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College Basketball Scores

Sunday, March 18, 2018
Men's College Basketball
Florida State vs. Xavier 8:40 (EDT) Preview

Florida St. gets shot to avenge 2017 loss to Xavier


Saturday, March 17 at 7:33 PM (EDT)

Xavier stunned third-seeded Florida State last year in the NCAA Tournament but Sunday -- a year to the day after that upset, the Seminoles get their chance at payback.

The teams meet in a second-round NCAA Tournament game with their roles reversed as the Seminoles look to halt Xavier's dream season in a second-round matchup at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

Having received a No. 1 seed for the first time in program history, Xavier opened its postseason run with a 102-83 victory over Texas Southern on Thursday night.

Florida State drew an eight seed after going 20-10 in the regular season with a 9-9 record in ACC play. The Seminoles knocked off No. 8 Missouri in the first round.

"Our guys were connected defensively early in the game," Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We were able to get some significant stops and deflections and steals that gave us some easy opportunities. A lot of that is because Missouri's similar to us in terms of youthful inexperience.

"But tomorrow's game is different because we're playing against an extremely experienced team with a lot of quality depth, a team that's very well connected together, and that we're going to have to be a little sounder defensively.

"We're going to have to execute a lot better offensively because this team has earned the right to be a No. 1 seed."

The Musketeers return largely the same cast that pulled off last year's upset and were bolstered by the efforts of graduate transfer Kerem Kanter and sophomores Tyrique Jones and Sean O'Mara.

"I think they're better than they were last year, because they're older, more experienced," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They have basically the entire team coming back, maybe with the exception of a couple role players. I think they're older, more mature."

Florida State lost two of its bigger stars to the NBA Draft, including lottery selection Jonathan Isaac.

"I see a team that plays for one another, that plays together," Mack said. "I think it's a much better sum of its parts team than maybe a year ago.

"That's no disrespect to the guys that were on the team a year ago, but that's sort of what happens when guys start to climb up the draft boards and they feel like they're auditioning in March a little bit.

"So we just have to worry about keeping those guys, as best we can, out of the lane and off the glass and then handling ball pressure that we're going to see tomorrow."

Mack wasn't sure if Naji Marshall would be ready to go Sunday night. The freshman forward played only 16 minutes before heading to the bench with back tightness and did not take part in the Saturday practice session.

"We're hopeful that he'll be well enough to play tomorrow," Mack said. "But I'm not trying to be coy. I just don't know. Hopefully, his back loosens up over the next 24 hours.

"The good thing is, as you guys know who have had lower back problems or any type of problem physically, usually feel a little bit better at night than you do in the morning, so I'm glad our game's later on in the evening."


Marshall vs. West Virginia 9:40 (EDT) Preview

Marshall, West Virginia battle for state supremacy


Saturday, March 17 at 8:32 PM (EDT)

SAN DIEGO -- After sparking Marshall's first NCAA Tournament victory, Jon Elmore enjoyed the well-wishing tweets from some better-known point guards, players such as Chris Paul and D'Angelo Russell.

Now the upset darlings aim to make more history against a familiar team that owns volumes of it.

"It's awesome for the university, but we're not satisfied," Elmore said on the eve of the Herd's second-round game against the state's flagship program, West Virginia (25-10). "Us being from West Virginia allows us to play with more of a chip on our shoulder and play with that extra edge."

Elmore's 27 points led an 81-75 upset of Wichita State, and the 13th-seeded Herd (25-10) will be double-digit underdogs again Sunday night at Viejas Arena. That venue sits 2,300 miles west of the Charleston Civic Center, where Marshall and WVU met every season from 1993 until 2016.

"You talk to everybody back home, half of the state's population is probably flying out here right now for the game," Elmore said.

Mixing deep shooting range with crafty spins around the basket, Elmore enters as the nation's ninth-leading scorer (22.9 per game). He's sure to face constant harassment from Jevon Carter, the reigning NABC Defensive Player of the Year.

"He can score many different ways," said Carter, whose tight defense limited Murray State's Jonathan Stark to 1-of-12 shooting in the opener. "We're going to key in on him, team defense, just like we did against Murray State."

Whereas "Press Virginia" frequently aims to speed up opponents into reckless turnovers, Marshall already embraces a freeway-style attack, playing at the seventh-fastest pace in the country, according to KenPom.

Coach Dan D'Antoni, taking cues from the rapid-fire offense his brother Mike utilized in the NBA, encourages players to shoot loose and quickly. With C.J. Burks, Ajdin Penava and Elmore combing for more than 58 points per game, the Herd ranks 10th in scoring and sixth in 3-point attempts.

"They do a terrific job with spacing," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "I think Danny probably does as good of a job of spacing as anybody we have in coaching."

D'Antoni said he favors his free-flowing system precisely for matchups like this against physically superior talent. He joked about scouting West Virginia with his eyes closed after noticing how big they were.

Could crisp passing and a spread floor could mitigate the talent gap and propel Marshall into the Sweet 16?

"We're not as athletic and big, but they're not as fast as that ball," he said. "So we can get the ball moving it will give our 3-point shooters angles to get 'em off. Now you get two, we get three, you get two, we get 3, you get 2, we get 3, we win!"

West Virginia leads the series 33-11, winning nine of the last 10.

As fans talk smack and the buzz swells back in the Mountain State, Carter shrugged off the local storyline. He said there's no better motivation than leading West Virgina to its third Sweet 16 in four seasons.

"Don't matter," he insisted. "This is March. We're here to win a national championship. It just happens that we just matched up against Marshall. Don't matter who it is. We're going to come to play."


Mississippi State vs. Baylor 12:00 (EDT)
Butler vs. Purdue 12:10 (EDT) Preview

Purdue begins life without Haas vs. Butler


Saturday, March 17 at 8:22 PM (EDT)

DETROIT -- Sunday's second round game in the East Regional between No. 2 seed Purdue and No. 10 seed Butler will be a rematch from regular season non-conference play, but will feature two drastically different teams than the previous matchup.

Purdue (29-6) defeated Butler 82-67 in the Crossroads Classic on Dec. 16, and on Friday defeated 15th-seeded Cal State Fullerton 74-48 to advance to the round of 32.

But the first-round victory came with a cost in starting center Isaac Haas.

The 7-foot-2 senior, widely regarded as one of the best low-post scorers in the country, fractured his right elbow in the second half of Friday's win after colliding with the hardwood having just secured a defensive rebound.

Purdue athletics released a statement shortly after the conclusion of Friday's game confirming the fracture, and announced Haas would miss the remainder of the season.

"He's been great for our program," Purdue coach Matt Painter said of Haas. "He's worked really hard. When guys get to this moment, this is their time, and now that's been obviously taken away from him. But it's part of competition, and the next guy's got to be able to step up and play."

