Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Norfolk State shocks Mizzou

OMAHA, Neb. — In its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, Norfolk State wrote itself an impressive line in the record books.

The No. 15-seeded Spartans connected on 10 of 19 3-pointers to upset No. 2 Missouri 86-84 on Friday, becoming the fifth No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 seed. (Lehigh became No. 6 a little later by beating Duke.)

"We messed up some brackets! We messed up some brackets!" center Kyle O'Quinn bellowed through the hall of the CenturyLink Center before turning a corner and seeing a pack of reporters.

"We even messed up my bracket," he added sheepishly.

Norfolk State plays Florida on Sunday.

"That was one of the most intense basketball games that I have ever been a part of," Norfolk State coach Anthony Davis said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Missouri and their coaching staff. Our guys fought hard; all hats off, very, very proud of them."

Missouri (30-5), the Big 12 tournament champion, found itself in a battle from the start with Norfolk State (26-9). There were six first-half ties and eight lead changes, the score tied at 38 at halftime.

"They had a counter for every time we scored; pretty much any kind of basket," Missouri guard Marcus Denmon said.

With the score tied at 81, the Spartans' Chris McEachin missed a shot. But O'Quinn tipped it in while being fouled with 34.9 seconds remaining. O'Quinn, a 6-foot-10 senior who had a game-high 26 points and 14 rebounds, completed the three-point play.

"I'm very disappointed as everybody in that locker room was," first-year Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "I hurt for those seniors because they put so much into this and they had high expectations as we came into the season. But let's understand one thing. They have had a hell of a year."

Saint Louis 61, Memphis 54: Kwamain Mitchell scored 22, including banking in a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer, for the ninth-seeded Billikens in Columbus, Ohio. He made two more 3-pointers in the second half as Saint Louis (26-7) overcame an eight-point deficit.

"I came in with the attitude that we had something to fight for," Mitchell said. "Win, or lose and go home."

The Billikens, making their first tournament appearance since 2000, entered having held 10 opponents to 50 or fewer points and three to fewer than 40. Eighth-seeded Memphis (26-9), entered averaging 75 points but shot 39 percent from the field and made 2 of 15 3-pointers.

"My biggest thing is that the open man is the go-to man," coach Josh Pastner said. "We kind of went away from that."

Michigan St. 89, Long Island 67: Draymond Green recorded a triple double — 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists — for the top-seeded Spartans in Columbus, Ohio. The Big Ten Player of the Year joins Magic Johnson as the only Spartans with two triple doubles during the tournament. The Spartans (28-7) put away the No. 16 Blackbirds (25-9) with a 14-4 run midway through the second half. Green hit a 3-pointer to make it 69-50, and the senior skipped back on defense, flapping his arms to encourage Michigan State's fans to cheer. He then fed Derrick Nix for an alley-oop.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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