Radford and St. Bonaventure start tourney with wins


Bound to happen. But will it be Radford over East Region top seed Villanova in this March Madness matchup on Thursday evening? No. They also give small schools an opportunity to win their first NCAA Tournament, as the case in this one. That's one of the lowest marks in all of college basketball. It's the only way they'll be able to break through a stout Radford defense that allowed 64.4 points per game, 14th-best in the nation. Both teams were plagued by turnovers. The Wildcats controlled the action the whole way, jumping out to a 44-23 halftime lead before taking their foot off of the gas pedal.

It was three of Jone's team-leading 13 points, while Radford's leading scorer on the year Ed Polite Jr. chipped in with 11. For moneyline bets, the line is Radford: -210, Long Island University-Brooklyn: 175 and 72.2% have picked Radford to win the game.

The big question: Is third-seeded Texas Tech going to play like the team that once looked like the class of the Big 12? Spellman followed with a deep 3-pointer and the lead ballooned to 54-29.

Taveion Hollingsworth added 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Conference USA tournament runner-up Hilltoppers (25-10), a No. 4 seed. He finished with eight points on 2-of-16 shooting.

Clark shoots 55.7 percent from the field to lead the conference.

The Highlanders took the Blackbirds out of transition for most of the game as they held LIU to no field goals over the last 6:47.

After scoring only six points against Kansas back in February and not playing against West Virginia the following game, Evans has been back to form.

Still, Villanova is the only No. 1 seed here in western Pennsylvania, and rather than first-year players, coach Jay Wright has a roster strong with red-shirt freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Michigan State have championship-level ceilings, no doubt about it.

The Radford Highlanders never had a chance Thursday night against Villanova - which showed up at PPG Paints Arena as Killanova. Villanova also struggled from 3-point range in each of its four losses.

Paschall led the Wildcats with 29 minutes played.

Ah, but we must talk about 11th-seeded Loyola. Kenny Wooten had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Villanova had six players finish in double figures in terms of scoring, and as a whole the team shot almost 60 percent from the floor.

The rest of the half was pure dominance by the Wildcats. Ernie Duncan, averaging 11.2 points per game, was scoreless in 12 minutes after suffering an eye injury early in the game.