The Bulldogs (21-13) may also be limited Sunday as guard Paul Jorgenson is listed as a game-time decision because of an ankle injury. Jorgenson, the team's third-leading scorer at 10.3 points per game, scored only three points in 10 minutes during Butler's opening-round victory over seventh-seeded Arkansas on Friday.

The Bulldogs handled the higher-seeded Razorbacks, winning 79-62 after jumping out to an early 21-2 lead. Butler shot almost 50 percent for the game and outrebounded Arkansas 45-25.

Butler guard Kamar Baldwin, who had 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists against Arkansas, said the team still has a lot prepare for even if Haas is not on the floor.

"I don't know if he's going to play or not, but we know they're a really good team with him or without him," Baldwin said. "We're going to prepare either way and be ready to go tomorrow."

Haas averaged 14.7 points per game and 5.7 rebounds this season, and had nine points and 10 rebounds Friday. He participated in a limited number of drills during the Boilermakers' Saturday practice and is reportedly wearing a brace, but Painter dismissed the possibility of Haas returning to action.

"He's trying to convince me, but it is what it is," Painter said. "His future is more important."

Without Haas, Purdue's depth in the post is in question. The likely replacement in the starting rotation is 7-foot-4 freshman Matt Haarms, who averaged 4.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 16.6 minutes off the bench. Haarms, more of a rim protector than an inside scorer, is fifth among the nation's freshman in blocked shots.

Approaching Sunday's rematch, Painter seemed unconcerned when discussing an adjusted game plan without Haas in the mix.

"He only plays half the game for us anyway," Painter said. "In our last game, Matt Haarms played 27 minutes in the game, so we're used to playing half the game without him anyway, so it doesn't change much."

First-year Butler coach LaVall Jordan believes his team has improved considerably since its initial matchup with Purdue in December.

"I think we are a lot more fluid offensively," Jordan said. "At that point in time it was pretty choppy ... And then I think defensively we've gotten a lot stronger, a lot more solid, a lot more aware, a lot more connected on that end of the court, where we've had from that point on, once we got in the Big East play, we've had some really solid defensive performances."

The Bulldogs seemed locked in defensively against Arkansas, holding the Razorbacks to 35.7 percent shooting, including 22.2 percent from 3-point range.

Even without Haas in the lineup, Purdue's perimeter shooting can be difficult to contain. The Boilermakers rank second in the country in 3-point field goal percentage at 42 percent -- the best among any team in the NCAA Tournament -- and with rotation changes likely to take place in light of Haas' injury, Jordan discussed the potential of facing a lineup with five perimeter scoring threats.

"The decision you have to make on our side is, are you going to match it? Or are you going to try to play advantage basketball with your post?" Jordan said. "I think we've got to prep for all of it and make a game-time call as you're in the moment and see what's best if they do do that, how you're going to counter it."

The winner of Sunday's game will advance to the Sweet 16 and play No. 3 seed Texas Tech or No. 6 seed Florida at TD Garden in Boston. Both teams advanced to the Sweet 16 last year, and Butler seeks consecutive trips for the first time since its back-to-back National Championship appearances in 2010 and 2011.

The Boilermakers made the Sweet 16 in 2009 and 2010, their first back-to-back appearances since 1999 and 2000.


Syracuse vs. Michigan State 2:40 (EDT) Preview

Syracuse looks to take down No. 3 seed Michigan St.


Saturday, March 17 at 5:25 PM (EDT)

Longtime Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim knows how gut-wrenching the NCAA Tournament can be to everyone but the eventual national champion.

Boeheim feels badly for Virginia coach Tony Bennett and his team after the Cavaliers became the first No. 1 seed in tournament history to lose to a No. 16 seed.

"This tournament just breaks your heart," Boeheim said. "The better you are, the more it breaks your heart. It's unfortunate but everything revolves around what you do in this tournament if you're good. If you're not so good, it's good just to get in it."

Syracuse was fortunate to receive one of the last at-large bids and had to work its way through the First Four round. The Orange, seeded 11th in the Midwest Region, are in a position to provide heartbreak to one of the top seeds.

They got into the Round of 64 by edging Arizona State on Wednesday, then topped No. 6 seed TCU 57-52 on Friday night. The Orange will face No. 3 seed Michigan State, which defeated No. 14 Bucknell 82-78 in the second round on Sunday afternoon at Detroit's Little Caesars Arena.

As usual, Syracuse (22-13) is living off its vaunted zone defense. It held the Horned Frogs to 39.6 percent shooting and forced 13 turnovers to grind out the victory. That's the formula it will try to use against the athletically gifted Spartans (30-4).

"We're going to play the way we play," Boeheim said. "We're not running up and down."

The Orange had plenty of trouble scoring Friday as their main three offensive threats -- Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett and Frank Howard -- shot a combined 11 for 40 from the field. They were bailed out by freshman forward Marek Dolezaj, who scored a game-high 17 points.

"He's a good defender and he's capable of scoring in the right situations," Boeheim said of Dolezaj. "Everybody we play is worried about the other three guys. He gets into some really good situations. He gets the ball, open, at 10 feet a lot. He's gradually been able to figure that out."

Michigan State relied on its best option to shake off the pesky Bison. Sophomore forward Miles Bridges took 22 shots and poured in 29 points.

"I did get on Miles at halftime," coach Tom Izzo said. "But boy, we started running some stuff for him and he started answering the bell, one right after another."

The Spartans didn't play for nearly two weeks prior to their tournament opener. They trailed just once and built a commanding lead in the late going. Bucknell hit a flurry of 3-pointers in the final two minutes but ran out of time.

"Considering the layoff, we were pretty sharp for maybe 30 minutes of the game," Izzo said. "But when we weren't sharp, it was really disappointing. It wasn't one mistake, it was like three or four. That's got to change if we're going to be moving on."

In a game that got chippy at times, particularly in the second half, the Spartans showed their longtime coach some toughness.

"We're still growing, we're still trying to get better but we really took a big step because it was a physical game," he said.

The traditional powers haven't met in the tournament since 2000. The Spartans won in the regional semifinals 75-58 and went on to win the national championship.


Oregon vs. Marquette 4:30 (EDT)
Drake vs. Northern Colorado 5:00 (EDT)
Texas A&M vs. North Carolina 5:15 (EDT) Preview

North Carolina meets big Texas A&M squad


Saturday, March 17 at 4:46 PM (EDT)

Ninth-ranked North Carolina's objective is to stick with the process that works.

That's a similar approach for Texas A&M.

So the teams will be trying to draw on their strengths when they meet in the NCAA Tournament's second round Sunday at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.

