San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Quincy Pondexter's driving bank shot with 1.7 seconds remaining lifted Washington to a thrilling 80-78 win over Marquette in an East Region first-round game of the NCAA Tournament, capping a rough day of competition for Big East teams.
Pondexter, who had 18 points, dribbled to his left, past Marquette forward Jimmy Butler and then leaned in for a double-clutch shot that fell. Lazar Hayward's heave from center court was off the mark and the Huskies (25-9) advanced to play Saturday against either third seed New Mexico or 14th-seeded Montana.
Isaiah Thomas scored 19 and Elston Turner added 14 for the No. 11 seeded Huskies, who were coming off winning the Pac-10 tourney last weekend. It's the second straight year and fourth consecutive time Washington has made it to the second round. In 2009 the Huskies beat Mississippi State before losing to Purdue in round two.
Hayward ended with 20 points and Darius Johnson-Odom tallied 19 for the sixth- seeded Golden Eagles (22-12), who blew a 15-point lead in the second half.
The Big East Conference went into the tournament with eight teams, but lost three on day one thanks to upsets and nearly a giant shocker in the afternoon. Georgetown, a No. 3 seed from the Midwest, was beaten by Ohio University, 97-83. Notre Dame, the sixth seed from the South, lost to Old Dominion, 51-50. Villanova, the second seed from the South, was on the ropes nearly the entire game before pulling out a 73-70 overtime triumph over pesky Robert Morris.