NASHVILLE, Tenn, March 19, (AP): PJ Savoy made a 3-pointer with 1:08 left to give Florida State its first lead of the second half, and the Seminoles rallied from a 12-point deficit to beat top-seeded Xavier 75-70 on Sunday night in the second round of the West Region. The Seminoles, on their way to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16 for the first time since 2011, made Xavier the second No. 1 seed ousted in the first weekend, sending the Musketeers out along with Virginia. Now Florida State (22-11) will play fourth-seeded Gonzaga on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Savoy also hit a pair of free throws with 21.6 seconds left putting Florida State up 73-70. Kerem Kanter shot an air ball from beyond the arc at the top of the key with 7 seconds to go for Xavier, and CJ Walker added a pair of free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining. Terance Mann picked off a long pass by Paul Scruggs off Xavier’s inbound pass before running in front of Seminoles’ fans to start the party.
Kansas State 50, UMBC 43
In Charlotte, NC, Barry Brown scored 18 points, and Kansas State ended UMBC’s brief, but historic run in the NCAA Tournament. Two nights after UMBC became the first 16 seed to beat a No. 1, the Retrievers ran out of magic against the Wildcats. The Wildcats (24-11) move on to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010 when they lost in the Elite Eight to Butler. They will face Kentucky on Thursday night. UMBC (25-11) had only had two field goals in the final six minutes and shot just 29.8 percent for the game. UMBC’s scrappy defense forced 18 turnovers, but managed just three points off those. They finished 6 of 22 from 3-point range two nights after lighting up Virginia, and 9 of 18 from the free throw line.
Texas A&M 86, North Carolina 65
In Charlotte, NC, T.J. Starks scored 21 points and Texas A&M overpowered North Carolina inside, upsetting the reigning national champions to mark the second straight year a title holder missed the Sweet 16. The seventh-seeded Aggies (22-12) did everything they had to do to hand the Tar Heels a rare loss in a home-state NCAA game. They dominated the glass. They used their size to control the paint and block shots. And they pounced when UNC’s small-ball lineup couldn’t make an outside shot.
Robert Williams finished with 13 rebounds, helping the Aggies take a 50-36 edge while shooting 52 percent including 10 of 24 from 3-point range. Joel Berry II scored 21 points in his final game for the second-seeded Tar Heels (26-11), who were trying to reach their third straight Final Four. But they ended up falling to 34-2 in NCAA games in their home state, the only other loss coming in 1979.
Purdue 76, Butler 73
In Detroit, Dakota Mathias sank a 3-pointer with 14.2 seconds left and second-seeded Purdue, minus star center Isaac Haas, held off 10th-seeded Butler to reach the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year. The Boilermakers (30-6) led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but Butler (21-14) cut the deficit to two and had the ball in the final minute. Kalen Martin missed a 3-pointer, and the shot by Mathias at the other end made it 76-71.
Martin scored with 2.1 seconds remaining, and P.J. Thompson missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving Butler another chance. The Bulldogs called a timeout with 1.8 seconds left, and Kamar Baldwin’s shot from near midcourt hit the rim although it may have been waved off on a review even if it had gone in.
Vincent Edwards scored 20 points despite early foul trouble for Purdue, and Matt Haarms filled in capably for the injured Haas. The Boilermakers set a school record for victories in a season and are in the regional semifinals for the fourth time under coach Matt Painter. Purdue faces third-seeded Texas Tech on Friday in Boston.
Syracuse 55, Michigan State 53
In Detroit, Tyus Battle had 17 points and Oshae Brissett scored 15, lifting 11th-seeded Syracuse into the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. Cassius Winston missed an opportunity to win the game for the Spartans with a shot from about 45 feet just before the buzzer. The Spartans, flummoxed by Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, didn’t make a basket in the last 5:41.
The Orange (23-13) forced the Spartans (30-5) to settle for 3-pointers all afternoon and it worked brilliantly for Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim against Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans took a school record 37 shots beyond the arc, making just eight of them. Syracuse has won three straight since being sent to Dayton for the First Four as what the selection committee chairman acknowledged was the final team to receive an at-large bid.
Paschal Chukwu connected on one free throw with 2.4 seconds left and the miss gave Michigan State a chance to win in dramatic fashion, but Winston couldn’t make a long shot to be hailed in his hometown.
Nevada 75, Cincinnati 73
In Knoxville, Tenn, Josh Hall converted an offensive rebound for the tiebreaking basket with 9.1 seconds left as Nevada erased a 22-point deficit in the final 11 minutes. Nevada’s stirring comeback the second-largest in tournament history came just two days after the seventh-seeded Wolf Pack rallied from 14 points down to beat Texas 87-83 for its first NCAA victory since 2007.
The Wolf Pack (28-7) move on to an all-upstart South Region semifinal matchup with 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago (30-5) on Thursday night. Cincinnati, the No. 2 seed, never trailed until Hall’s tiebreaking basket but watched its lead disintegrate as it failed to make a basket in the final 5:45. With the game tied in the closing seconds, Hall got a rebound off a missed shot by Cody Martin. Hall made a move in the paint and then hit the winning basket. Cincinnati (31-5) never got off a shot before the buzzer. Cane Broome briefly lost control of the ball and then passed to the area of Gary Clark as the final seconds ticked away.
Clemson 84, Auburn 53
In San Diego, Gabe DeVoe scored 22 points and Elijah Thomas had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Clemson, which closed the first half with a 25-4 run that helped it beat cold-shooting Auburn. In a matchup between Southern schools better known for football, the No. 5 seed Clemson Tigers proved far more adept on the hardwood than the No. 4 seed Auburn Tigers. The blowout win put Clemson (25-9) into the Sweet 16 for the fourth time overall and the first since 1997, earning it a spot against Kansas in the regional semifinal.
Auburn, which played this season under the cloud of a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball, finished 26-8. The final 10-1/2 minutes of the first half were a nightmare for Auburn, which made only 6 of 33 shots (18.2 percent) in the first half and 17 of 66 overall (25.8 percent).