It makes sense that North Carolina is entrenched in the process because those methods helped produce a national championship last year.

"I don't feel any pressure," senior guard Joel Berry II said. "This is our last (tournament), and we just want to enjoy it as much as we can and just do like we did last year and take it one game at a time and make sure we're focusing on the game that's coming up."

North Carolina (26-10), which is the West Region's No. 2 seed, and seventh-seeded Texas A&M (21-12) made it through the opening round unscathed.

"We turned it over too much (against Lipscomb), but a lot of stuff we did other than that was good," Tar Heels guard Cameron Johnson said. "Hopefully we can take this and build some momentum from it going into the next one."

Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said he knows the Aggies have a luxury with their length along the front line. Three players at 6-foot-9 or taller will have to try to take advantage of North Carolina's relative inexperience in the post.

A 44-26 rebounding edge on Providence was evidence of what the Aggies can accomplish in that department.

"It's something we take pride in," said forward Robert Williams, who's listed at 6-10.

"That's what we do," said Aggies forward Tyler Davis, also at 6-10.

Williams and Davis combined for 29 rebounds Friday. But the Tar Heels have long been considered one of the country's top rebounding groups.

Guard Admon Gilder, whose 18 points led four Texas A&M players in double-figure scoring in the first round, said an emphasis on defense is something the team takes seriously.

"We hang our hats on playing defense every day," Gilder said.

Berry, who was last year's Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four, reached a notable mark during Friday's game. He scored 14 points to move to 1,792 career points and into 13th place on the school's all-time list, passing legendary Michael Jordan. This NCAA venue is the home of the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by Jordan.

"I think he left after three years, didn't he?" Berry said. "So it's kind of expected for me to pass him. ... But just to see highlights of him and to be able to have that honor, that's something great. I can always remember that."

Berry and forward Luke Maye both average 17 points for the Tar Heels, who are aiming to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth year in a row. They've advanced out of the second round the last eight times they've held the better seed.

Texas A&M is North Carolina's fifth Southeastern Conference opponent in the last 10 second-round games in the tournament.

North Carolina holds a 2-1 series edge, though Texas A&M won a 1980 NCAA Tournament meeting in double overtime in Denton, Texas.

North Carolina is 34-1 in NCAA Tournament games in its home state. That includes a 12-0 record in Charlotte.

"Players play," coach Roy Williams said. "I've never lost to a building, but this has been very comfortable for us. Hopefully, it will last one more game."


Nevada vs. Cincinnati 6:10 (EDT) Preview

Excited Nevada takes on workmanlike Cincinnati


Saturday, March 17 at 4:17 PM (EDT)

If not for top seed Virginia's historic loss on Friday, one of the NCAA Tournament's biggest stories just might have been the Nevada Wolf Pack and their exuberant head coach.

But for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, nothing was going to trump the University of Maryland-Baltimore County's historic upset of the Cavaliers.

Imagine how much apologizing Nevada's Eric Musselman would be doing if his team was seeded 16th and had defeated the No. 1 overall seed?

The Wolf Pack (28-7) rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to beat Texas in overtime 87-83 in Nashville, Tenn. The win was Nevada's first NCAA Tournament victory since 2007.

In the postgame locker room celebration, Musselman could clearly be heard shouting expletives during a wild celebration with his players.

"First of all, we'd like to apologize for any language that might have been caught on TV. Obviously, we had an excited locker room," Musselman said as he opened his postgame news conference. "We apologize for that."

Musselman and the seventh-seeded Wolf Pack won't have much time to savor their victory over the 10th-seed Longhorns. Up next will be the Cincinnati Bearcats (31-4) -- the South Region's second seed.

Sunday's game will match a Wolf Pack offense that ranks 16th in the nation at 83.2 points per game against a Cincinnati defense that is second in the nation, giving up just 57.1 points.

This will be the first time the two teams have played each other.

The Wolf Pack are making their eighth appearance, and second straight, in the NCAA Tournament. Nevada's best showing was a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2004.

Cincinnati's tournament resume includes two titles and six Final Fours among its 31 appearances. Maybe that explains the Bearcats' workmanlike attitude.

They took care of business on Friday, beating Georgia State 68-53. There were no wild celebrations in Mick Cronin's locker room. Cronin didn't think there was much reason to celebrate after winning a first-round game.

"If you're in the tournament, you're trying to win the tournament," Cronin said. "That might be the Tiger Woods in me. I don't believe in Elite Eights and all that stuff. ... To me, you enter a tournament to win it."

The Bearcats trailed early but too much Jarron Cumberland (27 points, 11 rebounds) and a little too much bravado doomed Georgia State to a quick exit.

"What really made me play was their guys talking trash," Cumberland told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It hyped me up. They were talking a lot of stuff and saying they came ready to play. I was like, 'Yeah, I hear you guys talking.' "

Cronin and the Bearcats will be facing a confident and explosive Wolf Pack team on Sunday with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. The Wolf Pack stormed back from the double-digit deficit and tied the game with a free throw from Jordan Caroline with 3.8 seconds in regulation.

In overtime, they showed just how scary they can be on offense. Nevada scored on all nine possessions and went 6-for-6 from the field, including Caleb Martin hitting three from beyond the arc. The Wolf Pack scored 19 points in the extra period.

"I don't know how we won," a drenched and shocked Musselman said.

Nevada used only six players, but five of them scored at least 14 points. Kendall Stephens had a team-high 22 points.

The Martin twins, Caleb and Cody, who transferred from North Carolina State, combined for just nine first-half points but teamed up for 24 points in the second half and overtime.

"I knew once we got into overtime, we'd be good," said Cody Martin, who had 15 points, six assists and four blocks. "You could tell by the body language that they didn't want to go into overtime."

In the Wolf Pack's march to the Sweet 16 in 2004, they were a 10th seed, and after beating Michigan State, faced No. 2 seed Gonzaga. The Wolf Pack beat the Bulldogs 91-72 before losing the next time out to eventual runner-up Georgia Tech 72-67.


Middle Tennessee vs. Louisville 6:30 (EDT)
Clemson vs. Auburn 7:10 (EDT) Preview

Tigers will win when Auburn meets Clemson


Saturday, March 17 at 9:13 PM (EDT)

SAN DIEGO -- The way Auburn coach Bruce Pearl sees it, this NCAA Tournament appearance is not only about his team but also about the SEC.

"You know, we are really proud of SEC basketball right now," Pearl said after a harrowing 62-58 victory over the College of Charleston in a Midwest Region game that was not decided until the final three seconds Friday.

"I've been in this league for 10 years. It's never been stronger, and we feel the responsibility ... winning the regular season championship, to represent our conference. So maybe we are putting a little too much pressure on our kids."

