Trayce Jackson-Davis did it all with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five blocked shots and five assists as 13th-ranked Indiana defeated Kent State 71-60 Friday night to reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016.
The fourth-seeded Hoosiers (23-11) advanced to play fifth-seeded Miami on Sunday in a trip to Kansas City in the Midwest Region semifinals.
Jackson-Davis became the first player since blocks became an official NCAA statistic in 1985-86 to have at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and five assists in an NCAA Championship game, according to OptaSTATS.
The last 32 games of the first round were played in front of a crowd of mostly Indiana fans and their team pulled off a drama-free win to cap off what was already a good day. Earlier, the Hoosiers’ in-state rival, Purdue, became the second No. 1 seed in tournament history to lose to a No. 16 seed when Fairleigh Dickinson pulled off a win in Columbus, Ohio.
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Mid-American Conference champs from Kent State couldn’t muster such magic, shooting 32% from the field. Sincere Curry scored 15 points to lead the Golden Flashes (28-7), who won six straight points in the tournament.
After midnight, Jackson-Davis gave MVP Arena a jolt with an amazing six straight points in the second half. He started running with a one-handed dunk, and flew down the fairway. It was a smooth base drive after that, followed by a spinning throw to make it 62-50 with 7:39 left.
Race Thompson had a season-high 20 points for the Hoosiers on 8-of-11 shooting.
The Hoosiers had a 35-27 halftime lead as Thompson took advantage of a hard-working Kent State defense to limit Jackson-Davis. Thompson scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON turbulently atop the seed, becoming the twelfth No. 1 hit. 1 in the history of March Madness
Meanwhile, Jackson-Davis showed his presence even more with 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks, including a SWAT chase off a layup by Jalen Sullinger in the closing seconds of the half.
The Big Picture
Kent State: Their last NCAA victory was in 2002 when the Golden Flashes made a surprise run to the Elite Eight before being eliminated by Indiana.
Indiana: The Hoosiers played a quiet night off star Jalen Hood Scheveno, who scored eight points while dealing with a foul problem.
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Indiana: The Hoosiers have played the Hurricanes once, losing 58-53 in Miami in December 2001.
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