Yes Morant recorded the first NCAA Tournament triple-double for seven years and only the ninth of the 32 years since the NCAA began to hold state No. 12 seed Murray State rolled into the second round in the western region with an 83-64 win over No. 5 Marquette Seeds in Hartford, Conn.
Morant had 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds as the Ohio Valley Conference champion Racers booked a Saturday date with No. 4 seed Florida State.
Murray State continued a trend with a No. 12 seed that wins at least one game in all, but three tournaments since 2001 – including last year – but it didn't look like a rebellion.
With 4:36 back in the second half and Murray State 20 up, Morant took his 10th rebound. Racers fans started chanting "triple-double" to mark the first since Draymond Green made it to Michigan State in 2012 against LIU-Brooklyn.
The long 6-foot-2 Morant this season has the racket for star and in a safe fire-NBA lottery pick – perhaps only for the duke Zion Williamson – and replied hype to Marquette.
The game was billed as a showcase of two of the country's best guards, and Morant and Markus Howard delivered lots of highlights. Howard scored 16 in the first half on a mix of 3 & # 39; s off-screen and hard drive for the hanger.
The golden eagles collapsed on Morant every time he walked in the basket and often double-sided on the perimeter instead of turning on screens. Occasionally, Morant found an open shooter while surrounded by defenders. He had eight assists in the first half, five leading to 3 pointers for racers, who paused 42-35.
When Murray State pulled away early in the second half, Morant had a two-hand slam out of a beautiful Darnell Cowart jump card. Moments later, Morant fired a cross-court, no-pass pass for Shaq Buchanan for a corner 3, which made it 57-40.
FLORIDA STATE 76, VERMONT 69
In the former game in Hartford, Seminoles got a first round of scare from No. 13 seed Vermont but were largely thanked for 21 points and 10 rebounds of mfiondu cabling. Terance Mann added 19 points to Florida State while Anthony Lamb led Catamounts with 16 points. Stef Smith, Ernie Duncan and Ben Shungu each finished 15 points for America East Champions.
Vermont went small – no starter stood over 6-foot-6 – and stayed close by hitting 16 of 32 3-point trials. Seminoles counteracted having worn out Vermont down low and scored Catamounts 30-14 in the paint. Vermont had only seven baskets from within the arch.
Catamoun's coach John Becker said his team was getting tired.
"I think that when the child (Kabengele) came through a triple team and dunked it, it was kind of telling what we were down," he said.
MARYLAND 79, BELMONT 77
Maryland's Darryl Morsell made a decisive defensive stop when Belmont went to last-minute disturbances so Terrapins could escape in the eastern region.
Mid-major powerhouse from Nashville couldn't knock the 6-seeded Terrapins from the Big Ten in Jacksonville, despite a 35-point performance by Dylan Windler.
Maryland clung to a single lead, and the shotwatch was off when Belmont had a chance to win it at the buzzer. Bruins do not like to call a timeout to create a game; They knew what they wanted to do – a back door to Windler. But Morsell predicted the pass and stepped in front of Windler to pick up the pass while the Belmont star tumbled to court.
Morsell was fouled by 2.5 seconds to go and sent him to the imperfect line for two shots. He made the first and missed the other, and Windler hit a failed desperation shot from midcourt.
Jalen Smith led four Maryland players in double figures with 19 points, including a large one-point game with 1:41 remaining and Bruno Fernando added 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Belmont led with as many as 12 points in the first half and paused with a 40-34 lead.
MINNESOTA 86, LOUISVILLE 76
Minnesota won its first NCAA tournament game for six years behind 24 points from freshman Gale Kalscheur as the 10-seeded Gophers rolled past Louisville in the East Region opening round in Des Moines. It was the first tournament winner in Richard Pitino's six seasons to coach Gophers and came to school, firing his father, Rick Pitino, in 2017.
Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey each had 18 points for Minnesota (22-13) as turned down 11 3s despite playing the game ranked 344. nationally in 3 & 39; game.
Kalscheur's layup at the beginning of the second half gave Minnesota its first two-digit lead, 43-33, and Murphy's layup made it a 50-38 game at 16:06.