Fourth-seeded Auburn (26-7) will meet No. 5 seed Clemson (24-9) in a battle of Tigers that shapes up as a duel of perimeter threats at the Viejas Arena in San Diego on Sunday for a berth in the Sweet 16 in Omaha, Neb., on March 23.

Like SEC regular-season co-champion Auburn, Clemson knows a little something about conference quality and March success. Clemson tied for third in the ACC while wining a school record 11 conference games in a league that had two No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 in the NCAA Tournament.

The ACC placed nine in the NCAAs and the SEC had eight, and the SEC had the edge after going 6-2 in the first two full days of the tournament. The ACC was 6-4 including Syracuse's play-in victory Tuesday despite the historic loss by No. 1 overall tournament seed Virginia to Maryland-Baltimore County on Friday. The leagues split the first two head-to-head tournament matches, Alabama beating Virginia Tech and Florida State defeating Missouri.

"I know how good Virginia is and it's hard to beat them," Clemson coach Brown Brownell after a 79-68 victory over New Mexico State on Friday, "but I also think it's another example of (how) college basketball has changed in terms of the landscape of talent.

"There are more better players than ever, and the difference between 1s (seed) and 16s has narrowed just like with 2s and 15s and 3s and 14s and all that. I don't think there is a big difference between 5s and 12s, 6s and 13s. I just don't think there is a difference anymore."

Auburn and Clemson were chic picks to be upset in the first round, but only Auburn had much trouble.

Point guard Jared Harper's 3-pointer, his only field goal of the game, broke a tie with 59 seconds remaining as Auburn moved on while shooting 35.6 percent from the floor and making 15-of-32 free throws. Mitigating that, Auburn forced Charleston into a season-high 21 turnovers, about double its average.

Harper made a free throw with three seconds to go for the final point, although the NCAA put out a statement Saturday saying that Chuma Okeke, not Harper, should have been at the line after catching Grant Riller's air-ball 3-point attempt before passing off.

"After the foul the ref pointed at me to go to the line, so I stepped up and went to the line. Simple as that," said Harper, an 82.2 percent free throw shooter.

Auburn was in the double bonus, and the call would have mattered only if Okeke had missed both free throws with a 61-58 lead. Okeke is a 68.6 percent foul shooter.

Auburn has won eight straight NCAA openers, tied with Syracuse for the fourth-longest streak. Only North Carolina (16), Kansas (11) and Gonzaga (10) have more. Guard Mustapha Heron, who led Auburn with 16 points against the College of Charleston, will become the fifth player in school history with 1,000 points in two seasons.

Both teams lost a big man to injury during conference play, and both have persevered with strong guard play.

Clemson guards Gabe DeVoe, Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell controlled the victory over New Mexico State, combining for 60 points on 25-of-42 shooting from the field. Mitchell had 23 points and two 3-pointers and DeVoe had 22 points and two 3s.

"Our guys have been through a lot this year," Brownell said. "There has been a lot on our guys, Gabe and Shelton and Marcquise. They have had to shoulder the load in a lot of situations. They can play. If we just give them space and tell them to make plays. It's as simple as that."

The winner will extend what already has been an extraordinary season. Auburn won 21 of its first 23 and peaked at No. 8 in the AP Top 25 while making its first NCAA tourney since 2003.

Clemson reached No. 11 after winning 20 of its first 24, including a victory over North Carolina, and received its first NCAA bid since 2011.

The fact that some "experts" picked Clemson to lose its first game was talked about among the team earlier in the week, Brownell said, "but it's not like some big chip on our shoulder, underdog.

"We talked about at the beginning of the season that we not didn't concern ourselves with being picked 13th in our league and nobody believes in us because none of that really matters.

"It doesn't matter in these games if you go in as a coach and give them the Knute Rockne speech and tell them all that. Three minutes into the game it's all about making plays."


UMBC vs. Kansas State 7:45 (EDT) Preview

After historic upset, UMBC braces for Kansas St.


Saturday, March 17 at 7:20 PM (EDT)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After a stunning upset of overall No. 1 seed Virginia, Maryland-Baltimore County coaches and players could be excused for resting on their laurels. That isn't likely to happen.

The underdog of all underdogs, the 16th-seeded Retrievers are looking to continue to dance as they face No. 9 seed Kansas State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday evening at Spectrum Center.

"We made history, but we try to block out everything," said Jairus Lyles, who led the Retrievers with 28 points against Virginia. "We've got a tough team we have to play on Sunday. I think we'll be ready."

"We want to win every game we're in," UMBC forward Joe Sherburne said. "We think we have just as good a chance at winning this game as the last game and the game before that."

After most of the team struggled chasing sleep after the big win, the biggest concern still may be a letdown for the Retrievers (25-10).

"It's always a concern," coach Ryan Odom said. "This was a historic event. We knew that would be an issue. But I'm not the type of guy that's going to take their phones. It's more about they've got to do the right thing.

"We experienced this on a much smaller scale when Jairus hit the (game-winning) shot at Vermont (in the America East Tournament final). Now this is a little bit different story here. We've got to encourage our guys to turn the page and focus here."

UMBC's style proved to be a tough matchup against Virginia, with Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett saying they couldn't handle the Retrievers' four-guard lineup.

But that may fall right into the hands of Kansas State. The Wildcats defeated Creighton using mostly four guards. There were times when the second-tallest player on the floor was 6-foot-2 Barry Brown, who likely will get the assignment of stopping -- or at least slowing down -- Lyles.

"I watched tape on him already when I found out that we were going to play them," Brown said Saturday. "That's going to be the guy I'm going to be guarding for most of the game. (I) see where he picks his spots and what he liked to do and how he likes to score. Hopefully I can shut him down."

Kansas State (23-11) likely will be without All-Big 12 first-team forward Dean Wade, who missed the 69-59 victory over Creighton with a stress fracture in his left foot. He is a game-time decision, but Wildcats coach Bruce Weber is preparing for life without him.

"Dean did some stuff today again," Weber said, "just a little bit on the court. I think if he plays it would be (on) a limited basis probably. But you know, miracles happen, and it would be nice to have him.

"Obviously we would have a nice matchup advantage if we had him inside. But (if) we don't, it's next man up. Mike (McGuirl) was it last night, Mak (Makol Mawien) was it against Kansas. We have to have somebody else step up tomorrow night."


Saturday, March 17, 2018
Men's College Basketball
Florida 66 vs. 69 Texas Tech Recap

Keenan Evans, Texas Tech to Sweet 16 after win over Florida

By STEPHEN HAWKINS - AP Basketball Writer

Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 AM (EDT)

DALLAS (AP) 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 3-pointer with 2 1/2 minutes left as third-seeded Texas Tech beat Florida 69-66 on Saturday night.

