DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – Jerai Grant scored a career-best 22 points and fast-starting Clemson built a double-figure lead and never backed off in beating Alabama-Birmingham 70-52 on Tuesday night in an NCAA First Four game at the University of Dayton Arena.
In a matchup of No. 12 seeds, the Tigers (22-11) went on a 21-2 run in the first half and never let the big lead slip away, as they had in several recent games.
Clemson hurried out after the game to catch a flight to a second-round game against fifth-seeded West Virginia (20-11) on Thursday afternoon in Tampa, Fla.
Milton Jennings added 11 points and Tanner Smith and Devin Booker each had 10 for Clemson, picked to finish seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Jamarr Sanders had 19 and Dexter Fields 12 for UAB,regular-season champions of Conference USA.
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – Matt Dickey led a late run that brought
overtime, and J.P. Primm hit five free throws and had a decisive
steal in the closing seconds Tuesday night, sending North
Carolina-Asheville to an 81-77 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock in
a dramatic opening game for the NCAA tournament.
The Bulldogs (20-13) will play Pittsburgh, the top seed in the
Southeast, on Thursday in Washington, D.C.
UNC Asheville opened the “First Four” with a late comeback led
by its best player. The Bulldogs led for only 51 seconds in
regulation, before Dickey asserted himself. He scored 14 of the
Bulldogs’ last 18 points in regulation, including a 3 with 10.5
seconds to go that tied it.
Primm and Dickey had 22 points apiece.
Alex Garcia-Mendoza matched his career high with 21 points for
Arkansas-Little Rock (19-17).
Extra tidbit on UNC Asheville: Eddie Biedenbach is a Pittsburgh native. The next opponent for UNC Asheville is Pittsburgh.