Villanova cruises into the championship game with a 95-79 win over Kansas
They held a national semifinal Saturday night and it was over before the second timeout.
The NCAA tournament game didn’t officially end at that point, of course, but it could have been halted for public indecency.
The score was Villanova 22, Kansas 4 before seven minutes had expired and that somehow wasn’t as bad as things got for the Jayhawks.
Top-seeded Kansas’ blueblood spilled all over the Alamodome court during a 95-79 whitewashing by the equally seeded but vastly superior Wildcats and their barrage of three-pointers.
Villanova made 18 of 40 three-pointers, nearly equaling the NCAA tournament record of 21 three-pointers set by Loyola Marymount against Michigan in 1990.
Michigan ends Loyola Chicago’s Cinderella run with 69-57 win
Porter Moser had repeatedly told his players that there was no finish line for their season, refusing to limit the improbable possibilities of an upstart team.
Loyola Chicago finally reached the end of its NCAA tournament run Saturday. It wasn’t the one the Ramblers wanted.
A magical three-week ride ended with Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt being wheeled out of the Alamodome with 99 seconds remaining in 11th-seeded Loyola’s deflating 69-57 loss to third-seeded Michigan in a national semifinal.
The mood was far more upbeat for the Wolverines. Forward Moritz Wagner got a high-five from TBS commentator Grant Hill after leaping over a pack of courtside broadcasters while pursuing a loose ball.
Wagner deserved the gesture after finishing with 24 points and 15 rebounds, carrying the Wolverines (33-7) through long stretches in which he was their only productive player.
He eventually got some help as Michigan ended the game on a 27-10 run that allowed enough breathing room for the Wolverines to insert their benchwarmers in the final seconds. Guard Charles Matthews added 17 points for Michigan, which will play either Villanova or Kansas in the championship game Monday.
Kansas needs overtime to beat Duke 85-81 and reach Final Four
Malik Newman scored all 13 of Kansas’ points in overtime, and the top-seeded Jayhawks are back in the Final Four for the first time since 2012 after beating No. 2 seed Duke 85-81 in overtime in the Midwest Region final.
The Jayhawks had failed to get out of the Elite Eight as a No. 1 seed each of the last two years. This time the Jayhawks broke through thanks to a huge performance from Newman, who scored a career-high 32 points.
Kansas will play top-seeded East Region champion Villanova in the second national semifinal next Saturday in San Antonio. Duke was trying to get to the Final Four for the first time since it won the national championship in 2015.
Newman made two free throws to tie the game, then gave the Jayhawks the lead for good at with 1:49 left. Newman scored 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half as the Jayhawks quickly erased a 36-33 halftime deficit.
Trevon Duval scored 20 points to lead Duke. Marvin Bagley III scored 16 in what probably was his last college game.
Villanova holds off Texas Tech 71-59 and gets back to the Final Four
Villanova is headed back to the Final Four.
The Wildcats will have a chance at their second national championship in three seasons, courtesy of a 71-59 win over Texas Tech in Sunday’s East regional final.
They will play the winner of Kansas and Duke in the Final Four in San Antonio.
Jalen Brunson led the Wildcats (34-4) with 15 points. Eric Paschall finished with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
Donte DiVincenzo and Mikal Bridges each added 12 points.
Villanova came into the game with 44 3-pointers for the tournament. It had four 3s in Sunday’s win, but it was their defense that stood out in this one.
The Wildcats outrebounded the Red Raiders 51-33, including grabbing 31 defensive rebounds. They also had six steals.
Keenan Evans led Texas Tech with 12 points.
Villanova led 36-23 at the half, holding the Red Raiders to a season-low for first half points. The
The Wildcats’ lead grew as high as 15 in the opening minutes of the second half and took advantage of a bevy of Texas Tech fouls, racking up 29 points at the free-throw line.
The Red Raiders (27-10) were playing in their first Elite Eight and came out on fire, notching and early 9-1 lead. They got as close as 56-51 with less than five minutes to play, but Villanova closed the game on a 15-8 run.
Elite Eight preview: A look at the East and Midwest finals
A look at the Elite Eight games on Sunday.
1 Villanova (33-4) vs. 3 Texas Tech (27-9)
Time: 11:20 a.m. TV: Ch. 2
Villanova is looking to win its second title in three seasons under coach Jay Wright, while Texas Tech is playing in the Elite Eight for the first time, in coach Chris Beard’s second season. The top-seeded Wildcats have made 44 three-pointers in the tournament so far and have 432 for the season, 11 away from a Division I record. VMI made 442 three-pointers in 2006-07. The Red Raiders’ reserves have played well in the tournament, outscoring Purdue’s reserves 33-6 in the Sweet 16.
Villanova and Texas Tech are two of the best defensive teams left in the field. Including their Big East championship win over Providence, the Wildcats have held opponents to 38% from the field, including 28% from three-point range. The Red Raiders have held tournament opponents to 66 points or fewer.
1 Kansas (30-7) vs. 2 Duke (29-7)
Time: 2 p.m. TV: Ch. 2
Kansas might feel like it is more of an underdog than the top-seeded team when it plays Duke and its talented cast of freshman, led by Marvin Bagley III. The Jayhawks have had to scratch their way to the Elite Eight, defeating Seton Hall and Clemson in their last two tournament games by four points each. The Blue Devils cruised into the Sweet 16 before a challenge by Syracuse tested them on Friday.
Although both teams have talented underclassmen, their senior point guards run the show, although each is coming off subpar performances. Devonte’ Graham, the Big 12 player of the year, made only four of 12 shots in Kansas’ 80-76 defeat of Clemson. Grayson Allen connected on only three of 14 three-pointers in a 69-65 victory over Syracuse. The Jayhawks also will rely on sophomore center Udoka Azubuike, who returned to action Friday after injuring a knee in the conference tournament.
Charles Matthews steps up for the Wolverines in regional final
The shot will be forgotten amid the shower of maize and blue confetti at Staples Center, the new Final Four T-shirts and hats Michigan players tugged on, the wide grins as they posed with the hefty trophy after beating Florida State in the West Regional final.
But Charles Matthews made certain the third-seeded Wolverines had reason to celebrate Saturday.
“You’ve got to find a way to make it happen,” he said.
That’s exactly what Matthews did.
Less than four minutes remained. The game Michigan once led by 10 points had turned into a tense, back-and-forth contest.
The Wolverines couldn’t seem to put the game out of reach in the face of ninth-seeded Florida State’s relentless, pressing defense. Michigan managed only one field goal in nearly six crucial minutes. Its lead shriveled to three points.
Then with 3 minutes 51 seconds left, Matthews drove toward the basket, spun and hit a fadeaway jump shot that looked like a move by an NBA veteran.
The redshirt sophomore, who finished with a game-high 17 points in addition to eight rebounds, finally gave Michigan room to breathe.
Michigan defeats Florida State to advance to Final Four
Duncan Robinson took a pass in the corner, rose for a three-pointer that fell through the basket and whirled around to momentarily watch his teammates commence Michigan’s celebration in earnest.
The long-range shot gave the Wolverines a 10-point cushion over Florida State on Saturday night at Staples Center, seemingly more than enough with a little more than two minutes to play.
They ended up needing every bit of it.
A flurry of missed free throws ignited a furious Seminoles rally that allowed P.J. Savoy to take what would have been a tying three-pointer with 58 seconds left.
It bounced off the rim, allowing Michigan to finally exhale after a 58-54 victory in the West Regional final.
The third-seeded Wolverines will play 11th-seeded Loyola Chicago on March 31 in a national semifinal at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Michigan (32-7) will make its eighth trip to the Final Four and first since 2013 after setting a school record for victories.
Final Four bound: No. 11 Loyola Chicago beats Kansas State 78-62
Sister Jean and the Loyola Ramblers are headed to the Final Four.
This improbable NCAA tournament just took its craziest turn yet.
Ben Richardson scored 23 points and 11th-seeded Loyola romped to a 78-62 victory over No. 9 Kansas State on Saturday night, capping a remarkable run through the bracket-busting South Region.
The Ramblers (32-5) matched the lowest-seeded team ever to reach the Final Four, joining LSU (1986), George Mason (2006) and VCU (2011). Those other three all lost in the national semifinals.
Don’t bet against Loyola, which emerged from a region that produced a staggering array of upsets. The South became the first region in tournament history to have the top four seeds — including overall No. 1 Virginia — knocked out on the opening weekend.
