MEN'S NCAA TOURNAMENT: Walker powers Michigan State past Marquette
Florida Atlantic ends Fairleigh Dickinson's run; Creighton reaches Sweet 16 by knocking off Baylor
Tyson Walker scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as No. 7 seed Michigan State eliminated No. 2 seed Marquette on Sunday.
With Michigan State nursing a 56-55 lead, Walker launched a 10-0 run by beating the shot clock on a left-handed layup over Oso Ighodaro with 3:06 left. His 10-foot floating jumper in the lane with 1:16 left put Michigan State up seven. His two free throws with 48.2 seconds remaining put the Spartans up 64-55 and his steal and dunk moments later all but sealed Michigan State's first trip back to the Sweet 16 since advancing to the Final Four in 2019.
Joey Hauser had 14 points and 10 rebounds and A.J. Hoggard added 13 points for the Spartans (21-12), who advance to the East Region semifinal against third-seeded Kansas State on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Olivier-Maxence Prosper had 16 points and Kam Jones added 14 for Marquette (29-7), the Big East regular-season and tournament champion.
Michigan State became the first Big Ten team this tournament to reach the Sweet 16, after Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland and Penn State were eliminated.
Hoggard played a big role in Michigan State's 11-2 start to the game. His crossover drive to the basket gave the Spartans their first lead, 4-2. His step-back three put the Spartans up 9-2 as Michigan State scored 11 straight points to take command.
The Hoggard triple was a rarity for the Spartans, as they missed their next 13 attempts from beyond the arc, finishing just 2-for-16 from long distance.
Hauser's two free throws with 12:24 remaining in the first half gave Michigan State its biggest lead, 18-5.
Michigan State led 27-15 on a thunderous dunk by Carson Cooper with 6:08 remaining in the first half that ignited the Spartan faithful.
But back-to-back threes in the same corner from Marquette bigs Ben Gold and Prosper capped a 13-4 run to cut the margin to 31-28 with under a minute remaining. Jaden Akins helped stem the Marquette momentum and gave the Spartans a 33-28 halftime edge.
No. 3 Kansas State 75, No. 6 Kentucky 69
Markquis Nowell recorded 27 points, nine assists and three steals and Ismael Massoud drained the go-ahead 3-pointer as Kansas State defeated Kentucky on Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Keyontae Johnson added 13 points for third-seeded Kansas State (25-9), which advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2018. Nae'Qwan Tomlin had 12 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots and Desi Sills also had 12 points.
Oscar Tshiebwe had a big outing with 25 points and 18 rebounds for sixth-seeded Kentucky (22-12). Cason Wallace had 21 points and nine rebounds before fouling out and Chris Livingston added 11 points.
Massoud hit the big 3-pointer with 2:21 remaining for his lone points of the game to give Kansas State a 64-62 lead. Johnson drilled a trey to increase the margin to five with 1:23 remaining and Nowell hit two free throws to make it 69-62 with 37.4 seconds to play.
Kentucky later moved within four before Nowell made two free throws with 3.9 seconds left to close it out.
Kansas State improved to 2-9 all-time against Kentucky. The other victory was in 2018 to put Kansas State into the Elite Eight.
Kansas State shot 48.1% from the field, including 5-of-21 from 3-point range.
Kentucky committed 16 turnovers, connected on 41.3% of its shots and was 4-of-20 from behind the arc. Antonio Reeves was 1-of-15 from the field — missing nine of 10 from 3-point range — and scored all five of his points in the final 15 seconds.
Kentucky used a 7-2 run to take a 50-49 lead on Wallace's basket with 8:05 to play.
Later, Wallace's layup and Lance Ware's dunk gave Kentucky a 60-56 edge with 3:58 remaining. Nowell answered with five straight points to give Kansas State a 61-60 edge with 2:59 left.
A putback by Wallace put Kentucky back ahead by one with 2:43 remaining.
Kansas State scored 12 of the final 16 first-half points to take a 29-26 lead at the break. Tshiebwe had 11 points and 11 rebounds in the half for Kentucky.
