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NCAA Tournament: Arizona State tops St. John’s, North Dakota State holds off NC Central in First Four

UPDATED: Thu., March 21, 2019

Arizona State's Luguentz Dort (0) drives against St. John's Marvin Clark II, center, during the first half of a First Four game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (John Minchillo / AP)
Arizona State's Luguentz Dort (0) drives against St. John's Marvin Clark II, center, during the first half of a First Four game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (John Minchillo / AP)
Associated Press

DAYTON, Ohio – Luguentz Dort overcame a hard foul and a leg injury, scored 21 points and led Arizona State to a long-awaited NCAA Tournament victory Wednesday night, 74-65 over St. John’s in the First Four.

The 11th-seeded Sun Devils (23-10) will play Mid-American Conference champion Buffalo on Friday in the West Region, coming off their first NCAA Tournament win in 10 years.

Arizona State also provided a Pac-12 breakthrough: the conference’s first NCAA Tournament win in two years.

The Pac-12 was 0-3 in the tournament last season, with two teams – Arizona State and UCLA – falling in the First Four. Arizona then got knocked out in the round of 64.

The Pac-12 got three teams in again this year, with Oregon and Washington joining the Sun Devils.

St. John’s (21-13) was the last team picked for the tournament, sneaking in despite a late-season fade. The Red Storm wound up one of the first ones out as well.

(16) North Dakota State 78, (16) NC Central 74: Tyson Ward scored 23 points, and the Bison advanced to the NCAA Tournament round of 64 with a win over Eagles.

Vinnie Shahid had 14 points, including a pair of foul shots with 8 seconds left to seal the game for North Dakota State (19-15), which advances to play East Region No. 1 seed Duke on Friday in Columbia, South Carolina.

Sam Griesel and Jared Samuelson each added 10 points for the Summit League Tournament winners.

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