Rodney Hood scored a career-high 30 points to help Duke hold off East Carolina 83-74 in the NIT Season Tipoff in Durham, N.C.
Freshman Jabari Parker had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Devils (4-1), who survived a tougher-than-expected fight from the underdog Pirates to improve to 24-2 in the early-season tournament.
Duke led by a single point with about 7 minutes left but did enough in the final 2½ minutes to turn away East Carolina (4-1).
"The last two nights, we've played our butts off," Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "This is not about Duke not playing (well). ... Don't undersell what they did. We were ready and we played hard. I thought we brought great energy but so did they. This was a really good basketball game."
The Blue Devils advanced to next week's semifinals in New York's Madison Square Garden.
Prince Williams scored 15 for the Pirates, who shot 40 percent but helped themselves by hitting the offensive glass for a 16-3 edge in second-chance points.
No. 7 Oklahoma State 101, No. 11 Memphis 80: Marcus Smart scored a career-high 39 points and host Oklahoma State raced past Memphis in a one-sided matchup.
Smart, who bypassed the NBA Draft after last season's early exit from the NCAA Tournament, had 26 points in the first half and finished with five three-pointers.
The sophomore was 11 of 21 from the floor — easily topping his previous career high of 28 points.
Nick King had 23 points for Memphis (1-1), and Shaq Goodwin finished with 13.
No. 2 Kansas 86, Iona 66: Perry Ellis scored 21 points, freshman Joel Embiid had 16 points and 13 rebounds in a breakout performance, and Kansas used a big late run to bury visiting Iona.
Andrew Wiggins added 13 points for the Jayhawks (3-0).
No. 12 Wisconsin 103, North Dakota 85: Frank Kaminsky, a junior who became a starter this season, scored a school-record 43 points, and host Wisconsin shot a blistering 59 percent from the field to beat pesky North Dakota.
Sam Dekker added 19 for the Badgers (4-0), who overcame a career-high 37 points — 26 in the first half — from sharpshooter Troy Huff.
LSU 81, New Orleans 54: Andre Stringer scored 19 points and Jordan Mickey recorded his third consecutive double-double for host LSU.
Stringer, who missed all six of his field-goal attempts in the first half, scored all of his points after halftime. Stringer was 7-for-12 from the field in the second half. Mickey, a freshman, finished with a season-high 16 points and 11 rebounds. He also blocked three shots.
Butler 85, Vanderbilt 77 (OT): Khyle Marshall scored 16 of his career-high 26 points in the final seven minutes, leading Butler at home.
Kellen Dunham added 16 points for the Bulldogs, who led 61-47 with 7:43 left in regulation and appeared bound for an easy win.
But the Commodores (2-1) went on a 15-2 run to trim the deficit to one and took the lead when Eric McClellan completed a three-point play with 53.8 seconds to go.
Mississippi State 94, MVSU 72: Gavin Ware scored 23 points, Colin Borchert added 14 and Mississippi State (3-0) cruised past visiting Mississippi Valley State.
Ware had an efficient night for the Bulldogs, shooting 8-for-11 from the field and grabbing 11 rebounds. Mississippi State shot 52 percent (35 of 67) and had a 41-27 advantage rebounding.
Alabama 75, Georgia State 58: Trevor Releford scored 19 points to lead host Alabama in the NIT season tip-off.
Retin Obasohan added 18 points and three blocks for Alabama (3-1).
Texas A&M 75, Prairie View A&M 65: Despite an awful night of shooting from long range, host Texas A&M eased past Prairie View A&M.
The Aggies were 2-for-13 behind the three-point line, and both makes came in the final four minutes.
Morehead State 74, Northern Ky. 61: Angelo Warner scored a game-high 25 points as Morehead State pulled away late to win in Highland Heights.
The Eagles (4-1) had an early 16-3 lead, but Northern Kentucky (0-4) crawled back to take a slim lead at half.
Warner hit three free throws and a three-pointer to propel Morehead State back into the lead for good, 45-39.
Eastern Kentucky 82, Alabama A&M 68: The host Colonels built a 26-point halftime cushion but had to hold on for victory. Alabama A&M (1-3) rallied to within six points on two occasions late before the Colonels finally fought off the Bulldogs.