Pittsburgh • Reserve James Southerland had 15 points and a season-high eight rebounds and Syracuse avoided becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 when it rallied for a 72-65 victory over UNC-Asheville on Thursday in the East Regional.
The Orange entered the tournament without starting center Fab Melo, who was declared ineligible for academic reasons, and they almost left early with a piece of history no team wants.
Syracuse (32-2) will play eighth-seeded Kansas State in the third round on Saturday at the Consol Energy Center. The Wildcats beat Southern Mississippi 70-64.
The Orange overcame a terrible game from 3-point range (5 of 23) to beat the much-smaller Bulldogs (24-10), who had talked Wednesday of becoming the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1.
J.P. Primm had 18 points for UNC-Asheville.