DAYTON, Ohio — Luguentz Dort overcame a hard foul and a leg injury en route to scoring 21 points Wednesday for Arizona State in a long-awaited N.C.A.A. tournament victory in Dayton, Ohio.
The 11th-seeded Sun Devils (23- 10) beat St. John’s, 74-65, and will play Buffalo on Friday in the West Region.
Arizona State earned its first N.C.A.A. win in 10 years and the Pac-12’s first tournament win in two years.
The Pac-12 was 0-3 in the tournament last season, with two teams — Arizona State and U.C.L.A. — falling in the First Four. Arizona then got knocked out in the round of 64. The Pac-12 got three teams in again this year, with Oregon and Washington joining the Sun Devils.
St. John’s (21-13) was the last team picked for the tournament, sneaking in despite a late-season fade. The Red Storm wound up one of the first ones out as well.
Shamorie Ponds scored 25 points for St. John’s, which hasn’t won an N.C.A.A. tournament game since 2000. The Red Storm never led on Wednesday.
Arizona State’s physical defense brought the Red Storm to a halt. St. John’s missed 17 of its first 23 shots as the Sun Devils built an 18-point lead. A technical foul on coach Bobby Hurley as he argued over a blocking foul with 25 seconds left in the half helped St. John’s trim the deficit to 38-25.
Ponds had a steal and dunk as St. John’s cut the lead to 40-33 early in the second half while Dort was on the bench getting his lower right leg treated. The freshman guard landed hard after extending for a rebound and getting fouled. Mustapha Heron was called for a flagrant foul.
N.D. STATE 78, N.C. CENTRAL 74 Tyson Ward scored 23 points as North Dakota State (19-15) advanced to a first-round game against Duke, the top-seeded team in the East Region, on Friday in Columbia, S.C.
It was the second N.C.A.A. tournament win for the Bison, who upset Oklahoma in the opening round in 2014.
“Earlier in the year, when teams made a run, they were athletic and pressured like that, we kind of crumbled,” said Vinnie Shahid, who had 14 points. “As you can see, we’ve grown up a little bit.”
N.C. Central (18-16) squandered an outstanding night by senior center Raasean Davis, who scored 20 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, as the Eagles lost a First Four game for the third consecutive year.
SYRACUSE SUSPENSION Syracuse senior guard Frank Howard is out “for an indefinite period of time” for violating school policy and will miss Thursday’s game against Baylor. Howard, averaged 8.9 points and 2.0 assists in an up-and-down season, and drew attention in the A.C.C. tournament when he appeared to stick his foot out as Duke star Zion Williamson ran by.