In the end, it was the Ramblers cutting down the nets.
And after three close calls, this one was downright easy.
“Final Four! Final Four!” the scarf-clad faithful from Chicago chanted as the final seconds ticked off.
Loyola continued to be inspired by its 98-year-old team chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, who led a prayer in the locker room before the game, then was pushed onto the court in her wheelchair to join the celebration when it was done. Joining the celebration were Jerry Harkness and other members of the Ramblers’ 1963 national championship team, which played one of the most socially significant games in college basketball history on its way to the title.
It was known as the “Game of Change,” matching the Ramblers and their mostly black roster against an all-white Mississippi State team at the height of the civil rights movement, setting up an even more significant contest three years later when Texas Western, with five African American starters, defeated Kentucky in the national championship game.
Even with a title on their resume, this performance came out of nowhere. Loyola had not made the tournament since 1985 until they broke the drought by winning the Missouri Valley Conference.
Then, as if benefiting from some sort of divine intervention, the Ramblers won their first three tournament games by a total of four points.
Finally, with the Final Four on the line, they turned in a thoroughly dominating performance.
Not the least bit intimidated, Loyola came out in attack mode right from the start against a ninth-seeded Kansas State team that rode a stifling defense to the regional final. Moving the ball just as you’d expect from a veteran squad with two seniors and two fourth-year juniors in the starting lineup, the Ramblers kept getting open looks and shot 56% in the opening half, opening up a 36-24 lead.
The Ramblers really turned it on in the second half.
Richardson swished a three-pointer as he was fouled by Kamau Stokes, winding up flat on his back while flashing a huge smile with his arms raised above his head. He knocked down the free throw to complete the four-point play, stretching the lead to 44-29.
Things went so well for the Ramblers that they actually increased their lead during the first television timeout of the second half. The officials went back and reviewed a replay of Donte Ingram’s jumper in the opening minute of the period, ruling he was behind the three-point line when he released the shot to change the margin from 46-33 to 47-33.
Not that it mattered at the end.
Elite Eight preview: A look at the South and West finals
9 Kansas State (25-11) vs. 11 Loyola Chicago (31-5)
Time: 3 p.m. TV: TBS.
Loyola Chicago’s 13-game win streak is the longest active in the nation. The Ramblers have won their three NCAA tournament games by a combined four points. For Kansas State, defense has been key. The Wildcats held Kentucky to a season-low point total in a 61-58 victory and have held opponents under 59 points in seven consecutive games. They will be defending a team that made 75% of its shots in the second half against Nevada. Loyola-Chicago will be seeking its second Final Four appearance, the first coming in 1963 when it won the national championship. Kansas State last appeared in the Final Four in 1964, where the Wildcats lost to UCLA.
at Staples Center
3 Michigan (31-7) vs. 9 Florida State (23-11)
Time: 5:45 p.m. TV: TBS.
Florida State is seeking its fourth consecutive tournament upset. If Michigan advances, it would have a school-record 32 wins and its first Final Four appearance since 2013. The Seminoles, whose only Final Four trip came in 1972, are playing an Elite Eight game for the third time in school history. The Wolverines have reached this plateau three of the last six years. Florida State uses 11 players extensively, and nine Seminoles are scoring at least 6.6 points per game. Florida State likes to employ a full-court defense described by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski as a “containment press.” Michigan is riding a 12-game winning streak, with its last loss coming Feb. 6 at Northwestern.
Texas Tech pulls away from Purdue in the final minutes to reach its first Elite Eight
Texas Tech is headed to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history.
Keenan Evans had 16 points as the third-seeded Red Raiders overcame an early first-half hole and dominated second-seeded Purdue down the stretch to earn a 78-65 victory in the Sweet 16 on Friday night.
Texas Tech will play top seed Villanova in the East Regional final Sunday.
Zach Smith added 14 points and five rebounds.
Texas Tech trailed by as many as seven points in the first half. But it closed the period on a 10-0 run to take a 30-25 halftime advantage. Purdue got it down to one early in the second, but the Red Raiders never surrendered the lead.
Carsen Edwards led Purdue with 30 points, including four three-pointers.
The Boilermakers (30-7) were playing in their second straight regional semifinal. They were denied what would have been their first Elite Eight berth since 2000.
Purdue came in ranked second nationally in three-point percentage and connected on seven of 18 for the game. But the Boilermakers allowed the Red Raiders 17 second-chance points.
Texas Tech (27-9) also got 33 points from its bench, compared to just six for Purdue.
Duke holds off the long reach of Syracuse to advance to Elite Eight
Duke found a way to crack Syracuse’s zone defense, and now the Blue Devils are back in the Elite Eight for the first time since the 2015 team won it all.
Freshman Marvin Bagley III turned in a giant second-half effort, and second-seeded Duke held off the 11th-seeded Orange in a 69-65 chess match of a victory in the Midwest Region semifinals Friday night.
All that talk about busted brackets and the maddest March ever — not happening in the Midwest.
The win by Duke (29-7) set up a 1 vs. 2 showdown against Kansas, which also escaped with a four-point win earlier against Clemson.
Syracuse (23-14), the last at-large team invited to the tournament, saw its unlikely run to the Sweet 16 end — unable to overcome 16 turnovers against a Mike Krzyzewski-designed zone that was every bit as pesky as Jim Boeheim’s vaunted 2-3.
Bagley scored 13 of his 22 points and had all eight of his rebounds in the second half. Seven of those boards were on the offensive end and led to second-chance baskets.
But Syracuse stayed in it until the end. Not until Gary Trent Jr., made two free throws with 6.3 seconds left was this game sealed.
Tyus Battle led the Orange with 19 points.
Villanova becomes the second No. 1 seed to make it to Elite Eight
Villanova’s three-point party rolled past the pressure of West Virginia to bring the Wildcats to the doorstep of another Final Four two seasons after winning a national championship.
The top-seeded Wildcats continued their outside feast, downing the fifth-seeded Mountaineers 90-78 on Friday night to earn their second trip to the regional finals in three seasons.
Jalen Brunson led Villanova with 27 points and Omari Spellman added 18 with eight rebounds as the Wildcats overcame the West Virginia press by hitting 13 of 24 shots from three-point range.
Jevon Carter and Sagaba Konate each had 12 points to lead West Virginia.
Villanova (33-4) has now made 47 three-pointers for the tournament. The outside shots helped the Wildcats overcome 16 turnovers.
Villanova’s Sweet 16 plan for the team nicknamed “Press Virginia:” Attack the stifling defense head-on.
The Wildcats struggled at times, especially in the first half, but dug out of a six-point hole in the second half with an 11-0 run.
“What a game, man. I hope that looked as good as it did from the bench, man,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “That was the most physically demanding, mentally draining 40 minutes we’ve played in a long time. They are so relentless.”
The Mountaineers (26-11) stayed close throughout the night, ramping up the pressure and making Villanova play faster than it wanted to early. But foul trouble throughout the second half was too much for West Virginia to overcome after it gave up the lead.
Carter was called for his third with 17:33 left in the game. That was followed by Daxter Miles being whistled for his third and fourth fouls over a two-minute stretch that sent him to the bench with 15 minutes remaining.
West Virginia was able to adjust for a while and took advantage of a more than three-minute Villanova scoring drought to take a 60-54 edge with just over 11 minutes left.
But Villanova heated up again. Its 11-point run was capped by a thunderous block and dunk on the other end by Omari Spellman that pushed the Wildcats back in front 65-60.
The Wildcats kept the momentum going, stretching the lead to 76-66 on a three-pointer by Brunson.
West Virginia never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
Villanova led 44-42 at the half after a fast-paced opening 20 minutes. Brunson led all scorers with 16 points in the half, with West Virginia getting 11 points from Miles.
The Wildcats came out firing, connecting on their first seven field goals. They handled the Mountaineers’ pressure well early. But the Wildcats had three turnovers over a 65-second stretch during an 8-0 Mountaineers run that put West Virginia in front 33-30.
Top-seeded Kansas gets back to the Elite Eight with 80-76 defeat of Clemson
Kansas made it through the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row as a No. 1 seed after surviving a late scare and beating fifth-seeded Clemson 80-76 in a Midwest Region semifinal.
Now the Jayhawks will try to get through the Elite Eight for the first time since they won the 2012 national title. They’ll play Sunday against the winner of Friday night’s second semifinal between No. 2-seeded Duke and No. 11 Syracuse.
