Defending champs Duke ousted by Arizona: NCAA West
Connecticut outlasts San Diego State in other regional game
Derrick Williams scored a career-high 32 points and his Arizona teammates showed they're not just a one-man team, upsetting defending national champion Duke 93-77 Thursday night to reach the final eight for the first time since 2005.
The top-seeded Blue Devils (32-5) were sent packing from a regional semifinal for the second time in three years. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, with 900 wins, will have to wait until next season to resume his pursuit of Bob Knight's record as the winningest men's coach in Division I history.
Williams scored 25 of his points in the first half before his teammates came up big in the final 20 minutes. Lamont Jones added 16 points and Solomon Hill 13.
Williams had 13 rebounds to help his team dominate the boards, 40-27, while playing 15 minutes from his hometown of La Mirada.
Fifth-seeded Arizona (30-7) will play Connecticut (29-9) on Saturday in the West Regional final. The third-seeded Huskies defeated No. 2 San Diego State 74-67 in the other semifinal.
Duke's Kryie Irving scored 28 points in his most minutes since returning at the start of the NCAA tournament after missing 26 games with a toe injury. Kyle Singler added 18 as one of three Blue Devils in second-half foul trouble. Nolan Smith was held to eight points — well under the senior's 21-point average.
Down by six points early in the second half, the Wildcats unleashed a scoring rampage that left the Blue Devils looking stunned.
Williams scored just two points during the 19-2 run while five of his teammates did the rest, hitting from long-range, driving to the basket and scoring off a fast break. Jones' basket tied the game at 53 and the spurt ended with Arizona leading 66-55.
Jones and Jamelle Horne had five points each.
(3) Connecticut 74, (2) San Diego State 67
Kemba Walker sliced up San Diego State's defense for 22 points on shots from all angles and distances in the second half of Connecticut's West regional semifinal.
The Aztecs only kept him down once: A shoulder bump from Jamaal Franklin sent Walker crashing to the Honda Center floor, drawing a technical foul and two momentum-killing free throws.
Walker denied doing any acting on the play. He's still the star of these resilient Huskies' remarkable production.
Walker scored 36 points in yet another dynamic postseason performance, driving UConn down the stretch Thursday night to a 74-67 victory that put the Huskies on the brink of another Final Four.
"I'm just trying to do the best I can do," said Walker, who scored 12 straight points for UConn in the final minutes. "Whether it's scoring, talking, getting their confidence up or giving an assist, I'm just trying to do whatever is possible to enhance this team."
Freshman Jeremy Lamb added a season-high 24 points and hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1:43 left for the third-seeded Huskies (29-9), who are headed to an NCAA regional final for the 10th time after beating the Aztecs and a building full of hostile fans just 90 minutes from San Diego.