NCAA First four, NIT: St. Mary's guard finds his 3-point touch

2013-03-20T00:00:00Z NCAA First four, NIT: St. Mary's guard finds his 3-point touchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

DAYTON, Ohio - Point guard Matthew Dellavedova's first shot from behind the arc was right on target. So was the next one less than a minute later.

Saint Mary's career scoring leader had finally found his touch at tournament time.

Dellavedova emerged from a deep shooting slump by scoring 22 points on Tuesday night, and the Gaels got off to a good start in their second straight NCAA tournament appearance, beating Middle Tennessee 67-54 in the First Four.

No. 11-seeded Saint Mary's (28-6) makes a quick trip to Auburn Hills, Mich., to play No. 6-seeded Memphis on Thursday.

And the Gaels can thank Dellavedova, who came in hitting one of his last 18 three-pointers.

Dellavedova went 7 of 14 from the field, including 5 of 7 behind the arc Tuesday, and had four assists and six rebounds.

"There was no sigh of relief," he said. "Somebody had told me that I was 1 for 18 in my last three (games). That didn't even enter my head. I've always got confidence the next one's going down."

With four starters back and Dellavedova handling the ball and making the biggest shots, the Gaels were too much for Middle Tennessee (28-6), making its first tourney appearance in 24 years.

• N.C. A&T 73, Liberty 72: In Dayton, Ohio, Jeremy Underwood came off the bench to score 19 points, leading North Carolina A&T past 21-loss Liberty 73-72 at the First Four, ending an NCAA winless streak at nine games.

The victory advanced the No. 16-seeded Aggies to a showdown with top-seeded Louisville (29-5) in Lexington, Ky., Thursday.

Liberty (15-21) - only the second team ever to make the NCAA tournament with 20 losses - had a chance to win it. John Caleb Sanders drove coast to coast and flipped up a left-handed layup in heavy congestion that just missed.

A&T (20-16) rebounded to end to more than 30 years of disappointment. "It's been a long time," first-year Aggies coach Cy Alexander said.

NIT: Robert Morris upsets Kentucky in first round

MOON, Pa. - A down season for defending national champion Kentucky ended with one final disappointment Tuesday.

Mike McFadden hit two free throws with 8.7 seconds remaining and Robert Morris stunned the defending national champions 59-57 in the opening round of the NIT.

"This is humbling," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "They think we're supposed to win 30 a year, 35 a year, go to the Final Four, win a national title."

Not this time. Robert Morris (24-10) led almost the entire way behind Lucky Jones' 15 points.

Calipari opted not to call timeout after McFadden's second free throw, but Kyle Wiltjer's three-pointer before the buzzer missed, sending hundreds of Robert Morris students onto the court following the biggest win in school history.

• BYU 90, Washington 79: In Provo, Utah, Tyler Haws scored 37 points and Brandon Davies added 22 points to lead Brigham Young (22-11) to over the Huskies in the first round of the NIT.

C.J. Wilcox led Washington (18-16), which led 35-33 at halftime.

In other NIT games, Maryland beat Niagara 86-70, St. John's defeated Saint Joseph's 63-61, Louisiana Tech beat Florida State 71-66, Alabama defeated Northeastern 62-43, and Virginia beat Norfolk State 67-56.

Stanford hosted Stephen F. Austin in a late game Tuesday, while Arizona State will face Detroit tonight at 8 in Tempe.

Rim shots

• President Obama is picking Florida, Indiana, Louisville and Ohio State to reach the Final Four. He filled out an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN for the fifth straight year. On the women's side, he selected Baylor, California, UConn and Notre Dame to advance to New Orleans. ESPN will reveal his full men's and women's brackets this morning.

• In Kansas City, Mo., Monty Wilson scored 23 points to help Georgetown (Ky.) cruise to an 88-62 victory over Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas) to capture the NAIA men's title Tuesday. The 13th-seeded Tigers (28-8) won the title for the first time since 1998.

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

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