Clemson, in a regional semifinal for the first time since 1997, had a six-minute field goal drought and shot 36% in the first half. The Tigers trailed by 20 early in the second half.
But a 26-12 run fueled by Gabe DeVoe got Clemson within 74-68. DeVoe’s two free throws pulled the Tigers to 78-74 with 14 seconds left, but the Jayhawks were able to hang on.
Malik Newman scored 17 points to lead Kansas, Devonte Graham added 16 while Udoka Azubuike contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 2:30 left.
DeVoe finished with a career-high 31 points.
Kentucky’s John Calipari says his players meant no disrespect by skipping postgame handshakes with Kansas State
Some Kansas State players felt disrespected Thursday night after their Kentucky counterparts did not take part in the traditional postgame handshake following the teams’ Sweet 16 game Thursday night.
“That’s not the sportsmanship you like to see, but that’s them,” Kansas State forward Levi Stockard III said after his team’s 61-58 victory. “They just walked off the court. I don’t know what it was. I don’t know.”
Junior guard Amaad Wainright said: “They didn’t shake our hands. It’s sorry.
“On that situation, it’s all about respect. That’s what it should have been — all about respect.”
But Kentucky coach John Calipari told reporters later that night no disrespect was intended.
“My team’s not like that. Neither is our program,” he said. “There’s no disrespect in any way. They beat us. They deserved to win the game.”
Calipari added that he was able to shake the Kansas State coaches’ hands and made an attempt to do so with the opposing teams’ players as well.
“I went down to shake their hands, too, and they were turned and celebrating. So I walked off,” Calipari said. “No disrespect for anything, just that they were celebrating and I was happy for them.”
NCAA tournament schedule for Friday and Saturday
NCAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
All times Pacific (*approximate time; game will start 30 minutes after the completion of the previous one):
FRIDAY SWEET 16
at Omaha, Neb.
1 Kansas (29-7) vs. 5 Clemson (25-9) 4 p.m.
2 Duke (28-7) vs. 11 Syracuse (23-13) *6:30 p.m.
1 Villanova (32-4) vs. 5 West Virginia (26-10) 4:15 p.m.
2 Purdue (30-6) vs. 3 Texas Tech (26-9) *6:45 p.m.
SATURDAY ELITE EIGHT
5 Kentucky (26-10) vs. 9 Kansas State (24-11), *6:30 p.m.
at Staples Center
3 Michigan (30-7) vs. 7 Texas A&M (22-12), 4:30 p.m.
NCAA Sweet 16: East Regional preview
1 Villanova (32-4) vs. 5 West Virginia (26-10)
Time: 4:15 p.m. PDT. TV: TBS.
Villanova, which won the national championship in 2016, is one of two No. 1 seeds left in the tournament following losses by Big East Conference rival Xavier and Virginia. The Wildcats were also a No. 1 seed in last year’s tournament when they lost to eighth-seeded Wisconsin in the second round. West Virginia has been one of the best-looking teams in the field so far, winning by 17 and 23 points in the first two rounds. The Mountaineers are trying to get to the Elite Eight for the first time since their Final Four run in 2010.
2 Purdue (30-6) vs. 3 Texas Tech (26-9)
Time: 6:45 p.m. PDT. TV: TBS.
Matt Haarms, a 7-foot-3 redshirt freshman, is expected to start again at center for Purdue even though senior Isaac Haas got fitted with a new brace to protect his fractured right elbow. The 7-foot Haas, who was hurt in the Boilermakers’ first-round win over Cal State Fullerton, has not been cleared to play. “If I did play, it would just be really short minutes,” Haas said. Texas Tech is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005 and is looking to make it to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. Senior guard Keenan Evans has scored 23 and 22 points in the Red Raiders’ first two tournament wins.
NCAA Sweet 16: Midwest Regional preview
1 Kansas (29-7) vs. 5 Clemson (25-9)
Time: 4 p.m. PDT. TV: Channel 2.
Kansas big man Udoka Azubuike, who leads the nation in shooting percentage at 77.5%, is likely to start. Azubuike missed the Big 12 tournament because of a minor knee injury, but he played 22 minutes in an 83-79 win over Seton Hall last weekend. The “neutral-floor” game should be more like a home game for the Jayhawks. Clemson reached its first Sweet 16 since 1997 with a 31-point win over Auburn. This will be the first meeting between the schools.
2 Duke (28-7) vs. 11 Syracuse (23-13)
Time: 6:30 p.m. PDT. TV: Channel 2.
Duke averages 85 points a game but the Blue Devils will face a Syracuse team that has held three straight opponents to 60 points or fewer in the NCAA tournament. The Orange won a play-in game over Arizona State in Dayton, Ohio. Duke and Syracuse met once in Atlantic Coast Conference play, the Blue Devils winning 60-44 on their home court on Feb. 24. The teams combined to miss their first 24 three-point shots.
Michigan runs wild over Texas A&M 99-72 to reach Elite Eight
Michigan forward Moritz Wagner was running so hard while driving for a layup in the game’s opening minutes that his momentum carried him a couple of steps past the basket stanchion after he absorbed a foul.
He spotted a pack of Wolverines fans sitting beyond the baseline inside Staples Center and threw up both arms to encourage more noise from what felt like a home crowd.
The decibel level rarely fell the rest of the way among those wearing maize and blue.
Florida State takes down Gonzaga to earn date with Michigan in Elite 8
Florida State’s unlikely run through the NCAA tournament continued Thursday.
Behind a deep roster and press that wore down fourth-seeded Gonzaga, the ninth-seeded Seminoles surprised the Bulldogs 75-60 at Staples Center to advance to the Elite Eight.
Florida State plays Michigan on Saturday at Staples Center with a trip to the Final Four at stake.
Kansas State sinks Kentucky 61-58 to reach Elite Eight
Kansas State’s dream of its first Final Four since 1964 is alive.
Barry Brown’s tiebreaking layup with 19 seconds remaining was the difference as Kansas State beat Kentucky 61-58 on Thursday night in the South Region semifinal.
Kansas State, a No. 9 seed, will play No. 11 seed Loyola Chicago on Saturday in a regional final pairing no one could have predicted.
Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed a potential tying three-pointer at the final buzzer for Kentucky (26-11).
Kansas State (25-11) overcame the loss of top scorer Xavier Sneed, who had 22 points before fouling out with 1:14 remaining.
Sneed, who had nine points in the first half, was unstoppable in the second half. He scored 13 points in the first 11:30 of the second half before he was called for his fourth foul with 8:24 remaining.
When Sneed took a seat on the bench, Kansas State lost its momentum. It led 52-44 when Sneed collected his fourth foul and led only 56-55 when he returned with 2:13 remaining, with Kentucky fans chanting “Go Big Blue” to encourage the comeback.
Loyola Chicago’s run keeps going as Ramblers get past Nevada to reach Elite Eight
With Loyola Chicago clinging to a one-point lead and only 6.3 seconds remaining, Marques Townes sank a three-pointer from in front of the Ramblers’ bench to continue their improbable NCAA Tournament run.
Townes scored 18 points, including the key three-pointer, to lead Loyola to a 69-68 win over the Wolf Pack in Thursday night’s NCAA South Regional semifinal.
The win leaves the No. 11th-seeded Ramblers one victory from a Final Four appearance.
Not bad for a program that hasn’t been in the Sweet 16 in 33 years.
Townes charged down the court, pumping his fist, as Nevada called a timeout following the crucial three-pointer. Caleb Martin answered with a three for Nevada, but this time the Wolf Pack couldn’t extend their string of second-half comebacks in the tournament.
Loyola (31-5) awaits the winner of the Kansas State-Kentucky game in Saturday’s regional final.
Martin led Nevada (29-8) with 21 points. Twin brother Cody Martin had 16. Jordan Carolina had 19.The Wolf Pack finally faced a deficit too big to overcome.
Loyola trailed by 12 points, at 20-8, midway through the first half but stormed back to lead 28-24 at halftime. Loyola closed the half with a 20-4 run as Nevada didn’t score in the final 7:55 before the break.
After leading a combined 4 minutes, 24 seconds of their first two NCAA Tournament wins, the Wolf Pack didn’t trail in the opening 18 minutes of the first half. Even after leading 20-8 and appearing to have established command, Nevada found a way to trail at halftime for the sixth straight game.
Following a 4-4 tie, Nevada took the lead with an 8-0 run that included a layup and two free throws by Jordan Caroline.
