Albany, N.C. State advance in NCAA Tournament 

click to enlarge Peter Hooley
  • Skip Peterson/ap
  • Albany guard Peter Hooley, center, celebrates with guard D.J. Evans, left, and forward Gary Johnson after Albany defeated Mount St. Mary’s.
D.J. Evans scored 22 points, including two clinching free throws with 12.6 seconds left, to lead Albany to its first NCAA Tournament victory, 71-64 over Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday night in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.

The Great Danes (19-14) advance to meet overall No. 1 seed and top-ranked Florida on Thursday in Orlando.

It was a wild game of incredible turnarounds, with the Great Danes bolting to leads of 13-0 and 21-2, only to have The Mount (16-17) bounce back with a 21-2 run of its own to pull even.

Peter Hooley had 20 points and Gary Johnson 13 for Albany, winless in its three previous NCAA trips.

North Carolina State 74, Xavier 59

T.J. Warren scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half, showing why he was the ACC’s player of the year, and North Carolina State led most of the way in a victory over Xavier in the NCAA Tournament’s First Four.

N.C. State (22-12) didn’t have much time to celebrate. The 12th-seeded Wolfpack headed to Orlando, Fla., for a game on Thursday against St. Louis in the Midwest Regional.

Center Matt Stainbrook led Xavier with 19 points and nine rebounds despite an injured left knee.

AUBURN HIRES PEARL

Auburn hired former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl to revive a struggling basketball program that hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament in more than a decade. The school announced the hiring on Tuesday of the charismatic coach, who remains under a show-cause penalty from the NCAA into August. Pearl had plenty of success on the court, taking Tennessee to the NCAA tournament in each of his six seasons before getting fired in March 2011 in the wake of an NCAA investigation.

WASHINGTON STATE FIRES BONE

Washington State fired men’s basketball coach Ken Bone after five seasons during which he was unable to sustain the success of his predecessor, Tony Bennett. Bone was 80-86 in five seasons at Washington State and just 29-61 in the Pac-12.

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