DAYTON, Ohio — South Florida introduced the NCAA Tournament to the Big East’s nastiest defense Wednesday night, putting more than just a chill into a California team that had never seen anything like it.
The Bulls allowed only 13 points in the first half on the way to a 65-54 victory.
South Florida (21-13) plays No. 5 seed Temple in Nashville, Tenn., on Friday, a matchup of teams known for gritty defense.
California (24-10) didn’t score over the last 8:55 of the first half, missing 10 shots while South Florida pulled ahead 36-13.
Victor Rudd had 15 points for the Bulls.
Freshman point guard Anthony Collins added 12 for the Bulls.
MINNESOTA 70, LA SALLE 61
In Philadelphia, Rodney Williams tied his career high with 21 points, Austin Hollins had 16 and Minnesota (20-14) beat La Salle (21-13) in the opening round.
The Gophers gave coach Tubby Smith his 100th win at the school.
MIAMI 66, VALPARAISO 50
In Coral Gables, Fla., Rion Brown scored 18 points to lead Miami (20-12) over Valparaiso (22-12).
The Hurricanes played without leading scorer Durand Scott, who began serving a six-game suspension after he was declared ineligible last week for receiving impermissible benefits
NORTHERN IOWA 67,
SAINT JOSEPH’S 65
In Philadelphia, Seth Tuttle sank two free throws with 1.3 seconds left and finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Northern Iowa (20-13)over Saint Joseph’s (20-14).
CENTRAL FLORIDA 56
In Philadelphia, Frantz Massenat had 18 points and 14 assists, and Chris Fouch scored 19, as Drexel (28-6) shook off the disappointment of not making the NCAA Tournament by trouncing Central Florida (22-11).