NCAA Sweet 16: Florida, Kentucky, SC, Tar Heels Win
Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina won their respective regional semifinal games on Friday night. Here’s a recap of the action:
Florida 84, Wisconsin 83 (OT)
Chris Chiozza sunk a three-pointer at the buzzer and Florida beat Wisconsin, 84-83, in overtime in the East Regional semifinals in New York on Friday night. Because of Chiozza’s heroics, the fourth-seeded Gators advanced to play South Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday.
Nigel Hayes gave the Badgers (27-10) a two-point lead with four seconds to play, when Chiozza took an inbounds pass and raced down the court and into NCAA tournament lore.
KeVaughn Allen scored a career-high 35 points for Florida (27-8), who seemingly had the game won in regulation until Wisconsin's Zak Showalter hit an off-balance 3-pointer to tie the game with two seconds left.
Hayes led the Badgers with 22 points. Ethan Happ chipped in 21.
South Carolina 70, Baylor 50
Sindarius Thornwell scored 24 points, and South Carolina crushed Baylor, 70-50, in the East Region semifinals in New York on Friday night. As a result, the seventh-seeded Gamecocks (25-10) advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in history. They’ll next face Florida for a spot in the 2017 Final Four.
DJ Dozier and Chris Silva added 12 points each for South Carolina, which seized the lead midway through the first half and never trailed again.
Johnathan Motley had 18 points for the third-seeded Bears (27-8), who looked over-matched and out-hustled throughout the game.
Kentucky 86, UCLA 75
De'Aaron Fox tossed in a career-high 39 points and Kentucky beat UCLA, 86-75, in the semifinals of the South Region in Memphis on Friday night. The second-seeded Wildcats (32-5) won their 14th straight game and advanced to Sunday’s Elite Eight matchup with North Carolina.
Malik Monk added 21 points for Kentucky, which never trailed after halftime.
TJ Leaf and Isaac Hamilton each had 17 points for the third-seeded Bruins (31-5).
North Carolina 92, Butler 80
Joel Berry II scored 26 points and North Carolina routed Butler, 92-80, in the semifinals of the South Region in Memphis on Friday night. With the victory, the top-seeded Tar Heels advanced to face Kentucky in Sunday’s regional final for the right to go to the 2017 Final Four.
Thanks to a 14-0 run in the first half by North Carolina (30-7), the outcome of the game was never in doubt. The Tar Heels were up 52-36 on the fourth-seeded Bulldogs at half and extended the lead to as much as 20 points after intermission.
Justin Jackson added 24 for North Carolina, and Luke Maye had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Andrew Chrabascz led Butler (25-9) with 21 points and seven rebounds.