Loyola pushed the ball in the paint on almost every possession. The Ramblers’ first 10 points came on layups.
Freshman Cameron Krutwig, who at 6-foot-9, 260 pounds stood out as the biggest player for either team, had eight of Loyola’s first 19 points but went to the bench with two fouls with 6:26 remaining in the half. He picked up his third foul midway through the second half.
Loyola’s relentless attack on the basket continued as it stretched its lead, one layup at a time, in the second half.
Following a steal by Townes, Ben Richardson’s layup gave the Ramblers their first double-digit lead at 36-26 and took their biggest lead at 40-28.
Nevada’s experience in second-half comebacks paid off. After Loyola’s layup by Clayton Custer gave the Ramblers their last 10-point lead at 57-47, the Wolf Pack charged back.
Cody Martin’s basket started a 12-2 run, and his layup tied the game at 59-all with 4:06 remaining.
West Virginia defeats in-state rival Marshall 94-71
Jevon Carter scored 28 points, Lamont West added 18 off the bench and West Virginia overwhelmed its in-state rival, beating Marshall 94-71 on Sunday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Mountain State showdown more than 2,000 miles from home was a one-sided celebration for the fifth-seeded Mountaineers. Bigger, more physical and making fewer mistakes, the Mountaineers (26-10) took control with a 19-0 first-half run, and Carter’s trifecta of three-pointers in the first five minutes of the second half made sure there wouldn’t be a rally coming from the 13th-seeded Thundering Herd.
West Virginia will face top-seeded Villanova in the Sweet 16 next Friday.
Aside from his scoring, Carter was the leader of West Virginia’s swarming defense that made the night miserable for the Herd. Marshall star Jon Elmore had more turnovers than points in the first half and was held to 15 points after scoring 27 points in the upset of Wichita State.
Ajdin Penava led the Herd (25-11) with 18 points.
The first meeting between the in-state rivals since their annual series abruptly ended in 2015 was a big enough event that West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice flew out to watch the game in person. Wearing a blazer that was half dark blue and half green, Justice spent the first half on the West Virginia sideline and the second half with the Marshall cheering section.
There wasn’t much cheering from the Marshall fans as West Virginia led by as many as 31 in the second half.
This was decided in the first 20 minutes thanks to West Virginia’s dominant run to take control. While Carter, West and their teammates were getting easy looks at the offensive end, Marshall became careless with the ball and missed a number of shots around the rim.
After taking an 18-11 lead, Marshall missed six layups in the final 13 minutes of the first half and watched West Virginia surge ahead. Elmore was the most notable Marshall player to struggle with West Virginia’s pressure, finishing the first half with just three points — scored in the first 65 seconds of the game — and six turnovers.
West Virginia led 42-25 at the half, and Carter’s early threes to start the second half ended any thought of a rally. Carter had 17 points in the second half.
Florida State comes back to knock out top-seeded Xavier
The Florida State Seminoles are on their way to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011 after upsetting top-seeded Xavier with a furious comeback.
PJ Savoy made a three-pointer with 1:08 left to give Florida State its first lead of the second half, and the Seminoles rallied from a 12-point deficit to beat the Musketeers 75-70 on Sunday night in the second round of the West Region.
The Seminoles made Xavier the second No. 1 seed ousted in the tournament’s first weekend, sending the Musketeers out along with Virginia. Florida State (22-11) will play fourth-seeded Gonzaga on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Savoy also hit a pair of free throws with 21.6 seconds left, putting Florida State up 73-70. Kerem Kanter shot an air ball from beyond the arc at the top of the key with seven seconds to go for Xavier, and CJ Walker added a pair of free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining. Terance Mann picked off a long pass by Paul Scruggs off Xavier’s inbound pass before running in front of Seminoles fans to start the party.
After jumping around on the court and hugging, the jubilant Seminoles ran over to their fans in the stands and exchanged high-fives.
This was sweet payback for Florida State after then-No. 11 seed Xavier routed the Seminoles 91-66 a year ago in the very same round in the same region.
Xavier coach Chris Mack had four starters back from that team, which wound up losing to Gonzaga in the Elite Eight, and Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton lost his top three scorers — two to the NBA draft.
The Musketeers didn’t get the chance to run away this time around after they took a 12-point lead. They led 56-44 with 10:42 left, and a free throw by Trevon Bluiett gave them a 66-57 edge. But Xavier didn’t score a field goal after Kanter’s jumper with 3:56 left for a 68-66 lead. Mfiondu Kabengele scored his second straight bucket, tying it at 68 with 2:32 to go.
Scruggs hit two free throws with 1:49 left, and those were the last points for Xavier. The Musketeers turned it over three times after that, twice by Bluiett, as Florida State finished the game scoring the final seven points.
Braian Angola led five Seminoles in double figures with 16 points. Trent Forrest added 13, Savoy finished with 11, and Phil Cofer and Mann each had 10.
J.P. Macura led Xavier with 17 points, Kerem Kanter had 15 and Scruggs had 11.
Nation’s favorite underdog UMBC falls to Kansas State 50-43
Barry Brown scored 18 points, and Kansas State ended Maryland Baltimore County’s brief but historic run in the NCAA tournament with a 50-43 victory Sunday night.
UMBC became the first 16 seed to beat a No. 1, destroying top-ranked Virginia 74-54 on Friday night. After pulling off the biggest upset in college basketball history, the Retrievers ran out of magic against the Wildcats.
As UMBC coach Ryan Odom emptied his bench with 9.4 seconds left, the crowd gave the Retrievers a standing ovation. The players hugged at midcourt. After the game ended, players walked over to the side of the court and gave their fans an appreciative wave.
The dream had ended.
The Wildcats (24-11) move on to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010, when they lost in the Elite Eight to Butler. They will face Kentucky on Thursday night.
UMBC had only two field goals in the final six minutes and shot just 29.8% for the game.
The Retrievers’ scrappy defense forced 18 turnovers, but they managed just three points off those. They finished six of 22 from three-point range two nights after lighting up Virginia from beyond the arc. They converted nine of 18 from the free-throw line.
UMBC (25-11) had a chance to take the lead with five minutes remaining, but Arkel Lamar was stripped of the ball on a drive to the lane and Xavier Sneed took the ball the length of the floor for a two-handed dunk.
Brown then hit a fall-away jumper.
Sneed, who had eight points, had a monster dunk off an offensive rebound and later knocked down a baseline jumper with a minute left to push the Wildcats’ lead to five. Makol Mawien added a dunk on a fast break to seal the victory with 45 seconds left.
The Retrievers showed no sign of a letdown early on, jumping out to a 7-0 lead after Kansas State missed its first eight shots — five of those from beyond the arc.
Kansas State didn’t score until the 13:40 mark of the first half, but the Wildcats closed the half on a 17-8 run and led 25-20 at the break despite going zero for eight from three-point range.
Clemson beats Auburn 84-53
Gabe DeVoe scored 22 points and Elijah Thomas had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Clemson, which closed the first half with a 25-4 run that helped it beat cold-shooting Auburn 84-53 on Sunday and advance to the Midwest Region semifinal.
In a matchup between Southern schools better known for football, the No. 5 seed Clemson Tigers proved far more adept on the hardwood than the No. 4 seed Auburn Tigers.
The blowout win put Clemson (25-9) into the Sweet 16 for the fourth time overall and the first since 1997, earning it a spot against Kansas in the regional semifinal.
Auburn, which played this season under the cloud of a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball, finished 26-8.
The final 10 minutes of the first half were a nightmare for Auburn, which made only 6 of 33 shots (18.2%) in the first half and 17 of 66 overall (25.8%).
Jared Harper made a jumper with 10:33 before halftime to pull Auburn to 18-15. The Tigers then missed their next 18 field goals as Clemson raced to a 43-19 halftime lead.
Clemson scored 17 straight points, highlighted by 3-pointers by Anthony Oliver II and DeVoe, to make it 35-15.
Chuma Okeke made two free throws for Auburn, but the Tigers still couldn’t hit a field goal. They got two more free throws by Mustapha Heron with 1:20 to go.
Auburn finally snapped the drought from the field when Bryce Brown hit a 3-pointer 44 seconds into the second half. All that did was pull the Tigers within 21 points.
Heron and Bryce Brown each scored 12 points for Auburn and Horace Spencer had 10.
Marcquise Reed added 16 for Clemson and Shelton Mitchell had 10.
