Schools competing in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off remained perfect in this week’s post-season play as Florida State and Iowa State netted NCAA tournament wins Thursday to advance to Saturday’s rounds against Xavier and Purdue, respectively.
After 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off participants Boise State (Mountain West Conference, 20-11) and Illinois State (Missouri Valley, 28-6) posted NIT wins Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, South Carolina (Southeastern, 22-10) will be seeking to improve the San Juan field’s record to 5-0 Friday.
Making its first NCAA appearance since the 2004 season, the seventh-seeded Gamecocks will play Friday in Greenville, S. C., against 10th-seeded Marquette of the Big East in an East Region contest. The USC-Marquette winner will challenge either Duke or Troy Sunday.
Seeded third in the West Region, Florida State (Atlantic Coast Conference, 26-8) held off 14th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast of the Atlantic Sun 86-80 as sophomore Dwayne Bacon scored 25 points and freshman Jonathan Isaac added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Seminoles in Orlando.
With the Seminoles making their first appearance since 2012 in the NCAAs, Florida State will play 11th-seeded Xavier Saturday in Orlando. The 22-13 Musketeers of the Big East captured the 2016 Tire Pros Invitational when the event was held this past November at the HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
With a lineup dominated by seniors, junior Donavan Jackson was one of five Iowa State player to score in double figures as the fifth-seeded Cyclones posted an 84-73 win over Nevada of the Mountain West Thursday in Milwaukee.
With Jackson coming off the bench to score 12 points and not missing a shot in four field goal and four free throw attempts against Nevada, Iowa State (24-10) will try for its third “Sweet 16” appearance in four years when it takes on fourth-seeded Purdue (26-7) of the Big Ten Saturday.
The 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off is scheduled for November 16, 17 and 19 in San Juan. Other schools competing in the three-day, 12-game bracketed in-season tournament will be Tulsa (American Athletic, 15-17), UTEP (Conference USA, 15-17) and Western Michigan (Mid-American, 16-16).