CLEVELAND — George Mason has another fantastic March story to tell.
Luke Hancock hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left, capping the Patriots' comeback and keeping the one-time NCAA tournament darlings playing with a 61-57 win over Villanova on Friday.
Villanova missed its last shot and Mike Morrison slammed home one final basket for the Patriots (27-6), who will play Ohio State on Sunday in the East region.
This was the latest and last collapse for the Wildcats (21-12), who end the season on a six-game losing streak. They were once ranked as high as No. 5 but failed to get out of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
Hancock scored 18 points, and Morrison had 10 points and 11 rebounds for George Mason, which won its opening tournament game for the first time since its Final Four run in 2006.
The eighth-seeded Patriots trailed by 10 in the first half only to inch their way back.
OHIO STATE 75, TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO 46: At Cleveland, William Buford scored 18 points, freshman Jared Sullinger added 11, and Ohio State looked every inch the part of a No. 1 overall seed in rolling to victory. Playing just a two-hour drive from their Columbus campus, the Buckeyes (33-2) were cheered on by more than 15,000 fans, who made Quicken Loans Arena feel just like home. Ohio State built a 16-point halftime lead, ballooned it to 38 in the second half against the No. 16 seed Roadrunners (20-14).
Devin Gibson scored 24 to lead UTSA.
NORTH CAROLINA 102, LONG ISLAND 87: At Charlotte, Tyler Zeller scored 32 points, John Henson added 28, and North Carolina used its hulking size to overcame sloppiness in its return to the NCAA tournament in a victory over scrappy Long Island University. Harrison Barnes added 24 points and 16 rebounds for the second-seeded Tar Heels (27-7) who eventually wore down the 15th-seeded Blackbirds (27-6). The 2009 NCAA champions, relegated to the NIT last season, advanced to the third round of the East Regional.
Julian Boyd scored 18 points, C.J. Garner added 16 and Jamal Olasewere had 15 for LIU, which faded after rallying to tie with under 5 minutes left in the first half as its nation-best 13-game winning streak was snapped.
The 7-footer Zeller and 6-10 Henson kept catching high passes for easy layups over smaller LIU to each record career highs in points.
MARQUETTE 66, XAVIER 55: At Cleveland, Darius Johnson-Odum scored 19 points, Jimmy Butler had 15 and Marquette squashed Xavier's bid for a fourth straight round of 16 appearance. The win was the first in the NCAA tournament for the 11th-seeded Golden Eagles (21-14) in two years. The sixth-seeded Musketeers (24-8) and Michigan State were the only two programs to reach the round of 16 each of the last three tournaments.
Xavier's Tu Holloway, the Atlantic 10 player of the year, missed his first seven shots and scored only five points.
WASHINGTON 68, GEORGIA 65: At Charlotte, N.C., Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points and No. 7 seed Washington held off a late rally to beat 10th-seeded Georgia in the second round of the East regional. Scott Suggs added 10 points for the Huskies (24-10), who shot 43 percent and withstood a frantic final-minute push to win their fifth straight NCAA tournament opener.
Trey Thompkins had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (21-12), who trailed by 10 with 2 minutes left but made things interesting in the closing seconds. Thompkins hit a 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds remaining to make it 67-65 and Georgia fouled Pleasant Grove High product C.J. Wilcox with 3.7 seconds left. Wilcox made the first and missed the second. Jeremy Price got the rebound for the Bulldogs and flung the ball downcourt. Thomas got a hand on the pass but Travis Leslie scooped it up and hoisted a 3 that bounced high off the glass after the buzzer.
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