Dayton, OH - The 2014 NCAA Tournament tips off tonight at the University of Dayton Arena, as No. 16 seeds the Albany Great Danes and the Mount St. Marys Mountaineers face off in South Regions first round, with the winner advancing to play No. 1 seed Florida on Thursday. In the Midwest Region of the bracket, the ACCs NC State Wolfpack and Big Easts Xavier Musketeers will battle it out for the vacant position at UD Arena in Dayton. The winner advances through the first round and will clash with the fifth- seeded Saint Louis Billikens. You can watch live streaming coverage of both games tonight beginning at 6:40pm et/3:40pm pt, exclusively on TSN GO. Albany finished the regular season in fourth place in the American East Conference, but it blazed through the conference tournament with three straight wins, beating both top-seeded Vermont (67-58 in the semifinals) and second-seeded Stony Brook (69-60 in the championship) en route to the automatic bid. The Great Danes have played in the NCAA Tournament three previous times (2006, 2007, 2013) but have yet to earn a win. Mount Saint Marys also played the spoiler in its conference tournament. After entering the Northeast Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed at just 13-16 overall, it pieced together three straight wins over St. Francis-Brooklyn (72-71), Wagner (77-72) and Robert Morris (88-71). The Mountaineers have also qualified for the Big Dance on three other occasions, having previously defeated Coppin State in the 2008 play-in game (69-60) before losing to top- seeded North Carolina (113-74). This marks the first-ever meeting between Albany and Mount St. Marys on the hardwood. The Great Danes lost control of a halftime lead in the America East Tournament title game but finished the game on a 23-8 run over the final 6:47 to punch their ticket. Sam Rowley led the way with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. DJ Evans and Peter Hooley netted 16 and 15 points, respectively, while Gary Johnson tallied eight points and 10 rebounds. Scoring points hasnt been Albanys speciality this season, as it scores a mere 66.0 ppg on less than 44 percent shooting from the field, but it has excelled on the defensive end of the floor in yielding just 63.8 ppg on 41.9 percent shooting. Hooley pours in a team-best 15.7 ppg on 69-of-172 shooting from beyond the arc (.401). Rowley (11.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is a mainstay in the paint, while Evans (11.2 ppg) and Johnson (10.9 ppg) have also been solid. The Mountaineers made easy work of Robert Morris in the NEC championship bout, running out to a commanding 16-point lead at intermission before cruising to the easy double-digit victory. They shot a blistering 60.4 percent from the field in the triumph and had five players register in double figures, paced by Rashad Whacks 20 points. Julian Norfleet had 17 points, Taylor Danaher and Sam Prescott netted 15 apiece and Will Miller scored 11 off the bench. Mount St. Marys plays an opposite style of basketball as Albany, as it rarely has trouble filling up the scoreboard (76.2 ppg) yet leaves itself vulnerable on the defensive end of the court (78.0 ppg). The squad has a dynamic scoring duo in Whack (17.7 ppg) and Norfleet (17.5 ppg), with Norfleet also finding time to dish out 5.4 apg. Prescott rounds out the double-digit scorers by putting up 11.0 ppg. NC State made some waves in the ACC Tournament over the weekend by defeating Miami-Florida and then Syracuse to advance to the conferences semifinal round. The Wolfpack were taken down by Duke, 75-67, and were considered one of the most on-the-fence teams when it came to the tournaments selection. Xavier narrowly edged out Marquette in the Big East Tournaments quarterfinal round, but lost to Creighton, 86-78, in the semifinals. The Musketeers will need to prove their way into the field of 64. This will be the first-ever meeting between NC State and Xavier. Each team has a deep history in the NCAA Tournament, however. The Wolfpack own a 34-21 all-time record in the tournament, and were present in last seasons round of 64. Xavier comes in at 21-23 all-time, and made it to the Sweet 16 back in 2012. NC State and Duke had quite the battle going in Saturdays ACC Tournament semifinal, as the Blue Devils had just a one-point lead over the Wolfpack at the end of the first half. But Dukes defense stepped it up in the second frame by holding the Wolfpack to 35.5 percent shooting from the floor as the Blue Devils ended NC States quest for a conference title. T.J. Warren has been spectacular this season, and is now the programs all-time leader in a single season with 29 20-plus point contests. He had 21 with eight rebounds to lead the Wolfpack against Duke (his 17th consecutive 20-point game), while Lennard Freeman chipped in 13 points with nine boards and Anthony Barber scored 12 in the loss. N.C. State