Norfolk State stuns Missouri

University of Missouri Tigers guard Kim English (right) drives past Norfolk State Spartans centre...

University of Missouri Tigers guard Kim English (right) drives past Norfolk State Spartans centre Kyle O'Quinn during their NCAA men's basketball game at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska, March 16, 2012. (DAVE KAUP/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 10:01 PM ET

OMAHA - What a debut for Norfolk State in the NCAA Tournament.

Kyle O'Quinn had 26 points and 14 rebounds Friday and the Spartans stunned the second-seeded Missouri Tigers, 86-84, for an historic upset.

Norfolk State (26-9), champion of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, became only the fifth No. 15 seed to knock off a No. 2 in tournament history and the first since Hampton topped Iowa State 11 years ago.

Three of the upsets have been authored by MEAC programs. In addition to Norfolk State and Hampton, Coppin State beat South Carolina in 1997.

"Being the underdog, everybody likes to see the underdog survive. Not only survive, but win," O'Quinn said.

Later, Lehigh took down second-seeded Duke in the South Region to become the fraternity's sixth member.

O'Quinn, a senior center, had a chance to seal the win at the foul line, but the MEAC overall and defensive player of the year missed both attempts with 3.8 seconds remaining.

Missouri (30-5) secured the rebound and quickly called timeout. Following the break, the Tigers went for the win.

Phil Pressey fired a three-pointer with a defender closely guarding him, but the shot was off the mark and Missouri's remarkable season came to an all too familiar end with a loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

In 2011, 11th-seeded Missouri was beaten by Cincinnati.

Tigers coach Frank Haith explained the reasons behind his team's early exit.

"We're not very big, but we've got to be so perfect at blocking out and rebounding the ball, and this team was not tonight, and that did us in," he said. "Rebounding is what did us in, and our defense, guarding the ball, we didn't guard the ball at all."

Missouri was outrebounded 37-25, including 14-7 on the offensive glass.

The Spartans, winners of eight in a row, will now face seventh-seeded Florida in the West Region's third round on Sunday.

Pendarvis Williams and Chris McEachin scored 20 points apiece for Norfolk State, which led by as many as eight in the first half.

Michael Dixon had 22 points to pace Missouri, while Pressey and Marcus Denmon both chipped in 20.

The teams were deadlocked at 38 after 20 minutes, with the Tigers having led by no more than one, and it continued to go back-and-forth in the second half.

Pressey drained a three-pointer to put Missouri up 73-69, then made two free throws to give the Tigers their final lead at 75-74 with 5:09 remaining.

Marcos Tamares and O'Quinn both made two foul shots around a McEachin three- pointer, and the Spartans were thinking upset, ahead 81-75 with 2:17 to play.

But the Tigers, coming off last week's Big 12 Tournament title run, responded with a 6-0 surge, tying the game with 50.3 seconds to play. Denmon converted two free throws, while Dixon hit a jumper before sinking a pair of foul shots.

On Norfolk State's next possession, McEachin was too strong on a jumper, but O'Quinn secured the missed shot and was fouled on the putback. His free throw gave the Spartans an 84-81 lead with 34.9 seconds left.

After a failed three-point try by Denmon, O'Quinn went back to the foul line and made 1-of-2. Pressey then buried a pullup three and Missouri's Kim English fouled Rodney McCauley, who made his first attempt with 8.2 seconds remaining. He missed the second free throw and a battled ensued for the ball, resulting in a tie-up with the possession arrow favoring Norfolk State.

GAME NOTES

The Spartans qualified for their first NCAA Tournament after 15 years at the Division I level ... Missouri had been 7-0 on neutral floors this season ... There were 22 lead changes ... Norfolk State shot 61.5 percent in the second half, including 5-of-6 from three-point range ... Pressey dished out eight assists ... Tamares finished with 11 points.


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