Bobby Hurley - USA Today Sports Images

Oats-Hurley to tip-off against one another in NCAA tourney

Bulls, Sun Devils play Friday at 4pm in Tulsa

March 21, 2019 - 5:47 am
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DAYTON, Ohio (WBEN/AP) — A freshman guard overcame a frightful fall and helped Bobby Hurley — a two-time champion guard at Duke — get his first NCAA Tournament win as a coach.  And he'll be facing the coach who replaced him at Buffalo.

Luguentz Dort shook off knee and hip injuries from a hard fall, scored 21 points and led the Sun Devils to a long-awaited NCAA Tournament victory Wednesday night, 74-65 over St. John's in the First Four.

The 11th-seeded Sun Devils (23-10) will play Mid-American Conference champion Buffalo on Friday in the West Region, coming off their first NCAA tourney win in 10 years.

Hurley, a former coach at Buffalo, hired current Bulls coach Nate Oats, who was coaching high school basketball before coming to UB.

As for Arizona's win?  Ari "It was just great," Dort said. "At the beginning of this year we knew that we wanted to do something special."

Hurley's first NCAA Tournament win as a coach was a family affair. Brother Dan, the head coach at UConn, was on hand for support.

"We're so close, and we talk so much," Hurley said. "And I'm sure he's very familiar with our team and our players. Just getting a chance to spend time with him this afternoon a little bit — it means everything that he took the time out."

Arizona State also provided a Pac-12 breakthrough: the conference's first NCAA Tournament win in two years.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona State: Hurley won national titles with Duke in 1991-92 and has shown his team video of the Final Four when he thought it could use a boost. In his fourth season at Arizona State, he has led the Sun Devils to their first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances since 1980-81.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Arizona State is 12-16 in the tournament. The Sun Devils hadn't won since 2009, when they beat Temple before losing to Syracuse. They haven't won two games in the tournament since 1995, when they lost to Kentucky in the Sweet 16.

HAPPY RETURN

Arizona State point guard Remy Martin hurt his groin during a loss to Oregon in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. He played 23 minutes, scored six points and had three assists with six of the Sun Devils' 21 turnovers.

UP NEXT

Arizona State heads to Tulsa, where it will face Buffalo.

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