All went as expected for Kentucky, Illinois and Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Southeast regional, but today was anything but normal for Nebraska.
Top-seeded Kentucky ran away from Davidson with a 12-0 spurt in the first half to win, 75-55, in front of 11,666 in the Charlotte Coliseum.
Just prior to that, the Cornhuskers played the first NCAA tournament game in the school's history and, after losing, 67-59, to Western Kentucky, they listened to Coach Moe Iba tell them he was quitting.
"I've resigned as coach at the University of Nebraska in order to pursue another head coaching job," Iba said at a news conference with the same calm voice he used describing his team's loss. "The resignation was effective right after the ball game."
This was Iba's sixth season in Lincoln and 10th as a head coach. His record at Nebraska was 107-70, and the Cornhuskers had gone to the NIT the past three years.
It was not known immediately where Iba was considering going or who would replace him.
Western Kentucky (23-7) will face Kentucky in Sunday's second round. The only time the teams have met was in the second round of the 1971 NCAA tournament, with Kentucky winning, 107-83.
Illinois (22-9) advanced with a 75-51 victory over Fairfield (24-7) as the taller, stronger Illini wore down the thin -- physically and numerically -- Stags. Alabama (23-8) will be the Illini's opponent, after the Crimson Tide beat Xavier (25-5), 97-80.
Davidson was leading Kentucky, 20-17, with 10:08 left, but then went scoreless for 5 1/2 minutes as Kentucky (30-3) scored 12 points.
All-America Kenny Walker led all scorers with 20 points and had seven rebounds.
Kentucky had huge advantages in two key areas. Kentucky outrebounded Davidson, 39-19, including a 14-5 edge in offensive rebounds, and Kentucky made 21 of 32 free throws, while Davidson made seven of eight.
For Illinois, Anthony Welch scored 16 in the first half en route to a team-high 22. Jeff Gromos, who led Fairfield with 16 points, made two free throws to cut the Illinois lead to 42-36 with 12:47 to play, but that was it.
The Illini are strong up front, with Winters (6 feet 9, 235 pounds) and Welch (6-9, 200) at the forwards and Ken Norman (6-8, 215) at center. Scott Meents (6-10, 230) comes off the bench.
"We didn't get any second shots," said Fairfield Coach Mitch Buonagura, whose team had just two individual offensive rebounds. "They just wiped the glass clean."
Alabama forward Buck Johnson and center Derrick McKey were hampered by foul trouble today, but they still scored 22 and 16 points, respectively. And, in light of the foul situation that limited Johnson to 32 minutes and McKey to 25, swing man Jim Farmer came through with 24 points, some inside and some outside.
"On our front line, we have a problem with depth," Coach Wimp Sanderson said. "Foul trouble for us is two fouls. We usually go man-to-man, but if one of those guys gets two, either they're coming out or we're going to zone. In that situation, I elected to go to a zone."
The Musketeers -- or the Muskies as they often are called -- never led, but they did make it interesting for a bit in the second half, which started with Alabama ahead, 39-33.
Eddie Johnson scored twice and Richie Harris, who led Xavier with 24 points, scored to cut the Alabama lead to 49-45 with 15:07 left. But Johnson hit a jumper in the lane eight seconds after an Alabama timeout, and 30 seconds later fed Farmer for a basket, for a 53-45 lead. Farmer's three-point play with 7:30 left gave Alabama a 76-61 lead.
"We just couldn't stop them," Xavier Coach Pete Gillen said. "We couldn't do it with man-to-man, we couldn't do it with zone and we couldn't press them."