The NCAA Tournament First Round (formerly known as the “play-in games”) kicked off last night and both games featured connections to the Hampton Roads area.
In the first game of the tournament, Albany defeated Mount St. Mary’s 71-64. Albany began the game with a 21-2 but Mount St. Mary’s quickly responded with their own 21-2 run to tie the game at 23-23 with about five minutes remaining in the first half. The game stayed close throughout but Albany closed the game with a 8-2 run to capture the victory.
Mount St. Mary’s second leading scorer, guard Julian Norfleet (Landstown HS, Virginia Beach) struggled throughout the game and finished with only seven points in the game. Norfleet made only three of his 14 shot attempts and only one of his nine three-point attempts. He also added five rebounds, seven assists, and one steal in the loss.
With the win Albany captures the 16-seed in the South Region and will play top-seed Florida on Thursday afternoon.
In the second game of the night, NC State was able to advance with a 74-59 victory over Xavier. NC State controlled the game throughout, leading by six points at halftime and outscoring Xavier by nine points in the second half. Anthony Barber (Hampton HS, Hampton) made his only shot attempt and scored two points in only eight minutes of action for NC State. Desmond Lee (Booker T. Washington HS, Norfolk) also finished with four points in his 13 minutes of action for the Wolfpack.
NC State will advance as the 12-seed in the Midwest Region and will face Saint Louis on Thursday evening.
Also in other postseason action, Norfolk State loss to Eastern Michigan, 58-54, in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.