Albany, N.C. State Advance
Dayton, Ohio — D.J. Evans scored 22 points, including two clinching free throws with 12.6 seconds left, to lead Albany to its first NCAA tournament victory, 71-64 over Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday night in the First Four.
The Great Danes (19-14) advance to meet overall No. 1 seed and top-ranked Florida on Thursday in Orlando.
It was a wild game of incredible turnarounds, with the Great Danes bolting to leads of 13-0 and 21-2, only to have The Mount (16-17) bounce back with a 21-2 run of its own to pull even.
Peter Hooley had 20 points and Gary Johnson 13 for Albany, winless in its three previous NCAA trips.
Hooley, one of three Australians on the Albany roster, hit two free throws with 2:43 remaining to stretch the lead to 65-62. After Julian Norfleet countered with a bucket, Hooley again pounded his way to the basket and lofted a shot over a defender for a 67-64 lead at the 2-minute mark.
N.C. State 74, Xavier 59
Dayton, Ohio — T.J. Warren scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half, showing why he was the ACC’s player of the year, and North Carolina State led most of the way in a victory over Xavier in the NCAA tournament’s First Four.
N.C. State (22-12) didn’t have much time to celebrate. The 12th-seeded Wolfpack headed to Orlando, Fla., for a game on Thursday against St. Louis in the Midwest Regional.
Warren had the most to do with it. The sensational sophomore made up for a freshman tournament flop on the same floor a year earlier, preventing Xavier (21-14) from getting any traction in the second half.
Center Matt Stainbrook led Xavier with 19 points and nine rebounds despite an injured left knee.
Warren and N.C. State took all the drama out of it in the last 11 minutes, helping the Wolfpack pull away.
Heat 100, Cavaliers 96
Cleveland — LeBron James scored 43 points — 25 in a bewildering first-quarter shooting display — and Chris Bosh added 21, leading Miami over the Cavaliers, who played their first game without injured All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
James added two crucial blocks and made six free throws in the final two minutes, and Bosh had a key rejection to lead the Heat to just their third win in eight games.
Miami’s Dwyane Wade sat out to rest his knees, but the Heat’s two other megastars picked up the slack and put away the Cavs.
Jarrett Jack scored 22 and Dion Waiters added 17 and 11 assists for Cleveland, which was also without forward Luol Deng (sprained ankle). Irving is expected to miss two weeks with a strained biceps tendon, an injury that further damages the Cavs’ fading playoff hopes.
Hawks 118, Raptors 113 (ot)
Atlanta — Jeff Teague equaled his career best with 34 points, Paul Millsap had the first triple-double of his career and the Hawks extended their longest winning streak of the season to five in a row.
Millsap had 19 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Hawks, who have bounced back after losing 14 of 15 to strengthen their hold on the final playoff spot in the East.
The Hawks overcame an early 13-point deficit in a game that went back and forth in the final quarter. Millsap missed a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but Teague knocked down four free throws in the closing seconds to clinch it for Atlanta.