Basketball·March Madness

Barrett's timely bucket helps Duke avoid early exit against UCF

Duke has survived. The No. 1 overall seed rallied in the final seconds to beat UCF 77-76 and reach the Sweet 16 in the East Region on Sunday.

Zion Williamson scores 32 points in nail-biter

RJ Barrett, far right, scored a bucket off a missed free throw by Zion Williamson in the dying seconds and Duke held on to beat UCF 77-76 in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Zion Williamson took on 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall at the end and won, and top-seeded Duke survived when two last-ditch shots by UCF rolled off the rim.

Aubrey Dawkins finished with 32 points, but his tip-in try just missed Sunday, and Duke advanced with a 77-76 victory to reach the Sweet 16.

Williamson had 32 points, including a layup over Fall with 14.4 seconds left and his team trailing 76-73. Williamson was fouled and missed the free throw, but RJ Barrett scored on a putback to put Blue Devils (31-5) ahead.

Barrett, from Mississauga, Ont., finished with 16 points.

WATCH | RJ Barrett's late basket saves Duke: 

Barrett's put back in the dying seconds stood as the difference as the Duke Blue Devils edged UCF Knights 77-76 to reach the 3rd round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. 1:00

Ninth-seeded UCF (24-9) had a final chance, but B.J. Taylor missed a short jumper and Dawkins failed on his tip attempt with less than 2 seconds left. Duke got the rebound, ran out the clock and moved on to the Sweet 16 for 27th time and fourth time in the past five years.

Dawkins cringed at the miss. His father, Johnny, is the UCF coach and was a former Duke star and longtime assistant under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Tennessee recovers for OT win after blowing 25-point lead

No. 2 seed Tennessee is breathing easier after holding off a would-be record Iowa rally that forced the first overtime of this NCAA Tournament.

The Volunteers are on the way to the Sweet 16 after blowing a 25-point first-half lead. After 10th-seeded Iowa came back and tied the game with 20 seconds left in regulation, Tennessee pulled away for an 83-77 win in the extra period.

The biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history was by BYU, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat Iona in the First Four in 2012.

Jordan Bone hit a pair of foul shots late to seal it for the Vols.

Down 49-28 at the half, Iowa clawed back. The Hawkeyes scored nine of the first 11 points in the half and ripped off another 17-2 run.

Admiral Schofield had 17 points in the first half and finished with 19 for Tennessee. Grant Williams also had 19.

Jordan Bohannon led Iowa with 18.

Houston moves into Sweet 16 for first time in 35 years

Houston's fans chanted "Sweet 16" in the final minute of the Cougars' NCAA Tournament win over Ohio State.

The celebration was long overdue — it's been 35 years since the Cougars have made this trip.

"I saw a lot of proud Cougars up there behind us tonight," Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said, "and the ones I was happiest for were the guys that's been supporting this program since those days."

Corey Davis scored 21 points to help Houston beat the Buckeyes 74-59.

It marked the Cougars' 33rd win of the season — breaking the school's season record set by the 1983-84 team. That was the last Houston squad to reach the Sweet 16.

Ohio State started off hot from 3-point range, hitting seven of its first 12. But Houston burned the Buckeyes in transition to go on a 14-6 run and close the half with a 39-31 lead.

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