Nevada rallies from 22 points down to beat Cincinnati for a spot in Sweet 16
The Nevada Wolf Pack just keeps digging out of deep holes. And now they’re on their way to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004.
The seventh-seeded Wolf Pack trailed this time by 22 before an amazing comeback.
Josh Hall hit a short jumper with 9.1 seconds left to give Nevada its only lead of the game at 75-73, and No. 2 seed Cincinnati couldn’t get a shot off before the clock expired sending the Wolf Pack celebrating and hugging on the court.
Nevada trailed by 14 in the second half of their first-round game when they forced overtime and beat Texas.
Cincinnati was the highest remaining seed left in the South Region after a string of upsets, and now the Bearcats are the latest to go down.
Now Nevada will play another surprising team in Loyola-Chicago in the South Region semifinals Thursday in Atlanta.
Texas A&M defeats reigning champion UNC 86-65
T.J. Starks scored 21 points and Texas A&M overpowered North Carolina inside, upsetting the reigning national champions 86-65 Sunday in the NCAA tournament to mark the second straight year a title holder missed the Sweet 16.
The seventh-seeded Aggies (22-12) did everything they had to do to hand the Tar Heels a rare loss in a home-state NCAA game. They dominated the glass. They used their size to control the paint and block shots. And they pounced when UNC’s small-ball lineup couldn’t make an outside shot.
Robert Williams finished with 13 rebounds, helping the Aggies take a 50-36 edge while shooting 52% — including 10 of 24 from three-point range.
Joel Berry II scored 21 points in his final game for the second-seeded Tar Heels (26-11), who were trying to reach their third straight Final Four. But they ended up falling to 34-2 in NCAA tournament games in their home state, with the only other loss coming in 1979.
Syracuse plays spoiler, beats Michigan State 55-53
Michigan State’s season is over after the Spartans were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by 11th-seeded Syracuse in their own backyard.
Despite a partisan crowd cheering them on in Detroit, the Spartans missed their last 14 shots from the field and lost 55-53.
The Orange were led by Tyus Battle’s 17 points and won for the third time in five days to secure an improbable Sweet 16 matchup against second-seeded Duke.
Michigan State’s loss is a bracket-buster for many college hoops fans, with more than a quarter of those who filled out brackets on ESPN picking the Spartans to reach the Final Four.
Purdue slips past Butler 76-73 to reach Sweet 16
Vincent Edwards scored 20 points and Dakota Mathias made a clutch three-pointer with 14.2 seconds left, helping second-seeded Purdue hold on for a 76-73 win over 10th-seeded Butler Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Bulldogs trailed by 10 with less than six minutes left and had a shot to tie the game when they had the ball with 1.8 seconds left. Butler’s Kamar Baldwin just missed a long three-pointer that a game official said was released before the buzzer as he walked off the court.
Purdue overcame the loss of Isaac Haas by relying on redshirt freshman Matt Haarms, who made his first start in place of the injured senior standout.
The Boilermakers (30-6) will face Texas Tech (29-6) in the East Regional on Friday in the tournament’s round of 16 in Boston.
Sunday’s NCAA men’s tournament schedule (with TV listings)
All times Pacific (*approximate time; game will start 30 minutes after the
completion of the previous game):
2 Purdue (29-6) vs. 10 Butler (21-13) 9 a.m., CBS
at San Diego
5 West Virginia (25-10) vs. 13 Marshall (25-10) *6:30 p.m., TBS
2 Cincinnati (31-4) vs. 7 Nevada (28-7) 3 p.m., TNT
at Charlotte, N.C.
9 Kansas State (23-11) vs. 16 Maryland Baltimore County (25-10) *5 p.m., TruTV
3 Michigan State (30-4) vs. 11 Syracuse (22-13) *11:30 a.m., CBS
at San Diego
4 Auburn (26-7) vs. 5 Clemson (24-9) 4 p.m., TBS
at Charlotte, N.C.
2 North Carolina (26-10) vs. 7 Texas A&M (21-12) 2:15 p.m., CBS
1 Xavier (29-5) vs. 9 Florida State (21-11) 5:30 p.m., TNT
Jordan Poole’s buzzer-beating three sends Michigan past Houston 64-63
Michigan freshman Jordan Poole drained a long three-pointer at the buzzer after Houston squandered a chance to lock up a spot in the Sweet 16, giving the third-seeded Wolverines a heart-stopping 64-63 victory in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday night.
Devin Davis had a chance to seal the win, but the Cougars’ gritty forward missed a pair of foul shots with 3.6 seconds left. The Wolverines (30-7) called timeout to set up a final play — Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman found Poole on the wing, and the guard’s shot hit nothing but net.
The officials reviewed it to make sure, but Poole had clearly gotten the shot away in time.
Abdur-Rahkman and Moe Wagner scored 12 points apiece to lead Michigan, but it was the unheralded freshman who stole the show. Poole’s flair for the dramatic earned coach John Beilein’s team a trip to Los Angeles for a West Regional semifinal against North Carolina or Texas A&M next week.
Rob Gray scored 23 points and Davis finished with 17 for the Cougars (27-8), who were trying to reach their first Sweet 16 since the last of the Phi Slama Jama teams went to the Final Four in 1984.
They just about did it.
Davis gave the Cougars the lead when he made two free throws with 44.1 seconds left. He pushed the advantage to 63-61 when he made the second of two more foul shots with 24.9 seconds to go.
Abdur-Rahkman and Charles Matthews came up empty at the other end for Michigan, and Davis pulled down a crucial rebound, then stalked to the foul line.
The senior forward missed both.
The down-to-the-wire outcome was hardly surprising given the way the rest of the game went. There were 17 lead changes and 12 ties, including 28-all at halftime.
After Gray’s huge performance against San Diego State, the Wolverines were wary of him every time he touched the ball. They blanketed Houston’s star on the perimeter, cut off lanes to the basket and held him to just eight points on two-for-11 shooting in the first half.
Wagner continued to struggle after a poor NCAA tournament opener, scoring just three points while dealing with foul trouble. Abdur-Rahkman was two of eight from the field, including zero of five from the arc. Michigan air-balled three shots from behind the arc in four possessions spanning the break.
Keenan Evans, Texas Tech advance to Sweet 16 with win over Florida
Keenan Evans keeps making big plays, extending Texas Tech’s season — and his time with second-year head coach Chris Beard.
They have another game with the Red Raiders headed to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005.
Evans, who treats every game like senior night and doesn’t want to be done, scored 22 points and hit a tiebreaking three-pointer with 2:35 left to play as third-seeded Texas Tech beat Florida 69-66 on Saturday night.
Though the next loss will end All-Big 12 guard Evans’ career, high-flying freshman Zhaire Smith is just getting started.
Smith had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and was on the receiving end of an alley-oop pass from Evans with 29 seconds left for a punctuating dunk to send the Red Raiders (26-10) to Boston for a matchup against Purdue or Butler next Friday night.
Chris Chiozza did go the length of the court for a Florida layup with 25 seconds left before Evans lost the ball when trying to fight through a double-team after the inbound pass.
The Gators gathered the ball after a wild scramble. Egor Koulechov and KeVaughn Allen both had three-point attempts in the final 10 seconds that came up short.
Florida (21-13) fell short of the Sweet 16 — and the Elite Eight — for the first time in their last six NCAA tournament appearances. The last time they didn’t even make it to the Sweet 16 was in 2010, when the SEC team lost a first-round game to BYU.
Gonzaga beats Ohio State 90-84 for Sweet 16 return
Zach Norvell Jr. had 28 points, Rui Hachimura added 25 and Gonzaga is headed back to the Sweet 16 with a 90-84 victory over Ohio State in the West Region on Saturday night.
Norvell hit the late tiebreaking three-pointer against UNC-Greensboro in the opening round to help the Zags advance. The confident freshman made six of 11 from behind the arc against Ohio State to lead Gonzaga (32-4) into the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight season — two wins from a return trip to the Final Four.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a big early lead, withstood a second-half Ohio State charge and made the big plays down the stretch to earn a spot in the West Region semifinals against the Xavier-Florida State winner in Los Angeles.
The resilient-all-season Buckeyes (25-9) rallied from an abysmal start and an 11-point halftime deficit to take a brief second-half lead before Gonzaga went on an 11-0 run to snatch it back.
Keita Bates-Diop had 28 points and Kam Williams 19 for Ohio State.
Ohio State and Gonzaga met four months ago in the PK80 Invitational.
It did not go well for the Buckeyes.
