NEW YORK – Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Chris Chiozza’s leaning 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Florida an 84-83 overtime win over Wisconsin on Friday night in the semifinals of the East Regional at Madison Square Garden.
Chris Chiozza (11)
Chiozza let the ball fly as he was floating just beyond the arc, sending the fourth-seeded Gators (27-8) into Sunday’s final against seventh-seeded South Carolina in an all-Southeastern Conference matchup. KeVaughn Allen poured in 35 points, the most by a Florida player in an NCAA Tournament game.
Nigel Hayes hit two free throws to provide eighth-seeded Wisconsin (27-10) with an 83-81 lead with four seconds to play. He led the Badgers with 22 points but was 7 of 14 from the line. Ethan Happ added 21 points for Wisconsin.
Kentucky 86, UCLA 75
MEMPHIS – Shackling the Bruins’ devastating transition game, the second-seeded Wildcats set up a blueblood South Regional championship as De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 39 points.
Kentucky (32-5) will play top-seeded North Carolina on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four next weekend in Glendale, Ariz. Malik Monk added 21 points and reserve Dominique Hawkins scored 11 points.
But the key was a defense that was shredded for 97 points in December when the Bruins posted a five-point win at Rupp Arena to emerge as a title contender. Third-seeded UCLA (31-5) couldn’t come close to matching that in the sequel despite shooting 52.7 percent from the field. T.J. Leaf and Isaac Hamilton paced the Bruins with 17 points each and Bryce Alford added 13, but star freshman Lonzo Ball couldn’t find the range, going 4 of 10 from the floor for 10 points.
South Carolina 70, Baylor 50
NEW YORK — The Gamecocks are headed to the Elite Eight for the first time after defeating the Bears in the semifinals of the East Regional at Madison Square Garden.
Seventh-seeded South Carolina (25-10) face Florida in Sunday’s regional final.
Sindarius Thornwell, the Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference, led the Gamecocks with 24 points. P.J. Dozier and Chris Silva added 12 points each. South Carolina’s stifling defense held Baylor to 30 percent shooting. Johnathan Motley led the third-seeded Bears (27-8) with 18 points and nine rebounds.
North Carolina 92, Butler 80
MEMPHIS — The top seed certainly looked the part in the South Regional semifinals at FedEx Forum as Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Justin Jackson’s 24 points, five rebounds and five assists led the Tar Heels past the fourth-seeded Bulldogs.
North Carolina advanced to Sunday’s regional final against the UCLA-Kentucky survivor. Joel Berry added 26 points and reserve forward Luke Maye turned in the best game of his career with 16 points and 12 rebounds, his first double-double. Kennedy Meeks contributed 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (30-7).
Andrew Chrabascz paced Butler (25-9) with 21 points