@ACCMBB in NCAA: Virginia Advances to Sweet Sixteen

 


Virginia Overwhelms Memphis, 78-60


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Joe Harris scored 16 points and top-seeded Virginia shot 56 percent to beat Memphis 78-60 on Sunday night, earning its first trip to the NCAA tournament round of 16 in nearly two decades. 

Anthony Gill added 13 points for the Cavaliers (30-6), who turned in a dominating performance while controlling the tempo and shutting down the eighth-seeded Tigers (24-10) at nearly every turn. 

Virginia led by 15 at halftime and pushed that to 27 points late, picking right up where it left off in its strong finish to Friday's tournament-opening win against Coastal Carolina. 

In what has already been the program's most successful season in decades, Virginia added another milestone: its first regional semifinal appearance since making it to a regional final in 1995. And the Cavaliers, carrying a No. 1 seed for the first time since the days of Ralph Sampson, look ready to go even farther. 

Now they're headed to New York to face fourth-seeded Michigan State (28-8) on Friday night in the East Regional semifinals at Madison Square Garden. 

The reasons were all on display against a Memphis team eager to speed up the deliberate-paced Cavaliers and score in transition to avoid working against Virginia's stingy set defense. 

Instead, coach Tony Bennett's team checked nearly everything off its to-do list, steadily overpowering the Tigers with confident efficiency. 

The Cavaliers knocked down open looks. They played tough in the paint to contest Tigers' drives. They patiently ran their offense to make Memphis defend deep into the shot clock, then snatched down every loose rebound when the Tigers missed chances to cut into the deficit. 

There was no sign of the Virginia team that looked out of sorts while falling behind by 10 in the first half Friday against the 16th-seeded Chanticleers. Only the one that put Coastal Carolina away in the final 9 minutes. 

Harris led the offensive effort that had five players scoring in double figures. Virginia also had a 40-28 advantage on the boards while backed by a loud crowd filled with Cavs fans who made the drive one state south for the start of Virginia's tournament push. 

Austin Nichols scored 15 points to lead the Tigers, who shot 41 percent -- including 3 of 13 from 3-point range -- and scored 17 points fewer than their season average. 

Memphis came in looking for its first trip to the round of 16 since 2009, John Calipari's final year as coach before Josh Pastner took over. The Tigers hadn't made it out of the opening weekend since, prompting senior guard Geron Johnson to promise shortly after the American Athletic Conference tournament that this year would be different. 

Instead, Memphis' season ended on the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight year.  

 

UNC Falls To Iowa State In NCAA, 85-83 


SAN ANTONIO -- DeAndre Kane drove for the game-winning layup with 1.6 seconds left and No. 3 seed Iowa State beat North Carolina 85-83 on Sunday, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2000.

The Cyclones (28-7) head to Madison Square Garden next week to face No. 7 seed Connecticut in the East Regional semifinals.

The Tar Heels (24-10) are gone in the NCAA tournament's opening weekend for the first time in consecutive seasons under coach Roy Williams.

North Carolina's Nate Britt raced the ball up court after Kane's basket, but time expired before he could reach midcourt and call a timeout. Officials huddled for several minutes reviewing clock replays before ruling the game was over.

Right away Williams -- who collapsed his hands on his knees as Britt dribbled toward him and the buzzer sounded -- shook Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg's hand as North Carolina began absorbing a last-second heartbreaker.

Kane finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. It was just the kind of big game the Cyclones needed without forward Georges Niang, who broke his foot in Friday's win against North Carolina Central. The 6-foot-7 sophomore sat on the bench wearing a bulky boot while the Cyclones tried their best without their third-leading scorer and tallest starter.

Marcus Paige led North Carolina with 19 points and Kennedy Meeks had 15 points and 13 rebounds. But North Carolina played nearly the entire game without forward Brice Johnson, who sprained ankle in the opening minutes.

The team said X-rays were negative, but the Tar Heels' third-leading scorer never returned.

Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejam had 19 points for the Cyclones and Monte Morris added 13.

The Tar Heels crave a fast pace, and -- after dealing with the grind-it-out style of recent opponents -- Williams and Paige had spoken of relishing the chance to finally hit the gas against the similarly up-tempo Cyclones.

But this was no track meet.

Undersized Iowa State bottled up the Tar Heels before they could run and bombarded them with 3-pointers (12 of 26) instead of quick baskets. The first dunk came from Kane, not the high-flying Tar Heels, and not until 12 minutes into the game after a handful of bungled North Carolina fast breaks.

Niang's injury left Hoiberg with a tough choice: go small with his best remaining five or a put a little-used big man in place of his star sophomore. He opted for size over another shooter, giving 6-foot-8 forward Daniel Edozie his first career start.

Edozie missed the only two shots he tried and grabbed four rebounds. But Johnson's bum ankle cut North Carolina down a size on its own.

Johnson, who came in averaging 10.6 points and is the Tar Heels' second-leading rebounder, tumbled to the floor with North Carolina up 12-7. He sat on the bench before hobbling to the locker room, and while the team said X-rays were negative, it announced just before the second half that he wouldn't return.

Coincidental or not, the Cyclones got hot the moment Johnson left the game.

They shook off a 1-for-10 start from the floor and erased a seven-point deficit in less than 1 1/2 minutes. After that, neither team led by more than single digits.