The Latest: UC Irvine goes to halftime tied with K-State

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The Latest on the first round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

3 p.m.

Max Hazzard provided an exclamation point to the first half for UC Irvine.

Hazzard’s 3-pointer at the buzzer sent the 13th-seeded Anteaters into the half tied at 30 with fourth-seeded Kansas State in a first-round matchup in the South Region.

The Wildcats, who won the regular-season Big 12 title, ended the half on a major shooting drought, missing their final 11 shots over the final 6:18.

Kansas State’s leading scorer, Barry Brown Jr., was held scoreless in six minutes. He was sent to the bench early with two quick fouls.

– Josh Dubow from San Jose, California.

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2:55 p.m.

Luka Garza scored 20 points, Jordan Bohannon made a three-point play during Iowa’s closing surge, and the 10th-seeded Hawkeyes kept the Big Ten perfect in the NCAA Tournament against Cincinnati.

The Hawkeyes rallied from an early hole for a 79-72 victory over the No. 7 seed Bearcats, moving the league to 6-0 with Ohio State and Wisconsin still to play later Friday.

The Hawkeyes (23-11) got their first NCAA Tournament win in four years despite what amounted to a home crowd for the Bearcats, who couldn’t overcome a subpar game by Jarron Cumberland.

For Cincinnati (28-7), it was another early flameout. The Bearcats haven’t made it past the opening weekend for seven straight years.

– Joe Kay reporting from Columbus, Ohio.

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2:50 p.m.

Kristian Doolittle scored 19 points and matched a career-high with 15 rebounds as No. 9 seed Oklahoma blitzed Mississippi from the start in a 95-72 victory on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Sooners (20-13) had four players score at least 18 points and shot 58 percent from the field.

Oklahoma scored on eight of its first nine possessions and led 12-0 less than three minutes into the game.

The Sooners advance to play the winner of No. 1 seed Virginia and 16th-seed Gardner-Webb.

Terrence Davis led Ole Miss (20-13) with 17 points.

– Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.

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2:45 p.m.

Kansas State and UC Irvine are trading runs in the first half of their first-round matchup in the South Region in San Jose.

The 13th-seeded Anteaters ran off seven straight points to cut an early deficit to one point only to watch the fourth-seeded Wildcats score the next nine as UC Irvine missed five shots and committed three turnovers in a more than four-minute drought.

The Anteaters then responded with nine in a row to cut the deficit to 28-27 late in the first half.

– Josh Dubow from San Jose, California.

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2:30 p.m.

Third-seeded Texas Tech is getting all it wants from 14th-seeded Northern Kentucky.

The Red Raiders held on for a 30-26 halftime lead in their first-round game in the West Region, shooting 52 percent from the field but unable to shake the Norse.

Texas Tech threatened to pull away when a 3-point play by Jarrett Culver put the Red Raiders up 25-17, but Northern Kentucky closed the half on a 9-5 run.

Culver scored 12 points in the first half. Tyler Sharpe led Northern Kentucky with 10.

The game offers contrasting styles: Tech is one of the nation’s top defensive teams and Northern Kentucky likes to run, averaging 79 points per game.

– Cliff Brunt reporting from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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2:10 p.m.

Kansas State has gotten off to a fast shooting start in front of a sparse crowd in San Jose, California, in its game against No. 13 seed UC Irvine.

The fourth-seeded Wildcats got 3-pointers in the opening three minutes from Barry Brown Jr., Xavier Sneed and Kamau Stokes to take an early 9-5 lead. The Wildcats are trying to replicate their run to last year’s Elite Eight, when like this year they were without star forward Dean Wade.

The two teams had an early 11 a.m. tipoff on the West Coast, and the stands were only about one-third full for the start of the four-game slate.

– Josh Dubow from San Jose, California

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2:05 p.m.

Florida State forward Phil Cofer is with the team the day after his father died.

Cofer found out after Thursday’s first-round victory over Vermont that his father had died at age 58 after a long illness. Mike Cofer was an NFL linebacker with the Detroit Lions from 1983-92.

Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said Phil Cofer will remain with the team for Florida State’s second-round game on Saturday against 12th-seeded Murray State.

“Our heart goes out to the Cofer family,” Hamilton said. “We’ll there for Phil in any way possible.”

Hamilton said it has not been determined if Phil Cofer will play against Murray State. Cofer, a senior starter, missed the first-round game with a foot injury.

– Ralph Russo reporting from Hartford, Connecticut.

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1:55 p.m.

Gamblers are putting their money on at least two potential upsets in the remaining first-round games of the NCAA Tournament: UC Irvine over Kansas State and Liberty over Mississippi State.

Betting trends released Friday by sportsbook William Hill show 60 percent of money wagered backing the No. 13 seed Anteaters against the No. 4 seed Wildcats. Kansas State is favored by 4 1/2 points but is likely to play without star forward Dean Wade.

