The nation’s highest-scoring team found out what it felt like to get overrun at the worst possible time.
UCLA was trampled in the second half Friday night, its star freshmen unable to keep pace with their Kentucky counterparts. Now the Wildcats will move on while at least two Bruins may play their next games in the NBA.
The third-seeded Bruins were no match for the second-seeded Wildcats in a rematch between the teams, an 86-75 setback in an NCAA tournament South Regional semifinal ending their season far short of the intended destination.
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.