''As clock runs down, you look at it like, `I don't want my season to be over.' These guys are the same way,'' Evans said about the other Tech seniors.

While 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 (26-9) to Boston for a matchup against Purdue or Butler next Friday night.

''He has no ceiling,'' Evans said of Smith.

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 3-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.

Jalen Hudson led third-year coach Mike White's Gators with 23 points. Koulechov had 12 and Chiozza, their All-SEC point guard, had 11.

Texas Tech quickly erased a five-point deficit midway through the second half with nine straight points. Evans scored nine of those, and Smith - wo had a 360-spin alley-oop dunk from Evans in the tourney opener Thursday - delivered a follow-up slam.

Evans drove the baseline for a reverse layup put the Red Raiders up 51-50. After Smith's slam, Evans had a nifty spin move for a jumper and then added a three-point play after that.

Jarrett Culver, the hometown freshman for Texas Tech, had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Texas Tech hasn't been to the Sweet 16 since Beard was an assistant coach for Bobby Knight. But this is only the third NCAA appearance since for the Red Raiders.

After his time coaching on Knight's staff, and then for Pat Knight, Beard left Tech for more than a decade before coming back two years ago when Tubby Smith left for Memphis.


Just weeks before returning to Lubbock, after briefly holding the UNLV job, Beard's Arkansas-Little Rock team upset Purdue in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament as part of 30 wins in his only season there.

The Boilermakers, who on Sunday play for a chance to get to the Sweet 16, surely remember that.


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Portland State 64 vs. 67 San Diego
Houston 63 vs. 64 Michigan Recap

Poole's buzzer-beater sends Michigan past Houston 64-63

By DAVE SKRETTA - AP Sports Writer

Sunday, March 18 at 1:18 AM (EDT)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) The unflappable freshman with swag to spare let loose a long 3-pointer just as the buzzer sounded, watched it splash through the net and took off on a dead sprint around the arena.

''I saw everybody celebrating,'' Michigan's Jordan Poole said later, ''and I always thought if I hit a shot like that, I didn't want to get tackled. So I tried to avoid everybody.''

He finally gave up, allowing the sweetest of parties to truly begin.

Poole's buzzer-beater, which came after Houston squandered a chance to lock up a spot in the Midwest Region semifinals, lifted the third-seeded Wolverines to a 64-63 victory Saturday night - and left longtime coach John Beilein struggling to find the right words.

Dramatic? That's a good place to start.

''I'm just trying to appreciate the moment of what just happened,'' Beilein said. ''When he makes that shot, I'm making sure the shot got off. I'm managing my team. I can't even look at the celebration.''

''We did not play well, and credit Houston for that,'' he said. ''Sometimes you feel, well, geez, why did we win? But I've been on the other end of those many, many times. We got a fortunate break.''

That came when Devin Davis had a chance to seal the win, and the Cougars' gritty forward missed a pair of foul shots with 3.6 seconds left. The Wolverines (30-7) called their final play, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman found Poole on the wing.

The youngster's shot hit nothing but net.

''Sports is a great metaphor for life sometimes. It's not always fair,'' Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. ''I thought our team deserved to win that game. For 39 minutes, 57 seconds, I thought we were the better team. Credit their kid for hitting a big shot. It was a big, big shot he hit.''

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 his 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 sixth-seeded Cougars (27-8), who were trying to reach their first Sweet 16 since the last of the Phi Slama Jama teams in 1984.

They just about did it.

Davis gave the Cougars the lead when he made two free throws with 44.1 seconds left, then 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. Davis pulled down a crucial rebound, and then stalked to the foul line.

The senior forward missed both.

''It's hard to put into words,'' Gray said. ''I felt like we had the game won.''

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 his huge performance against San Diego State, the Wolverines were wary of Gray 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 2-for-11 shooting in the first half.

Whistles became constant as the second half wore on, and both teams soon found themselves in foul trouble. Wagner picked up his fourth with 8:43 to go, and Breaon Brady soon took a seat with his fourth for Houston, as the game turned into a glorified free-throw shooting contest.

Michigan converted eight straight at one point to take a 57-53 lead with 3:42 to go.

Armoni Brooks answered with a 3-pointer, and Davis converted a three-point play after fouling the Wolverines' Duncan Robinson out with 2:06 left, giving the Cougars a 60-59 lead.

Wagner answered with a putback basket for Michigan with 1:41 left, but after the teams swapped 3-point misses, Davis grabbed a crucial rebound and made two foul shots to give Houston the lead.

His night would have been a whole lot better if the game ended there.

''It's March Madness. It's bigger than basketball,'' Gray said. ''Those guys in the locker room, I'm super proud of them. I'm just glad we had this opportunity to come play in March.''


Michigan is headed to its fourth Sweet 16 in six years. ... Gray wound up averaging 31 points in two NCAA Tournament games. ... The teams combined for 41 fouls, resulting in 42 free throws.


Houston showed remarkable poise down the stretch, led by a pair of seniors and three juniors in its starting lineup. But the cracks showed when Davis went to the foul line with a chance to ice it.

Michigan won its 11th straight game in the most dramatic of fashions, even without its top players at their best. Abdur-Rahkman finished 4 of 15 from the field and Matthews was 5 for 12.


Michigan heads to the West Region semifinals in Los Angeles, where they will face the winner of Sunday's game between the second-seeded Tar Heels and No. 7 seed Aggies.


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Penn State 73 vs. 63 Notre Dame Recap

Carr, Penn State advance past Notre Dame 73-63 in NIT


Saturday, March 17 at 2:24 PM (EDT)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Tony Carr scored 24 points to extend his Penn State sophomore scoring record, Josh Reaves had 18 points and nine rebounds and the Nittany Lions beat Notre Dame 73-63 on Saturday in the second round of the NIT.

Penn State scored the first two points of the game and never trailed as Notre Dame didn't hit its first field goal until nearly five minutes in. Shep Garner sank a wide open 3-pointer from the corner to close the third-quarter scoring for a 50-36 lead. Carr sealed it with 1:25 left in the fourth by dribbling down the clock, going through his legs and sinking a step-back 3-pointer to make it 70-59.

Garner finished with 15 points for Penn State (23-13) and Lamar Stevens chipped in with 11.

Bonzie Colson scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 26 minutes for Notre Dame (21-15). He grimaced a bit leaving the game with 1:46 left in the third quarter and spent most of the closing minutes on the bench with ice wrapped around his left foot before the senior returned with 35.2 seconds remaining for an ovation from the crowd.

Matt Farrell, averaging 16.5 points per game, struggled for the second straight tournament game, scoring nine points for Notre Dame on 4-of-14 shooting.


