NCAA roundup: Michigan State, Gonzaga march on to Sweet 16
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Michigan State is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015 after rolling past Minnesota 70-50 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night.
The Spartans (30-6) made nine of their first 10 shots on their way to building a 20-point lead in the first 14 minutes. Minnesota managed to pull within single digits briefly in the second half before Big Ten player of the year Cassius Winston took matters into his hands.
Xavier Tillman had 14 points, Winston added 13 with nine assists, and the Spartans shot 57.1 percent.
Amir Coffey had 25 points to lead the 10th-seeded Gophers (23-14), who shot a season-worst 30.5 percent and made only 2 of 22 3-pointers.
Forward Jordan Murphy, the Gophers’ No. 1 all-time rebounder and No. 2 scorer, was limited to four minutes because of back problems.
GONZAGA 83, BAYLOR 71
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) —Brandon Clarke had five monster dunks, five blocks, and matched a career high with 36 points, leading top-seeded Gonzaga past Baylor in the second round of the West Region.
Ninth-seeded Baylor (20-14) scored the first 10 points of the second half to draw within six and keep the game in range. But Gonzaga held on and Clarke’s easy bucket put the Bulldogs up 13 with less than four minutes left.
Clarke, who hit 15 of 18 shots, also had eight rebounds and two steals and lifted his season blocks total to 110, best in the nation.
MICHIGAN. 64, FLORIDA 49
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Jordan Poole scored 19 points and Michigan is back in the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year after pulling away from Florida in the second round.
Michigan (30-6), the No. 2 seed in the West Region, has reached the Sweet 16 five times in seven years.
Zavier Simpson had nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists, while 7-foot-1 Jon Teske had eight points to go with 10 rebounds for the Wolverines.
The 10th-seeded Gators (20-16) shot just 29 percent in the second half and were held to their lowest point total of the season. Michigan outscored the Gators 13-5 to end the game.
LSU 69, MARYLAND 67
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tremont Waters drove by three defenders and scooped in a banking layup with 1.6 seconds remaining to give third-seeded LSU the victory over sixth-seeded Maryland in the second round.
Skylar Mays, who scored 16 points, hit a huge 3-pointer with 40 seconds remaining that put the Tigers (28-6) up 67-64.
Jalen Smith answered on the other end, sending the packed crowd into a frenzy and prompting LSU to call timeout. Interim coach Tony Benford called a final play for Waters, and he delivered a trip to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006.
Waters finished with 12 points and five assists.
Smith led Maryland with 15 points. Bruno Fernando added 10 points and 15 rebounds.
PURDUE 86, VILLANOVA 61
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Carsen Edwards had a career night, scoring 42 points as Purdue knocked reigning national champion Villanova out of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night in an 87-61 rout.
Matt Haarms added 18 points and nine rebounds for the third-seeded Boilermakers (25-9), who advanced to their third straight Sweet 16.
Eric Paschall had 19 for Villanova (26-10), which saw its quest for a third national title in the last four seasons end during the tournament’s first weekend. Fellow senior Phil Booth scored 15 points, putting him over 1,500 for his career.
Edwards has battled a sore back and had been in a recent shooting slump, making just 7 of 23 shots from the field in Purdue’s first-round win over Old Dominion. He found the bottom of the net early and often against ‘Nova, making 12 of his 21 shots, including nine of 16 from behind the arc.
AUBURN 89, KANSAS 75
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Auburn is going back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003.
Bryce Brown made eight of his first nine shots and finished with 25 points to lift the fifth-seeded Tigers to an 89-75 victory over Kansas.
This was a wire-to-wire runaway against the fourth-seeded Jayhawks, an injury riddled group that came into the NCAA Tournament without a conference title for the first time in 15 seasons.
Auburn alum Charles Barkley went nuts while watching in the TV studio, as the Tigers (28-9) rolled two days after barely hanging on for a one-point win over New Mexico State.
Jared Harper had 18 for the Tigers, who will play either North Carolina or Washington on Friday in the Midwest Region semifinals.
Led by Brown’s 7-for-11 effort from 3, the Tigers made 13 from behind the arc on 30 attempts.
Dedric Lawson led the Jayhawks (26-10) with 25 points and 10 rebounds.