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NCAA Latest: Oregon tops UC Irvine for last spot in Sweet 16

March 25, 2019
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Oregon forward Louis King celebrates after scoring against UC Irvine during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Latest on the second round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

11:45 p.m.

Oregon has beaten UC Irvine 73-54 to earn the final spot in a Sweet 16 filled with top seeds.

Payton Pritchard scored 18 points for the 12th-seeded Ducks, who next face No. 1 seed Virginia in the South Region.

UC Irvine, a No. 13 seed, had beaten Kansas State for a big first-round upse but couldn’t earn another win.

Oregon is the lowest-seeded team still alive in a tournament that has seen the headliners avoid major upsets. In all, 14 of the top 16 seeds reached the regional rounds, while the No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds all survived for the first time since 2009.

Oregon is the only double-digit seed to make it to the Sweet 16.

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11:20 p.m.

Houston has beaten Ohio State 74-59 in the Midwest Region. And that has ensured that every No. 1, 2 and 3 seed will reach the Sweet 16 for first time in a decade.

Corey Davis Jr. had 21 points for the Cougars, a No. 3 seed.

Every 1-, 2- and 3-seed also reached the Sweet 16 in 2009, which was the first time that had happened since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985. That also means that 14 of the top 16 seeds will reach the regional semifinals.

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UC Irvine isn’t going away without a fight.

The 13th-seeded Anteaters scored the first 12 points of the second half to tie No. 12 seed Oregon in this second-round matchup in the South Region. The winner of this game will be the only long shot to advance to the Sweet 16. The other 15 teams to advance this weekend are all seeded between one and five.

UC Irvine comes into the game with the longest active winning streak in the nation at 17 games in a row.

Oregon is holding a 48-40 lead with about 9 minutes left.

— Josh Dubow from San Jose, California

10:20 p.m.

Houston and Ohio State had a brief skirmish right after the first half ended.

Ohio State’s Keyshawn Woods and Houston’s DeJon Jarreau were issued technical fouls after the teams were pushing and jawing at midcourt. Houston’s Fabian White was held back by teammates and coaches.

Houston led 39-31 at the break. Corey Davis scored 11 points for Houston while C.J. Jackson scored 11 for the Buckeyes.

The Cougars were still leading 49-44 with 11:19 left.

—Cliff Brunt, reporting from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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10:05 p.m.

Top-seeded Virginia is back in the Sweet 16.

The Cavaliers got 14 points from Mamadi Diakite and 12 from Ty Jerome to clamp down on ninth-seeded Oklahoma 63-51 on Sunday night.

Virginia made it back to the round of 16 for the first time since 2016 and hopefully wiped away a stinging flameout a year ago when it became the first No. 1 seed to fall to a 16th seed in a 74-54 loss to UMBC.

Virginia’s win gave the Atlantic Coast Conference a national-best five teams in the Sweet 16.

The Cavaliers will face either 12th-seeded Oregon or 13th-seeded UC-Irvine in the next round.

— Pete Iacobelli reporting from Columbia, South Carolina

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9:40 p.m.

No. 1 seed Virginia is playing like the defensive-minded team it’s been all season.

The Cavaliers lead the nation in fewest points allowed and looked like they might have a problem after Oklahoma hung 95 points on Ole Miss in the NCAA Tournament’s opening round Friday. But Virginia had limited the Sooners to 37 points with 9 minutes left as they lead 48-37.

Oklahoma shot 56 percent on Friday but was around 34 percent midway through the second half against Virginia. The Cavaliers have six blocked shots and four steals in clamping down on the Sooners as they try to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016.

— Pete Iacobelli reporting from Columbia, South Carolina

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9:15 p.m.

Finally, No. 1 seed Virginia claimed a halftime lead.

The Cavaliers led 31-22 over No. 9 seed Oklahoma at the break of their second-round South region game.

On Friday, Virginia trailed No. 1 6 seed Gardner-Webb 36-30 at halftime before winning by 15. In their 2018 epic 20-point upset to No, 16 seed UMBC, the game was tied at half.

The Cavaliers got off to a good start by scoring the game’s first seven points before Oklahoma went on a 13-2 run.

After that, Virginia’s trademark stifling defense cracked down. The Sooners made just four of their last 18 shots of the first half.

Virginia is trying to make sure all the No. 1 seeds make it to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 — the last time the Cavaliers made it to the second week of the tournament.

— Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.

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8:30 p.m.

Texas Tech dominated the second half and cruised to a 78-58 win over Buffalo in a second-round West Region game in the NCAA Tournament.

Jarrett Culver had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Norense Odiase added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the third-seeded Red Raiders on Sunday. They advance to play No. 2 seed Michigan in the Sweet 16.

Nick Perkins had 17 points and 10 rebounds and CJ Massinburg added 14 points for Buffalo, which had its 13-game win streak snapped.

Tech had two big runs in the first half and dominated in the second. Buffalo didn’t score its first field goal in the second half until more than seven minutes in.

