NCAA Tournament

Prather leads Gators to 71-45 win over Cavs in NCAA Tournament

With his 1.5-point scoring average, Casey Prather surely wasn’t a big part of Virginia’s scouting report on Florida.

Other teams might know who he is now.

Prather scored a career-high 14 points on a rare day Florida’s three-point shooters went cold, and the Gators routed the Cavaliers 71-45 on Friday.

“On a big stage like this, he was probably a very unlikely candidate to step up and do what he did for us tonight,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said of Prather.

Prather made six of seven shots, and his best shot came late when he dunked off Erving Walker’s alley-oop pass.

Bradley Beal, from St. Louis, added 14 points of his own, as well as 11 rebounds, for the Gators, who were just four of 23 on three-pointers.

Florida will play Norfolk State on Sunday.

Michigan State 89, LIU Brooklyn 67

Draymond Green scored 24 points as part of a triple-double, and top-seeded Michigan State fought off the upset bug that took down two No. 2 seeds on Friday.

The Spartans, 28-7, finally put away the pesky Blackbirds, 25-9, with a 14-4 run midway through the second half.

Green added 12 rebounds and 10 assists to his 24 points.

Michigan State will play Saint Louis on Sunday.

Saint Louis 61, Memphis 54

Kwamain Mitchell scored 22 points, including three big three-pointers, and Saint Louis rode its gritty defense to the victory over Memphis.

Mitchell closed the first half by banking in a three and then nailed two others that helped the Billikens, 26-7, overturn an eight-point deficit in the second half.

Brian Conklin added 16 points, including five free throws in the final minute that put the game away.