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.