DES MOINES, Iowa — Minnesota found its elusive 3-point stroke just in time to give Coach Richard Pitino the NCAA Tournament win he’d been seeking for years.

The 10th-seeded Gophers won their first NCAA tournament game in six seasons behind 24 points from freshman Gale Kalscheur, who helped Minnesota roll past Louisville 86-76 in the opening round of the East Region on Thursday.

The win for Pitino came against school that fired his father. Rick Pitino coached the Cardinals for 16 seasons before his 2017 dismissal.

“This wasn’t about getting the win for Coach Pitino. It was about getting the win for us in general and advancing to the next round,” said Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy, who scored 18 points. “That’s what makes him happy, and that’s what makes us happy.”

Amir Coffey also had 18 points for Minnesota (22-13), which knocked down 11 3s despite entering play ranked 344th nationally in made 3s per game.

FLORIDA STATE 76, VERMONT 69: Mfiondu Kabengele had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Florida State held off a barrage of 3-pointers from 13th-seeded Vermont in a victory at Hartford, Connecticut, in the opening round of the West Regional.

Terance Mann added 19 points for the fourth-seeded Seminoles (28-7), who were tied with the Catamounts at halftime but pulled away late.

Anthony Lamb had 16 points to lead a balanced, long-range attack for America East champ Vermont (27-7), which lost for the first time in seven games. Three Catamounts finished with 15 points.

VILLANOVA 61, ST. MARY’S 57: Phil Booth scored 20 points, fellow senior Eric Paschell added 14 and the defending champion Wildcats held on for a win over the Gaels (22-12) at Hartford, Connecticut, in the first round of the South Region.

LSU 79, YALE 74: Skylar Mays hit four free throws in the final 15 seconds to help embattled LSU slip past 14th-seeded Yale at Jacksonville, Florida, in the opening round of the East Regional.

Mays scored 19 points but sealed the game from the charity stripe, and the Tigers (27-6) needed each one of his free throws.

Yale (22-8) hit four 3-pointers in the final minute and whittled an 18-point deficit to three in the closing seconds.

GONZAGA 87, FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON 49: Rui Hachimura led the Bulldogs (31-3) with 21 points and eight rebounds in beating the Knights (21-14) in the opening round of the West Regional at Salt Lake City.

FLORIDA 70, NEVADA 61: Kevarrius Hayes scored 16 points, Jalen Hudson added 15 and the Gators (20-1) beat the Wolf Pack (29-5) in a West Regional opener at Des Moines, Iowa.

KENTUCKY 79, ABILENE CHRISTIAN 44: Keldon Johnson scored 25 points in a huge mismatch that was over by halftime, and the Wildcats routed Abilene Christian at Jacksonville, Florida.

MARYLAND 79, BELMONT 77: Darryl Morsell made a crucial defensive stop as Belmont went for a last-second upset, allowing the Terrapins (23-10) to escape in the East Regional at Jacksonville, Florida.

Maryland was clinging to a one-point lead and the shot clock was off as Belmont (26-6) had a chance to win it at the buzzer. The Bruins didn’t bother calling a timeout to set up a play; they knew what they wanted to do – a backdoor pass to Windler. But Morsell anticipated the pass and stepped in front of Windler to pick intercept the pass while the Belmont star tumbled to the court.

AUBURN 78, NEW MEXICO STATE 77: After a teammate passed up an open layup that could have tied the game, New Mexico State’s Terrell Brown was fouled behind the arc and missed 2 of 3 free throws as the Aggies dropped a heartbreaker to Auburn in the Midwest Region at Salt Lake City.
The Aggies (30-5) were trailing 78-76 when guard A.J. Harris had his defender beat and looked to be headed to the glass for the tying bucket. He instead lobbed out to Brown, who was spotted up at the elbow for a possible game-winner. Brown missed but was fouled with 1.1 seconds left.
With Auburn’s J’von McCormick grabbing his throat as Harris toed the line, Brown missed the first, made the second, then watched the third one rim out.

MICHIGAN STATE 76, BRADLEY 65: Cassius Winston scored 26 points and the Spartans held off Bradley in the East Regional at Des Moines, Iowa.
Xavier Tillman had 16 points with 11 boards for the Spartans.

KANSAS 87, NORTHEASTERN 54: Dedric Lawson had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and the Jayhawks crushed the Huskies in the Midwest Regional at Salt Lake City.

NOTES

DUKE: The top-seeded Blue Devils will have 6-foot-11 center Marques Bolden back for their tournament opener against North Dakota State, but will be minus forward Jack White.

Blue Devils Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Bolden, who missed the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament with a sprained ankle, has practiced and should be ready to go. However, the coach said White hurt a hamstring in the ACC championship game and will not play against the Bison.

WASHINGTON: The school rewarded Coach Mike Hopkins for getting the Huskies back to the tournament by giving him a contract extension through the 2025 season.

The ninth-seeded Huskies open Friday against No. 8 seed Utah State. It’s Washington’s first tournament appearance since 2011.