When Purdue needed him the most, when the Boilermakers were on the brink of a heartbreaking loss, Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan lived up to his nickname — over and over again.
Swanigan had 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Purdue reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in seven years with a wild 80-76 victory over Iowa State in a Midwest Regional game on Saturday night.
The Cyclones erased a 19-point deficit in the second half, taking their first lead of the game on Deonte Burton's two free throws with 3:11 left. But P.J. Thompson responded with a critical 3-pointer for the Boilermakers, and Swanigan made several huge plays in the final minutes.
For a team that puts so much energy and effort into defense, Florida's performance against Virginia was as close to perfect as possible.
Devin Robinson had 14 points and 11 rebounds, the fifth double-double of his career, and the fourth-seeded Gators handled the No. 5-seeded Cavaliers, 65-39, on Saturday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Justin Leon added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Gators (26-8), who advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the 11th time in school history and fifth in the last seven years. They will play No. 8-seeded Wisconsin in the East Regional semifinals in New York City on Friday.
The Xavier Musketeers didn't have the regular season they hoped to have. They are making up for it now.
The 11th-seeded Musketeers dominated third-seeded Florida State for a 91-66 victory during Saturday's second round of the NCAA tournament. Their second upset in the West Region put them back into the regional semifinal round for the second time in two years and eighth time in program history.
“I'm so excited for the guys next to me and the guys in the locker room. They earned it,” Xavier Coach Chris Mack said from the postgame podium. “Our team's gone through a lot of adversity this year, and we stayed the course.”
Chris Collins was right. It was goaltending all the way. The Northwestern coach was also wrong. At the worst time possible.
After not getting the call, Collins stomped onto the court and drew a technical foul with 4:54 left in Saturday's game, sucking the life out of a frenetic comeback that fell short in a 79-73 loss to top-seeded Gonzaga.
What a strange, heartbreaking way to close out the school's first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.