The Zags shredded Ohio State’s defense while shooting 59% and held the Buckeyes to 35% in an 86-59 thrashing.
The Buckeyes said they are a better team now. Their record reflects it, too: 25 wins, a second-place finish in the rough-and-tumble Big Ten Conference and a return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015.
The Zags looked a little rusty in their opening 68-64 win over UNC-Greensboro. They looked more like the team that blew out BYU in the West Coast Conference title game early against the Buckeyes.
Gonzaga scored the game’s first 15 points while hitting six of nine shots and blocking two of Ohio State’s. The Buckeyes had three of their first seven shots roll off the rim early and didn’t score until Jae’Sean Tate hit a three-pointer at 14:18
Ohio State righted itself on offense, but struggled to slow the zigging Zags, who made 18 of 31 shots to lead 44-33 at halftime.
The Buckeyes got even more shots to fall coming out of halftime and forced a rash of Gonzaga turnovers during a 12-2 run to go up 58-54.
Gonzaga answered with an 11-0 run, going up 73-67 on Hachimura’s three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer.
Kansas holds off Seton Hall 83-79 to reach Sweet 16
Malik Newman scored 28 points, Udoka Azubuike stood toe-to-toe with Seton Hall’s bruising Angel Delgado, and No. 1 seed Kansas held off the plucky Pirates 83-79 on Saturday night to send the Jayhawks to their third consecutive Sweet 16.
Svi Mykhailiuk added 16 points and Lagerald Vick had 13 for the Jayhawks (29-7), who converted on every crucial play down the stretch to advance to the semifinals of the Midwest Region.
They’ll take on the winner of Sunday’s game between Auburn and Clemson in Omaha, Neb.
Delgado finished with 24 points and 23 rebounds in a virtuoso effort for the No. 8 seed Pirates (22-11), who snapped a four-game NCAA tournament skid in the opening round.
Khadeen Carrington finished with 28 points, many of them on three-pointers in the closing minutes, and Myles Powell added 14 as the pair of guards tried in vain to keep Seton Hall alive.
It was 71-66 with 53 seconds left when Devonte Graham made two free throws for Kansas. Carrington kept pouring in shots for Seton Hall, but the Jayhawks kept making foul shots to seal the win.
Azubuike played just three minutes in the Jayhawks’ opener because of a lingering knee injury, but he came up big against Delgado. The 7-foot, 280-pound sophomore played 22 minutes, including some tough defense on his bruising counterpart, rendering Seton Hall’s star far less effective than when Mitch Lightfoot and Silvio De Sousa were trying to guard him.
Kansas led just 31-26 at halftime, when Delgado had already piled up 12 points and 12 rebounds, and was forced to make some significant adjustments in the locker room.
On defense, coach Bill Self called for double-teams on Delgado whenever he got the ball down low, especially when Azubuike was sitting on the bench. On offense, he had his guys throw it to Azubuike on the block or rely on Mykhailiuk — by nature a three-point specialist — to slash to the basket.
Together, they helped the Jayhawks stretch their lead to double digits.
Delgado kept the Pirates in the game, though. Azubuike went to the bench with four fouls with about 9 minutes left, and coach Kevin Willard instructed his own guys to go right back to their center.
Delgado was so effective that Self gambled by putting Azubuike right back in the game.
Seton Hall closed to 63-59 with 3:22 to go, but Newman answered with a three-pointer and a pair of foul shots, and the poised Jayhawks never allowed the Pirates to come all the way back.
Loyola Chicago does it again, knocking off third-seeded Tennessee
Another NCAA tournament pray answered for Loyola-Chicago, and the Ramblers are set to bring Sister Jean to the Sweet 16.
Clayton Custer’s jumper took a friendly bounce off the rim and in with 3.6 seconds left, and 11th-seeded Loyola beat Tennessee 63-62 in a South Region second-round game Saturday night.
Custer’s winner came two days after Donte Ingram’s buzzer-beating three-pointer for Loyola against Miami, surely to the delight of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the 98-year-old nun, team chaplain and primary booster watching from her wheelchair on a platform near the main TV cameras.
The Ramblers (30-5), who won the Missouri Valley tournament, broke the school record for wins set by the 1963 NCAA championship team. Loyola will play the Cincinnati-Nevada winner in the regional semifinals Thursday in Atlanta.
No. 3-seeded Tennessee (26-7) took its only lead of the second half on three-point play by Grant Williams with 20 seconds remaining. After Loyola almost lost the ball on an out-of-bounds call confirmed on replay, Custer dribbled to his right, pulled up and let go a short jumper that hit the front of the rim, bounced off the backboard and went in.
A last-gasp shot from the Vols’ Jordan Bone bounced away, and Custer threw the ball off the scoreboard high above the court as he was mobbed by teammates in the same spot that the Ramblers celebrates Ingram’s dramatic winner,,.
The Ramblers fell behind 15-6 in less than five minutes before the Volunteers missed their next nine shots and fell behind for the first time on Custer’s three-pointer with six minutes left in the first half.
Admiral Schofield scored 11 of those first 15 Tennessee points but didn’t score again until a three-pointer nearly 32 minutes later that started a rally from a 10-point deficit in the final four minutes by the SEC regular-season co-champions.
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes lost at American Airlines Center, home of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, for the first time in six NCAA games. The first four wins were during his 17 seasons leading the Texas Longhorns.
Schmidt, who leads the pregame prayer and gives the players feedback after, wasn’t the only one pulling hard for Loyola.
Late-arriving fans waiting for crowd favorite Texas Tech in the late game joined the raucous Ramblers supporters wearing maroon-and-gold scarfs and standing almost the entire game in sections across the court from their team’s bench.
Aundre Jackson, who grew up in the Dallas area, led Loyola with 16 points, and Custer had 10. Schofield scored 14 for Tennessee.
Kentucky dispatches Buffalo by pulling away for a 95-75 victory
Kentucky put an end to any upset talk on its watch Saturday, getting 27 points and a near-perfect shooting game from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in a 95-75 rout of 13th-seeded Buffalo.
Gilgeous-Alexander went 10 for 12 and made both of his three-point attempts to send fifth-seeded Kentucky (26-10) to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season.
Coming into the day, the basketball world was still reverberating from Maryland Baltimore County’s 16 vs. 1 stunner over Virginia the night before. Villanova and Duke both rolled early; the evening slate started with Kentucky, and the Wildcats, with their all-freshman starting lineup, trailed only once: 2-0.
It wasn’t a runaway until the last seven minutes.
Buffalo (27-9), which got here with a 21-point blowout over Arizona, twice trimmed a double-digit lead to five midway through the second half.
Gilgeous-Alexander answered both times — once with a three-pointer to extend the lead to eight, then again a few minutes later with a three-point play that started a 12-2 run and put the game away.
Hamidou Diallo also got hot — going nine for 12 and scoring all but four of his 22 points in the second half while the Wildcats were turning this one into a laugher.
About that UMBC win — it could affect Kentucky more than you think. With Virginia and Arizona gone, the Wildcats came into the day seeded behind only Cincinnati and Tennessee in the South.
Duke rolls into Sweet 16 with 87-62 win over Rhode Island
Coach Mike Krzyzewski might want to stop worrying about his team’s inexperience. The loaded-if-young Blue Devils hardly seemed intimidated by the NCAA Tournament’s bright lights.
If anything, they’re thriving under them.
Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Marvin Bagley scored 22 points to go with nine rebounds, fellow freshman Wendell Carter Jr. added 13 points and second-seeded Duke rolled by seventh-seeded Rhode Island 87-62 in the second round Saturday to earn the program’s 26th trip to the Sweet 16. Freshmen guards Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval combined for 29 points and 11 assists for the Blue Devils.
Duke (28-7) will play either Michigan State or Syracuse in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Omaha, Neb., on Friday. The victory gave Krzyzewski 1,098 wins during his Hall of Fame career, breaking a tie with Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt for the most by an NCAA basketball coach.
The Rams (26-8) and their senior-laden roster never threatened after the opening 10 minutes. E.C. Matthews led Rhode Island with 23 points, but the Rams were never really in it after the Blue Devils revved it up midway through the first half.
Krzyzewski’s relationship with Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley dates back to when Krzyzewski recruited Dan’s older brother, Bobby, to Duke 30 years ago. Krzyzewski praised the Hurley family for their love of the “dignity of work,” an ethos that has helped Dan turn the Rams into a force in the Atlantic 10.
