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March Madness scores and live updates: Results, bracket, Utah State vs. TCU, Grand Canyon vs. Saint Mary’s in NCAA Men’s Tournament

MEMPHIS — With nine minutes remaining in the second half, Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson took a seat on the bench and, for the first time all game, finally cracked a smile.

It didn’t last long.

“That’s four missed free throws in a row,” he groaned to his assistant coaches after an off-target attempt by redshirt freshman center Cedric Lath. His expression returned to his customary head shake, arms folded across his chest in disgust.

Despite Sampson’s (hilarious) disappointment, there will be no 16-seed dragon slayer this year. Houston waxed Longwood 86-46 on Friday night, easily advancing to the Round of 32.

The Lancers were no match for 1-seed Cougars, who turned in another dominant defensive performance, holding Longwood to 34 percent from the field and 3 for 13 on 3-pointers (23 percent), forcing 18 turnovers in the process. Longwood, the Big South tournament champions under head coach Griff Aldrich, returned to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons after finishing fifth in the conference standings at 6-10 in league play.

L.J. Cryer had 17 points, including 3-7 from 3-point range, tied for leading scorer with Damian Dunn, who chipped in 17 off the bench. All-American point guard Jamal Shead added 11 points and 9 assists. Emmanuel Sharp had 13. Most of the starters got extended rest in the second half, including forward J’Wan Roberts, who finished with 7 points and 5 rebounds. Roberts was hampered by a shin injury in the Big 12 tournament which he appeared to reaggravate in the second half, but his sitting the final 17 minutes of the game seemed more precautionary than concerning with the score well out of hand.

The win, while expected, had to be cathartic for the Cougars following a 28-point loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 championship game with the roster banged up and running on fumes. Roberts’ health will be critical to the team’s ability to make a deep run over the coming weeks, though it did receive a lift from Ramon Walker Jr., who returned from a knee injury for the first time since Feb. 19 and had one point and two boards in 14 minutes. Nine players scored for the Coogs.

The victory sets up a second-round showdown on Sunday with 9-seed Texas A&M, who put up 98 points and banged home 13 triples in a win over Nebraska earlier in the evening. Houston has advanced to at least the Sweet 16 in each of the past three seasons.

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