ORLANDO, Fla. Unselfish offense, tenacious defense.
When Pittsburgh plays like it did in routing Colorado 77-48 in the South Regional on Thursday, the ninth-seeded Panthers think they are capable of competing with anyone.
It was difficult to argue against that after Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half and Pitt built a 28-point lead. However, coach Jamie Dixon and his players know they will have to be even better to go deeper in the NCAA tournament.
Were a better team now than we were earlier in the year, Dixon said. Thats what you hope to be.
The Panthers (26-9) shot 51 percent from the field and played one of their best games of the season defensively in advancing to a third-round matchup Saturday against either No. 1 seed Florida or No. 16 seed Albany.
Dixon said the Panthers have been feeling a lot better about themselves since winning two of three games in last weeks Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, including a quarterfinal victory over North Carolina.
I think last week opened our eyes, Dixon said. We didnt win the tournament, but we thought we could have.
Colorado (23-12) was eager to make amends for an early exit from the tournament a year ago, but had no answers for the 6-foot-9 Zanna. The Pitt center made six of seven shots in the first half, and the Panthers didnt have any difficulty finishing off the overwhelmed Buffaloes.
Josh Scott led the Buffaloes with 14 points, however Colorado couldnt overcome a subpar performance from Askia Booker, who missed his first seven shots and didnt score from the field until 4 minutes into the second half.
Cameron Wright had 11 points and Lamar Patterson finished with 10 for Pitt, which moved from the Big East to the ACC this season, where it finished fifth.
NORTH DAKOTA STATE 80, OKLAHOMA 75 (OT)
Lawrence Alexander hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left to force overtime and freshman Carlin Dupree scored four points in the final 75 seconds as No. 12 seed North Dakota State knocked off Oklahoma at Spokane, Wash.
The Bison (26-6) picked up their first NCAA tournament win by rallying in the final minute and then outlasting the No. 5 seed Sooners in overtime. Alexander finished with a career-high 28 points, but itll be his falling-down, fist-pumping celebration after the tying 3-pointer that will be replayed in Fargo for years.
Dupree came on in the closing seconds of overtime after Taylor Braun fouled out. He hit two free throws and scored on a difficult baseline leaner with 41 seconds left.
Cameron Clark led Oklahoma (23-10) with 25 points.
Wisconsin 75, American 35
Ben Brust scored 17 points and second-seeded Wisconsin devastated American with a 22-5 run to close the first half.
The second-seeded Badgers (27-7) recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of the 15th-seeded Eagles (20-13).
After Wisconsin was ousted in the first round last year as a No. 5 seed, Brust made sure his senior season didnt end the same way. He attacked the glass for baskets on consecutive possessions, ending with a three-point play with 3:33 left in the first half to give Wisconsin a 23-20 lead.
The Badgers shot 57 percent from the field in the second half.
OREGON 87, BYU 68
Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points for seventh-seeded Oregon at Milwaukee.
Joseph Young had 19 points for the Ducks (24-9), who had to stage a big comeback to beat the Cougars 100-96 in overtime in December. There was no comeback needed this time, with Oregon turning away every charge by BYU in the second half.
Cook, a native of Milwaukee, is the son of former NBA All-Star Alvin Robertson.
Tyler Haws scored 19 points for 10th-seeded BYU (23-12), which returned to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence. Matt Carlino added 15 points.
LOUISVILLE 71, MANHATTAN 64
Luke Hancock hit two huge 3-pointers in the final 1:19 to help Louisville finally shake free from tenacious Manhattan at Orlando, Fla.
The defending national champion Cardinals were down 58-55 with less than 4 minutes to play before coming alive from the 3-point line.
Silky smooth guard Russ Smith, who finished with 18 points, got things going with a game-tying 3 from the wing. Hancock delivered the knockout blows. He stole an inbound pass, got fouled and made both free throws. He hit the first dagger with 1:19 remaining and sank a wide-open look from behind the arc with 28 second left. Hancock finished with 16 points.
Behind those shots, fourth-seeded Louisville (30-5) advanced to face fifth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday. Ashton Pankey led 13th-seeded Manhattan (25-8) with 16 points.
SAINT LOUIS 83, N.C. STATE 80 (OT)
Rob Loe scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, helping St. Louis wipe out a late 14-point deficit and pull away in overtime to beat North Carolina State at Orlando, Fla.
Jordair Jett overcame a slow start to score 18, doing most of his damage while the fifth-seeded Billikens (27-6) were making their comeback in the last five minutes of regulation.
Both teams shot horribly from the free-throw line, with Saint Louis shooting 12-for-26 and No. 12 seed NC State shooting 20-for-37.
T.J. Warren scored 28 points for the Wolfpack (22-14), but the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year made just six of his 14 free throw attempts, including one that could have tied it in the final minute of OT.
Michigan 57, Wofford 40
Glenn Robinson III scored 14 points and second-seeded Michigan started their quest for a second straight trip to the Final Four by beating 15th-seeded Wofford at Milwaukee.
The Wolverines (26-8) capitalized on their decisive edge in athleticism on the undersized Terriers (20-13) but still had some nervous moments after missing 15 of their first 18 shots in the second half.
Karl Cochrans 3-pointer with 9:25 left whittled an 18-point deficit to 40-33. Cochran finished with 17 points, while Robinson hit big shots in the same arena his father played in as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1990s.
Texas 87, Arizona St. 85
Cameron Ridleys buzzer-beating layup lifted Texas to an 87-85 victory over Arizona State in the second of the NCAA tournament at Milwaukee.
Jonathan Holmes missed badly on a long 3-pointer for the seventh-seeded Longhorns in the final seconds, but Ridley emerged from the scrum with the ball and banked it in as time expired over the outstretched fingers of an ASU defender.
The call stood after a video replay, giving Texas its first win in the NCAA tournament since 2011.
Ridley finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Longhorns (24-10).
Jordan Bachynski scored 25 points for No. 10 seed Arizona State (21-12), which was making its first tournament appearance since 2009.