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Roundup: Arizona fends off Weber State’s upset bid

Arizona’s Nick Johnson is closely guarded by Jordan Richardson of Weber State. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Arizona’s Nick Johnson is closely guarded by Jordan Richardson of Weber State.

Arizona opened the NCAA Tournament with a victory, exactly what a No. 1 seed is supposed to do.

The way it happened, with a jittery start and ease-off-the-gas-pedal finish, the Wildcats will likely hear upset talk even more now.

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Anxious early and a bit too comfortable late, top-seeded Arizona pulled out a 68-59 win over Weber State in the West Regional on Friday in San Diego.

‘‘We are fortunate to advance and I know the next game will be a terrific game,’’ Arizona coach Sean Miller said. ‘‘One of my hopes is, [having] one of these under our belts, we will be more ourselves and better on Sunday.’’

Arizona (31-4), which faces Gonzaga in the third round on Sunday, trailed by 8 points in the opening six minutes.

Arizona, however, closed in around Weber State (19-12) and shut it down during two big first-half runs.

Instead of running away, Arizona backed off, allowing Weber State to trim a 21-point lead down to 9 in the closing minutes.

Nick Johnson had 18 points, Aaron Gordon added 16, and Arizona blocked 11 shots while holding Weber State to 30 percent from the floor.

Gonzaga 85, Oklahoma State 77 — Kevin Pangos made 12 of 14 free throws en route to 26 points, and the eighth-seeded Bulldogs edged the Cowboys in San Diego.

Gary Bell Jr. added 17 points for Gonzaga (29-6), which is making its 16th straight tournament appearance.

Marcus Smart had 23 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and 6 steals for Oklahoma State (21-13).

Creighton 76, Louisiana-Lafayette 66 — Doug McDermott poured in 30 points and Ethan Wragge made three momentum-changing shots in the second half, sending the third-seeded Bluejays over the Ragin’ Cajuns (23-12) in San Antonio.

Louisiana-Lafayette led, 50-48, before Wragge struck from long range to spark Creighton’s final push.

The Bluejays (27-7) face Baylor in the third round on Sunday.

Baylor 74, Nebraska 60 — Cory Jefferson scored 16 points as the sixth-seeded Bears (25-11) coasted past the Cornhuskers in San Antonio.

Nebraska (19-13) missed nine of its first 10 shots and labored through a nine-minute scoring drought before coach Tim Miles was ejected for arguing with 11 minutes left in the game.

East

Iowa State 93, N.C. Central 75 — Georges Niang scored 24 points, but also broke his foot and will miss the rest of the tournament, to help the third-seeded Cyclones (27-7) pull away from the Eagles in San Antonio. Iowa State faces North Carolina in the third round on Sunday.

North Carolina Central (28-6) was making its first tournament appearance in just its third year as a full-time Division I program. Jeremy Ingram had 28 points for the Eagles, who had a 20-game win streak snapped.

Virginia 70, Coastal Carolina 59 — Anthony Gill scored 17 points to help the top-seeded Cavaliers edge the Chanticleers (21-13) in Raleigh, N.C.

Virginia (29-6) trailed by 5 at halftime. The Cavaliers, who face Memphis in the third round on Sunday, ended the game on a 23-12 run.

Memphis 71, George Washington 66 — Michael Dixon Jr. scored 19 points and hit four free throws in the final 10 seconds to help the eighth-seeded Tigers (24-9) slip past the Colonials in Raleigh, N.C.

Leading scorer Maurice Creek finished with 9 points for George Washington (24-9), and he airballed a 3-pointer in the final seconds that would have tied it.

South

Kansas 80, Eastern Kentucky 69 — Jamari Traylor had 17 points and 14 rebounds, Perry Ellis added 14 points and 13 boards, and the second-seeded Jayhawks (25-9) dominated the paint in a hard-fought victory against the Colonels.

Andrew Wiggins had 19 points for Kansas, which faces Stanford on Sunday in a third-round game.

Kansas had more turnovers (10) than field goal attempts (9) by the midway point of the first half.

The Colonels (24-10) used a 10-0 run to take a lead midway through the second half but Kansas pulled away in the end.

Stanford 58, New Mexico 53 — In St. Louis, Chasson Randle scored 23 points for the 10th-seeded Cardinal (22-12), who built an early 20-4 lead before holding off the seventh-seeded Lobos (27-7).

UCLA 76, Tulsa 59 — Jordan Adams scored 21 points and Norman Powell added 15 to lead the fourth-seeded Bruins (27-8) over the 13th-seeded Golden Hurricane (21-13), spoiling the NCAA Tournament head coaching debut of Danny Manning.

Midwest

Wichita State 64, Cal Poly 37 — In St. Louis, Cleanthony Early had 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting and the Shockers faced no resistance from the Mustangs to push their record to 35-0, marking the best start in NCAA history.

Top-seeded Wichita State, which faces Kentucky in the third round on Sunday, dominated from the start. The Shockers held Cal Poly (14-20) to just 13 points in the first half.

Kentucky 56, Kansas State 49 — Julius Randle had 19 points and 15 boards as eight-seeded Kentucky (25-10) topped Kansas State (20-13) in St. Louis

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