Men: Eagles 'make history,' earn first Sweet 16 for 15th seed

2013-03-25T00:00:00Z 2013-03-25T00:31:42Z Men: Eagles 'make history,' earn first Sweet 16 for 15th seedThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHILADELPHIA - Florida Gulf Coast went from shocking the college basketball world to downright impressing it. And the Eagles were smiling the whole time.

Playing loose and easy, little-known FGCU beat San Diego State 81-71 on Sunday to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

"We don't take ourselves too seriously," said Eagles coach Andy Enfield, whose players tossed him in the air and poured water on him. "Our goal was to make history and we did it."

FGCU faces No. 3 Florida on Friday in the South regional semifinals in Dallas. "We tried to scrimmage them early in the season in the preseason," Enfield said. "Now we get our shot."

Bernard Thompson had 23 points for FGCU, in just its second season being eligible for postseason play.

The Eagles upset No. 2 Georgetown on Friday with a 21-2 run in the second half. The Eagles went on a 17-0 run against San Diego State, led by Sherwood Brown, who had eight of his 17 points during the run for a 71-52 lead with 4:19 left.

• Miami 63, Illinois 59: In Austin, Texas, Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead three-pointer with a minute left as No. 2 Miami beat No. 7 Illinois to advance to the Sweet 16.

After Larkin's first field goal in about 9 1/2 minutes, Illinois' D.J. Richardson missed a three. The rebound appeared to ricochet off Miami's Kenny Kadji out of bounds. But Miami kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.

Miami (29-6) faces Marquette (25-8) in the East semifinals in Washington on Thursday. Larkin had 17 points, while Brandon Paul had 18 for Illinois (23-13).

• Indiana 58, Temple 52: In Dayton, Ohio, Victor Oladipo hit a key three-pointer with 13 seconds left as top-seeded Indiana rallied and hung on after shutting down Owls star Khalif Wyatt in the final 3:00.

The Hoosiers (29-6) trailed by four with 2:56 left, but closed with a 10-0 run and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year. Indiana will play No. 4 seed Syracuse in the East regional semifinals on Thursday. Wyatt led No. 9 Temple (24-10) with 31 points.

• La Salle 76, Mississippi 75: In Kansas City, Mo., Tyrone Garland banked home a scooping layup with 2 seconds left and No. 13 La Salle beat No. 12 Ole Miss, vaulting the Explorers to the West regional semifinals - their deepest run since they played for the NCAA title in 1955.

Ramon Galloway had 24 points for La Salle (24-9). Ole Miss (27-9) led 74-72 with 1:58 left, but Tyreek Duren's two foul shots tied it. Marshall Henderson, who had 21 points, then missed a shot for Ole Miss, which was 10 of 21 from the foul line.

• Kansas 70, North Carolina 58: In Kansas City, Mo., the top-seeded Jayhawks shook themselves out of a first-half slumber and blitzed No. 8 North Carolina down the stretch behind the impassioned play of Travis Releford and Jeff Withey.

Withey had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Releford added 22 points for Kansas (31-5), which faces Michigan in Friday's South regional semifinals. P.J. Hairston had 15 points for the Tar Heels (25-11), coached by former KU coach Roy Williams.

• Duke 66, Creighton 50: In Philadelphia, Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points, Seth Curry had 17 and No. 2 seed Duke beat No. 7 Creighton to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years and 23rd time overall. The Blue Devils (29-5) will play No. 3 seed Michigan State (27-8) in the Midwest regional semifinal Friday in Indianapolis.

• Florida 79, Minnesota 64: In Austin, Texas, Mike Rosario scored 25 points and Florida used an overpowering first half to roll past Minnesota and into the Sweet 16 with a win in the South Regional. The No. 3 seed Gators (28-7) shot a blistering 65 percent in the first half to lead by 21. Andre Hollins had 25 points for the No. 11-seed Gophers (21-13).

UCLA fires Howland

LOS ANGELES - UCLA fired Ben Howland as basketball coach Sunday after 10 seasons that included three straight Final Four berths from 2006-08, but culminated with another early-round exit from the NCAA tournament.

Howland had a 233-107 record and four Pac-12 titles, including this season. The Bruins' season ended Friday with an 83-63 loss to Minnesota. He has two years left on his contract that includes a $2.3 million buyout.

"As I looked at the entire program ... I felt like now was the appropriate time to make the change and get a fresh start," UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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