Boston College needs 2OT for win over Pacific
No. 12 Montana overcame a sizable height disadvantage to upset No. 5 Nevada.
SALT LAKE CITY -- Baldheaded Boston College got the first NCAA thriller out of the way Thursday, a double-overtime 88-76 victory that derailed scrappy Pacific and the Maraker Express.
The final overtime was anticlimactic, but the fourth-seeded Eagles (27-7) sure made this one interesting for the first 45 minutes.
BC trailed by six early in the first overtime and needed a pair of free throws from Craig Smith, a 66 percent shooter, with 4.3 seconds left to send the game into the next extra period.
With nine seconds left in regulation, Pacific's star, Christian Maraker, hit an open 3-pointer to tie the game at 65 -- a shot the Pacific fans were cheering for even before it left his hands.
But BC held Maraker scoreless in the two overtimes, and the 13th-seeded Tigers (24-8) failed in their quest to advance to the second round for the third straight year.
Everyone on the BC team but Jared Dudley took the razor to their head before the game and now, the Eagles will take their game, and their new look, into the second round of the Minneapolis regional against either Nevada or Montana.
Smith led the Eagles with 25 points and 13 rebounds and Dudley had 23 points. Tyrese Rice opened the second overtime with an alley-oop pass to Sean Williams for a dunk, then followed with a 3-pointer -- his only bucket of the game -- to help Boston College start pulling away.
Pacific had a bunch of nice looks early in that overtime, but Maraker (30 points, nine rebounds) and Johnny Gray each had 3-pointers rim out. By the time the Big West champs scored, they were trailing by nine with 1:45 left -- playing out the string in an otherwise taut, exciting game.
Mike Webb opened the first overtime with a pair of 3-pointers to put Pacific ahead 71-65. BC pulled within two, but Gray (16 points) answered with another 3 to make it 74-69. But Dudley made a 3 to pull it within two and after Michael White barely grazed the rim on Pacific's next possession, the Eagles worked it to Smith, who drew contact inside against Maraker and went to the line for the tying free throws.
Montana 87, Nevada 79
SALT LAKE CITY -- Montana overcame a sizable height disadvantage and became the latest No. 12 seed to pull an upset.
Since 1985, at least one 12th-seeded team has upset a No. 5 seed in the tournament every year except for 1988 and 2000. A year after being overwhelmed early in a first-round loss, the Grizzlies (24-6) returned like NCAA tournament veterans and never trailed against the Wolf Pack (27-6).
Andrew Strait, Montana's second-tallest player at 6-foot-8, had 22 points and Virgil Matthews scored 20 for the Grizzlies. Nick Fazekas had 24 points and 12 rebounds for Nevada. Montana moves on to play Boston College.
Gonzaga 79, Xavier 75
SALT LAKE CITY -- Adam Morrison scored seven of his 35 points in the final two minutes as Gonzaga rallied for the win.
Morrison led the third-seeded Bulldogs (28-3) on a late 10-2 run, finally overcoming No. 14-seed Xavier. The Musketeers held off every previous Gonzaga surge, but ultimately they were overrun by the nation's leading scorer.
Morrison was 11-for-21 from the floor and had four assists. J.P. Batista added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Zags, who are in their eighth straight NCAA tournament.
A magical run of four wins in four days of the Atlantic 10 tournament got Xavier (21-11) into the national field, and that stellar play carried over into the first round of the NCAA. Stanley Burrell led Xavier with 22 points.
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