Joel Berry II scored 26 points and Justin Jackson added 24 as top-seeded North Carolina moved to the Elite Eight with a 92-80 victory over Butler in the NCAA South Region on Friday night.
Luke Maye recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, helping fuel a quick start for Carolina (30-7). The Tar Heels never let their lead get under double digits in the second half.
Andrew Chrabascz led the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (25-9) with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Kelan Martin finished with 16 points for Butler, which struggled shooting early and did not recover.
Trevon Bluiett scored 25 points, Sean O'Mara scored inside with 40 seconds left and No. 11 seed Xavier upset No. 2-seeded Arizona, 73-71, in a West Regional semifinal on Thursday night.
Xavier (30-13) stayed with the second-seeded Wildcats behind Bluiett's 18 first-half points and tracked down the Wildcats after they tried to pull away in the second half. O'Mara scored on a power move inside, but missed a free throw to give Arizona (32-5) a final chance.
Allonzo Trier missed a three-pointer in the closing seconds and Xavier was able to dribble out the clock, earning its first trip to the Elite Eight since 2008.
No team left in the tournament provides the raw, visceral viewing experience that Kansas does.
Witness: In the second half of Jayhawks’ 98-66 victory over Purdue, Lagerald Vick swiped the ball, tooled away, spun 360 degrees in the air and slammed the ball hard — a dunk contest move in the middle of a regional semifinal game.
“I lost my mind,” forward Josh Jackson said. “I forgot I was out there playing for a minute.”
Jordan Mathews made the go-ahead three-pointer with less than a minute to play as top-seeded Gonzaga survived a rough shooting night for both teams to beat No. 4-seeded West Virginia, 61-58, on Thursday night to advance to the West Regional final.
On a night that featured 51 fouls and only 34 made baskets, Mathews delivered the big shot that sent the Bulldogs (35-1) to their third Elite Eight in school history.
The celebrating started with just less than three minutes to play, Bryce Alford holding his hands high and wriggling his fingers to coax cheers from roaring UCLA fans.
The Bruins are headed back to the NCAA tournament’s second weekend.
It took some gutsy play from Alford and teammate TJ Leaf, who shrugged off a horrid first half to help power third-seeded UCLA to a 79-67 victory over sixth-seeded Cincinnati in an NCAA tournament second-round game Sunday evening at the Golden 1 Center.
South Carolina is heading to Madison Square Garden — and not for the NIT.
A Gamecocks program known largely — and mocked often by some — for its back-to-back NIT championships in 2005 and 2006 is now heading to the world's most famous arena as part of the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16.
They are making their first appearance in the regional semifinals since the bracket expanded after an 88-81 victory Sunday night over No. 2-seeded Duke in the East Regional.
Once the game ended and Oregon had narrowly advanced with a hard-fought NCAA tournament win, Tyler Dorsey considered his two missed free throws with 3:36 left and how there might have been no celebrations at all.
Instead, Dorsey delivered two clutch three-pointers to send the Ducks back to the Sweet Sixteen for a second straight year and third in five years.
Dorsey hit a contested go-ahead three-pointer from the top of the arc with 38.4 seconds left, then E.C. Matthews airballed a long three-pointer in the waning moments trying to force overtime, and third-seeded Oregon rallied in the second half to beat upstart No. 11 Rhode Island 75-72 on Sunday and reach the Midwest Regional.