Duke tops MSU, into Sweet 16 in Coach K’s final NCAA tourney
Duke survived a tense finish against Michigan State and extended Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA Tournament run, beating Tom Izzo’s Spartans 85-76 on Sunday in the Hall of Fame coaches’ bittersweet last tussle.
Star freshman Paolo Banchero scored 19 points and muscled in the go-ahead drive through contact with 2:05 left, putting the Blue Devils (30-6) ahead to stay in the record-extending 1,200th win of Krzyzewski’s career. Duke reached the Sweet 16 for the 26th time under Coach K, who announced last summer that his 42nd season with the Blue Devils would be his last.
Those coaching milestones came against his longtime friend and frequent rival. The 75-year-old Krzyzewski — who has five NCAA titles and a record-tying 12 Final Four appearances — improved to 13-3 against the 67-year-old Izzo, who won the 2000 national championship and has reached eight Final Fours.
Krzyzewski will continue his push for a career-capping championship when the second-seeded Blue Devils head to San Francisco to play Texas Tech next week in the West Region semifinals.
The Blue Devils shot 61% after halftime and 57% for the game, and they needed every bit of that production to survive against the seventh-seeded Spartans (23-13) in a riveting fight to the final minute. Gabe Brown scored 18 points to lead Michigan State.
TEXAS TECH 59, NOTRE DAME 53
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Kevin McCullar made an emphatic dunk with 15 seconds left to cap a 10-1 closing run for No. 3 seed Texas Tech, which beat Notre Dame to advance to the Sweet 16.
Kevin Obanor had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and McCullar and Bryson Williams each scored 14 for Texas Tech (27-9), which made its third round of 16 in the past four tournaments and fifth in school history.
Dane Goodwin scored 14 points for 11th-seeded Notre Dame (24-11), which led 52-49 with just over two minutes left. But the Fighting Irish didn’t make a field goal in the last three minutes and Texas Tech made eight straight free throws in the last 1:56, including two by Obanor that put the Red Raiders ahead 53-52 with 1:10 left.
HOUSTON 68, ILLINOIS 53
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Taze Moore scored 21 points, Jamal Shead added 18 and Houston, a Final Four team last season, advanced to the Sweet 16 by beating Illinois, which bowed out in the opening weekend for the second straight year.
The fifth-seeded Cougars (31-5), who lost their two best players to season-ending injuries, are headed home to Texas for the South Region semifinals, which will be in San Antonio, about a three-hour drive from Houston. They will face Arizona.
Kyler Edwards added 15 points for Houston.
For Illinois, it’s another year of deep disappointment. The fourth-seeded Fighting Illini (23-10) were determined to go farther after being bumped by Loyola Chicago last year. All-American center Kofi Cockburn did his part, scoring 19 points in 38 minutes.
ARIZONA 85, TCU 80, OT
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Bennedict Mathurin made a 3-pointer to force overtime and scored six more points in the extra session, and top-seeded Arizona outlasted ninth-seeded TCU.
Mathurin finished with 30 points and Christian Koloko scored 28, including a putback dunk that slammed the door on the Horned Frogs with 9 seconds left in OT after Mathurin missed a 3.
Koloko was 12 of 13 from the field, including five dunks, but the rest of the Wildcats were 19 of 55, including 5 of 27 on 3-pointers.
Still, Arizona’s two stars did enough for the Wildcats (33-3) to avoid becoming the second No. 1 seed to fall during this tournament’s opening weekend.
Chuck O’Bannon Jr. had 23 points for TCU (21-13) while Mike Miles Jr. and Eddie Lampkin Jr. had 20 apiece. The Horned Frogs were looking to get to the Sweet 16 for the first time.
VILLANOVA 71, OHIO STATE 61
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Collin Gillespie scored 20 points, Eric Dixon hit a big 3-pointer late and second-seeded Villanova fended off seventh-seeded Ohio State.
The Wildcats (28-7) earned their eighth trip to the Sweet 16 under Jay Wright after surviving a second-half push from the Buckeyes (20-12), who trimmed a 15-point deficit to two before Villanova regained its footing.
The Wildcats will continue their quest for a third national title in seven seasons when they face 11th-seeded Michigan in the South Region semifinals on Thursday night in San Antonio.
Malachi Branham scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half. E.J. Liddell added 17 in likely his final game with the Buckeyes before heading to the NBA.
IOWA STATE 54, WISCONSIN 49
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Gabe Kalscheur scored 22 points and 11th-seeded Iowa State surprised Wisconsin in the Badgers’ backyard to advance to the Sweet 16.
Izaiah Brockington added 10 points as the gritty Cyclones used their tough defense to hold off Johnny Davis and company in front of a raucous pro-Wisconsin crowd about 80 miles away from the school’s Madison campus.
After winning just two games last season, Iowa State (22-12) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 and the sixth time in school history. It will play Miami on Friday in Chicago, a surprising 11-vs.-10-seed matchup.
Kalscheur went 10 for 19 from the field. The rest of the Cyclones combined for 10 field goals.
Davis, the Big Ten Player of the Year, led third-seeded Wisconsin (25-8) with 17 points, but the Badgers shot a season-low 29.8% from the field and turned it over a season-high 17 times.
MIAMI 79, AUBURN 61
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Isaiah Wong scored 21 points, Kameron McGusty had 20 and No. 10 seed Miami neutralized second-seeded Auburn’s Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler to reach its first Sweet 16 in six years.
Charlie Moore added 15 points and eight assists as Miami (25-10) advanced to the round of 16 for the fourth time overall and third time in coach Jim Larranaga’s 10 seasons. And the Hurricanes did it against Auburn’s frontcourt of future NBA big men.
The 6-foot-10 Smith and 7-1 Kessler are projected NBA first-round draft picks should they leave the Tigers (28-6), yet they were largely ineffective against Miami’s experienced lineup. Smith scored 10 points on 3-of-16 shooting and had 15 rebounds. Kessler didn’t make a field goal and had two points.
Jaylin Williams and K.D. Johnson scored 12 points apiece for Auburn, which lost in the second round for the second time in three tournament appearances under coach Bruce Pearl.
PURDUE 81, TEXAS 71
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jaden Ivey made a critical 3-pointer with 1:01 left and finished with 18 points, and Purdue finally got past Texas coach Chris Beard in March.
Trevion Williams scored 22 points to lead the Boilermakers, who capitalized on a major disparity at the free-throw line to reach the Sweet 16. Purdue had 46 attempts, making 33, while the Longhorns went 7 of 12 on free throws.
The third-seeded Boilermakers (29-7) advanced to an East Region semifinal on Friday in Philadelphia against this year’s out-of-nowhere tourney darling, 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s.
Beard had won each of his two previous NCAA Tournament matchups with coach Matt Painter’s Boilermakers, who had the better seeding each time. He coached both Little Rock and Texas Tech past Purdue.
Marcus Carr led sixth-seeded Texas (22-12) with 23 points and Andrew Jones scored 17.
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