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The Cardinals went to a clerk of the press for the purpose of slowing down the exciting Gophers, but it just left Kalscheur open from the same place on back-to-back belongings, and he drilled two 3's to give Minnesota a 59-43 lead.
The seventh-seeded Cardinals cut it to seven late, but Christen Cunningham missed an open 3 that could & # 39; has made things interesting down the line.
Cunningham led Louisville with 22 points s, and Steven Enoch had 14.
AUBURN 78, NEW MEXICO STATE 77
After a teammate passed an open layup that could have tied the game, New Mexico State's Terrell Brown fouled behind the bow and missed two of three free throws when Aggies dropped a heartbreaker to the fifth-seed Auburn in the Midwest region of Salt Lake City.
The Aggies were subsequently 78-76 when guard AJ Harris had his defender and seemed to be on the way to the glass for the tying suit. Instead, he lobbed out to Brown, who was spotted in the elbow of any game winner. Brown missed but was fouled with 1.1 seconds left.
With Auburn's J & # 39; von McCormick grabbed the neck when Harris struck the line, Brown missed the first, made the other and saw the third one out.
Auburn knocked the ball out of bounds on the rebound and New Mexico State had another good look but trevelin queen s 3 at the buzzer was an airball
MICHIGAN STATE 76, BRADLEY 65
Cassius Winston scored 26 points and another Seeded Michigan State held off Bradley in the eastern region.
Xavier Tillman had 16 points with 11 boards for the Spartans (29-6), facing Big Ten rival, 10-seeded Minnesota, in Des Moines on Saturday in search of their first trip to Sweet Sixteen in four years. Michigan State spread Gophers 79-55 in East Lansing back on February 9.
Bradley gave the big ten champions everything they could do.
It was an possessive game until Matt McQuaid drilled a decisive 3 to put Michigan State forward 61-55 with 3:31 back. Aaron Henry followed with a layup to run a 9-0 run, but Darrell Brown hit a 3 for Bradley to make it 65-60.
The Spartans pitched the game on the line where they beat their first 20 and finished 25 of 26.
Bradley climbed to a 35-34 half-time lead by shooting 6 out of 9 from the 3-point range.
Elijah Childs scored 19 points and Brown had 17 for Braves, who only went 3 out of 12 from beyond the other half.
LSU 79, YALE 74
Skylar Mays hit four free throws in the last 15 seconds to help the LSU emblem slip past the 14-seeded Yale in Jacksonville.
Mays scored 19 points, but sealed the game from the uneven line, and the tigers needed each of their free throws.
Yale hit four 3-pointers last minute and spit an 18-point deficit to three in the last few seconds. With the lead on the line, Mays quietly pulled the line and sank all his free throws.
Tremont Waters ended with 15 points but only had two after the break for LSU. He was 0 to 7 from the field in the last 20 minutes after dominating the first half with 13 points and six assists. Naz Reid had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kavell Bigby-Williams also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
LSU moves without coach Will Wade, who has been suspended for his role in an alleged cheating scandal. University officials have said they will not allow Wade to resume his duties unless he speaks to the school about an FBI loss that resulted in his suspension. Tony Benford continued in his role as a temporary coach.
Alex Copeland led Yale with 24 points. He had 16 points in the second half and hit two 3 & apos; s at the last minute.
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KANSAS 87, NORTHEASTERN 54
Dedric Lawson had 25 points and 11 rebounds and fourth-seeded Kansas dominated within a 87-54 router Northeastern Midwest Region.
The fourth-seeded Jayhawks had a remarkable size advantage inside and used it, outscoring Huskies 50-16 in paint while grabbing 17 more rebounds.
Devon Dotson controlled the offense and scored 18 points while Dedric's brother, KJ, scored 13 points.
Kansas shot 56 percent and advanced to Saturday's second round against the fifth-seed Auburn in Salt Lake City.
The best shot for the 13-seeded Huskies was to make their 3-point trial. They didn't. The Colonial Athletic Association champions went 6 to 28 from the bow after the end of the regular season 17 in Division I of 38.6 percent.
Sharpshooter Vasa Pusica had difficulty separating himself from Jayhawks' athletic guards and finished with seven points on 2-of-11 shooting. Jordan Roland had 12 points to lead the huskies who shot 28 percent overall.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.