Work ethic is one thing. Talent is another. The Rams have plenty of the former. When the young but rapidly maturing Blue Devils are as fully engaged as they were on Saturday, they have a staggering amount of both.
The proof came in a clinically efficient opening half in which Duke picked the Rams a part. If Allen and Trent weren’t knocking down three-pointers, then they were getting the ball inside to Bagley or Carter, the program’s “other” potential lottery pick who is dealing with an achy Achilles. Though he winced at least once while trying to set up on the block, when Carter had the ball in his hands, the grimace disappeared. He scored nine of Duke’s first 11 points to establish the Blue Devils’ dominance in the paint, and when the backcourt got going, the Rams simply couldn’t keep pace.
A 23-5 surge midway through the first half put the Blue Devils firmly in command. Their extended zone defense with Allen at the top disrupted Rhode Island’s rhythm, at one point forcing Matthews to put up an off-balance, one-handed airball from the three-point arc as the shot clock expired.
By the time Duval’s second three-pointer of the half went down, the Blue Devils were up 45-28 at the break.
As the Rams came out for the second half, junior guard Will Leviton went over to a section of Rhode Island fans and urged them to “get up, I still need you! It’s still a game.”
Not really. A pair of Bagley dunks shortly after intermission pushed Duke’s advantage to more than 20, and the Blue Devils were on their way to Omaha.
Top-seeded Villanova has no problem beating Alabama to reach Sweet 16
Mikal Bridges hit five three-pointers, scored 23 points and helped No. 1 seed Villanova put the field on notice that it’s the team to beat with an 81-58 win over ninth-seeded Alabama on Saturday.
The Wildcats (32-4) are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since they won the 2016 national championship. Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Phil Booth — and yes, the Big Ragu — look every bit the favorite to make it two in three years.
Villanova plays Friday in Boston against the Marshall-West Virginia winner.
The sport is still buzzing from top-seeded Virginia’s 20-point loss to 16th-seeded UMBC on Friday night.
After a tense first half in a round that has given the program fits, the Wildcats hit their first six three-pointers in the second and put on a thrashing under coach Jay Wright.
Bridges, who averaged 17.9 points and played his way into a likely NBA draft lottery pick, scored one point and missed all five shots in the first half. He found his groove once the second half tipped, scoring the first five points of the half and then finishing a thunderous alley-oop on a pass from Booth that made it 41-27 and sent the Wildcats wildly waving their arms in celebration headed into a timeout.
Bridges hit his first three three-pointers in succession to cap an 18-1 run, and a Sweet 16 berth was in sight.
Brunson added a three-pointer to make it 56-31, and the rest of the half was simply a countdown to Boston. Villanova made 17 of 41 from long range.
The Wildcats lost in the first weekend as a 1 or 2 seed in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Villanova got a brief scare that it might add 2018 to the list against Alabama (20-16). They missed eight of their first 11 three-pointers in the first half, and Alabama briefly grabbed the lead.
Donte DiVincenzo steadied Villanova with three straight three-pointers that brought a gasp from the crowd and gave the Wildcats a 22-15 lead. He threw in a fast-break layup off his own steal and hit his fifth three of the half to make it 32-27.
DiVincenzo — the redheaded guard nicknamed “the Big Ragu” — scored all 18 of his points in the half. Villanova attempted 20 three-pointers (and made seven) out of 27 shots.
DiVincenzo’s production was sorely needed with starters Brunson, the Big East player of the year, and Omari Spellman on the bench because of early foul trouble. They each played only 10 minutes, while Wright rolled the dice that DiVincenzo and reserve Collin Gillespie could handle the load.
Alabama defensive ace Herbert Jones earned three fouls in the half and picked up a fourth less than two minutes into the second half.
Saturday’s NCAA men’s tournament schedule (with TV listings)
9 Alabama (20-15) vs. 1 Villanova (31-4) 9:10 a.m., CBS
6 Florida (21-12) vs. 3 Texas Tech (25-9) 5:40 p.m., TNT
7 Rhode Island (26-7) vs. 2 Duke (27-7) 11:40 a.m., CBS
At Wichita, Kansas
8 Seton Hall (22-11) vs. 1 Kansas (28-7) 4:10 p.m., TBS
At Boise, Idaho
13 Buffalo (27-8) vs. 5 Kentucky (25-10) 2:15 p.m., CBS
11 Loyola Chicago (29-5) vs. 3 Tennessee (26-8) 3:10 p.m., TNT
At Boise, Idaho
5 Ohio State (25-8) vs. 4 Gonzaga (31-4) 4:45 p.m., CBS
At Wichita, Kansas
6 Houston (27-7) vs. 3 Michigan (29-7) 6:40 p.m., TBS
Remember the name: Maryland Baltimore County comes up with the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history
Anyone could have guessed that top-seeded Virginia versus University of Maryland Baltimore County would be a 20-point blowout.
But who would have predicted it would be the biggest upset in the history of the NCAA tournament?
UMBC — an acronym unfamiliar to most people before Friday night — shocked the college basketball world with a 74-54 victory over Virginia, becoming the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1.
Maryland Baltimore County beats Virginia, becomes first No. 16 seed to upset No. 1 team in NCAA tournament
Senior guard Jairus Lyles scored 28 points, and Maryland Baltimore County pulled off the most shocking upset in NCAA tournament history, defeating Virginia 74-54 on Friday night to become the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed.
Virginia entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after going 31-2 this season, including 20-1 in ACC competition.
But the Cavaliers couldn’t get anything generated on offense, and the nation’s top-ranked defense couldn’t contain the America East Conference champions.
The 74 points were the most Virginia had allowed this year.
Lyles was the catalyst.
He diced up Virginia’s defense in the second half, getting to the hole easily on six different occasions and making easy layups. He also knocked down a pair of three-pointers as UMBC built a 16-point lead.
Lyles finished with 23 of his points in the second half and Joe Sherburne finished with 14 points.
The game was tied at halftime, but the Retrievers came out confident and motivated in the second half and built a double-digit lead that Virginia could never erase.
Sherburne scored on an and-one drive and then knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key after a behind-the-back pass from KJ Maura. After Virginia made a foul shot, the shifty 5-foot-8, 140-pound Maura drove the lane for uncontested layup.
A Tony Bennett timeout couldn’t stop the bleeding, as Lyles hit two more threes and Sherburne hit one to extend UMBC’s lead to 14 with 14:57 left in the game. Lyles was fouled on a three-point shot, and suddenly the Retrievers led by 16.
A corner three-pointer and a layup off a fast break by Arkel Lamer gave UMBC its biggest lead at 67-48. From there, the party was on as chants of “UMBC” rang through the arena.
It was yet another early exit for the Cavaliers in a season that seemed to hold so much promise.
