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NCAA Tournament First Four: Day 2 Coverage

James Santelli |
March 16, 2011 | 6:09 p.m. PDT

Associate Sports Editor


Follow along with all of Neon Tommy's NCAA Tournament Coverage.

Tournament Bracket

(All First Four Games are being played at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio) 

On the first day of the NCAA Tournament's "First Four" opening round, the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs topped the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans in an overtime thriller, 81-77, to advance to the tournament's second round against Pitt. Clemson followed up with a victory over the Blazers of Alabama-Birmingham, 70-52. The Tigers head to Tampa to face West Virginia on Thursday.

Day 2, Game 1: UTSA outruns Alabama State to advance

Texas-San Antonio 70, Alabama State 61

Melvin Johnson III led all scorers with 29.
Melvin Johnson III led all scorers with 29.

Recap: One unwritten rule of college basketball goes: if Gus Johnson is doing the play-by-play, you can expect a close, exciting game.

But rules are made to be broken.

The UT-San Antonio Roadrunners jumped out to a 17-4 lead over Alabama State in the first eight minutes, and a 48-21 halftime lead, and never looked back. Melvin Johnson III scored 25 points for UTSA in the first half (besting his career high of 24), and finished with 29 points in the victory.

As SI.com's Stewart Mandel pointed out, even Alabama State accidentally putting six men on the floor at one point in the first half couldn't slow down Johnson, and earned the Hornets a technical foul.

Forward Jeromie Hill added a double-double for the Roadrunners, posting 14 points and 1 rebounds.

Alabama State got as close as nine points late in the second half, giving a small but vocal section of Hornets fans some hope, but UTSA held on for the win.

Tremayne Moorer and Jeff Middlebrooks each led the Hornets with 12 points, and Chris Duncan cleaned up 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for the SWAC Champions to move on.

The win for UTSA was the school's first victory in NCAA Tournament history, coming in their fourth appearance. The Roadrunners most recently appeared in March Madness in 2004.

Player of the Game: Melvin Johnson III (UT-San Antonio)

Johnson III dominated the game from start to finish, scoring nine of the Roadrunners first 15 points, and had scoring touch from the field (9-17) and from the line (9-12). Though UTSA should be huge underdogs against Ohio State, expect Johnson III to give them more than a little bit of trouble in the on Friday.

What it Means: The Roadrunners will travel across the state to Cleveland, where they will face number-one overall seed Ohio State on Friday Night. Alabama State falls to 0-4 in NCAA Tournament play.

Game 2: Virginia Commonwealth 59, USC 46



James Santelli is also a contributor for Pittsburgh Sports Report. To reach him, click here. Follow him on Twitter, @JamesSantelli.

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