KANSAS CITY, Mo. — La Salle wouldn’t let a stellar first half go to waste.
Jerrell Wright made three foul shots in the final 30 seconds, and the No. 13 seed Explorers survived after blowing an 18-point halftime advantage to beat fourth-seeded Kansas State 63-61 on Friday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Wright, who scored a game-high 21 points for the Explorers (22-9), made the first two free throws to give La Salle a 62-61 lead. Kansas State’s Jordan Henriquez missed in the paint at the other end, and Wright made the first of two more foul shots with 9.6 seconds to go.
The Wildcats (27-8) raced down court, looking for a tying basket, but point guard Angel Rodriguez got hung up in the corner near the Kansas State bench. His off-balance shot over the corner of the backboard missed everything, and the Explorers jumped off their bench to celebrate.
Ramon Galloway scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half, and Sam Mills added 10 points for La Salle, which beat Boise State in one of the First Four games just to reach Kansas City, and now has won two games in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1955.
The Explorers will play 12th-seeded Mississippi, which knocked off No. 5 Wisconsin 57-46 earlier in the day, for a spot in the round of 16 in a suddenly shredded West Region.
Henriquez and Shane Southwell scored 17 points each for Kansas State, which trailed 44-26 at the break but managed to claw back into the game with some scrappy defense.
La Salle was just 3 for 18 from the field in the second half.
It turned out to be just enough.
INDIANA 83 JAMES MADISON 62
DAYTON, Ohio — Freshman Yogi Ferrell scored 14 points in the first six minutes as top-seeded Indiana slam dunked its way past James Madison.
Not taking any chances with a No. 16 seed, the Hoosiers (28-6) started fast and built a 33-point lead in the second half over the Dukes (21-15) and opened the tourney with a statement they intend to be around for a while.
Looking every bit like a team capable of cutting down the nets in Atlanta next month, Indiana will play Temple in the second round on Sunday.
TEMPLE 76, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 72
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Khalif Wyatt scored 31 points, finishing the game with an injured left thumb that had him grimacing before his clinching free throws, and Temple broke with its one-and-done NCAA tournament trend.
The ninth-seeded Owls (24-9) opened a 17-point lead before Wyatt — the Atlantic 10’s player of the year and top scorer — hurt his left thumb and left the game briefly, returning with black tape on the non-shooting hand.
MIAMI 78, PACIFIC 49
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Durand Scott had 21 points and Miami had a triumphant return to the NCAA tournament.
The Hurricanes (28-6), who may be even better than their No. 2 seed in the East Regional would indicate, put the game out of reach with a 14-0 run midway through the first half of their first NCAA tourney game in five years.
Miami plays Illinois on Sunday.
ILLINOIS 57 COLORADO 49
AUSTIN, Texas — Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson made consecutive 3-pointers to give Illinois back the lead with 6 minutes left and the seventh-seeded Illini pulled out a tough win over Colorado.
Illinois led by 16 at halftime only to watch Colorado rip off a 21-2 run in the second to grab the lead. The Illini looked desperate until Paul and Richardson coolly knocked down their shots to put Illinois ahead 48-44.
Four free throws by Paul eventually put the game away for the Illini (23-12).
Paul led Illinois with 17 points.
DUKE 73, ALBANY 61
PHILADELPHIA — Seth Curry scored 26 points, Mason Plumlee had 23 and second-seeded Duke beat Albany.
The Blue Devils (28-5) will meet seventh-seeded Creighton in the third round Sunday.
Duke shot 58.7 percent (27 of 46), just off its season-beat 60.8 percent against Florida State.
The Blue Devils, who lost 75-70 to 15th-seeded Lehigh in the second round last year, never really pulled away from the Great Danes (24-11), who got as close as eight points with 4:40 to play.
CREIGHTON 67 CINCINNATI 63
PHILADELPHIA — Doug McDermott had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Gregory Echenique scored 13 points to help Creighton hold on.
Ethan Wragge added 12 for the Bluejays, who won their NCAA tournament opener for the second straight year.
McDermott, the two-time Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and 2012 All-American, made all 11 free throws to help the seventh-seeded Bluejays (28-7) move on to play Duke on Sunday.
MISSISSIPPI 57 WISCONSIN 46
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marshall Henderson shook out of a shooting slump and scored 17 points in the second half, giving the Rebels their first NCAA tournament win since 2002.
For the cold-shooting Badgers (23-12), the upset loss snaps a string of six straight first-game victories. Ole Miss (27-8) trailed 25-22 at halftime and Henderson, who led the Southeastern Conference with 20 points a game, had only two points on 1-for-11 shooting.
But the flamboyant and outspoken guard found his touch just in time for Ole Miss, and wound up hitting 6 of 21. His back-to-back 3-pointers tied it 36-36 and his layup and two free throws in the final minute sealed the win.
Reginald Buckner had nine points and 12 rebounds. Sam Dekkar had 14 points for Wisconsin.
The Rebels will play No. 13 La Salle on Sunday.