No. 9 Florida Atlantic 78, No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 70
Johnell Davis scored 29 points and hauled in 12 rebounds to help No. 9 Florida Atlantic end the Cinderella run of No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday.
Bryan Greenlee had a key 3-pointer and Davis had two steals, a layup and a dunk in a 55-second span that put the game away late during a 7-0 run.
Alijah Martin added 14 points for Florida Atlantic (33-3), which entered the tournament with just one previous appearance, a loss in the first round in 2002.
Florida Atlantic advances to play No. 4 seed Tennessee on Thursday in one East Regional semifinal at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Fairleigh Dickinson (21-16) shocked Purdue 63-58 on Friday to become just the second No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed. The Knights fell just short in their bid to become the first No. 16 seed to qualify for the round of 16.
Demetre Roberts had 20 points, Sean Moore scored 14 and Joe Munden Jr. added 13 for the Knights.
Florida Atlantic was not in awe of giant slayer Fairleigh Dickinson in the opening moments. Behind seven points from Martin, the Owls came out and scored the first nine points, before the Knights finally answered with a straightaway 3-pointer from Grant Singleton four minutes into the game.
While both teams struggled from long range, the Owls claimed a 32-25 halftime lead on the strength of a 20-10 advantage in the paint.
But an 8-0 run in the opening 100 seconds of the second half ignited the heavily partisan Fairleigh Dickinson crowd. Back-to-back treys from Moore and Munden put the Knights up 33-32.
With them feeding off the adrenaline of the crowd, the Knights built leads of 40-36 and 49-44. Roberts was the spark during a furious run, drilling a crossover 3-pointer and a crossover reverse layup that brought the crowd to a roar.
Down 54-51, the Owls answered with a 12-2 run that featured six points from Davis, as Florida Atlantic took the lead for good.
No. 6 Creighton 85, No. 3 Baylor 76
Sophomore Ryan Nembhard poured in a career-high 30 points and No. 6 seed Creighton converted all 22 of its free-throw attempts to earn an 85-76 victory over third-seeded Baylor on Sunday night in Denver.
Trey Alexander posted 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Arthur Kaluma added 11 points for the Bluejays (23-12), who claimed their second Sweet 16 berth in three years.
Creighton will face No. 15 seed Princeton on Friday night in Louisville. The Bluejays and Tigers have met once previously — a 63-54 Creighton home win on Dec. 29, 1961.
LJ Cryer recorded a career-high 30 points to pace Baylor (23-11) while Adam Flagler added 15 and Jalen Bridges scored 12.
The Bears canned just 5 of 22 attempts from 3-point range compared to the Bluejays' 11-for-24 effort — good for an 18-point edge from long distance for the Bluejays.
Creighton's edge in deep shooting played out early as it drilled four of its first five 3-point tries — including one from each corner by backup guard Francisco Farabello — to build an 18-12 lead at the 13:37 mark of the first half.
The Bluejays expanded their lead to 27-17 on Alexander's 3-pointer with 7:51 to play. At that juncture, Baylor had made just 31.8% of its shots overall and 2 of 11 from 3-point range.
Josh Ojianwuna and Bridges threw down back-to-back dunks to pull Baylor within 34-27 with 2:28 to go, but Baylor Scheierman swished a 3-pointer from the corner — Creighton's seventh of the half — to give the Bluejays a 39-29 lead at the break.
Five minutes into the second half, Flagler cashed a jumper and Cryer followed with a pullup and a 3-pointer to give Baylor a 7-0 run that chopped Creighton's lead to 50 — the closest the Bears had been since 15-12.
Creighton's Alexander answered with a short jumper on the ensuing possession to trigger a 13-5 spree over the next four minutes to restore a 13-point lead.
When Creighton 7-footer Ryan Kalkbrenner went to the bench with his fourth foul at the 6:33 mark, Baylor had a window to rally. But after Flagler hit two free throws to pull the Bears within 71-59, Farabello and Nembhard responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to give Creighton its biggest lead at 77-59.