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Alabama 58 vs. 81 Villanova Recap

No. 1 seed Villanova rolls past Alabama and into Sweet 16

By DAN GELSTON - AP Sports Writer

Saturday, March 17 at 4:16 PM (EDT)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jay Wright had some late-night restlessness because he could not turn off the TV as long as Virginia and UMBC were still playing. He met his Villanova team in the morning and the players at the breakfast tables were buzzing over basketball's biggest upset.

The reverberation from the 16-over-1 stunner was felt by another tourney top seed.

''There was a lot of attention with that,'' guard Donte DiVincenzo said. ''We're a 1 seed so it was more attention for us.''

In the March spotlight, Villanova showed how a No. 1 seed takes cares of business.

Mikal Bridges hit five 3s, scored 23 points and helped 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.

''My good vibes are coming from how this team's playing, how unselfishly they play,'' Wright said.

The sport is still buzzing from top-seeded Virginia's 20-point loss to 16th-seeded UMBC on Friday night.

Alabama (20-16) failed to make it two No. 1s KO'd in less than 24 hours.

After a tense first half in a round that has given the program fits, the Wildcats hit their first six 3s in the second and put on a thrashing up there among the most dominant under Wright.

Bridges, who averaged 17.9 points and played his way into a likely NBA draft lottery pick, scored 1 point and missed all five shots in the first half. He found his groove once the second half tipped. Bridges scored the first 5 points of the half and then finished 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 3s in succession to cap an 18-1 run and a Sweet 16 berth was in sight.

''I just had to play aggressive, play tougher,'' he said

Brunson added a 3 - one of a school-tournament record 17 3s - to make it 56-31 and the rest of the half was simply a countdown to Boston.

''There's a youthful exuberance with this team that is exciting me,'' Wright said.

The Wildcats' toughest nemesis was more the round than the team: Villanova 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 `18 to the list against Alabama.

The Wildcats live and die by the 3-pointer - they say, ''shoot em' up and sleep in the streets'' - and when it's on, look out. The Wildcats are as dangerous as any team in the nation.

When it's off, well, that's how they're so upset-prone in March. They missed eight of their first 11 3s in the first half and Alabama briefly grabbed the lead.

''We sometimes get away with some out-of-control shots, but we know that we don't really care about offense,'' Bridges said.

DiVincenzo steadied Villanova with three straight 3s 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 3 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 3s (made seven) out of 27 shots.

''We just had to withstand that first initial hit, and then once we got comfortable out there with each other, we started defending at a higher rate,'' DiVincenzo said. ''I just think we wore down their men.''

The Crimson Tide, who beat Virginia Tech for the first NCAA Tournament win in 12 years, matched their worst loss in tournament history.

''There are a lot of teams that would have loved to have been in our shoes to play an incredible game like we did in the first round and advance to the second round,'' Alabama coach Avery Johnson said.


Alabama: Collin Sexton led Alabama with 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting and the star guard has to decide if he'll join the ranks of the one-and-done freshman. He was the only player in double figures. Sexton did make five of Alabama's 15 turnovers.

''I'm worried about my team and celebrating with my team because we had a great season,'' Sexton said. ''Also, I got to finish school, and I'm trying to finish with a 4.0.''

Villanova: Villanova will play in its sixth Sweet 16 under Wright.


The Wildcats have won at last 32 games each of the last four seasons.


The Wildcats won a regional final in Boston in 2009 to reach the Final Four.


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Rhode Island 62 vs. 87 Duke Recap

Duke rolls into Sweet 16 with 87-62 romp over Rhode Island

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer

Saturday, March 17 at 7:09 PM (EDT)

PITTSBURGH (AP) The same message comes from Mike Krzyzewski almost daily. While the Hall-of-Fame Duke coach makes an effort to mix it up when talking to his ridiculously young and ridiculously loaded team, the theme never changes.

This moment in the NCAA Tournament is precious. Don't take it for granted. Especially if it turns out to be the only one you'll get.

Marvin Bagley III and the rest of his potentially one-and-done teammates appear to be all ears. The Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year poured in 22 points to go with nine rebounds and the second-seeded Blue Devils overwhelmed seventh-seeded Rhode Island 87-62 on Saturday to earn the program's 26th trip to the Sweet 16.

''After seeing these last couple games, these last few days of basketball, seeing what can happen, we have an idea that this tournament anything can happen,'' Bagley said. ''We can't look ahead. We've got to worry about now.''

And the rest of the field might need to start worrying about the Blue Devils (28-7), who will play either Michigan State or Syracuse in the Midwest Regional semifinal in Omaha, Nebraska next Friday. Duke shot 57 percent (29 of 51) from the floor, finished with 20 assists and never let the Rams (26-8) in it following a 23-5 burst midway through the first half.

E.C. Matthews led Rhode Island with 21 points but the Rams looked confounded at times by Duke's much improved zone defense. A weakness during a mini-swoon in late January, the Blue Devils are no longer treating defense like a chore they're forced to complete before getting the ball back in their hands.

''They played and looked like an NBA team out there,'' Rhode Island coach Danny Hurley said.

Pretty much. Of course, the coach is pretty good too. The victory was the 1,099th of Krzyzewski's career, breaking a tie with late Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt for the most wins by a basketball coach in NCAA history.

''It's an honor because she was a pioneer in her sport,'' Krzyzewski said, adding ''someone will have more eventually.''

Maybe but not for a while.

Krzyzewski's relationship with 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 and a fair amount of the latter. When the 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 and quashed any chance of an upset

If Grayson Allen, Gary Trent Jr. or Trevon Duval weren't knocking down 3-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 Carter 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.

''They have the inside game, the 3-point game and then the length of that zone was really -- it had us -- we were just spooked,'' Hurley said.

A Duval 3-pointer gave Duke a 45-28 lead at halftime. 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.


Hurley has spent the last six seasons painstakingly building the Rams into a perennial power in the A-10. The question now becomes whether he'll stick around to take it to the next level following a pair of NCAA berths. He acknowledged earlier in the week he understands his name is being floated out for open jobs, including the one in Pittsburgh.

At the moment, he doesn't particularly care.

''I could care less about what any other school in the country that's looking for a coach or talks about me on social media, I could give two craps about that,'' Hurley said. ''My heart and my mind is with this program and these players who just lost a brutal game after having an amazing couple of season.''


Rhode Island: The Rams lose four seniors to graduation, a group that put to together 91 wins over the last four seasons. Yet the cupboard is hardly empty with freshmen guard Fatts Russell and sophomore Jeff Dotwin returning.

Duke: With all the hype surrounding Bagley, it's easy for Carter to get overlooked. He went 6 for 6 from the field against the Rams and Krzyzewski raved about Carter's passing, calling it ''beautiful basketball.''


