Omaha, NE (WWBT)- Norfolk State and Lehigh both made history on Friday, becoming the first two 15 seeds to win NCAA Tournament games in the same round. Only four 15 seeds had won in tournament history before, and in order to advance, both squads would have to do something that had never been done before, as no team of that standing had ever advanced to the Sweet 16. By the end of play on Sunday, both teams were headed home on the losing ends of their third round contests.
Norfolk State fell to Florida, 84-50, while Lehigh fell to Xavier, 70-58. Norfolk State was never really in the game, as the Gators used a 25-0 run in the first half to go ahead 29-6, pretty much slamming the door on the Spartans' upset hopes. Five Gators scored in double-figures and they have now won their two tournament games by an average of 30 points, after a 71-45 blowout of Virginia to open up play on Friday. Norfolk State's hero from Friday, Kyle O'Quinn, who tallied 26 points and 14 rebounds in the Spartans' win over Missouri, was held to just four points on 1-of-9 shooting and three rebounds.
Lehigh also lost, but kept the game close for most of the way. The Mountain Hawks led Xavier, 37-33 at the break, and not until the final eight minutes of the game did the Musketeers start to pull away. Three Lehigh players scored in double figures in the losing cause. Xavier's Kenny Frease led the way with a double-double of 25 points and 12 boards.
The Sweet 16 will get underway on Thursday. With Norfolk State's loss, no teams from the state of Virginia remain in the tournament.