No. 5 Miami 85, No. 4 Indiana 69
Isaiah Wong scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Miami Hurricanes to an 85-69 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday night in Albany, New York.
The fifth-seeded Hurricanes (27-7) secured back-to-back appearances in the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history and will face the region's top seed, Houston, on Friday in Kansas City, Missouri, in the region semifinal.
Miami is the final team remaining from the Atlantic Coast Conference in this year's tournament.
Fourth-seed Indiana (23-12) came up short on its bid to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 despite 23 points, eight rebounds and five blocks from All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis.
The Hoosiers appeared ready to take control of the game early in the second half when they used a 13-0 run that carried over from the closing moments of the first half to erase a 10-point Miami lead.
But the Hurricanes used their pressure defense to force turnovers that led to multiple transition scores and led to an 18-4 run, giving them a 65-53 lead with 7:27 left.
The Hoosiers cut the deficit to 77-69 on a pair of 3-pointers by Jalen Hood-Schifino, who totaled 19 points, with 2:26 to go. Race Thompson added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Hoosiers.
But Miami answered quickly with back-to-back buckets from Wong and Nijel Pack, who finished with 12 points.
Jordan Miller collected 19 points, five rebounds and two blocks for Miami as well and delivered an emphatic dunk on another fast break score in the closing seconds to punctuate the win.
"Our guys were disappointed about the way they played Friday, so they were eager to show this is Miami basketball," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said after the game on the TNT broadcast. "They're really hard to guard."
Norchad Omier finished with a game-high 17 rebounds to go along with seven points, which helped Miami outrebound Indiana 48-31, including 20-12 on the offensive glass.
No. 3 Xavier 84, No. 11 Pitt 73
Jack Nunge led six Xavier players in double figures with 18 points as the third-seeded Musketeers eased past 11th-seeded Pitt on Sunday afternoon in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Xavier (27-9) advanced to its first Sweet 16 since 2017.
"It's a group of guys that have fought to climb the mountain the last couple of years and pulled up short, and it's just so rewarding to see our team, and them, finally get to the top," Xavier coach Sean Miller said on the TV broadcast after the game.
Adam Kunkel went 5-for-5 on 3-pointers in the first half to score his 15 points, while Souley Boum tallied 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Xavier. Jerome Hunter added 14 points, Desmond Claude had 11 and Colby Jones went for 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The Musketeers' high-octane offense tallied 22 assists on their 30 made field goals.
Pitt (24-12), which won a First Four game against Mississippi State and upset sixth seed Iowa State in the Round of 64, was led by Blake Hinson's 18 points. Jamarius Burton added 16, and Guillermo Diaz Graham had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Xavier held Pitt to 6-of-20 shooting from 3-point range.
Xavier used a 14-3 run to turn a 15-14 deficit into its first double-digit lead with 9:30 left in the opening half. Jones, Nunge and Hunter combined to make six straight shots during the run; Hunter made it seven in a row with his short jumper before the Musketeers finally cooled down.
Kunkel took over during the final seven minutes of the half, hitting four of his five triples during that span. He punctuated a 12-2 Xavier stretch with a long 3, then gave the Musketeers their largest lead of the half, 48-29, with his final basket with 1:26 left.
Pitt trimmed it to 48-34 by halftime thanks to Nelly Cummings' 3-pointer and Burton's late layup. The Panthers got within 12 points twice early in the second half but could not get a 3-pointer to drop to help their cause.
No. 4 UConn 70, No. 5 St. Mary's 55
Adama Sanogo collected 24 points and eight rebounds to lift fourth-seeded UConn to a 70-55 victory over fifth-seeded Saint Mary's on Sunday in Albany, New York.
Sanogo made 11 of 16 shots from the floor and both attempts from the free-throw line. He sank 13 of 17 attempts from the floor in a 28-point, 13-rebound performance during the Huskies' 87-63 romp over 13th-seeded Iona on Friday.
