DAYTON, Ohio — Tyrone Garland led La Salle’s guard-driven offense with 22 points, and the Explorers wrapped up the NCAA tournament’s First Four by getting the better of an old-fashioned shootout, beating Boise State 80-71 on Wednesday night.
The 13th-seeded Explorers (22-9) play fourth-seeded Kansas State on Friday in Kansas City.
Ramon Galloway, one of the Atlantic 10’s top scorers, added 21 points in a fast-paced offense that did pretty much whatever it wanted. The Explorers shot a season-high 63 percent from the field — 16 of 22 in the second half.
Garland went 9 of 11 from the field — his best shooting game of the season — and the Explorers were 11 of 21 behind the arc.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Garland said. “When I came here, coach (John Giannini) told me I could help him win games and get him to the next step.”
Thirteenth-seeded Boise State (21-11) got its first at-large bid and was looking for the first NCAA tournament win in its history. The Broncos were up to it in a game of top-this shooting, falling to 0-6 in the tournament.
Anthony Drmic had a game-high 28 points for the Broncos, who shot 49 percent but trailed most of the way.
La Salle is back in the tournament for the first time since 1992.
Giannini led the Explorers to back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1988-90. His first coaching appearance in the NCAA tournament completed the rebuilding and came 59 years after La Salle beat Bradley 92-76 for the 1954 NCAA title — in Kansas City, no less.