Florida on to Sweet 16, Dayton stuns Syracuse
Defending champ Louisville advances, UConn upsets Villanova
Florida 61, Pittsburgh 45
Top-seeded seeded Florida played with a lot more energy and intensity this time around.
Scottie Wilbekin spearheaded the effort.
Wilbekin scored 21 points, including eight straight down the stretch, and the Gators beat Pittsburgh 61-45 in the NCAA tournament Saturday. Florida's 28th consecutive win put it in the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year.
Coming off a lacklustre performance in its NCAA opener against Albany, Florida (34-2) vowed to play better against the Panthers (26-10).
Wilbekin surely did. He took over in the second half, scoring 11 of the team's 13 points during a 7-minute stretch. Patric Young wasn't too shabby, either, finishing with seven points and eight rebounds.
Michael Frazier II chipped in 10 points for the Gators. Frazier was just 2-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Had Florida not been cold from behind the arc, the game would have been essentially over much sooner than it was. The Gators finished 5 of 20 from 3-point range, with at least five of those rimming in and out.
Florida will play either fourth-seeded UCLA or 12th-seeded Stephen F. Austin on Thursday in Memphis, Tenn. The Bruins and Lumberjacks play Sunday in San Diego.
Louisville 66, Saint Louis 51
Louisville didn’t need a big game from Russ Smith to get back to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
Luke Hancock scored 21 points and the defending national champions shrugged off a cold shooting performance to beat Saint Louis 66-51 on Saturday and advance to the round of 16 for the third straight year.
The fourth-seeded Cardinals (31-5) shot under 45 percent, had 19 turnovers and only got 11 points from Smith, their star. It didn’t matter with the fifth-seeded Billikens (27-7) going 0 for 15 from 3-point range and struggling to take care of the basketball.
Louisville moves on the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis against either No. 1 seed Wichita State or No. 8 seed Kentucky. The unbeaten Shockers and Wildcats meet Sunday in St. Louis.
Saint Louis, which has never been to the Sweet 16, lost in the third round for the third consecutive year. Dwayne Evans led the Billikens with 16 points and Atlantic 10 player of the year Jordair Jett finished with 15.
Chris Jones made a couple of huge shots and scored 11 points for Louisville. Montrezl Harrell put a punctuation mark on the victory with a dunk that enabled him to finish with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino improved to 50-16 in the NCAA tournament, including 41-6 when his team is the higher seed. The Cardinals are in the round of 16 for the 20th time, matching Kansas and trailing only North Carolina (25), Kentucky (24) and Duke (23).
Michigan 79, Texas 65
Nik Stauskas and Michigan are headed back to the Sweet 16.
Stauskas had 17 points and eight assists to lead the Wolverines to a 79-65 victory over Texas in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.
Jordan Morgan added 15 points and 10 rebounds as Michigan (27-8) advanced to next week's Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis. The Wolverines will face the winner of Sunday's Mercer-Tennessee game in Raleigh, N.C.
Michigan lost to Louisville in the national championship game a year ago.
Isiah Taylor scored 22 points for Texas on 8-for-22 shooting. The Longhorns (24-11) outrebounded the Wolverines 41-30, but got off to a slow start and never recovered.
San Diego State 63, North Dakota State 44
Xavier Thames scored 30 points, and fourth-seeded San Diego State reached the round of 16 for the second time in school history, ending the run of No. 12 seed North Dakota State 63-44 on Saturday in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
The Aztecs (31-4) now get to make the short drive up the interstate to Anaheim, Calif., where they will face either No. 1 seed Arizona or eighth-seeded Gonzaga in the West Regional semifinals on Thursday.
Thames, who was 9 of 19 from the field, had five assists and ended the comeback hopes of the Bison with a six-point spurt late in the second half.
Dwayne Polee II was the only other San Diego State player in double figures with 15 points.
Kory Brown led the Bison (26-7) with 13 points, but the best shooting team in the country shot only 31.9 per cent.
Dayton 55, Syracuse 53
Dyshawn Pierre scored 14 points and Jordan Sibert hit a key 3-pointer with 47.7 seconds left as Dayton stunned Syracuse 55-53 Saturday night to earn a spot in Sweet 16 for the first time in three decades.
Syracuse was poised to pull out another close victory, but Tyler Ennis' 3-point attempt clanged off the rim at the buzzer.
Dayton (25-10), the 11th seed in the South Regional, advances to the regional semifinals next week and will play Kansas or Stanford.
The third-seeded Orange (28-6), who finished second in their first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, struggled all game against the swarming Dayton defence, missing all 10 attempts from beyond the arc, while the Flyers hit seven times from long range.
Wisconsin 85, Oregon 77
Ben Brust hit a 3-pointer with 1:07 left and second-seeded Wisconsin overcame seventh-seeded Oregon for a thrilling 85-77 win Saturday night to get into the Sweet 16.
Brust's clutch 3 from the corner gave the Badgers (28-7) the lead for good in a heavyweight fight of an NCAA tournament game.
Traevon Jackson followed with three free throws, but missed one with 21 seconds left to give the Ducks (24-10) one more chance to tie trailing by three.
Oregon gave it to Joseph Young, who had made big shots all night and scored 29 points. But he missed a rushed 3 from the wing, and the Badgers sealed it at the foul line.
An arena filled with Wisconsin fans erupted into a deafening roar.
Michigan 80, Harvard 73
Branden Dawson scored a career-high 26 points to help fourth-seeded Michigan State fend off a wild Harvard rally Saturday for an 80-73 victory in the NCAA tournament.
The 12th-seeded Crimson (27-5) trailed by 16 early in the second half but took a 62-60 lead when Laurent Rivard hit a 3-pointer with 7:12 remaining. Travis Trice answered with a 3 of his own on the next possession and the Spartans (28-8) never trailed again.
Michigan State made its 12th Sweet 16 in the last 17 years. Gary Harris had 18 points and five assists for the Spartans, who will play Virginia or Memphis next Friday at Madison Square Garden. Wesley Saunders led Harvard with 22 points. The Crimson won the second tournament game in school history two nights ago.
Connecticut 77, Villanova 65
Shabazz Napier scored 25 points in leading Connecticut to a 77-65 win over second-seeded Villanova in the third round of the NCAA tournament Saturday night.
Villanova became the highest seed to be knocked out of the tournament so far, and the Wildcats' loss came on the heels of another upset in Buffalo. The game was played immediately after Dayton, the South Region's 11th seed, beat third-seeded Syracuse 55-53.
Seventh-seeded Connecticut (28-8) advanced to New York City next week, when they'll play the winner of Sunday's third-round game between third-seeded Iowa State and sixth-seeded North Carolina.
Ryan Arcidiacono scored 18 points for Villanova (29-5) in a matchup of two former Big East rivals.
UConn coach Kevin Ollie improved to 2-0 in his tournament debut, two years since taking over after Jim Calhoun stepped down because of health issues, and a year after the Huskies were barred from post-season play because of academic sanctions.