A look at the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history since 1985
A look at top-four seeded teams that have lost first-round games (the NCAA tournament expanded to 16 seeds per region in 1985):
2017 — No. 16 UMBC 74, No. 1 Virginia 54; No. 13 Buffalo 89, No. 4 Arizona 68; No. 13 Marshall 81, No. 4 Wichita State 75
2016 — No. 15 Middle Tennesse 90, No. 2 Michigan State 81; No. 14 Stephen F. Austin 70, No. 3 West Virginia 56; No. 13 Hawaii 77, No. 4 California 66
2015 — No. 14 UAB 60, No. 3 Iowa State 59; No. 14 Georgia State 57, No. 3 Baylor 56
2014 — No. 14 Mercer 78, No. 3 Duke 71
2013 — No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast 78, No. 2 Georgetown 68; No. 14 Harvard 68, No. 3 New Mexico 62; No. 13 La Salle 63, No. 4 Kansas State 63-61
2012 — No. 15 Norfolk State 86, No. 2 Missouri 84; No. 15 Lehigh 75; No. 2 Duke 70; No. 13 Ohio 65, No. 4 Michigan 60
2011 — No. 13 Morehead State 62, No. 4 Louisville 61
2010 — No. 14 Ohio 97, No. 3 Georgetown 83; No. 13 Murray State 66, No. 4 Vanderbilt 65
2009 — No. 13 Cleveland State 84, No. 4 Wake Forest 69
2008 — No. 13 San Diego 70, No. 4 UConn 69, OT; No. 13 Siena 83, No. 4 Vanderbilt 62
2006 — No. 14 Northwestern State 64, No. 3 Iowa 63; No. 13 Bradley 77, No. 4 Kansas 73
2005 — No. 14 Bucknell 64, No. 3 Kansas 63; No. 13 Vermont 60, No. 4 Syracuse 57, OT
2003 — No. 13 Tulsa 84, No. 4 Dayton 71
2002 — No. 13 UNC Wilmington 93, No. 4 Southern Cal 89, OT
2001 — No. 15 Hampton 58, No. 2 Iowa State 57; No. 13 Kent State 77, No. 4 Indiana 73; No. 13 Indiana State 70, No. 4 Oklahoma 68, OT
1999 — No. 14 Weber State 76, No. 3 North Carolina 74
1998 — No. 14 Richmond 62, No. 3 South Carolina 61; No. 13 Valparaiso 70, No. 4 Mississippi 69
1997 — No. 15 Coppin State 78, No. 2 South Carolina 65; No. 14 Chattanooga 73, No. 3 Georgia 70
1996 — No. 13 Princeton 43, No. 4 UCLA 41
1995 — No. 14 Old Dominion 89, No. 3 Villanova 81, 3 OT; No. 14 Weber State 79, No. 3 Michigan State 72; No. 13 Manhattan 77, No. 4 Oklahoma 67
1993 — No. 15 Santa Clara 64, No. 2 Arizona 61; No. 13 Southern University 93, No. 4 Georgia Tech 78
1992 — No. 14 ETSU 87, No. 3 Arizona 80; No. 13 Southwestern Louisiana 87, No. 4 Oklahoma 83
1991 — No. 15 Richmond 73, No. 2 Syracuse 69; No. 13 Penn State 74, No. 4 UCLA 69
1990 — No. 14 Northern Iowa 74, No. 3 Missouri 71
1989 — No. 14 Siena 80, No. 3 Stanford 78; No. 13 Middle Tennessee State 97, No. 4 Florida State 83
1988 — No. 14 Murray State 78, No. 3 N.C. State 75; No. 13 Richmond 72, No. 4 Indiana 69
1987 — No. 14 Austin Peay 68, No. 3 Illinois 67
1986 — No. 14 UALR 90, No. 3 Notre Dame 83; No. 14 Cleveland State 83, No. 3 Indiana 79
Florida State finishes off first round with 67-54 win over Missouri
The Florida State Seminoles might not have a flashy scorer. They do have plenty of Seminoles who can score.
Ninth-seeded Florida State beat No. 8 seed Missouri 67-54 Friday night in the West Region. A total of 10 different Seminoles scored at least two points — by halftime — as they wore out a Missouri team with only eight players available for this game.
Michael Porter Jr. came off the bench for his third game with Missouri. He finished with 16 points, scoring 13 in the second half as the Tigers tried to rally. But they got within 50-44 only to see the Seminoles reel off 15 straight points.
Florida State plays No. 1 seed Xavier on Sunday.
There’s no 12 over 5 upset this year: Clemson eliminates New Mexico State 79-68
There won’t be a No. 12 seed advancing in the NCAA tournament.
The last hope for the seemingly yearly 12-5 upset ended Friday night as No. 5 seed Clemson beat New Mexico State 79-68 in the Midwest Region. It’s just the second time since 2008 a No. 12 seed won’t advance.
Shelton Mitchell scored a season-high 23 points and Gabe Devoe added 22 as the Tigers advanced to the second round for the first time since 1997. Clemson shot 56% to knock out the champions of the Western Athletic Conference.
Zach Lofton led New Mexico State with 29 points, but the Aggies had too many stretches without scoring to keep up with the Tigers hot shooting.
Clemson will face No. 4 seed Auburn in the round of 32 on Sunday.
Syracuse plays its way into second round with 57-52 defeat of TCU
Syracuse is moving on.
The Orange’s trademark zone defense contained Texas Christian for a 57-52 win in the first round of the NCAA tournament. They’ll face Michigan State in Detroit on Sunday in a matchup of schools with basketball lineage.
TCU shot 17% from behind the three-point arc against Syracuse, which won a play-in game Wednesday.
Xavier steamrolls Texas Southern 102-83
The top-seeded Xavier Musketeers are moving on to the round of 32.
J.P. Macura scored a career-high 29 points, Trevon Bluiett added 26 and Kerem Kanter had 24 as Xavier routed No. 16 seed Texas Southern 102-83 Friday night in the West Region.
This was Xavier’s first time playing as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Only the pesky Tigers kept Xavier from never leading by more than 24.
Damontrae Jefferson led five Tigers in double figures with 20 points. He led Texas Southern from the Southwestern Athletic Conference playing every minute of the game.
Auburn advances past Charleston 62-58
Fourth-seeded Auburn is moving on in the NCAA tournament. Barely.
Mustapha Heron had 16 points and Auburn hit some key late free throws to hold off No. 13 seed Charleston 62-58 in the first-round of the Midwest Region on Friday.
The Tigers were in a fight the entire second half and trailed 55-54 with three minutes left after a three-pointer from Charleston’s Marquise Pointer. But Bryce Brown’s three put the Tigers back in front, and Jared Harper added a three-pointer with 1:14 left to give the Tigers a 59-56 lead.
Charleston had chances in the final minute to close the gap but missed three key free throws, and Grant Riller’s attempt at a tying three-pointer in the final 10 seconds was well short. It appeared Riller was fouled, but no call was made.
Jarrell Brantley had 24 points to lead Charleston.
Michigan State holds off pesky Bucknell 82-78
Miles Bridges scored 29 points, and third-seeded Michigan State outlasted 14th-seeded Bucknell 82-78.
The Spartans advance to play the winner of the TCU-Syracuse game.
Michigan State led just 44-40 at halftime but held the Bison to 10-of-28 shooting in the second. Zach Thomas scored 27 points for Bucknell before fouling out on a technical with 6:06 remaining.
Bucknell made five three-pointers in the last 90 seconds or so to make the final score close — a flurry that seemed to impress even the Michigan State fans in Detroit — but the outcome wasn’t really in doubt late.
Kansas State beats Creighton to move on in NCAA tournament
Barry Brown scored 18 points, and ninth-seeded Kansas State led wire-to-wire to post a 69-59 victory over No. 8 Creighton on Friday night despite playing without leading scorer Dean Wade.
Mike McGuirl added 17 points and Kamau Stokes had 11 as the Wildcats reached the final 32 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. Wade had been expected to play after suffering a stress fracture in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, but never saw the floor.
His teammates picked him up, particularly on defense.
Creighton came into the game ranked 10th in scoring in Division I at 84.3 points per game but tied a season-low with 59 points after shooting 33.8 percent from the field, including 26 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Leading scoring Marcus Foster, who spent two seasons at Kansas State, was held scoreless for the first 28 1/2 minutes and finished with five points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Jevon Carter leads West Virginia past Murray State 85-68
Jevon Carter scored 21 points, had eight assists and six steals, Teddy Allen added 16 points and No. 5 seed West Virginia overwhelmed 12th-seeded Murray State 85-68 in the first round of the East Region on Friday.
The Mountaineers (25-10) pulled away in the second half and advanced to the round of 32 for the third time in the last four seasons as four players finished in double figures.
Next up for West Virginia: A Mountain State showdown with 13th-seeded Marshall far away from home.
Carter had 13 points in the second half and was the trigger of a second-half surge by the Mountaineers after Murray State had trimmed a 14-point lead down to five.
Terrell Miller led Murray State (26-6) with 27 points, but he was the only Racers player to shoot well. Miller made 8 of 11 shots, but his team hit just 41%. Murray State had won 13 straight games entering the NCAA tournament, the second-longest active win streak in the country.
More important than what Carter did offensively was the job he and his teammates did on the defensive end shutting down Murray State star Jonathan Stark. It was Stark who had carried the offensive load all season for the Racers.
Stark had scored in double figures in 30 of 31 games entering the NCAAs, including three games of 30 or more points late in the season.
But Stark never found his shot from the outside, and anytime he beat his defender there were Mountaineers waiting. Stark, who was averaging 21.8 points per game, was one of 12 shooting and finished with nine points.
Murray State lingered long enough to at least make the Mountaineers work. Down by 14 early in the second half the Racers rallied, pulling within 49-44 on Shaq Buchanan’s basket. It capped a surge the Racers needed to avoid getting blown out. But the surge by Murray State was fleeting.
The Mountaineers scored nine of the next 10 points. Carter was the catalyst with a three-point play, and a steal where he found Logan Routt for a breakaway dunk and a 58-45 lead.
Murray State never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.