NCAA Tournament Day 2 Live Blog: VCU Dashes USC’s Tournament Dreams With 59-46 Victory


NCAA Tournament Day 2 Live Blog: VCU Dashes USC's Tournament Dreams With 59-46 Victory 11:47 p.m.: Two more Trojans foul out as their NCAA tournament dreams are dashed by the VCU Rams.

The Rams finally found the way to pull away from USC with solid defense and persistent offense. VCU now moves on to take on Georgetown at 9:50 p.m. on Friday night.

11:35 p.m.: VCU is pulling away again late in the second half, as they take a 53-44 lead over the Trojans with 4:10 left. Trojans senior Marcus Simmons fouls out — a tough way to go in potentially the final game of his collegiate career.

11:00 p.m.: A few clutch 3-pointers have helped the Rams pull away from the Trojans a bit here in the second half. They lead 34-27 with 13 minutes to go.

10:51 p.m.: Here's a thought, pointed out by the commentators at truTV, Melvin Johnson III had 25 points in the first half of the UTSA-Alabama State matchup. That's more than USC or VCU, who both put up 22 points each in the first.

VCU now holds a one-point lead, 25-24, over USC with four minutes gone in the second half.

10:26 p.m.: The low-scoring first half is over, and the two teams are deadlocked at 22 points apiece. O'Neill said he believes his team controlled the tempo of the first half, and hopes they start to pull away from the Rams in the second.

10:13 p.m.: The Trojans' speedy attack gives them the 18-17 lead with 3:30 remaining in the first half. Fairly low scoring match so far, with both teams playing solid defense with good rebounding.

10:04 p.m.: VCU takes the 15-13 lead thanks to a few heads up plays by the Rams. This is definitely a more evenly-matched start than the UTSA-ASU matchup from earlier this evening.

9:49 p.m.: A pretty slow start offensively in the second game, as VCU leads 3-2 five minutes in.

9:35 p.m.: Just moments away from the tip-off, the Trojans are playing with their head coach Kevin O'Neill on the sideline. O'Neill was unsure of whether or not he would be allowed on the court after an altercation with a fan, but he's standing in front of the bench, hoping to lead his players to the tournament.

VCU was a bit of a surprise bid, as they struggled down the stretch, but they came through with some big wins in the playoffs and earned the play-in bid against the Trojans.

The winner of this game will face off against Georgetown.

9:10 p.m.: So the UTSA Roadrunners are moving on to take on Ohio State in Cleveland. The team will take the four hour bus ride from Dayton tonight to prepare for the 4:40 p.m. matchup on Friday evening.

One more play-in game remains as Virginia Commonwealth prepares for the 9:10 p.m. matchup against USC.

9:00 p.m.: UTSA holds on for the 70-61 victory and their first NCAA win in the school's history. The team cooled in the second half, but their outstanding first was all they needed to put Alabama State away.

The Hornets gave a solid final push in the final minutes, but it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit piled on by the Roadrunners in the first half.

8:55 p.m.: The seconds are ticking away, but Alabama isn't letting up, and they trail by nine points with 20 seconds left.

8:44 p.m.: The momentum is finally starting to turn for Alabama State, as the Hornets have just forced two UTSA turnovers and are down by nine points with 2:20 to go.

8:35 p.m.: Alabama State is trying to find their rhythm, and they may have some time to regain their ground against UTSA. They are down by 12 with just over four minutes to play.

An injury to Alabama junior Ivory White may have slowed the game a bit, but we'll see if they can't pick things up late in the game.

8:10 p.m.: UTSA has not let up here in the second half, taking a 20-point lead over the Hornets midway through the half, 55-35.

7:30 p.m.: Roadrunners forward Tyler Wood comes up with a huge three at the buzzer to prove that their momentum is not going anywhere.

Wood grabs the loose ball just beyond the arch and sinks the deep three to give UTSA a 48-21 lead at the break.

7:18 p.m.:
Melvin Johnson III is tearing it up for UTSA right now. The sophomore guard has 21 points so far in the first, and just came away with an impressive coast-to-coast dunk.

38-15 UTSA.

7:15 p.m.: To prove just how fidgety these Hornets are — four players just went up for a defensive rebound against one Roadrunner, and UTSA came away with the offensive board.

7:10 p.m.: The Hornets seem a bit overwhelmed by UTSA's speed, as the Roadrunners take a 31-15 lead with six minutes remaining in the first. The Hornets need to look to their stars, like Butler, who has been left scoreless so far in this one.

6:50 p.m.: Texas has control of the tempo early in the day's first play-in game. The Roadrunners are living up to their name, as they have an early 11-4 lead over the Hornets.

6:36 p.m.:
Both teams are coming in on a roll. Alabama State has won 11 of their last 12 games. UTSA is on a five-game win streak.

6:31 p.m.: Texas-San Antonio may have the better record, but Alabama State has the more recent NCAA Tournament experience. The Hornets have a group of four players — Tramaine Butler, Tramayne Moorer, Ivory White and Jeff Middlebrooks — that have been to the big dance before in 2008-09. This is the fourth overall visit for the Hornets.

The Roadrunners have been to the tournament four times as well, with their last visit coming in the 2004 season.

6:05 p.m.: Can Alabama State continue their incredible ride into the NCAA tournament? The Hornets are the only team in the tourney that does not have a winning record, as they are 17-17 on the year.

They will be looking for their first winning record all season as they head into the play-in matchup against Texas San-Antonio, who has a 19-13 record.

?The winner of this one will head to Cleveland to play top-seeded Ohio State.

10 a.m.: We've already seen an overtime finish and a dominant performance, but the tournament is just getting started.

 On Tuesday, UNC-Asheville edged Arkansas-Little Rock in overtime before Clemson rolled right through UAB.

On Wednesday, we'll see Texas-San Antonio and Alabama State duke it out for the 16th seed in the East Region. After that, it'll be VCU and USC playing for the 11th seed in the Southwest Region.

The action begins at 6:30 p.m., and we'll have it covered from start to finish here in the live blog.

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