PITTSBURGH – E.J. Liddell scored 16 points, Big Ten Freshman of the Year Malaki Branham added 14 and seventh-seeded Ohio State shut down 10th-seeded Loyola Chicago from start to finish, winning 54-41 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday. The Buckeyes (20-11) advanced to play Villanova on Sunday in the South Region while preventing another March run by the Ramblers (25-8), who shot 27 per cent (15 of 56) from the floor. Braden Norris led Loyola with 14 points but star Lucas Williamson endured perhaps his worst game of the season. The winningest player in program history finished with four points on 1-of-10 shooting and committed three turnovers as Loyola fell in the first round after reaching the Sweet 16 last season and the Final Four in 2018.
VILLANOVA 80, DELAWARE 60
PITTSBURGH – Justin Moore scored 21 points, Collin Gillespie added 14 and second-seeded Villanova had little trouble with 15th-seeded Delaware, beating the Blue Hens 80-60 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats (27-7) used a 35-10 surge spanning the end of the first half and the start of the second to turn an eight-point deficit into a blowout. Villanova will meet Ohio State in the second round of the South Region on Sunday.
PURDUE 78, YALE 56
MILWAUKEE – Jaden Ivey raced his way to 22 points and Zach Edey controlled the action inside, helping Purdue overpower Yale. Ivey, one of the fastest players in college basketball, went 3 for 6 from 3-point range and 7 for 9 at the free-throw line in 27 minutes. The 7-foot-4 Edey from Toronto made the most of his size advantage against the Ivy League champion Bulldogs, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes. No. 3 seed Purdue (28-7) won its NCAA opener for the fourth time in its last five tournaments. Next up is the winner of Virginia Tech-Texas in the second round on Sunday.
AUBURN 80, JACKSONVILLE STATE 61
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Freshman Jabari Smith had 20 points and 14 rebounds as second-seeded Auburn pulled away from Jacksonville State late in the first half. Walker Kessler, Smith’s partner in the paint, finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks. The Tigers (28-5) won their 10th straight NCAA opener and will face Miami on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
MIAMI 68, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 66
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Charlie Moore made two free throws with three seconds left and finished with 16 points to lift 10th-seeded Miami to a 68-66 win over No. 7 seed Southern California. Moore drove the lane in the final moments and appeared to have his layup blocked by Chavez Goodwin. But a foul was called and Moore made the free throws. USC’s Drew Peterson put up a shot from half court that banked off the backboard and front of the rim as time ran out, sealing the Hurricanes’ first win in the tournament in six years.
TEXAS TECH 97, MONTANA STATE 62
SAN DIEGO – Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 20 points and set a dominating tone in the opening minutes for Texas Tech, which overwhelmed Montana State with one of the best-shooting games in the first round since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Bryson Williams also scored 20 points for Texas Tech (26-9). The Red Raiders will play either No. 6 seed Alabama or 11th-seeded Notre Dame in the second round.