It’s been a scary Thursday afternoon for No. 3 seeds. Notre Dame outlasted Northeastern in the first game of the day and fellow No. 3 seed Iowa State fell to No. 14 seed UAB, 60-59, on Thursday afternoon.
Many had the Cyclones as a darkhorse Final Four contender, but the Conference USA champion Blazers had other plans. Junior guard Robert Brown hit a clutch 3-pointer with 52 seconds left to give the Blazers a 56-55 lead and freshman forward William Lee hit another go-ahead jumper with 26 seconds left.
Lee also knocked in two free throws to pad the lead and the Cyclones missed a really good 3-point look from Naz Long that could have tied the game with under 15 seconds left. Monte Morris added a tip-in with .7 seconds left, but UAB threw the ball deep on the ensuing inbounds play to run out the clock.
Brown led the Blazers (20-15) with 21 points on 7-for-19 shooting while Lee added a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Iowa State (25-9) struggled to find its footing on the offensive end as junior forward Georges Niang had a 4-for-15 day from the field. Niang had 11 points on the afternoon as the Cyclones were led by 15 points from Morris. Matt Thomas also added 11 points for Iowa State while Jameel McKay chipped in 10 points and 12 rebounds.
UAB moves on to face the winner of the SMU/UCLA game.