Sweet 16 set: Arizona, Duke advance will meet Thursday
TULSA, Okla (AP) – Derrick Williams’ three-point play with 9.6 seconds remaining lifted Arizona to a 70-69 win over Texas in the third round of the NCAA tournament Sunday.
The fifth-seeded Wildcats (29-7) led by as many as 13 in the first half and were up for most of the game before J’Covan Brown’s jumper put the No. 4 seed Longhorns ahead 69-67. Williams misfired on a tying attempt with 14.5 seconds remaining, but Texas (28-8) was called for a five-second violation on the inbounds play to give Arizona one more chance.
Replays appeared to show the call came before the count reached five – as a Texas player tried to call timeout.
Williams took advantage, slipping to the baseline on a pick-and-roll and taking the pass from Kyle Fogg. His shot banked in to tie the game, and his free throw put the Wildcats into the regional semifinals in their return to the NCAA tournament. Last year’s absence snapped a 25-year streak.
Arizona will play top-seeded Duke on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif.
Brown had one final chance for the Longhorns, driving the length of the court and into the lane. But he was met by a trio of Arizona defenders, including Williams, and his wild shot went high and missed. Time expired during the battle for the rebound.
Duke 73, Michigan 71
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Nolan Smith scored 24 points and Duke held off a late rally to beat Michigan and give coach Mike Krzyzewski his 900th career victory.
Kyle Singler added 13 points for the Blue Devils (32-4), who shot 51 percent, never trailed in the second half and advanced to the round of 16 for the 12th time in 14 years.
Darius Morris scored 16 points to lead the eighth-seeded Wolverines (21-14), who trailed by 15 with 10:51 to play but clawed within one point twice in the final 90 seconds. They had one last chance after Smith missed a free throw with 8.7 seconds left.
Morris’ runner in the lane with 2 seconds left bounced off the back iron and Smith grabbed the rebound at the buzzer, sealing Duke’s trip to Anaheim for the West regional semifinals.
Kyrie Irving and Ryan Kelly scored 11 points apiece for the defending national champions, who won their eighth straight game in the NCAA tournament.
Krzyzewski improved to 900-283 in his 36th season, and can catch his mentor and college coach, Bob Knight, for first on the career list next weekend.
North Carolina 86, Washington 83
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Tyler Zeller scored 23 points, Harrison Barnes added 22 and North Carolina survived a frantic finish to beat Washington and advance to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament for a record 24th time.
Rallying from deficits of 11 points in the first half and five in the second, the second-seeded Tar Heels (28-7) went ahead for good on Barnes’ 3-pointer with 4:06 left. But they needed two free throws from Dexter Strickland and a defensive stop in the closing seconds to advance.
Terrence Ross scored 19 points for the seventh-seeded Huskies (24-11), who overcame a hostile crowd to nearly pull the upset in a fast-paced game full of entertaining plays and mental miscues down the stretch.
Marquette 66, Syracuse 62
CLEVELAND (AP) – Darius Johnson-Odom’s 3-pointer with 27 seconds left snapped a tie and gave Marquette a win over Big East foe Syracuse that put the Golden Eagles into the round of 16 for the first time in eight years.
The 11th-seeded Golden Eagles (22-14) had the winning basket set up by one of Syracuse’s 18 turnovers. Marquette will play North Carolina in the East regional semifinals Friday in Newark, N.J.
The Golden Eagles are in the round of 16 for the first time since Dwyane Wade led them to the Final Four in 2003.
This was the second straight early exit for third-seeded Syracuse (27-8). The Orange were a No. 1 seed last year and lost in the round of 16 to Butler.
Florida State 71, Notre Dame 57
CHICAGO (AP) – Bernard James scored 14 points, Michael Snaer added 13 and Florida State showed there’s more to its game than defense with a dominant upset of second-seeded Notre Dame that put the Seminoles in the round of 16 for the first time since 1993.
It was an impressive effort by the 10th-seeded Seminoles, who had four players in double figures and went 9 of 19 from 3-point range.
Florida State (23-10) now faces upstart Virginia Commonwealth in the Southwest regional semifinals Friday in San Antonio. According to STATS LLC, it will be the first 10 vs. 11 matchup in NCAA tournament history.
For Notre Dame, meanwhile, it was another disappointing showing in the NCAAs. The Fighting Irish (27-7) had their highest seed since 1981 under Digger Phelps, but they’ve reached the regional semifinals only once in the last 24 years (2003).
Big East player of the year Ben Hansbrough was stifled most of the night by the Seminoles’ defense, scoring 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting before fouling out with 3:19 left.
Virginia Commonwealth 94, Purdue 76
CHICAGO (AP) – Bradford Burgess scored 23 points and 11th-seeded VCU made it three victories in five days, routing third-seeded Purdue to earn a trip to the Southwest regional semifinals.
VCU’s remarkable run sends the Rams (26-11) to the round of 16 for the first time in school history. They’ve ousted Southern California, Georgetown and Purdue since Wednesday night.
Jamie Skeen added 13 points in a balanced attack as the Rams led by as many 20, shutting down the Boilermakers (26-8) and quieting a large contingent of Purdue fans at the United Center.
Speedy floor leader Joey Rodriguez had 12 points and 11 assists, controlling the tempo. VCU shot 57 percent and had 26 assists to just four turnovers.
Big Ten player of the year JaJuan Johnson scored 25 in his final game for the Boilermakers to go with 14 rebounds. But Purdue’s other star, E’Twaun Moore, struggled and managed just 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
Ohio State 98, George Mason 66
CLEVELAND (AP) – David Lighty made all seven of his 3-pointers and scored 25 points, Jared Sullinger added 18 after informing one of George Mason’s players “it’s over” and top-seeded Ohio State made 16 3s to advance in the NCAA tournament with a jaw-dropping rout.
With thousands of fans chanting “O-H-I-O” at every opportunity, the Buckeyes (34-2) took apart the eighth-seeded Patriots (27-7), who created some March mayhem a few years ago and hoped to follow Butler’s lead by taking out a No. 1 seed in this tourney.
Ohio State destroyed any upset plans and moved closer to its first national title since 1960. The Buckeyes will meet Kentucky (27-8) in the East regional semifinals Friday in Newark. Ohio State is 5-0 in NCAA tournament matchups with the Wildcats.
After falling behind 11-2, the Big Ten champions used their devastating inside-outside attack to post the most lopsided tournament victory in school history.
William Buford scored 18 and freshman guard Aaron Craft had 15 assists for Ohio State.
Cam Long scored 16 points to lead George Mason, which played without Luke Hancock, one of its best players. The sophomore guard had food poisoning and remained with a trainer at the team’s hotel.
Kansas 73, Illinois 59
TULSA, Okla. (AP) – Twin brothers Marcus and Markieff Morris combined for 41 points and 24 rebounds, powering top-seeded Kansas past Illinois to ensure the Jayhawks wouldn’t make an opening-weekend exit from the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
The Jayhawks (34-2) avoided revisiting their loss to another No. 9 seed, Northern Iowa, exactly a year earlier and also on Oklahoma soil. Instead, they’re moving on in a bracket filled with upsets.
No. 11 seed VCU and 12th-seeded Richmond will join them in the Southwest regional semifinals in San Antonio. Kansas plays Richmond on Friday.
Mike Davis led the Fighting Illini (20-14) with 17 points and seven rebounds.