March Madness: Ryan Kalkbrenner powers Creighton past NC State team that managed just 3 assists

Ryan Kalkbrenner made his presence known in the Big East this season.

On Friday, he introduced himself the NCAA tournament.

The All-Big East center and Defensive Player of the Year dominated both ends of the floor in a xx-xx Creighton win over NC State. An 11th-seeded Wolfpack team that failed to record an assist or a made 3-pointer in the first half managed to keep things close, but didn't have provide enough firepower around All-ACC guard Terquavion Smith to pull out the upset over the No. 6 seed Bluejays.

Creighton opened a 30-27 first-half lead despite shooting just 1 of 13 from 3-point distance. NC State found its stride early in the second half with a 9-0 run to take a 37-30 lead. The run included its first 3-pointer by Casey Morell on its first assist of the game from Jarkel Joiner.

But the Wolfpack's lack of ball movement persisted as they managed just three assists for the game. They finished 3 of 13 from 3-point range.

Kalkbrenner, meanwhile, took over after an 11-point first half. He finished with 31 points, seven rebounds and three blocks while shooting 11 of 14 from the floor. Smith countered with 32 points, but it wasn't enough to overcome Creighton.

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