PORTLAND, Ore.(CBS sports.com) -- Bradford Burgess hit a key 3-pointer with 1:33 left and Shaka Smart coached VCU to another tournament surprise, holding off Wichita State 62-59 in the South Regional on Thursday.
The 12th-seeded Rams (29-6) led by as many as 13 in the second half, but the Shockers closed to 54-53 on Garrett Stutz's layup with 5:39 left. Troy Daniels hit a 3-pointer for the Rams, and Joe Ragland answered with his own for Wichita State.
Toure Murry made a 3 that gave Wichita State the lead, but Burgess came back with his big shot to give the Rams a 60-59 edge. Darius Theus' runner from about six feet provided the final margin.
Stutz's long jumper just before the buzzer was off for fifth-seeded Wichita State (26-6). Ragland finished with 15 points after getting off to a slow start.
Burgess finished with 16 points, and Theus and Daniels had 10 points apiece for the Rams, who beat Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas in the tournament last year, becoming just the third No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four. The run ended when they lost to Butler in Houston.
Virginia Commonwealth earned a second straight tournament berth by edging Drexel 59-56 in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament this season.
Wichita State was ranked No. 18 in the final The Associated Press poll. The Shockers won the regular-season title in the Missouri Valley Conference, but lost to Illinois State in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
It was the first NCAA tournament appearance for Wichita State since 2006, when it advanced to the regional semifinals.
There were lots of missed shots on both sides early, but Rob Brandenberg hit a 3-pointer to put VCU in front 17-13 midway through the first half.
Wichita State put together an 11-0 run to make it 24-21 with 5:27 left. Carl Hall capped the surge with a layup.
Treveon Graham broke the VCU scoring drought with a jumper and Burgess added a 3-pointer, sparking a 13-1 run that lifted the Rams to a 34-25 lead at the break.
PITTSBURGH -- Syracuse was missing its starting center. UNC-Asheville thought the Orange got help from three men in striped shirts.
With Syracuse facing the kind of NCAA tournament history no team wants to make, the top-seeded Orange rallied for a 72-65 victory Thursday in the second round of the East Regional.
Two calls by the officials had the sellout crowd of 18,927 at Concol Energy Center -- except for those wearing orange -- booing throughout the final minute but it didn't matter.
Syracuse made it 109-0 for No. 1 seeds against No. 16s since the NCAA went to a field of 64 in 1985.
"I don't think luck had anything to do with this game today," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said, "and I think the better team won."
Conneticut-40 vs.Ohio State-53
New Mexico State-28 vs.Indiana-35
Loyola- Maryland-31 vs.Ohio State-42
Colorado State-41 vs.Murray State-58
Southern Miss-64 vs. Kansas State-70
Davidson-62 vs. Louisville-69
Montana-49 vs. Wisconsin-73
Brigham Young-68 vs. Marquette-88
NC Asheville-65 vs. Syracuse-72
Long Beach State-68 vs. New Mexico-75
Harvard-70 vs. Vanderbilt-79
Western Kentucky-66 vs. Kentucky-81
Virginia Commonwealth-62 vs. Wichita State-59
West Virginia-54 vs. Gonzaga-77
South Dakota State-60 vs. Baylor-68