Virginia 53, Oregon 49
When: 9:57 PM ET, Thursday, March 28, 2019
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Recaps for Digital Sports Desk by Field Level Media
LOUISVILLE – Junior point guard Ty Jerome recorded 13 points, six rebounds and six assists as Virginia held off Oregon 53-49 in the Sweet 16 of the South Region on Thursday night.
Freshman guard Kihei Clark scored 12 points and sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter added 11 for top-seeded Virginia (32-3), which reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in school history.
Junior guard Kyle Guy scored 10 points and junior forward Mamadi Diakite collected 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Virginia will play Purdue in Saturday’s regional final. The winner advances to the Final Four.
“It wasn’t a masterpiece but as the saying goes, ‘Survive and advance,’ and we survived,” Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said in a postgame television interview on TBS.
Freshman forward Louis King scored 16 points for 12th-seeded Oregon (25-13). Junior point guard Payton Pritchard added 11 points and senior forward Paul White added 10 points and three steals for the Ducks, who had a 10-game winning streak halted.
Oregon missed its last five shots over the final 5:44 of the contest.
“I did a really poor job,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said. “We’ve got to get better possessions than that. That’s my job. We got rushed a little bit there and just we had poor possessions. And I told the guys in the locker room, I let them down there.”
Bennett said, “Offense can come and go, and they’re really good defensively. And we stepped up defensively, so you just hang on. You hang on and hang your hat on that defense and hopefully you get enough offense. Again, ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe it wasn’t great, but I thought it was pretty good looking for us defensively.”
Clark and Jerome hit 3-point baskets to give Virginia a 48-45 lead with 3:33 remaining.
Nobody scored again until Hunter got loose for a layup to give the Cavaliers a five-point lead with 27.5 seconds left.
Pritchard hit two free throws to move Oregon within 50-47 with 17.7 seconds left. Hunter made two free throws with 13.6 seconds left to push it back to five.
King made two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to make it a three-point margin before Clark split two free throws with 0.5 seconds left to seal it for the Cavaliers.
Hunter said, “I think we played great. We were communicating, we were scrambling, keeping guys in front, rebounding. We were doing all the things we practice every day. I mean, I think those last five minutes just shows how great we can be.”
Virginia hit just 35.7 percent from the field and was 9 of 33 from 3-point range.
Oregon shot 37.8 percent from the field, including 9 of 25 from behind the arc.
The Ducks trailed by eight at halftime but opened the half with a 12-5 run, moving within 35-34 on White’s 3-pointer with 14:40 left.
The Cavaliers received a 3-pointer from Guy and a jumper from Clark to move ahead by six but Oregon rattled off the next eight points. The Ducks went ahead at 42-40 on King’s 3-pointer with 8:32 remaining.
Virginia led 30-22 at halftime despite shooting just 36.4 percent from the field. The Cavaliers missed 15 of 16 shots during one stretch.
The Ducks were up 18-13 after a dunk by sophomore forward Kenny Wooten with 5:48 remaining before Virginia responded with 10 straight points.
“For sure, I mean, we’re disappointed,” Pritchard said. “We were right there, down to the wire. We’re going to look back at this and we’re going to be — it’s going to be frustrating for a while now.”
–Field Level Media
Texas Tech 63, Michigan 44
When: 9:39 PM ET, Thursday, March 28, 2019
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
ANAHEIM – Sophomore Jarrett Culver scored 22 points while Texas Tech smothered Michigan in a historic defensive effort as the Red Raiders won 63-44 in an NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal on Thursday night.
Third-seeded Texas Tech (29-6) harassed second-seeded Michigan into 32.7 percent shooting, including a 1-for-19 effort from 3-point range. Walk-on CJ Baird hit a shot from behind the arc with 22 seconds left to prevent Michigan from going without a trey for the first time since 2013.
Michigan set a program record for fewest points in the first half of an NCAA Tournament game (16) and total points. Both previous marks dated to the Wolverines’ first NCAA Tournament game, in 1948 against Holy Cross.
“We were fortunate tonight,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “Michigan didn’t shoot the ball well. But you have to give our guys credit.
“I love the way we were sharing the ball, getting assists, and we had nice balance. Several guys stepped up and made shots.”
Texas Tech, which reached the first Elite Eight in its history last season, will play top-seeded Gonzaga on Saturday in the regional final.
