Reigning champ falls as Iowa State dumps UConn
Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - The NCAA will crown a new Men's Basketball Tournament champion.
Chris Allen scored 20 points off the bench to lead Iowa State past last year's champion Connecticut, 77-64, in a second round South Region matchup on Thursday.
Royce White notched a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double, Scott Christopherson added 15 points of his own, and Melvin Ejim chipped in with 11 for the Cyclones (23-10), who will play No. 1 overall seed Kentucky in the third round on Saturday.
"I feel like just we wanted it more. I felt like we was doing everything we needed to and played hard," said Allen. "We out-rebounded them by almost 20. That's a great stat line."
Shabazz Napier paced all scorers with 22 points and added six assists while Jeremy Lamb donated 19 points for the Huskies (20-14), who became the first defending champions to fall before the round of 32 since 1996, when Princeton defeated UCLA in the first round.
UConn will be ineligible for the NCAA tourney next season due to inadequate academic performance by its basketball players.
ISU opened the game scoring 14 of the first 20 points, and exploded for a 16-0 flurry midway through the first to take a 36-14 advantage.
Connecticut chipped away, though, rolling off 14 of the next 16 points to get back within 10. Iowa State took a 42-32 advantage into the locker room at intermission.
The Huskies kept fighting in the second stanza, cutting their deficit to 58-52 via a 14-5 spurt with 8:26 remaining.
But then White made 1-of-2 free-throw attempts, Bubu Palo got a jumper off the very top of the backboard to fall, and Allen grabbed a rebound off his own three-point attempt and drove for a reverse layup underneath the basket.
Once again down by double-digits, UConn was forced to begin fouling, and the Cyclones made 12 consecutive attempts from the charity stripe to seal the contest.
"I felt like they had made their run and it was our time to make our run. But they made plays at the end and we didn't," said Connecticut's Ryan Boatright.
Andre Drummond, Connecticut's leading rebounder, fouled out with 47 seconds remaining. He finished with two points and three rebounds...Iowa State outscored Connecticut 34-20 in the paint and held a 41-24 rebounding advantage...Iowa State committed 11 turnovers while Connecticut had just four.
03/16 01:48:20 ET