Tony Raye made two free throws with two seconds remaining Thursday night to give Austin Peay a stunning 68-67 upset victory over No. 11-ranked Illinois in the opening round of the NCAA tournament's Southeast Regional at Birmingham, Ala.
The Governors (20-11) came to the tournament from Clarksville, Tenn., after winning the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
They had a seven-point lead early in the second half. But it appeared Illinois (22-8) had pulled the game out with 13 seconds left when Tony Wysinger hit a foul-line jump shot to put the Illini up, 67-66.
Without calling a timeout, Austin Peay hurried the ball downcourt, and Mike Hicks found Raye under the basket. Raye was fouled on his layup attempt,and Illinois took a timeout in hopes of rattling him. Raye made just 56% of his free throws during the year.
After Raye's foul shots, Illinois, seeded third in the regional, still had a chance to win but Ken Norman's 15-foot buzzer shot bounced off the rim.
In other Southeast Regional games:
Providence 90, Alabama Birmingham 68--Billy Donovan scored 35 points and handed out 12 assists as Providence handed Alabama Birmingham its worst homecourt defeat ever. The Friars (22-8) will play Austin Peay Saturday.
Donovan, who set a Big East Conference tournament record last Friday with 34 points in a quarterfinal victory over St. John's, made his first six three-point field goal attempts and finished with six of nine. He hit 12 of 17 field goals overall.
New Orleans 83, BYU 79--No. 19 New Orleans, a question-mark team because of its weak schedule, let a 14-point lead slip away and then rallied to beat Brigham Young.
New Orleans (26-3) had climbed to a 58-44 lead with 14:35 remaining in the game, but 10 minutes later the Cougars (21-11) were in front, 75-72. New Orleans rallied as BYU scored only two points in the next four minutes.
Ledell Eackles paced New Orleans with 25 points.
BYU got 25 from Jeff Chatman, who fouled out with 2:59 to play.
Alabama 88, North Carolina A&T 71--Derrick McKey scored 29 and Jim Farmer added 25 as No. 9 Alabama advanced to a second-round game against New Orleans.
That game will match long-time friends Wimp Sanderson and Dees in a coaching duel. Dees was Sanderson's assistant before moving to New Orleans last year.
This was the sixth straight year that North Carolina A&T had made the NCAA tournament and the sixth straight time they had lost in the opening round. North Carolina A&T has lost more NCAA tournament games without winning one than any other team in history.
The Aggies finished 24-6. The Tide is 27-4.
Indiana 92, Fairfield 58--No. 2 Indiana, the top-seeded team in the Midwest Regional, rolled to an easy victory over Fairfield at the Hoosierdome in Indianapolis, avoiding the kind of embarrassment it suffered last year when it lost a first-round game to Cleveland State.
Indiana will take a 25-4 record into its game Saturday against Auburn, 18-12 after beating San Diego Thursday afternoon. Indiana's evening game was played before a crowd of 29,610, the largest ever for a first-round NCAA tournament game.
Xavier 70, Missouri 69----Byron Larkin scored 29 points to lead Xavier of Ohio to an upset of No. 14-ranked Missouri.
Xavier pulled off the first upset of the NCAA tournament by catching the Tigers when they were flat. How flat were they? "As flat as a three-week-old open beer," according to Missouri Coach Norm Stewart.
Xavier advanced to a second-round game against No. 17 Duke Saturday.
Larkin made two free throws with 31 seconds to play to give the Musketeers a 70-66 lead. Missouri's Lynn Hardy made a three-point shot with 14 seconds to play, but Xavier ran out the final frantic seconds.
Xavier, now 19-12, ended Missouri's streak at nine games. Missouri finished with a 24-10 record.
Duke 58, Texas A&M 51--Texas A&M, the surprise winner of the Southwest Conference tournament after finishing eighth in the nine-team standings, gave Duke a pretty good run before losing in its first NCAA tournament appearance in eight years.
Kevin Strickland scored 20 points to lead the Blue Devils, while Winston Crite led the Aggies with 13 points.
Texas A&M (17-14) scored just six points in the final six minutes while Kevin Strickland and Robert Brickley each sank free throws in the final 66 seconds to secure the victory.
TCU 76, Marshall 60--Texas Christian's Carven Holcombe, who decided not to tell Coach Jim Killingsworth that he had a bad case of the flu and stomach cramps, scored a season-high 30 points, hitting 14 of 17 shots, to lead the Horned Frogs in first round of the East Regional at Charlotte, N.C.
The No. 16 Horned Frogs, as a team, shot 64%.
TCU (24-6) was the regular-season champion of the Southwest Conference. Marshall (25-6) had won 20 of its last 21, including five straight.
Notre Dame 84, Middle Tenn. St. 71--David Rivers had a career-high 27 points, with 12 during the final five minutes, to lead Notre Dame.