Davide Moretti contributed 15 points for Texas Tech, which got 10 from Matt Mooney. Tariq Owens had seven points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Freshman Ignas Brazdeikis led Michigan (30-7) with 17 points and 13 rebounds, his third double-double. Charles Matthews scored 12 points but committed a game-high five turnovers.
The Wolverines, who entered with the nation’s lowest turnover rate (8.9 per game), committed 10 by early in the second half and finished with 14.
“We wanted to have a low-turnover game, so that was good,” Beard said. “I thought we guarded. We had so much respect for Michigan. I thought our guys defended at a high level today.”
The matchup of two of the top defensive teams in the country started as expected, but the Red Raiders got hot while the Wolverines did not. Michigan’s 44 points were the lowest ever for a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“I feel like we stayed true to ourselves,” Culver said. “We played the defense we’ve been playing all year. Their shots weren’t going in, and we had urgency to stay true to our defense.”
“They get their hands on a lot of things to cause those turnovers,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “They’re quick, they’re good, they’re long, they’re veteran. It showed. And they’re well-coached as well.”
Texas Tech led 24-16 at halftime and then started to fly in the second half.
Owens soared to flush an alley-oop pass from Moretti, who then drained a 3-pointer after a steal for a 34-18 lead with 16:56 to go. Owens dunked again a minute later as Texas Tech doubled-up Michigan’s point total.
Michigan trailed by at least 20 points for most of the final 10 minutes.
Midway through the first half, the teams had combined to make 5 of 26 shots, and the game was tied at 6.
The Red Raiders found their offense, making eight of their final 13 shots of the half, including a bit of luck from Mooney, who beat the shot clock with a turnaround 3-pointer that banked in for an 18-12 lead.
–Field Level Media
Purdue 99, Tennessee 94
When: 7:29 PM ET, Thursday, March 28, 2019
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
LOUISVILLE – Senior guard Ryan Cline exploded to score a career-best 27 points and made seven 3-pointers as Purdue knocked off Tennessee 99-94 in overtime of a South Region semifinal game Thursday night.
Junior guard Carsen Edwards made five 3-pointers while scoring a game-high 29 points as third-seeded Purdue (26-9) reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000.
Sophomore center Matt Haarms and sophomore guard Nojel Eastern added 11 points apiece for the Boilermakers, who advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in their past five attempts.
“These guys have been resilient and have been tough all year,” coach Matt Painter said in a postgame television interview with CBS after his team got two free throws in the final seconds to force OT before prevailing.
Purdue will play top-seeded Virginia in Saturday’s regional final, with the winner advancing to the Final Four. The Cavaliers beat 12th-seeded Oregon 53-49.
Senior power forward Grant Williams and senior guard Admiral Schofield scored 21 points apiece for the second-seeded Volunteers (31-6). Junior guard Jordan Bowden scored 16 points, junior guard Lamonte Turner added 15, and junior point guard Jordan Bone scored 10.
“I can’t say enough about our guys fighting back,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “And taking nothing away from Purdue, but we were there. Tough one at the end. We had the lead with one-point-something seconds left. Tough foul.
“Lamonte Turner played his heart out. We wouldn’t have been in that situation without him. That’s a tough one for him. I’m really proud of these guys.”
Purdue won despite hitting just 16 of 33 attempts from the free-throw line. Tennessee also struggled at 14 of 28.
The Boilermakers shot 54 percent from the field, including 15 of 31 from 3-point range.
The Volunteers shot 50 percent from the field and were 12 of 24 from behind the arc.
Edwards drove for a hoop to give the Boilermakers an 89-84 advantage with 2:17 remaining in overtime. Haarms slipped loose for a dunk to make it seven-point margin with 1:38 left.
Tennessee pulled within 97-92 on Bone’s 3-pointer with 19.3 seconds left before Purdue closed it out.
Late in regulation, Williams dunked home a put-back to give Tennessee an 82-80 lead with 8.8 seconds left.
Williams blocked Edwards’ layup with 2.7 seconds left, and the ball went out of bounds. Purdue inbounded the ball to Edwards, who was fouled while shooting a 3-point attempt. He missed the first free throw before making the next two to tie the score at 82 with 1.7 seconds left.
“I just continued to focus,” Edwards said. “I mean, going into the free throw, I just focused and shoot a free throw every time how I always shoot it. After that, just did the same thing. Nothing changed.”
