The Flames – only the second team ever to make the NCAA Tournament with 20 losses – had a chance to win it. John Caleb Sanders drove coast to coast and flipped up a left-handed layup in heavy congestion that just missed. North Carolina A&T (20-16) rebounded and, while Sanders rolled in pain on the baseline, began to celebrate an end to more than 30 years of disappointment.
Underwood came in averaging just over 6 points, but was perfect from the field, hitting six field goals in as many attempts. Bruce Beckford added 16 points and Lamont Middleton 14.
The victory advanced the Aggies to a showdown with top-seeded Louisville (29-5) in Lexington, Ky., Thursday.
SAINT MARY’S 67, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 54
Matthew Dellavedova scored 22 points and Stephen Holt added 18 to lead Saint Mary’s (28-6) over Middle Tennessee (28-6).
The Gaels will play Memphis on Thursday.