9:34 p.m. — More on lane violation
Here is New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies on the late-game lane violation:
"In (official) Ray (Percone's) opinion, he felt it was something he should call at that particular part of the game. Whether it happened or not, I don't even know. ... And regardless, whether it happened or not, he called it and so it's like a foul that you don't think is a foul. Did he call the foul? Yes. If he called a foul, then it's in the score book as a foul and it exists as a foul statistically for the rest of history. So did he step in on the lane violation? Because Ray called it? Yes, he stepped in the lane. And it will be engraved in the NCAA stats forever. So it doesn't matter whether it happened or not."
Menzies went bonkers when the final horn sounded and had to be restrained by his assistant coaches from going after the officials.
Here's a tweet from CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis: Bottom line: Lane violation call on McKines was correct. He stepped on Summers's lane space before FT was released.
And earlier from Davis: Been watching end of Mich St-NMSt game frame by frame w/ John Adams, NCAA's coor of officials, on the phone.
8:19 p.m. — WAC goes 0-for-2 in Spokane
No. 12 seed New Mexico State dropped a difficult 70-67 decision to No. 5 seed Michigan State at Spokane Arena. The Aggies, who trailed by 16 in the first half, never led by more than two points.
But NMSU had a chance late. Trailing 69-67, NMSU grabbed a missed free throw by Michigan State's Raymar Morgan. But the Aggies were whistled for a lane violation and Morgan made his extra attempt, pushing the lead to 70-67. Missed 3-pointers by Jonathan Gibson and Hernst Laroche later, and Michigan State had escaped.
The referees were booed off the court by fans at Spokane Arena.
Earlier, Texas A&M dispatched of Utah State easily, topping the Aggies 69-53.
The WAC has not won an NCAA Tournament game since 2007, going 0-4 in the last three years in the tourney. Nevada has the league's last four NCAA Tournament wins. The last non-Nevada WAC team to win a tournament game was Tulsa in 2003.
The last non-Nevada WAC team that is still a member of the league to win a NCAA game was Fresno State in 2001.
4:40 p.m. — BSU coach Greg Graham applies for Hawaii job
Boise State coach Greg Graham told the Idaho Statesman on Friday afternoon that he is interested in the vacant job at the University of Hawaii. When asked if he was interested in or had applied for the job, Graham said, "Yes." He would not elaborate.
Graham was fired earlier this month. He went 142-112 in eight seasons with the Broncos and led Boise State to three postseason appearances, including one NCAA Tournament.
The Honolulu Advertiser first reported that Graham acknowledged contacting the Warriors about their opening. Hawaii fired Bob Nash after finishing ninth in the nine-team WAC and missing the conference tournament.
The paper said seven candidates have been interviewed and now 18 additional applicants have applied for the position and Graham is one of them.
3:38 p.m. — Boilermakers say upset picks inspired them
Without injured star forward Robbie Hummel, Purdue was a popular pick to be upset in the first round. President Barack Obama even picked Siena in his bracket.
"President Obama just said he kind of felt sorry for us, just everything we been through and with this team and the adversity we face. Guys don't want people to fee sorry for us. We want to prove that we still have a lot of talent and can make a big run in this tournament," said guard Lewis Jackson.
Said Keaton Grant: "Other teams picking against you and the analysts picking against you and you got the President picking against you, so it's a different thing, but we were very aware. We just use that as motivation."
Obama did correctly pick Cornell's upset of Temple, Murray State's upset of Vanderbilt and St. Mary's upset of Richmond in the first round.
3:21 p.m. — Great support, slow start for Utah State
The Aggies' fans, as usual, have traveled to support their team, which is seeking its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2001. The Aggies have lost their first-round game in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Utah State is playing in its 11th consecutive postseason.
Utah State is off to a slow start, training Texas A&M 18-11 with 11:28 remaining in the first half.
3:01 p.m. — Boilermakers survive, advances
It wasn't always pretty for Matt Painter's Purdue Boilermakers, but they're headed to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after dispatching pesky Siena 72-64.
So much for Siena senior forward Alex Franklin. He had zero points and four rebounds in the second half.
Purdue center JaJuan Johnson had 23 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks in the win. Purdue gets the winner of Utah State-Texas A&M in the second round.
2:28 p.m. — This is why we love March
Siena looked done, down 15 to Purdue. But the Saints have pulled to within three points at 66-63 with 1:02 left. The entire arena, save for those in Purdue black and gold, is rooting for the Saints as if they spent four years at the Albany, N.Y. college.
1:55 p.m. — Defense keys Purdue rally
Purdue had clamped down on Siena in the second half, rushing out to a 56-41 lead with 11:59 remaining. The Saints have just nine second-half points. Siena has turned it over six times in the first eight minutes of the second half.
Meanwhile, Purdue — which shot 38 percent in the first half — is now up to 50 percent for the game.
Reports of the Boilermakers' demise without injured star forward Robbie Hummel (15.7 points, 6.9 rebounds per game) have been exaggerated.
1:32 p.m. — Upset alert in Spokane
No. 13 seed Siena leads No. 4 Purdue 32-29 at the half. Siena senior forward Alex Franklin had 10 points and eight rebounds in the first half, often looking like the best player on the floor.
Siena gave away a few possessions at the end of the first half. That might come back to haunt the Saints, who whipped Boise State in Boise back in 2008 — the Broncos' NCAA Tournament season.
Franklin had 30 points and 18 rebounds in the 93-70 win at Taco Bell Arena.
Siena also crushed the Broncos 82-52 in 2009 in Albany, N.Y.
Of course, Purdue started the second half on an 8-0 run, giving the Boilermakers a 37-32 edge.
12:51 p.m. — Utah State’s Morrill defends the WAC
SPOKANE, Wash. — The WAC landed two NCAA Tournament bids for the first time since 2007 and both Utah State and New Mexico State ended up at the same first- and second-round site.
No. 12 seed Utah State (27-7) will meet No. 5 Texas A&M (23-9) and No. 12 seed New Mexico State (22-11) will face No. 5 seed Michigan State (24-8) in first-round action at Spokane Arena on Friday.
New Mexico State upset Utah State in the final of the WAC Tournament last week. Utah State, which had won 17 consecutive games before the title game loss, was one of the last at-large teams in the NCAA Tournament field.
Utah State coach Stew Morrill went on the offensive when asked about the WAC on Thursday.
“Our league gets way too many bad raps. I keep hearing things that our league’s not very strong. Our league’s a top-10 league in the country out of 30-plus leagues,” Morrill said.
“We’re definitely not a big six league or a BCS league, but we got a solid basketball league. And hopefully we can go out and show that.”
The WAC ranked No. 10 out of 31 Division I leagues in 2010, according to RealTimeRPI.com.
“If you went through the schedule like we do every year, you would know it’s a good solid basketball league,” Morrill said.