INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the first round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):
Colorado forward Jabari Walker had his mind set at ease by some sage advice from a longtime NBA player who just so happened to be his father.
Samaki Walker told his son to simply go have some fun.
This would definitely count as fun: Jabari Walker went 5 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with 24 points as the fifth-seeded Buffaloes rolled past Georgetown 96-73.
“He called me and said, ‘I’m not going to fill your ear with nothing. Just tell you to play your game and play stress-free,’” Walker recounted. “That’s what I went out there and did.”
Samaki Walker played at Louisville before embarking on a 10-year NBA career that included a championship with the 2002 Los Angeles Lakers.
More advice from dad: “He just told me that it was a big platform, and not to come out here with any pressure. Just do what I’m supposed to do, play the game I play. Nothing special. Do the little things like I always do and eventually everything will work itself out.”
Florida State advanced with a 64-54 win over UNC Greensboro despite being only the eighth team since 2009 to not make a 3-pointer in an NCAA Tournament game.
The Seminoles missed all nine attempts from beyond the arc. Prior to Saturday, the last team not to make a 3-pointer was Kentucky in its first-round win over Davidson in 2018.
Teams are 5-3 since 2009 in NCAA games when they don’t make a 3-pointer. Kansas has done it twice and won both games.
The last time Florida State didn’t hit from the perimeter in any game was a 2018 loss at North Carolina State.
Florida guard Tyree Appleby “seems fine, seems normal” after suffering a head laceration in the opening round, but coach Mike White said he will be a game-time decision against 15th-seeded Oral Roberts on Sunday in the South Region.
Appleby took an inadvertent elbow early in the second half while playing defense against Virginia Tech and ended up bleeding all over the court. He wobbled to the locker room and returned to the bench area in overtime to see the No. 7 seed Gators pull out a 75-70 victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The 6-foot-1 junior finished with six points and five rebounds in 22 minutes.
White said Saturday that Appleby had a “happy smile on his face” and a bandage over his forehead.
White offered less information about suspended forward Omar Payne, who sat out the NCAA opener because of an “in-house situation.”
Payne was ejected from the SEC Tournament quarterfinals early in the second half for a flagrant-2 foul against Tennessee’s John Fulkerson. Fulkerson suffered a concussion and facial fracture and did not play in Tennessee’s opening-round loss to Oregon State.
White declined to say if Payne’s suspension was related to elbowing Fulkerson.
NCAA spokesman David Worlock says in a tweet that Colorado’s Jabari Walker is the 16th player in NCAA Tournament history to shoot 100% from 3-point range in a game while making at least five attempts. Walker was 5 of 5 from long range in a 23-point, first-round win over Georgetown.
UNC Wilmington’s John Goldsberry holds the record for most 3-point attempts without a miss in an NCAA Tournament game. He made all eight tries in a 75-73 loss to Maryland on March 21, 2003.
Georgetown’s late-season surge is over. Fifth-seeded Colorado took command with 11 3-pointers in the first half and cruised to a 96-73 win over the Hoyas in the East Region.
Freshman Jabari Walker had a career-high 24 points to lead Colorado, which went 16 for 25 from long range — that’s 64% — was 34 of 56 from the floor. Colorado also had 27 assists. D’Shawn Schwartz had 18 points and made four of his five 3s in the first half to put Colorado into cruise control.
Coached by former star Patrick Ewing, Georgetown made March Madness with a four-wins-in-four-days streak through the Big East Tournament but was no match for the Buffaloes.
The second full day of the NCAA Tournament is underway. Georgetown started it by kneeling during the national anthem.
The Hoyas locked arms and took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of their opening game against Colorado.
Coached by former star Patrick Ewing, Georgetown is a 12 seed after making March Madness with a four-wins-in-four-days streak through the Big East Tournament.
No. 1 seeds Gonzaga and Michigan will also be in action Saturday.
Friday’s action featured three big upsets — pulled off by No. 12 Oregon State, No. 13 North Texas and No. 15 Oral Roberts. Two of the upset victims — Ohio State and Purdue — were from the Big Ten.
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