Syracuse stifle Spartans to reach Sweet 16
The Syracuse Orange were the last team selected to the NCAA Tournament and had to take on Arizona State in a First Four game just to make the field of 64. The 11th-seeded Orange now find themselves in the Sweet 16 following a 55-53 victory over No. 3 Michigan State at Detroit.
Tyus Battle had 17 points for Syracuse, which didn't allow a basket over the final 5:41. Oshae Barrett finished with 15 points to help the Orange earn a meeting with second seed Duke in the Midwest Region semifinals in Omaha.
The Spartans missed their last 13 shots, including Cassius Winston's 45-foot heave just before the final horn. Winston had a team-high 15 points for Michigan State, which shot a miserable 8-for-37 from 3-point range.
Meanwhile, second-seed North Carolina was shown the door by Texas A&M.
T.J. Sparks scored 21 points and the seventh-seeded Aggies outrebounded the Tar Heels 50-36 in an 86-65 romp over the defending national champions. Robert Williams had 13 boards for Texas A&M, which shot 52 percent from the field and 10 of 24 from 3-point range.
The Aggies head to the West Regional semifinals against No. 3 Michigan.
The Tar Heels lost for just the second time in the 36 tournament games they've played in their home state.
Elsewhere around the NCAA Tournament:
- Seventh seed Nevada never led until Josh Hall nailed a short jumper with 9.1 seconds left to complete the Wolf Pack's comeback in a 75-73 win against No. 2 Cincinnati. Nevada trailed by 22 with 11 minutes remaining against the Bearcats, one game after climbing out of a 14-point, second-half hole against Texas. Cody Martin had 25 points, seven assists, six rebounds and no turnovers to lead five Nevada players in double figures. The outcome sets up a matchup of stunners in the South Region semifinals as Nevada takes on No. 11 Loyola-Chicago.
- UMBC ran out of miracles in a 50-43 loss to ninth seed Kansas State, two days after the Retrievers became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 team in men's tournament history. Xavier Sneed provided a couple big buckets late to help the Wildcats hold on and move on to the Sweet 16. Barry Brown had a team-high 18 points for Kansas State, which takes on Kentucky in the South Region semifinals.
- Gabe DeVoe dropped in 22 points and No. 5 Clemson closed the first half on a 25-4 run in an 84-53 blowout over fourth-seeded Auburn. Elijah Thomas had 18 points and 11 rebounds in helping the Tigers reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in 21 years. Kansas will be Clemson's next opponent in the Midwest Region semifinals at Omaha.
- Florida State's 75-70 comeback over Xavier leaves the tournament without a pair of No. 1 seeds and the defending champions. PJ Savoy nailed a 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining to give the Seminoles their first lead of the second half after trailing 56-44 with 10:42 to play. Braian Angola had a team-high 16 points for the Seminoles, who will face fourth-seeded Gonzaga on Thursday in the West Region semis in Los Angeles.
- Purdue has advanced to the East Region semifinals against Texas Tech in Boston. Vincent Edwards scored 20 points and Dakota Mathias made a clutch 3-pointer with 14.2 seconds left as the second-seeded Boilermakers downed No. 10 Butler, 76-73. Purdue center Isaac Haas had hoped to play after breaking his right elbow in Friday's win over Cal State Fullerton, but he wasn't allowed to play with a bulky brace that protected the injury.
- West Virginia concluded the second round by blowing out neighbor Marshall, 94-71. Jevon Carter scored 28 points and Lamont West added 18 off the bench as the Mountaineers moved into the East Region semifinals against No. 1 Villanova in Boston. Thundering Herd star Jon Elmore had more turnovers than points in the first half and was held to 15 points after scoring 27 in Friday's upset of Wichita State.