String of Upsets in NCAA Tourney

Seeded low and lightly regarded, Hampton, Georgia State and Utah State rocked the NCAA tournament.

Upsets and close calls filled the first half of the tournament's opening round Thursday, with 15th-seeded Hampton punctuating a wild four-game set in Boise, Idaho, in West Regional games.

Maryland Avoids Upset

Last year, three teams seeded 10th or lower won first-round games. With just half the first round completed, five double-digit seeds have advanced to the second round.

Hampton beat second-seeded Iowa State 58-57. No. 11 Georgia State beat sixth-seeded Wisconsin 50-49, and 10th-seeded Georgetown stopped No. 7 Arkansas 63-61. Third-seeded Maryland avoided an upset, holding on for a 83-80 win over George Mason.

The combined seven-point margin of victory in the Boise subregional shattered the previous record for the closest four-game regional. The four games at the 1998 East Regional in Washington, D.C., were decided by 17 points, as was the 1986 Midwest Regional in Minneapolis.

In other first-round upsets, No. 13 Kent State beat fourth-seeded Indiana 77-73 in a West Regional game in San Diego, and No. 12 Utah State stopped No. 5 Ohio State 77-68 in overtime in an East Regional game in Greensboro, N.C.

Pirates Storm the Cyclones

Tarvis Williams flipped in a 4-footer in the lane with 6.9 seconds remaining as Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Hampton stunned Iowa State.

Jamaal Tinsley missed a layup with 1.2 seconds to go, setting off a celebration as the Pirates (25-6) and their fans stormed the floor.

Hampton, making its first NCAA tournament appearance, became the fourth 15th seed to beat a No. 2 since the tournament expanded to 16 seeds per region in 1985.

"It was a great win. I thought our kids persevered," coach Steve Merfeld said. "They took control of the game, but we just hung in there and hung in there."

The Cyclones (25-6), who came within one game of the Final Four last season, left the court in shock.

"It's just devastating to go out like this," Iowa State guard Kantrail Horton said.

Missed Free Throws Cost Wisconsin

Georgia State, led by former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell, knocked off the sixth-seeded Badgers to set up a second-round showdown with the Terrapins.

"I told my team this might be the greatest win I've ever had," said Driesell, fired by Maryland 15 years ago. "We came back in the second half and showed what kind of club we have."

Georgia State's Darryl Cooper made a four-point play and a steal to set up the game-winning basket in the final minute. The win wasn't sealed until Wisconsin's Mark Vershaw missed two free throws with 3.2 seconds to play.

Kevin Morris led Georgia State (29-4) with 18 points. Mark Vershaw had 19 for Wisconsin (18-11), which played in the Final Four last year.

Maryland (22-10) used Steve Blake's late 3-pointer and Juan Dixon's two free throws with 4.9 seconds left to beat George Mason (18-12). Dixon and Byron Mouton scored 22 points each for Maryland.

In other West Regional play in San Diego, St. Joseph's upset Georgia Tech 66-62, top-seeded Stanford beat North Carolina Greensboro 89-60 and Cincinnati beat Brigham Young 84-59.

In the East Regional in Uniondale, N.Y., Kentucky edged Holy Cross 72-68, Iowa beat Creighton 69-56, Boston College held off Southern Utah 68-65 and Southern California beat Oklahoma State 69-54.

In Greensboro, N.C., UCLA defeated Hofstra 61-48, top-seeded Duke beat Monmouth 95-52 and Missouri edged Georgia 70-68.

Play begins today in the South and Midwest regions.