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Sunday NCAA roundup: Cinderellas survive, top seeds avoid upsets

Deseret News

Published: Sunday, March 24 2013 10:10 p.m. MDT

Florida Gulf Coast's Dajuan Graf, from left, Eddie Murray and Brett Comer celebrate after winning a third-round game against San Diego State in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Florida Gulf Coast won 81-71.

Michael Perez, Associated Press

Midwest Region

Duke tops Creighton 66-50

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, 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.

Mason Plumlee, Josh Hariston and Ryan Kelly battled foul trouble all game long that could have doomeed the Blue Devils. Creighton (28-8) went cold and never made a serious run in the second half. Doug McDermott scored 21 points but made only four baskets.

With McDermott slumping, the Bluejays were knocked out in the third round by an ACC team for the second straight season.

West Region

No. 2 Ohio State beats Iowa State 78-75 on late 3

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 Iowa State, sending the Buckeyes to a school-record fourth straight trip to the round of 16.

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

"The moment's a lot bigger than me," said Craft, who had allowed Iowa State to catch up with missed free throws and an errant jumper. "It just happened to be in my hands at the end."

Ohio State (28-7) needed Craft's fearless shot — over 6-foot-7 defender Georges Niang — to avoid yet another upset in the oh-so-wild West Regional. Four of the top five seeds fell fast and hard in the first weekend.

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

Garland's late shot leads La Salle to round of 16

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tyrone Garland banked home a scooping layup with 2 seconds left and 13th-seeded La Salle beat Mississippi 76-74 on Sunday, 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 Ole Miss (27-9) led 74-72 with 1:58 left but failed to reach the regional semifinals for the first time 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 Region

No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast beats SDSU 81-71

PHILADELPHIA — Florida Gulf Coast became the first 15 to reach the Sweet 16, and the Eagles not only made it look easy, they made it look fun.

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