EditorsNote: Edit 1: Corrects spelling of Krzyzewski in second graf, other changes
Tacko Fall delivered a double-double and spearheaded a dominant defensive performance by ninth-seeded UCF on Friday night as it won its first NCAA Tournament game in school history, dumping eighth-seeded VCU 73-58 at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C.
The 7-foot-6 Fall finished with 13 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Knights (24-8), who advanced to a second-round East Region matchup with top-seeded Duke on Sunday. It will set up a coaching matchup of former Blue Devils star Johnny Dawkins against his college coach, Mike Krzyzewski.
B.J. Taylor scored 15 points to pace the balanced UCF attack, while Aubrey Dawkins added 14. The Knights sank 49.1 percent of their field goal attempts and went 9-for-14 on 3-pointers, enabling them to overcome 13 turnovers.
Malik Crowfield came off the bench to score 11 points for the Rams (25-8) and De’Riante Jenkins added 10, but went only 4 of 16 from the field. That was a theme for VCU. It converted only 19 of 61 shots from the field, including just 6 of 26 from beyond the 3-point line.
UCF led by as many as 21 in the second half before the Rams pulled within 62-55 on Jenkins’ 3-pointer with 4:56 left. But the Knights got a tip-in by Dawkins on their next possession and closed the game with an 11-3 spurt.
The teams spent the first seven minutes putting a hurting on the rims. At the first TV timeout, they were a combined 1 of 16 from the field, the one being Sean Mobley’s 3-point play 90 seconds into the game for VCU.
UCF didn’t get on the board until Terrell Allen hit a jumper at the 13:38 mark, but once it finally broke the seal, it didn’t stop. Dawkins’ 3-point play with 7:49 left gave the Knights a 22-18 advantage.
The Rams pulled even at 24 when Corey Douglas converted a jumper with 4:36 remaining, but those would be their last points for a while. UCF rattled off the final 10 points of the half, Allen making a jumper 52 seconds before intermission to give it a 34-24 lead.
—Field Level Media