Painter said. “They had the momentum, they had the game. We’re the ones that have the ball down two with three seconds to go. …
“But we were able to get out of that, get to overtime, and I think we had that relief. Our guys did such a good job of competing in overtime. You know how it goes. Like the ball bounced our way a couple times. I thought in regulation, there was a couple bounces we didn’t get. But it did in overtime.”
Purdue led by 12 points at halftime and quickly pushed the lead to 51-33 on Cline’s 3-pointer with 13:56 left.
“There were times in the second half I was coming off and I knew I was going to shoot it,” Cline said, “so my teammates did a really good job of getting me open and giving me an opportunity.”
Edwards’ driving hoop gave the Boilermakers a 65-51 lead with 10:52 left before Tennessee ripped off the next 14 points. Turner scored the final five points of the burst, tying the score with a 3-pointer with 6:58 remaining.
Cline later buried his seventh 3-pointer to tie the score at 80 with 36.4 seconds remaining.
Edwards scored 15 points during a first half controlled by Purdue en route to a 40-28 advantage.
–Field Level Media
Gonzaga 72, Florida State 58
When: 7:09 PM ET, Thursday, March 28, 2019
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
ANAHEIM – Rui Hachimura scored 17 points, Brandon Clarke had a double-double, and top-seeded Gonzaga finished on a big run to turn away Florida State 72-58 Thursday night in a Sweet 16 contest.
Gonzaga will play in the West Region final on Saturday against third-seeded Texas Tech.
The Bulldogs (33-3) led by 14 in the first half but had trouble putting away the fourth-seeded Seminoles, who were within 60-56 before Zach Norvell Jr. stemmed their momentum by hitting a key 3-point shot with 3:06 to go.
“I thought in the second half, when the game had gotten away from us a little bit, our guys really worked hard and cut the lead down,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “But we just couldn’t seem to hit the open perimeter shots. That seemed to be what made the biggest difference in the game — our inability to hit the wide-open shots.”
Clarke helped subdue the Seminoles (29-8) with two free throws with 2:06 left and a dunk with 1:17 to go. He scored 15 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked five shots.
“He’s been doing that all year. He gives you everything he’s got,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of Clarke. “He’s so coachable, and he’s gotten so much better. He just makes things happen. You don’t have to run plays for him. He just ends up with the ball and he makes thing happen.”
Gonzaga flashed its defense, forcing 14 turnovers and holding Florida State to 39.3 percent shooting (24 of 61).
“I thought we were as tough as nails tonight,” Few said. “I thought we were really in the gaps, making plays, covering for each other, doing a really good job on the glass against that team, which is really, really difficult.”
Florida State guard Trent Forrest was a second-half force, scoring 15 of his 20 points after halftime. Forrest made 8 of 11 shots overall, grabbed five rebounds and dished four assists. No other Seminole scored in double figures.
Hamilton said his team fell a little too far behind, and paid the price.
“We’ve had games when we haven’t performed very well when we’re hesitant from the perimeter,” he said. “I thought their defense had a lot to do with it because they played more of contain defense. We dug a little hole for ourselves in the first half that was hard to overcome. I was proud of my kids for fighting back.”
Florida State’s 7-foot-4 Christ Koumadje was a factor — eight points on 4-of-4 shooting — but couldn’t stay on the court. He picked up his second foul with 17:47 to go in the first half and sat until halftime. His fourth foul came with 14:19 left in the game, and he ended playing only 12 minutes.
Gonzaga avenged a 75-60 loss to Florida State in last year’s Sweet 16.
“They challenged us in every way possible,” Hamilton said. “We got beat by a team that played better than us tonight, that played their system better than we did.”
Norvell and Josh Perkins each contributed 14 points for the Bulldogs.
“They had a lot of offensive talent. We’re just trying to switch things up on them,” Norvell said. “They were really physical. And we wanted to be more physical than them, take the fight to them on offense and defense.”
Perkins scored 10 first-half points, including a three-point play with 0.4 seconds left after his steal and layup, to lead Gonzaga to a 38-27 halftime advantage. The Bulldogs took their biggest lead of the half at 33-19 when Norvell made a 3-point shot with 4:46 left.
Gonzaga has now won 190 consecutive games when leading by at least 11 points at halftime.
Florida State was without fifth-year senior forward Phil Cofer, who was with family in Georgia following the death of his father, Mike Cofer, last Thursday. Cofer averaged 7.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 26.2 minutes per game this season, starting 19 of his 22 games.
–Field Level Media