BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Devante Carter made two free throws with 8.6 seconds remaining and Norfolk State held on to beat Appalachian State 54-53 on Thursday night in the First Four after blowing an 18-point second-half lead.
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Spartans completed a sweep by historically Black colleges and universities on the first day of NCAA Tournament play, joining Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Texas Southern, which beat Mount St. Mary's. Norfolk State advanced to face top overall seed Gonzaga on Saturday.
Beating the powerful Bulldogs will require big-time shooting improvement from the Spartans, who won despite making just 26% in the second half and hitting 35% overall. But they made clutch baskets down the stretch and against the nation's top team.