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NC State floors Georgetown, advances to Sweet 16


North Carolina State celebrated, and rightfully so, when they were announced as part of the 2012 Field of 68. Step two was proving that they belonged there.

And, with a 66-63 win over third-seeded Georgetown on Sunday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio, they’re doing just that.

Forward CJ Leslie had his second strong game of the NCAA tournament, finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Troubles at the foul line kept the game close in the final minute, but an ill-advised shot by Georgetown freshman Otto Porter preserved a two-point NC State lead with 10 seconds remaining.

Lorenzo Brown made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 10 seconds and finished with 14 points and seven assists, while Jason Clark’s miss on a contested three at the buzzer allowed NC State to advance to the Sweet 16.

The eleventh-seeded Wolfpack were subjected to Georgetown’s pace early in the first half, but with Georgetown center Henry Sims forced to sit with two fouls, NC State began to turn up the tempo, going on a 15-2 run to end the half and take control.

Georgetown was able to work its way back in the second half to pull to within three, but struggled through a shooting drought that kept the Wolfpack in front.

NC State survived its own scoring slump that spanned five minutes down the stretch in the second half.

For Georgetown, this is the fourth NCAA tournament exit at the hands of a double-digit seed in its last four appearances.

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Mark Gottfried has navigated his team from a squad that had to play their way in to the NCAA tournament, to now a Sweet 16 team and a dangerous matchup, as they move ahead.

The Wolfpack play the winner of Kansas and Purdue in the next round but, regardless of the outcome, success has come a year early at NC State.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Syracuse wins Atlantis, Miami gets upset

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(This will be updated throughout the day.)

GAME OF THE DAY: Syracuse 74, No. 25 Texas A&M 67

The Orange got 20 points from Michael Gbinije and 15 points and five assists from Trevor Cooney as they won the Battle 4 Atlantis title on Friday afternoon. We wrote on this game earlier. Are the Orange for real this year?


No. 10 Gonzaga 73, No. 17 UConn 70: Eric McClellan and Kyle Dranginis made some big plays down the stretch as the Bulldogs held on to win a game they led by as much as 21 in the second half. Kyle Wiltjer scored a team-best 17 points for Gonzaga, which finished third at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Rob Dauster wrote more about the Bulldogs and their second-half performance here.

Alabama 64, No. 20 Wichita State 60: Not only did the Shockers drop their second straight at the AdvoCare Invitational, but they also saw Anton Grady leave the game on a stretcher after being involved in a scary second-half collision. He was awake and alert shortly after leaving the court. While the Shockers’ losses to USC and Alabama don’t help them from an NCAA tournament standpoint, the bigger issue is the team’s health.


Quincy Ford, Northeastern: Not only did he score 24 points in the upset win over No. 15 Miami, but he hit the game-winning jumper, too. Video here.


Wichita State’s bigs: Five of them (Anton Grady, Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly, Bush Wakumota, Eric Hamilton) finished a combined 3-for-21 from the floor with 14 points and 14 fouls. Wakumota shot one of the worst threes you’ll ever see with Wichita State down 62-60 with 10 seconds left.

Grady suffered a scary neck injury late in the game, but early reports sound positive.


  • Jamal Murray went for 21 points and three assists without a turnover at No. 1 Kentucky rolled over South Florida. The big question: How bad is Tyler Ulis’ elbow injury?
  • Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart both had 13 points as No. 8 Villanova knocked off Georgia Tech to win the Preseason NIT, 69-52.
  • No. 23 Xavier raced out of the gates against USC and led by as much as 32, going on to win 87-77 in Orlando. Trevon Bluiett led four Musketeers in double figures with 16 points and James Farr added 12 to go along with nine rebounds off the bench.


  • Stanford finished third at the Preseason NIT with a 69-66 win over Arkansas, closing the game on a stunning 21-1 run. Rosco Allen scored eight of his career-high 25 points during that run, and Marcus Allen’s goal-tended layup with 2.6 seconds remaining gave the Cardinal the lead for good.

Good luck Goodluck: UNLV’s Okonoboh to transfer

Goodluck Okonoboh
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UNLV sophomore Goodluck Okonoboh is transferring out of the program, a source told

The 6-foot-10 center was the No. 31 recruit in the Class of 2014, but he never was able to find a place in the UNLV rotation. He averaged 2.9 blocks as a freshman, but is a career 34 percent free throw shooter that never proved he could be more than just an athlete.

With Ben Carter getting eligible and UNLV landing Stephen Zimmerman this season, Okonoboh’s minutes dried up. He played just 19 minutes total against UCLA and Indiana.