— Cliff Brunt, reporting from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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8 p.m.

Freshman Darius McGhee has hit four 3-pointers in the first half to give 12th-seeded Liberty a 32-29 lead over No. 4 seed Virginia Tech at the break.

The Flames are fresh off the first NCAA Tournament win in school history having upset Mississippi State in the first round of the East Region.

McGhee’s shooting helped Liberty build the lead against an instate foe. Ahmed Hill hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the half to get the Hokies back within three after trailing by as many as eight.

Star point guard Justin Robinson came off the bench once again for Virginia Tech in his second game back from a left foot injury. He has six points and one assist in 13 minutes.

— Josh Dubow from San Jose, California

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7:35 p.m.

Duke has survived.

The No. 1 overall seed rallied in the final seconds to beat UCF 77-76 and reach the Sweet 16 in the East Region.

The Knights had two shots for the win on the final possession, but B.J. Taylor missed a driving shot that rolled off the rim. The same then happened to Aubrey Dawkins’ last-ditch tip-in attempt, securing the win for Duke.

Duke trailed 74-70 late before pushing back ahead on RJ Barrett’s putback of a missed free throw by Zion Williamson.

Williamson had 32 points for Duke, while Dawkins had 32 for UCF.

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7:25 p.m.

The NCAA Tournament’s overall No. 1 seed is teetering.

No. 9 seed UCF used back-to-back 3-pointers from Dayon Griffin and B.J. Taylor, a stepback jumper from Aubrey Dawkins and a dunk by Tacko Fall after a shot clock review to take a 74-70 lead on No. 1 Duke with 2:09 left.

The Knights are shooting 9 of 18 from behind the arc. Dawkins is leading the way with 32 points on 12 of 16 shooting, including 5 of 7 on 3s.

Zion Williamson has 28 points for Duke.

Last year’s No. 1 overall seed, Virginia, lost in the tournament’s first round to UMBC.

— Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.

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7:20 p.m.

Texas Tech closed strong to lead Buffalo 33-25 at halftime in a second-round West Region game.

Jarrett Culver led third-seeded Tech with eight points, while Nick Perkins scored 11 points for sixth-seeded Buffalo.

Buffalo’s CJ Massinburg, the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, was held to two points on 0-for-3 shooting.

Buffalo wanted to push the pace — the Bulls entered the game averaging 85 points per contest. But they were outrebounded early, preventing them from getting out in transition and allowing Texas Tech’s stout defense to get set. Tech rolled out to a 19-6 lead.

Eventually, Buffalo settled down. The Bulls took a 25-24 lead on a 3-pointer by Davonta Jordan.

Tech regrouped and closed the first half on a 9-0 run.

— Cliff Brunt, reporting from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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7:05 p.m.

Cam Reddish has picked up his fourth foul as No. 1 seed Duke and its typically short bench deals with some foul trouble against UCF.

Reddish headed to the bench with 13:48 left and the Blue Devils leading 51-47.

Duke has struggled with guarding UCF’s 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall. Javin DeLaurier picked up three fouls trying to guard Fall. The Blue Devils have only played seven players so far Sunday.

Fall committed his third foul early in the second half, but Knights coach Johnny Dawkins has kept him on the floor and the gamble has worked. Ninth-seeded UCF has outscored Duke by six with Fall on the floor. Fall has 13 points and all six of his buckets have been dunks.

Duke leads 53-52 with 11:40 left in the game.

— Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.

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6:45 p.m.

It’s madness in March!

Gronk retired!

Trump and Russia!

Oh yeah, and college basketball.

CBS briefly interrupted its hoops broadcast to report special counsel Robert Mueller’s long investigation did not find evidence that President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski then lit up bottom-line tickers and breaking news updates on mobile devices when he announced his retirement from the NFL.

Gronk and Trump are surefire No. 1 seeds in top stories but there’s still a good game in Columbia, South Carolina: Top-seeded Duke leads UCF 51-45 some five minutes into the second half.

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6:20 p.m.

Top-seeded Duke ended the first half on a 12-2 run to lead UFC 44-36 at the half.

Zion Williamson put on the kind of show everyone expected in the first 20 minutes. The Duke freshman phenom hit a 3 for Duke’s first bucket, a twisting short jumper outside the lane as he was fouled and a dunk after a lob inside. The freshman phenom ended the half with 15 points.

Aubrey Dawkins, the son of UCF coach Johnny Dawkins, scored 18 points for the ninth-seeded Knights, shooting 3 of 4 on 3-pointers. Duke held the junior scoreless for the final 4:51 of the first half.

Tacko Fall had his highlights too for the Knights. All three buckets for the 7-foot-6 senior were dunks as he finished the half with seven points.

— Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.

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5:45 p.m.

It’s been quite a start for top-seeded Duke and No. 9 seed UCF in the East Region.

There have been two dunks from 7-foot-6 UCF big man Tacko Fall along with a 3-pointer from Blue Devils star freshman Zion Williamson in the game to determine who goes to the Sweet 16.