The Blue Devils are 14-9 in Sweet 16 games under Krzyzewski.


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Buffalo 75 vs. 95 Kentucky Recap

Young and talented: Kentucky stops Buffalo cold, 95-75

By EDDIE PELLS - AP National Writer

Saturday, March 17 at 8:59 PM (EDT)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) It'll take more than experience, grit and a double-digit dream to knock these kids from Kentucky out of the NCAA Tournament.

Namely, it'll take someone to slow down Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and his fellow freshmen, who are zeroing in on the finer points of the John Calipari Hoop School at precisely the right time.

Kentucky put an end to any upset talk on its watch Saturday, getting 27 points, six rebounds and six assists from Gilgeous-Alexander in a 95-75 pullaway from scrappy, veteran 13th-seeded Buffalo.

Gilgeous-Alexander went 10 for 12 and made both of his 3-point attempts to send fifth-seeded Kentucky (26-10) to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season.

''We are inexperienced and all that stuff,'' Calipari said. ''But I've got good players.''

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 in their games early; the evening slate started with Kentucky, and the Wildcats, with their all-freshman starting lineup, trailed only once: 2-0.

''We hear about those upsets,'' said Wenyen Gabriel, one of Kentucky's rare sophomores, who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. ''It just tells us to lock in some more, and focus.''

This didn't turn into a runaway until the last 7 minutes.

Buffalo (27-9), which got here with a 21-point blowout over No. 4 Arizona, twice trimmed a double-digit lead to five midway through the second half.

Gilgeous-Alexander answered both times - once with a 3-pointer to extend the lead back to eight, then again a few minutes later with a three-point play that started a 12-2 run and put the game away.

''We didn't have an answer for him,'' Bulls coach Nate Oats said. ''He was a major problem for us defensively.''

Not the only one.

Hamidou Diallo also went off - going 9 for 12 and scoring all but four of his 22 points in the second half while the Wildcats were putting it on cruise.

The team that went 0 for 6 from 3-point range Thursday in its win over Davidson, snapping a record streak of 1,047 games with at least one 3, went 7 for 15 in this one. Buffalo also made seven - but it took 31 attempts.

''There's a reason three of those guys are supposed to go in the first round, and a couple more are going to be pros,'' Oats said of Kentucky's NBA draft prospects. ''Cal's got them playing really well at the right time of year.''

The Wildcats have won nine of 10 since snapping a four-game losing streak in February.

And about that UMBC win - it could impact Kentucky more than you know. When Tennessee lost a one-point game to Loyola-Chicago shortly after Kentucky wrapped up Saturday, the Wildcats found themselves seeded behind only No. 2 Cincinnati in the South. There's a possibility they could make the Final Four without having to face even one single-digit seed.

''Coach has been telling us this whole week that you never know what can happen in this tournament,'' Gilgeous-Alexander said. ''We don't focus on any other team. We just try to get better every game and put it on the next opponent.''


Senior Wes Clark had an electric day for the Bulls again, but it wasn't enough. He finished with 26 points but closed his career at 0-5 against the Wildcats. The first four losses came before he transferred from Missouri.


Oats said he apologized to Calipari for saying the Kentucky coach ''whined'' all the time about having so many freshmen. Both coaches said it was overblown and there were no hard feelings. ''There's nothing there. He's a great guy and a heck of a coach,'' Calipari said.


Calipari on getting flak from players who now make millions in the NBA, but who he wouldn't start, or give enough touches to, when they were at Kentucky: ''You ask DeMarcus (Cousins) or Anthony (Davis), ask Devin (Booker). He's still mad I didn't start him. Devin Booker had 70 in a NBA game and I didn't start him. Or Eric Bledsoe. He says `You held me out.' I say, `You're doing all right. Will you buy dinner?'''


The Wildcats play the winner of Sunday's game between Kansas State and UMBC in Atlanta next Thursday.


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Loyola Chicago 63 vs. 62 Tennessee Recap

Prayer answered again: Loyola tops Tennessee on late jumper

By SCHUYLER DIXON - AP Sports Writer

Saturday, March 17 at 9:57 PM (EDT)

DALLAS (AP) Loyola-Chicago's Sweet 16 dreams bounced on the front of the rim, lightly touched the backboard, and rattled a couple times before slipping through the net.

Another prayer answered in the waning seconds, and now Sister Jean's Ramblers are heading to Atlanta.

Clayton Custer's jumper got that friendly bounce 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 3 from the March Madness logo against Miami, surely to the delight of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the team chaplain and occasional coach, watching from her wheelchair on a platform near the main TV cameras.

''The only thing I can say, glory to God for that one,'' Custer said. ''The ball bounced on the rim and I got a good bounce.''

The Ramblers were the long-shot story of the first round - until 16th-seed UMBC beat No. 1 Virginia to pull off the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history. That'll be hard for the Ramblers (30-5) to top, but they're working on it.

The Missouri Valley champions broke the school record for wins set by the 1963 NCAA championship team. The small Catholic college in the heart of Chicago will play the Cincinnati-Nevada winner in the regional semifinals Thursday in Atlanta.

''Of course,'' Schmidt said when asked if she'll be with the team.

No. 3 seed Tennessee (26-7) took its only lead of the second half on a 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 took the inbounds pass with 10 seconds left, dribbled left and then right, pulled up and let go of the winner.

The Vols' Jordan Bone got a decent look at last-gasp 3, but it 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 celebrated Ingram's dramatic winner.

''I've seen him make one, two dribble, one-two pull-up probably a million times,'' said Ben Richardson, who won two high school state championships with Custer in Kansas and has been his teammate since third grade. ''He makes it like a 98 percent clip.''

The Ramblers fell behind 15-6 in less than 5 minutes before the Volunteers missed their next nine shots and fell behind for the first time on Custer's 3-pointer with 6 minutes left in the first half.

Admiral Schofield scored 11 of those first 15 Tennessee points but didn't score again until a 3 nearly 32 minutes later that started a rally from a 10-point deficit in the final 4 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.

''It's always a tough way to lose a basketball game, buzzer-beaters,'' Barnes said. ''Had the ball with a chance to tie or go ahead and we did it. They had the ball with a chance to win, and they did it.''

Schmidt, a high school basketball player in San Francisco in the 1930s 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.

''It's great to get some exposure for our school and our fans,'' Richardson said. ''And on the national stage, we know there's so many loyal fans that have come up to us, that have been fans since `63, the national championship team, and they're so proud of us.''

Aundre Jackson, who grew up in the Dallas area, led Loyola with 16 points, and Custer had 10. Schofield scored 14 for Tennessee.


