AUSTIN — Andre Hollins scored 28 points and Minnesota rolled past punchless UCLA, 83-63, on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament, a game that could be Bruins freshman Shabazz Muhammad’s last in college and Coach Ben Howland’s final one leading the program.
Austin Hollins scored 16 for the 11th-seeded Gophers (21-12), who advanced to Sunday’s second round against No. 3 seed Florida in the South Region. The Gophers eased some pressure on Coach Tubby Smith by giving him his first NCAA tournament win in six seasons.
Another early-round exit by the sixth-seeded Bruins (25-10) won’t help Howland, who is facing public speculation back home about his future despite winning the Pacific-12 regular season title this year.
Muhammad, expected to leave for the NBA, led the Bruins with 20 points.
●FLORIDA 79, NORTHWESTERN STATE 47: Erik Murphy had 18 points to lead four Gators players in double figures, and Florida shut down the NCAA’s highest-scoring team.
No. 3 seed Florida (27-7) turned this one into a rout with a 19-1 run in the second half and held the 14th-seeded Demons (23-9) to their fewest points this season — 34 below their average.
Patric Young had 16 points and nine rebounds for Florida (27-7). Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin both scored 11.
DeQuan Hicks had 12 points for the Demons, who upset Iowa as the No. 14 seed in their last NCAA tournament seven years ago. They couldn’t repeat that feat against the Gators, who lost in the regional final each of the past two seasons.