DAYTON, Ohio — A freshman guard overcame a frightful fall and helped Bobby Hurley — a two-time champion guard at Duke — get his first NCAA Tournament win as a coach.
Luguentz Dort shook off knee and hip injuries from a hard fall, scored 21 points and led the Sun Devils to a long-awaited NCAA Tournament victory Wednesday night, 74-65 over St. John’s in the First Four.
The 11th-seeded Sun Devils (23-10) will play Mid-American Conference champion Buffalo on Friday in the West Region, coming off their first NCAA tourney win in 10 years.
“It was just great,” Dort said. “At the beginning of this year we knew that we wanted to do something special.”
Hurley’s first NCAA Tournament win as a coach was a family affair. Brother Dan, the head coach at UConn, was on hand for support.
“We’re so close, and we talk so much,” Bobby Hurley said. “And I’m sure he’s very familiar with our team and our players. Just getting a chance to spend time with him this afternoon a little bit — it means everything that he took the time out.”
Arizona State also provided a Pac-12 breakthrough: the conference’s first NCAA Tournament win in two years.
The Pac-12 was 0-3 in the tournament last season, with two teams — Arizona State and UCLA — falling in the First Four. Arizona then got knocked out in the round of 64.
The Pac-12 got three teams in again this year, with Oregon and Washington joining the Sun Devils.
St. John’s (21-13) was the last team picked for the tournament, sneaking in despite a late-season fade.
North Dakota St. 78, N.C. Central 74: Tyson Ward scored 23 points, and North Dakota State advanced to the NCAA Tournament round of 64. Vinnie Shahid had 14 points, including a pair of foul shots with eight seconds left to seal the game for North Dakota State (19-15), which advances to play East Region No. 1 seed Duke on Friday in Columbia, South Carolina.