couldnt keep Duke from netting 57.1 percent of the teams shot attempts in the game. Warrens beastly season has led to much acclaim as he could very well enter the NBA after this season, earning ACC Player of the Year. The athletic forward is averaging an astounding 24.8 ppg for the Wolfpack, proving to be the go-to scorer when a basket is needed. He also leads the team with a 7.2 rpg average, and adds 57 steals to his season resume. Ralston Turner is the only other player on the Wolfpack roster to average a double-digit point total, netting 10.2 ppg. Barber tops the squad with 124 assists, and BeeJay Anya leads with 40 blocked shots. NC State averages 70.8 ppg through 33 games played, and gives up 69.5 ppg to opponents. Things looked bad for Xavier early on against Creighton in the Big East Tournament semifinals, as the Bluejays took a 45-33 lead into the intermission. But the Musketeers formed a comeback attempt in the second period, and started to cut into the lead as time went on. However, Creighton, behind the nations leading scorer Doug McDermott and his 32-point effort, was able to fend off Xavier down the stretch. Forward Isaiah Philmore scored a career-high 23 points for Xavier, while Semaj Christon chipped in 18 points with six assists in the loss. Justin Martin added 12 points before he fouled out of the contest. Christon, who has had his name mentioned in NBA talks as well, leads the Musketeers in scoring on the season with a 17.1 ppg average, netting 47.7 percent of his shots from the floor. He adds 138 assists on the year (second to Dee Daviss 147), and leads the team with 44 steals. Martin contributes 11.8 ppg for the Musketeers, and center Matt Stainbrook, who missed some time at the beginning of the conference tournament with a strained calf, adds 10.4 ppg with a team-leading 7.3 rpg mark. Xavier averages 72.2 ppg and allows 67.9 ppg to opponents MLB
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. Romero, who won 15 games in 32 starts last season, is 5-4 in 10 lifetime outings against the Rays, posting a 3.18 earned run average across 68 innings with 58 strikeouts and 32 walks. STILLWATER, Okla. -- Marcus Smart scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half to help Oklahoma State defeat No. 5 Kansas 72-65 on Saturday night and give a major boost to the Cowboys once-fading NCAA tournament hopes. Oklahoma State (19-10, 7-9 Big 12) overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half. The Cowboys improved to 3-0 since Smart returned from a three-game suspension for shoving a Texas Tech fan. Andrew Wiggins scored 15 points for Kansas (22-7, 13-3), which already had clinched the Big 12 title outright before tipoff because Texas and Iowa State lost earlier. The student section was filled nearly an hour before the opening tip. The crowd included Oklahoma City Thunder players Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and their coach, Scott Brooks. Wiggins three-point play tied the game at 64 with just over 2 minutes to play. Kamari Murphys layup gave Oklahoma State a 66-64 lead with 1:37 remaining. Kansas Naadir Tharpe missed a jumper, and Murphy pulled in the rebound. Smart made a layup with 46.1 seconds left to push Oklahoma States lead to four, then he broke the press and hit another layup with 23.8 seconds to go to put the game out of reach. The Jayhawks led 26-25 at halftime despite 35 per cent shooting. Oklahoma State shot just 24 per cent in the first half but forced 11 turnovers. LeBryan Nash and Markel Brown scored ninee points each to keep the Cowboys in the game.dddddddddddd Smart had one point on 0-for-7 shooting. Wiggins scored five points in the half but committed two fouls. Brown hit a 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the second half to give Oklahoma State a 28-26 lead, but Kansas answered with a 3-pointer by Wayne Selden. Smart made his first field goal, a 3-pointer, with 17:46 to play. He drew the third foul on Joel Embiid with 14:19 to go and the Jayhawks up 38-36. Wiggins picked up his third foul 11 seconds later. Kansas responded with a run. With both freshman stars on the bench, Tharpe and Selden drained 3-pointers that put the Jayhawks up 46-38. A three-point play by Perry Ellis pushed Kansas lead to nine, and a pair of free throws by Wiggins extended the margin to 10 for the first time. Oklahoma State muscled its way back into the game with a three-point play by Nash and a long lob by Smart to Brown that cut Kansas lead to five and got the crowd back into the game. The Cowboys moved into the double bonus with 5:50 remaining, and Brown made two free throws to give Oklahoma State a 60-59 lead. Nash picked up his fourth foul with 4:35 remaining, but Smart calmed him down after Nash disagreed with the call. Wiggins picked up his fourth foul with 4:09 to play. Smarts 3-pointer with 3:44 left put Oklahoma State up 63-61. ' ' '