KANSAS CITY, Mo. John Giannini kept calling timeouts as La Salle's big lead kept slipping away, an 18-point halftime advantage wiped out by fourth-ranked Kansas State's frantic comeback.
The coach's message every time was simple: Keep playing defense. The Explorers finally answered his challenge.
Jerrell Wright made three foul shots in the final half-minute, and the No. 13 seed buckled down on defense in the closing minutes, allowing La Salle to polish off a 63-61 upset win Friday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
"Every timeout, every time we came in, he was riding us on defense," said Ramon Galloway, who had 19 points for La Salle.
Wright, who scored a game-high 21 points, made his first two clutch free throws to give La Salle a 62-61 lead with 30 seconds left. Jordan Henriquez missed in the paint at the other end, and then Wright made the first of two more foul shots with 9.6 seconds to go.
The Wildcats raced down court, looking for a tying basket, but guard Angel Rodriguez got hung up in the corner near the K-State bench. His off-balance shot over the corner of the backboard missed everything, deflating the partisan crowd.
Mississippi 57, Wisconsin 46 in Kansas City, Mo. Marshall Henderson shook out of a shooting slump and scored 17 points in the second half, leading 12th-seeded Mississippi past No. 5 seed Wisconsin.
For the cold-shooting Badgers, the upset loss snapped a string of six straight first-game victories. Mississippi trailed 25-22 at halftime, and Henderson, who led the Southeastern Conference with 20 points a game, had only two points on 1-for-11 shooting.
But the flamboyant and outspoken guard found his touch just in time for the Rebels. His back-to-back three-pointers tied it 36-36, and his layup and two free throws in the final minute sealed the win.
Iowa State 76, Notre Dame 58 in Dayton, Ohio Freshman forward Georges Niang matched a season high with 19 points and Iowa State showed there's not just 3-pointers in its arsenal.
The Cyclones led the nation in threes this season, but with Niang posting up down low, Iowa State was just as effective from short range in ousting the Fighting Irish.
Melvin Ejim added 17 points for Iowa State, which shot better than 70 percent for much of the second half.
Ohio State 95, Iona 70 in Dayton, Ohio Sam Thompson reached back with his right hand, snared the slightly off-target pass and dunked it in one forceful motion, providing Ohio State with its grandest slam. And far from the only one.
Thompson had career highs with 20 points and 10 rebounds, part of a dominating performance by Ohio State's high-flying front line.