Some 70 percent of the dollars gambled back the No. 12 seed Flames to cover against the fifth-seeded Bulldogs.

Both the Anteaters and Flames have more actual wagers backing them, too, meaning both casual bettors and big-spending gamblers agree on the picks.

One spot where the sharps and squares disagree: No. 6 seed Buffalo against 11th-seeded Arizona State. About 55 percent of tickets are backing Buffalo favored by 5 points, but 56 percent of the money gambled is on the underdog Sun Devils. That difference shows that pro bettors are going against the opinions of casual fans who generally bet less money.

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1:40 p.m.

Ninth-seeded Oklahoma showcased some of its best offense of the year in building a 50-33 lead over No. 8 seed Ole Miss at halftime of their first-round game in South Region.

The Sooners were 19 of 33 from the floor and committed just one turnover, and the 50 points were the most coach Lon Kruger’s team has scored in a first half this season.

Ole Miss shot 52 percent from the floor but was slowed by nine turnovers.

– Pete Iacobelli reporting from Columbia.

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1:10 p.m.

Cincinnati has managed to stay ahead in its first-round game against Iowa despite a subpar performance from Jarron Cumberland, the American Athletic’s player of the year. Cumberland has only four points and has missed all of his three shots from beyond the arc.

Point guard Justin Jenifer has made up for him, scoring 12 points as the Bearcats lead 36-31 at the half. Cincinnati has been ahead by as many as 13 points.

The Bearcats are trying to break their streak of six straight years failing to make it out of the tournament’s opening weekend. Last year, they blew a 22-point lead with 11 minutes left and lost to Nevada in the second round, matching the second-biggest meltdown in NCAA Tournament history.

The Hawkeyes are trying to keep the Big Ten’s perfect start intact. The league sent eight teams into the field – the most in Big Ten history – and five won their opening games Thursday. Iowa was the first of three playing Friday along with Ohio State and Wisconsin.

– Joe Kay reporting from Columbus, Ohio.

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1:05 p.m.

Oklahoma is red hot in its NCAA Tournament opener with Ole Miss.

The Sooners have made 12 of 15 shots over the first nine minutes and raced out to a 29-16 lead in their South Regional first-round game in Columbia, South Carolina.

Kristian Doolittle has eight points and Christian James has hit both his 3-pointers for the Sooners, who missed their first shot before knocking down eight in a row.

Oklahoma was a bubble team that barely squeaked into the field of 68.

– Pete Iacobelli in Columbia.

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12:30 p.m.

NCAA president Mark Emmert was on hand for the first NCAA Tournament regional games to be played in Columbia, South Carolina, since 1970.

The lapse of nearly 50 years came because of the University of South Carolina’s aging arena, but that was rectified with the opening of Colonial Life Arena in 2002. Then, the 18,000-seat building could not host the next 13 years due to the NCAA ban because the state of South Carolina flew the Confederate flag on Statehouse grounds.

The flag was removed in 2015 in aftermath of the killing of nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, and the NCAA reversed its ban soon after and the school and city bid for a regional.

Emmert said he’s happy with what he sees: “First class administrators” at South Carolina and top-notch people at the NCAA helped put things together, he said, and “things look great.”

– Pete Iacobelli reporting from Columbia.

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12:15 p.m.

Iowa and Cincinnati are under way in the first game of the Friday slate in the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 10 seed Hawkeyes can score points in bunches, but they are also prone to getting blown out, making them one of them more mercurial teams in the field. The seventh-seeded Bearcats are a bit more steady, and have a certain toughness common in Mick Cronin’s teams.

The winner gets the Colgate-Tennessee winner on Sunday.

Other early games include eighth-seeded Ole Miss against No. 9 seed Oklahoma in the South Region, and third-seeded Texas Tech against No. 14 seed Northern Kentucky in the West.

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The first round of the NCAA Tournament is set to conclude Friday with plenty of star power taking the floor, notably Zion Williams and No. 1 overall seed Duke.

The Blue Devils play North Dakota State in the East Region.

Virginia tries to avoid losing as a top seed for the second straight year, while fellow No. 1 seed North Carolina opens its tournament against Iona. Mid-major powers Houston and Buffalo also get going while upset-minded 12-seeds Liberty and Oregon are in action.

The first game on the docket is Iowa, the No. 10 seed in the South Region, against seventh-seeded Cincinnati. The winner takes on the Colgate-Tennessee winner on Sunday.

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More AP college basketball: http://apnews.com/MarchMadness and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Kansas State guard Shaun Neal-Williams (1) loses the ball between UC Irvine guard Spencer Rivers, left, and guard Evan Leonard during the first half of a first round men’s college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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