WASHINGTON (KDKA) – The No. 1-seeded Pitt Panthers held on to put away No. 16 UNC Asheville, 74-51 and will move on to the next round.
Ashton Gibbs led the Panthers with 26 points. Nasir Robinson had 12 points and Gary McGhee had 7 along with 11 rebounds. Travon Woodall had 5 assists.
While a No. 16 seed has never upset a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Bulldogs nipped at the heels of the Panthers throughout the first half, keeping the game within 5 points, 30-25, at the half.
The Panthers missed an opportunity to get some more breathing room, particularly when Gibbs missed a 3-point jump shot from 25 feet out with 59 seconds left in the half with 28-21 on the board.
Asheville’s Jaron Lane picked up the defensive rebound. Then Gilbert Brown committed a shooting foul which allowed the Asheville’s John Williams to pick up two free throws and close in on Pitt to make it 28-23.
But in the second half, the Panthers got their groove back, getting an 11-point lead at 14:36 with a 3-pointer from Gibbs, who made 6 out of 10 during the match-up.
Matt Dickey led Asheville with 21 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Pitt moves on to the next round to face No. 8 Butler on March 19.
Stay with KDKA for the latest developments.