DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Diminutive point guard Junior Robinson scored 23 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 1:27 to play, and Mount St. Mary’s held on for a 67-66 victory over New Orleans in the opening game of the First Four.
Robinson, the smallest player in Division I at 5-foot-5, carried the Mountaineers (20-15) to only their second NCAA Tournament win.
They’ll head to Buffalo to play defending national champion and top overall seed Villanova in the East Regional on Thursday.
Mount St. Mary’s led most of the way, but New Orleans (20-12) pulled off a comeback befitting its resurgent season. The Privateers had a chance for a final shot, but Erik Thomas’ inbound pass with 2.6 seconds left was off target and stolen by the Mountaineers’ Chris Wray to clinch it.
Kamau Stokes scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half of a wide-open game on Tuesday night, and Kansas State’s balance was the difference as the Wildcats pulled away to a 95-88 victory over Wake Forest in the First Four.
Eleventh-seeded K-State (21-13) got its first NCAA Tournament win in five years and a trip to play No. 6 Cincinnati on Friday in Sacramento as part of the South Regional.
In a matchup of two versatile offenses, the Wildcats had the most options and hot shooters. Wesley Iwundu added 24 points, and D.J. Johnson scored 18.