Mount St. Mary's wanted to play fast. Albany wanted to be methodical. And when the contrasting styles clashed in the First Four of the NCAA tournament, Mount St. Mary's coach Jamion Christian knew what the result would look like.

"Mayhem," the second-year coach said.

And what an appropriate way to kick off three weeks of March Madness. Albany (19-14) won 71-64, surviving an entertaining game of extreme runs Tuesday to earn the right to play Florida, the tournament's top overall seed, in Orlando on Thursday. The Gators have not lost since UConn beat them on a buzzer-beater Dec. 2.

Mount St. Mary's (16-17) had two chances to tie the game with its trademark shot — the three-pointer — in the game's final minute, but both were errant. Rashad Whack's contested three-pointer with about 40 seconds to play was tantalizingly close to falling through the net.

It made for a dramatic ending to a game at University of Dayton Arena that looked like it was over just a few minutes into action. Albany opened the game by unleashing a 21-2 run to seemingly seize control. But Mount St. Mary's immediately responded with a symmetrical rebuttal: a 21-2 run.