Loyola-Chicago: A special run continues and the Ramblers might not be one-year wonders. Several key players will be back, including Custer, fellow junior guard Marques Townes and freshman center Cameron Krutwig. The Ramblers probably won't have to wait another 33 years this time.

Tennessee: Letting a quick lead get away will hurt for the Vols, although the rally is a boost for a starting lineup with no seniors. It was the first NCAA trip in three seasons at Tennessee for Barnes, who took the Longhorns 16 times in 17 years.


Loyola-Chicago is headed to the round of 16 for the first time since 1985, when it lost to Patrick Ewing and Georgetown. That was also the last time the Ramblers made the NCAA Tournament.


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Seton Hall 79 vs. 83 Kansas Recap

Kansas holds off Seton Hall 83-79 to reach Sweet 16

By DAVE SKRETTA - AP Sports Writer

Saturday, March 17 at 10:38 PM (EDT)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Udoka Azubuike had practiced once in the last 11 days because of a lingering knee injury, and the mammoth Kansas forward's three-minute stretch in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament was about as underwhelming as his herky-jerky free-throw stroke.

He managed to go 22 minutes against Seton Hall on Saturday night.

The Jayhawks needed all of them.

Azubuike stood toe-to-toe with the Pirates' bruising Angel Delgado, and he drew enough attention on offense to spring his high-scoring guards for open looks. The result was a 28-point performance from teammate Malik Newman, 16 more from Svi Mykhailiuk, and a gritty 83-79 victory that pushed the top-seeded Jayhawks to their third consecutive Sweet 16.

''If `Doke wasn't able to come back from his injury, we don't win,'' coach Bill Self said. ''I was hoping for 20 minutes. That was what I was hoping. And he could have played more.''

Lagerald Vick added 13 points for Kansas (29-7), which converted every crucial play down the stretch to advance to the semifinals of the Midwest Region. The Jayhawks will face the winner of Sunday night's game between Auburn and Clemson next week in Omaha, Nebraska.

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. But he was less effective when Azubuike was in the game, a matchup that often sounded like battleships colliding.

''It stinks, basically, to leave like this,'' Delgado said, ''because we had so much expectation. We wanted to win every game, be the best team in the tournament.''

Khadeen Carrington finished with 28 points, many of them on 3-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 answering for the Pirates, but the Jayhawks were unflappable at the foul line.

''I think it was the four-minute timeout, Coach told us in the huddle we were in the bonus. Just get down there, keep getting fouls,'' said Newman, the MVP of last week's Big 12 Tournament. ''I was able to hit them quick and I was able to get to the line and make my free throws.''

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, 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 3-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 `Doke right back in the game.

''He was the best player in the game,'' Self said. ''He was a man. We knew he was good. And not having Doke in there more hurt us, because physically he was able to get the best of us.''

Seton Hall closed to 63-59 with 3:22 to go, but Newman answered with a 3-pointer and a pair of foul shots, and the poised Jayhawks never allowed the Pirates to come all the way back.

''I thought it was an extremely well-played game,'' Willard said. ''I thought the kids left everything on the floor for both teams. I'm proud of the way my guys kept fighting back. You just have to give Kansas credit. They made a lot of big shots late.''


Self improved to 35-13 in the NCAA Tournament with Kansas, highlighted by a national title in 2008. That breaks a tie with his predecessor and current North Carolina coach Roy Williams for the most tourney wins in school history. Williams was 34-14 with the Jayhawks.


Seton Hall was often rattled by a crowd that gave Kansas a hometown advantage. The game was played about 2 hours south of the Jayhawks' campus in Lawrence, and about 90 percent of the 15,000-plus at Intrust Bank Arena cheered on the home-state school.

Kansas survived without much production from Graham, who scored 29 against Pennsylvania in the first round. He took a wicked shot to the head from a teammate late in the first half, and wound up with eight points on 1-for-7 shooting.


The Jayhawks are headed to Omaha for the regional semifinals. They'll play the winner of Sunday night's matchup between fourth-seeded Auburn and No. 5 seed Clemson.


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Ohio State 84 vs. 90 Gonzaga Recap

Gonzaga beats Ohio State 90-84 for Sweet 16 return

By JOHN MARSHALL - AP Basketball Writer

Saturday, March 17 at 11:14 PM (EDT)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) Zach Norvell Jr. pulled up for 3-pointers, drove fearlessly to the rim and bulled his way into the trees to snare rebounds.

A spectator during Gonzaga's Final Four run a year ago, the confident, extroverted freshman could be the ticket for a return trip.

Norvell had 28 points, hit six 3-pointers and grabbed 12 rebounds, leading Gonzaga back into the Sweet 16 with a 90-84 victory over Ohio State in the West Region on Saturday night.

''I call him our spiritual leader; he gets us going every practice, even the ones they don't want to be at,'' said Gonzaga coach Mark Few, who brought back his celebratory headstand in the locker room. ''He's just a fiery guy with some swag from Chicago and we need that.''

A redshirt last season, Norvell averaged 12.3 points to help Gonzaga sweep the WCC regular-season and tournament titles.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard has elevated his game on the sport's biggest stage, hitting a late tiebreaking 3-pointer against UNC-Greensboro in the opening round to help the Zags advance.

The player known as ''Snacks'' - all he wanted was candy and chocolate as a kid - made 6 of 11 from the arc against Ohio State to lead Gonzaga (32-4) into the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight season - two wins from a second straight Final Four.

''I always have confidence on the offensive end, but helping the guys on the boards was big,'' said Norvell, who shot 8 of 18 overall.

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.

Rui Hachimura added 25 for Gonzaga.

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.

''They are really good and could make another Final Four run,'' Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann.

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 percent and held the Buckeyes to 35 percent 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 WCC 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 3-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.

''We weren't locked in on defense and just tried to stay calm,'' Bates-Diop said. ''I'm proud of how we fought back.''

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 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer - a run that propelled them back to the Sweet 16.


Ohio State came up short of its first Sweet 16 since 2013, but the season could hardly be considered a failure. The Buckeyes were picked to finish 11th in the Big Ten in Holtmann's first season, but ended up second and won a game in the NCAA Tournament.

''Obviously, you'd like to see it end differently, but we've evolved as a program,'' Holtmann said. ''This group really turned a corner and flipped a switch.''

Gonzaga did not play particularly well in its opening NCAA Tournament game, but looks like it could make another Final Four run after getting past the Buckeyes.


While Norvell and Hachimura were handling most of the scoring duties, junior guard Josh Perkins was aptly running the offense. He had 10 points and eight assists, helping the Zags shoot 53 percent and make nine 3-pointers.

''Josh Perkins has put together two really, really solid games, kind of managing the throttle of our offense,'' Few said.


Gonzaga will face the Xavier-Florida State winner at the West Region semifinals in Los Angeles.


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