Midwest Regional: Kansas wears down Lehigh

Northern Iowa forward Adam Koch passes around UNLV forward Matt Shaw during their first-round game in Oklahoma City on Thursday night.



OKLAHOMA CITY --- For a while, it appeared Lehigh was going to take down the biggest Goliath of them all.

Top-seeded Kansas hung in and survived a scare before pulling away for a 90-74 win over scrappy Lehigh and avoiding a monumental upset in the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Regional on Thursday night.

Marcus Morris had 26 points and Sherron Collins added 18 as Kansas (33-2) fell into its season-long pattern of playing in spurts, giving No. 16 seed Lehigh (22-11) hope of making college basketball history.

The Jayhawks led by just six in the first half and didn't pull away until midway through the second to keep from becoming the biggest team to be crossed off the brackets on a wild opening day of the NCAA Tournament.


In Oklahoma City, Ali Farokhmanesh hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4.9 seconds left to lift ninth-seeded Northern Iowa over UNLV in the Midwest Regional.

Farokhmanesh found himself open after Kwadzo Ahelegbe had chewed up the majority of the clock following Oscar Bellfield's tying 3-pointer for UNLV with 35 seconds remaining. Johnny Moran reversed the ball to Farokhmanesh, who drained the jumper with the shot clock running down.

The Runnin' Rebels (25-9) got one last chance to tie it, but Tre'Von Willis didn't get his 3-pointer off before the final buzzer, and it was off-target anyway.

Farokhmanesh finished with 17 points, including three 3-pointers in the second half, and Ahelegbe added 13 points as the Panthers (29-4) snapped a 20-year drought in the NCAA Tournament. Northern Iowa hadn't won a game in the NCAAs since upsetting third-seeded Missouri in 1990.

Reserve forward Matt Shaw scored 14 points to lead UNLV, which had a rare first-round blemish added to its NCAA Tournament record and fell to 13-3 in openers.


In Providence, R.I., Melvin Goins made his fourth 3-pointer with 19 seconds left after San Diego State cut the deficit to one point, and Tennessee held off the Aztecs to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Regional.

The sixth-seeded Volunteers (26-8) will play Saturday against No. 14 seed Ohio, an easy upset winner over third-seeded Georgetown. A victory would put Tennessee in the round of 16 for the third time in four years.

Goins and J.P. Prince scored 15 points apiece for Tennessee on coach Bruce Pearl's 50th birthday.
D.J. Gay had 16 points for No. 11 seed San Diego State (25-9).

Kawhi Leonard scored 12 with 10 rebounds, but he missed a well-guarded 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied it. The Aztecs have never won an NCAA tournament game.