayhawks shook themselves out of a first-half slumber and blitzed No. 8 seed North Carolina down the stretch for a 70-58 victory Sunday in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Withey had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Releford finished with 22 points for the Jayhawks (31-5), who also knocked former coach Roy Williams’ team out of the NCAA Tournament during their 2008 title run and again last season, when Kansas marched all the way to the Final Four.

Florida Gulf Coast 81, San Diego State 71

PHILADELPHIA – Not many basketball fans knew about Florida Gulf Coast just a couple of weeks ago. They do now – the Eagles are the first No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16.

Bernard Thompson scored 23 points, and Sherwood Robinson added 17 to lead FGCU to its second NCAA Tournament win in as many tries.

FGCU (26-10), which shocked the world in the second round with a 78-68 victory over second-seeded Georgetown, was just as entertaining and impressive in the third round, again using a big second-half run to take control of the game.

Florida 78, Minnesota 64

AUSTIN, Texas – Mike Rosario scored 25 points, and Florida used an overpowering first half to roll past Minnesota and into the NCAA Tournament round of 16 for a third consecutive year.

The No. 3 seed Gators (28-7) shot a blistering 65 percent in the first half and led by 21 by halftime. The win earns Florida a return trip to the Lone Star State to play their next game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington against surprising 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast.

Andre Hollins scored 25 points to lead the No. 11-seed Gophers (21-13).

EAST REGIONAL

DAYTON, Ohio – On the verge of being the second No. 1 knocked from the NCAA Tournament, Indiana finally stopped Temple’s No. 1.

Victor Oladipo hit a key 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining, and the top-seeded Hoosiers, their season moments from ending in disappointment, shut down Owls star Khalif Wyatt in the final three minutes to hold off ninth-seeded Temple 58-52 on Sunday.

The Hoosiers (29-6) trailed by four with 2:56 left, but closed with a 10-0 run and advanced to the round of 16 for the second consecutive year.

Indiana will play No. 4 seed Syracuse in the regional semifinals Thursday in Washington, a rematch of the classic 1987 title game won by the Hoosiers.

Wyatt scored 31 points to lead the Owls (24-10).

Miami 63, Illinois 59

AUSTIN, Texas – Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute left, and Miami kept possession on a ball knocked out of bounds that probably should have gone to Illinois, helping the Hurricanes hold on to advance to the NCAA round of 16.

After Larkin’s first field goal in about 9½ minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a 3-pointer. In the fight for the rebound, the ball appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami’s Kenny Kadji out of bounds. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.

Miami (29-6) is in the round of 16 for only the second time in school history. The Hurricanes play Marquette (25-8) on Thursday in Washington D.C.

MIDWEST REGIONAL

PHILADELPHIA – Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points, Seth Curry scored had 17, and No. 2 seed Duke held off seventh-seeded Creighton 66-50 on Sunday to advance to the round of 16 for the fourth time in five years.

A year after they lost their NCAA Tournament opener to 15-seeded Lehigh, the Blue Devils (29-5) are back in the regional semifinal for the 23rd time. They’ll play No. 3 seed Michigan State (27-8) in the regional semifinal Friday in Indianapolis.

Jordan Hulls and Indiana played tug-of-war most of the afternoon with T.J. DiLeo and Temple before pulling away late for a 58-52 victory over the Owls on Sunday in the NCAA Tournament’s third round. Enlarge photo

Skip Peterson/Associated Press

Jordan Hulls and Indiana played tug-of-war most of the afternoon with T.J. DiLeo and Temple before pulling away late for a 58-52 victory over the Owls on Sunday in the NCAA Tournament’s third round.

Chase Fieler and Florida Gulf Coast soared over Deshawn Stephens and San Diego State to become the first No. 15 seed ever to advance to the Sweet 16. Enlarge photo

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Chase Fieler and Florida Gulf Coast soared over Deshawn Stephens and San Diego State to become the first No. 15 seed ever to advance to the Sweet 16.