Notre Dame's pace was off. The Irish were overanxious at the beginning of their NCAA opener, knowing that as a second seed they were expected to win against Akron.
Leading the scrappy Zips (23-13) by four at the break, the Irish scored the first nine points of the second half to build a larger lead in a 69-56 victory Friday in the second round of the Southwest Regional in Chicago.
"It took us a long time to kind of calm down. I'm glad the halftime was 20 minutes because we needed all of it just to kind of ratchet our blood pressure down a little bit," coach Mike Brey said. "We were better in the second half because our tempo was better."
Ben Hansbrough, whom Brey said was playing too fast in the first 20 minutes, finished with 15 points. Tim Abromaitis added 14, Scott Martin pitched in nine of his 11 points in the second half and Carleton Scott tied his high with 14 rebounds.
Next up for the Irish (27-6) is Sunday's matchup against Florida State (22-10).
Martin -- a transfer from Purdue who sat out two seasons, one after blowing out his knee -- was a key in the second half, scoring six early points.
"I think the great thing about it is that we played bad in the first half and we got better," Martin said. "Something we can take away from it is that we improved in the game and now we're back to where we should be and hopefully it will continue from here."
Florida State 57, Texas A&M 50: Derwin Kitchen had 15 points as 10th-seeded FSU won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in 13 years.
Bernard James added 10 points, keying a go-ahead run in the second half, and the Seminoles (22-10) advanced even though Chris Singleton struggled in his return from a broken right foot, finishing with five points and four fouls.
The nation's leader in field-goal defense, the Seminoles held Texas A&M (24-9) to 31.4-percent shooting.
Kansas 72, Boston U. 53: Marcus (16) and Markieff Morris totaled 31 points as the Jayhawks found their shooting touch in the second half in Tulsa, Okla. Kansas (33-2) led just 33-29 at halftime and shot 42 percent. But the Jayhawks hit 62 percent in the second.
John Holland led Boston (21-14) with 19 points. BU had won 11 straight.
Purdue 65, St. Peter's 43: E'Twaun Moore scored 19 points and JuJuan Johnson added 16 with 16 rebounds for third-seeded Purdue in Chicago. The Boilermakers (26-7) will face the Georgetown-VCU winner on Sunday.
Jeron Belin scored 12 points to lead the Peacocks (20-14), who shot only 29 percent.
Illinois 73, UNLV 62: Mike Davis tied his season high with 22 points, Demetri McCamey added 17 points and seven assists for the ninth-seeded Illini (20-13) in Tulsa. Next up for Illinois is a Sunday night clash against No. 1 seed Kansas.-- AP