Syracuse 60, Arizona State 56
DAYTON, Ohio — The last team to make the NCAA Tournament gets to play at least one more. Credit Syracuse's fabulous freshman forward and its legendary zone defense for getting a cringe-worthy win.
Freshman Oshae Brissett had his 13th double-double while leading Syracuse's second-half comeback, and the Orange — the last team to make the NCAA Tournament — held on for a 60-56 victory over Arizona State on Wednesday night in the First Four.
The 11th-seeded Orange plays No. 6 seed TCU (21-11) on Friday in Detroit in the Midwest Region.
Syracuse (21-13) had to sweat out Selection Sunday and wound up as the last one to make the bracket, relegated to the First Four. The Orange prevailed in a match-up of teams that started fast and then faded onto the tournament bubble.
Texas Southern 64, N.C. Central 46
DAYTON, Ohio — Damontrae Jefferson did a lot of everything Wednesday night, hitting layups and 3-pointers, grabbing rebounds, playing defense and making his teammates look good. The slippery-quick 5-foot-7 guard also helped Texas Southern make history.
Playing all but the last minute or so of the game, the sophomore dynamo scored 25 points, pulled down eight rebounds, flexed and crowed as Texas Southern got its first ever NCAA Tournament win, a 64-46 rout of North Carolina Central in a First Four game at University of Dayton Arena.
No. 16 seed Texas Southern (16-19) also became the first team with a losing record to win a tournament game. The Tigers started the season 0-13 against a big-boy schedule — the worst start for a tournament team in NCAA history — and didn't win a game until Jan. 1. Now they're moving on to face No. 1 seed Xavier on Friday.
Donte Clark had 18 points and Trayvon Reed added 10 points and eight boards for Texas Southern, a historically black college in Houston. The Tigers slipped into the First Four by getting hot and winning the Southwest Athletic College Tournament, only to be paired with Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament winner N.C. Central, another historically black school that was making its second straight appearance in Dayton for a play-in game.