UConn's Tristen Newton scored 13 points and Jordan Hawkins answered his second straight scoreless first half by draining four 3-pointers after intermission. Hawkins finished with 12 points.
The Huskies (27-8) advanced past the second round of the tournament for the first time since their national title run in 2014. They will face eighth-seeded Arkansas, which posted a 72-71 victory over top-seeded Kansas on Saturday.
UConn shot 54% from the floor (27 of 50) and 45.5% from 3-point range (10 of 22). The Huskies also held a 31-22 advantage in rebounds and recorded five blocks.
Aidan Mahaney answered a zero-point performance in the first round by joining Logan Johnson with nine points for the Gaels (27-8).
Saint Mary's guard Alex Ducas scored eight points before sustaining a back injury with 4:52 remaining in the first half. He did not return to the game.
Mitchell Saxen made a layup to bring the Gaels within one at 41-40 before the Huskies countered with a 10-0 run. Alex Karaban and Hawkins each drained a 3-pointer to highlight that surge.
Saint Mary's trimmed the deficit to eight at 53-45 before Hawkins sank a trio of 3-pointers and Sanogo added a layup during an 11-2 run to effectively put the game out of reach.
The Gaels saw their eight-point lead whittled to one before an untouched Ducas fell to his knees and needed assistance to leave the court. He was taken directly to the locker room.
UConn scored 11 of the final 20 points to seize a 31-30 lead at the half, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Newton and one from Joey Calcaterra.
No. 3 Gonzaga 84, No. 6 TCU 81
Drew Timme recorded 28 points and eight rebounds and No. 3 Gonzaga reached the Sweet 16 for the eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament by posting an 84-81 victory over No. 6 TCU on Sunday night in Denver.
Rasir Bolton added 17 points for the Bulldogs (30-5), who will face second-seeded UCLA (31-5) on Thursday in Las Vegas. Malachi Smith scored 11 points and Julian Strawther had 10 points and nine rebounds for Gonzaga.
Mike Miles Jr. scored 24 points for the Horned Frogs (22-13). Damion Baugh registered 15 points and eight rebounds and Emanuel Miller scored 14 points.
Gonzaga made 44.8% of its field-goal attempts and was 8 of 25 from 3-point range. Anton Watson had 12 rebounds and three steals.
The Horned Frogs shot 44.8% from the field, including 9 of 25 from behind the arc.
Baugh's layup capped a 6-0 run and pulled the Horned Frogs within 73-70 with 2:11 remaining. Timme's layup gave Gonzaga a five-point edge with 1:43 remaining while Strawther and Watson each split two free throws to make it 77-70 lead with 1:01 left.
JaKobe Coles drained a 3-pointer with 45.6 seconds left to cut the TCU deficit to four. Bolton made two free throws with 42.5 seconds left and Timme split two free throws with 32.4 seconds remaining to give the Zags a seven-point lead as they closed it out to post their eighth 30-win campaign in the past 11 seasons.
"We cannot be the team that (messes) this one up," Timme said of the Sweet Sixteen winning streak. "It's just a testament to Coach (Mark Few) and the program he had. We got some dogs over here and we fight no matter what happens."
Gonzaga trailed most of the first half but showed life early in the second when Bolton made two 3-pointers and Strawther hit one during a 9-2 push that gave the Bulldogs a 46-45 lead with 15:52 remaining.
TCU answered with a 10-4 push — Miles scored eight of the points — to take a 55-50 advantage with 12:14 left.
Gonzaga then exploded with 13 consecutive points. Bolton converted a three-point play and Smith and Timme knocked down 3-pointers as the Bulldogs took a 63-55 lead with 8:38 remaining.
The Horned Frogs rattled off the next six points with Miller's basket pulling them within two with 7:20 left.
Smith nailed a straightaway 3-pointer with 6:43 left and Timme scored on a putback with 4:52 left to give Gonzaga a 68-61 lead.
Watson's dunk gave the Zags a 73-64 lead with 3:27 left.
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