Fall opened the scoring on a putback dunk on a rebound and then grabbed his second offensive rebound of the game and dunked again to give the Knights a 10-6 lead.

Williamson came in shooting 32 percent from 3-point range, but he hit a wide-open one early. That was part of a 3-for-5 start for a team that came in shooting about 31 percent on 3s for the worst mark in program history.

Fall and Williamson were the most anticipated matchup of this game, but they aren’t assigned to each other on defense.

UCF leads Duke 19-15 about 11 minutes into the game.

— Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.

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Here’s a name to taco ’bout: UCF center Tacko Fall.

Yes, the 7-foot-6 center has made a name for himself this March in large part to the double-double winner of his frame and his name.

College basketball announcers and headline writers can’t stop having fun with a first and last name that easily lends itself to puns and witty word play.

CBS announcer Grant Hill couldn’t resist when Fall took on Duke’s Zion Williamson: “This looks like a hard shell taco on the block on Zion Williamson!”

Hey, it doesn’t really make sense, but it’s fun, links taco to Tacko and, after all, it’s his name.

Almost.

Did you know, Fall’s full name is Elhadji Tacko Sereigne Diop Fall. Try putting that on the back of a customized jersey.

But for one of the tallest men in the game, it’s just Tacko, for short.

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5:20 p.m.

Midwest No. 1 seed North Carolina is through to the Sweet 16.

The Tar Heels beat Washington 81-59 to make it to at least the second weekend for the fourth time in five seasons. Luke Maye had 20 points and 14 rebounds, while freshman Nassir Little had 20 points off the bench to lead the Tar Heels.

North Carolina shot 51 percent and finished with a 48-24 rebounding advantage, leading to 17 second-chance points.

The Tar Heels next face fifth-seeded Auburn in the regional semifinals.

Jaylen Nowell led the ninth-seeded Huskies with 12 points, but Washington shot just 38 percent.

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4:10 p.m.

No. 1 seed North Carolina is leading at halftime as it tries to get to the Sweet 16 after losing in the first weekend last year.

The Tar Heels are rolling behind Coby White and Luke Maye to lead ninth-seeded Washington 41-33 at the intermission. White, the freshman point guard, is 4 of 5 from behind the arc with 12 points. And Maye has found room under the top of Washington’s zone, going for 13 points and eight rebounds.

North Carolina shot 52 percent and dominated the glass, though its 10 turnovers have helped keep Washington in it.

Nazhiah Carter leads Washington with 10 points, while the Huskies have made just 3 of 13 3-pointers.

The Tar Heels also lost top big man Garrison Brooks in the first half when he took an inadvertent elbow while playing defense. The team said that Brooks needed stitches for a cut lower lip as well as having one loose tooth and another that is possibly fractured.

-Mitch Stacy reporting from Columbus.

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3:50 p.m.

Your bracket is busted. But for two entries out of the tens of millions that entered March Madness pools, the bracket is still perfect through 41 NCAA Tournament games.

The NCAA bracket tracker says only two perfect brackets remain two across all major online bracket games, including Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, Fox, Sports Illustrated and the NCAA’s own bracket game. It’s the longest streak of correct bracket picks, breaking the reported record of 39 games, which happened in 2017.

That means picking seeded upsets like No. 12 Murray State and No. 13 UC Irvine to advance, when millions more went poof. The day is young, with seven games left and plenty of potential upsets looming.

The two brackets left are also split on one game: One has No. 3 seed Texas Tech, the other has sixth-seeded Buffalo.

The NCAA says the odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion — so bettors, take the under.

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3:25 p.m.

The Southeastern Conference has four teams in the Sweet 16, and that’s tied for a league record.

No. 2 seeds Kentucky and Tennessee, No. 3 seed LSU and No. 5 seed Auburn have all earned their trip to the second weekend of the tournament. That’s the first time in 23 years.

In 1996, the SEC had eventual national champion Kentucky, another Final Four team in Mississippi State, Arkansas and Georgia. The other time was in 1986 with LSU, Kentucky, Auburn and Alabama.

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2:45 p.m.

No. 2 seed Tennessee is breathing easier after holding off a would-be record Iowa rally that forced the first overtime of this NCAA Tournament.

The Volunteers are on the way to the Sweet 16 after blowing a 25-point first-half lead. After ninth-seeded Iowa came back and tied the game with 20 seconds left in regulation, Tennessee pulled away for an 83-77 win in the extra period.

The biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history was by BYU, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat Iona in the First Four in 2012.

Jordan Bone hit a pair of foul shots late to seal it for the Vols.

Down 49-28 at the half, Iowa clawed back. The Hawkeyes scored nine of the first 11 points in the half and ripped off another 17-2 run.

Admiral Schofield had 17 points in the first half and finished with 19 for Tennessee. Grant Williams also had 19.

Jordan Bohannon led Iowa with 18.

— Mitch Stacy reporting from Columbus, Ohio.

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