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.
Warren had the most to do with it. The sensational sophomore made up for a freshman tournament flop on the same floor a year earlier, preventing Xavier (21-14) from getting any traction in the second half.
Center Matt Stainbrook led Xavier with 19 points and nine rebounds despite an injured left knee.
Albany 71, Mount St. Mary’s 64: 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.
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 turnarounds, with the Great Danes bolting to leads of 13-0 and 21-2, only to have Mount St. Mary’s (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.
Clemson 78, Georgia State 66: K.J. McDaniels tied his career high with 30 points and had 14 rebounds to lead Clemson to its 10th straight home NIT win.
The Tigers (21-12) will play either Illinois or Boston U. in the second round, also at home. It was the 29th game McDaniels has hit for double figures, 13 of those with 20 or more. He matched his previous best set in a double-overtime loss at Notre Dame last month.
Georgia State (25-9) came in having won Sun Belt Conference regular-season crown and 22 of its past 24 games. But like other Clemson opponents, the Panthers couldn’t ground the high-flying McDaniels.
Georgia State trailed 50-49 on former Walton High School standout Ryan Harrow’s basket with 12:03 left. Then Clemson took off on a 22-10 run to take control.
R.J. Hunter led five Panthers in double figures with 15 points.
Florida State 58, Florida Gulf Coast 53: Aaron Thomas scored 22 points as top-seeded Florida State opened the NIT with a win against last year’s NCAA tournament darling.
Thomas carried the Seminoles in the second half, scoring 14 consecutive points during one stretch.
Bernard Thompson led the Eagles with 16 points and Jamail Jones chipped in 11.
Okaro White scored 17 for Florida State (20-13) and Montay Brandon finished with eight.
Neither team could find an offensive groove for most of the night. The teams combined for 35 turnovers and the Seminoles led 24-19 at halftime. The 19 points were the second-lowest scoring half of the season for Florida Gulf Coast (22-13).