Here’s a full recap of Saturday’s NCAA tournament action, with a look ahead to today’s Elite 8 games. Plus comments from top columnists, the updated bracket and the best photos from Saturday’s games.
4 p.m. central: St. Peter v. UNC
Saint Peter’s surprise win over mighty Kentucky was dismissed as an accident, a happy accident for fans who love to see the little fella rise to beat a giant in the NCAA tournament.
But anyone who loves an underdog story. Now, the ever-growing legion of Peacocks fans holds onto the belief that the Sweet 16’s excitement over the mighty Purdue has established a pattern, one that could lead the small Jersey City, NJ school straight into the Final Four.
All that stands between the Peacocks and Bourbon Street next week is North Carolina, one of the No. 8 seeded Bluebloods, in the East Region Finals in Philadelphia today.
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1:20 p.m. Central: KANSAS V. MIAMI
Kansas, the last No. 1 seed standing, has made the Elite Eight. That should make Jayhawks fans very nervous as they head into the Midwest Region Finals against 10th-seeded Miami in Chicago.
This was the game that made coach Bill Self persistent more than any other. He’s 3-7 in regional finals in his career, including 3-5 in Kansas.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s farewell tour leads to his record-breaking 13th Final Four after Duke defeated Arkansas 78-69 on Saturday night, in the Blue Devils’ most complete performance in this NCAA tournament run.
AJ Griffin scored 18 points, Paolo Banchero added 16 and second-place Duke (32-6) frustrated fourth-place Arkansas (28-9) on offense to return to the Final Four for the first time since Krzyzewski’s fifth championship win of the year 2015
Villanova coach Jay Wright has won national championships with balanced and rock-solid teams, but even he knew it would take a tough and exhausting effort to stay in contention for another title.
The end result has been ugly at times, but beautiful for the Wildcats, who are going to their third Final Four in the last six NCAA tournaments.
Jermaine Samuels had 16 points and 10 rebounds as Villanova picked up a 50-44 win over the brave and athletic Houston team last Saturday in the South Region.
Louisville, NC State, UConn, Michigan round out Elite 8
Paige Bueckers and Christyn Williams each scored 15 points to lead a balanced UConn offense in a 75-58 win over Indiana on Saturday to advance the Huskies to their 16th straight NCAA Women’s Tournament Regional Finals.
NC STATE 66, NOTRE DAME 63
Louisville 76, Tennessee 64
MICHIGAN 52, SOUTH AKOTA 49
Recap of Saturday’s NCAA Women’s Action:
UPDATED MOUNT FOR MEN
Miracle or trend? Saint Peter’s run can be a sign of parity in the NCAA
America loves March Madness because America loves an outsider.
A twist: while tiny Saint Peter’s run to the top of the Final Four was compelling, it’s also the latest example of how something that once felt like a miracle at the NCAA tournament could become increasingly common in the years to come .
The Peacocks, who play No. 8 North Carolina on Sunday and have a trip to New Orleans at stake, have joined Florida Gulf Coast and Oral Roberts as the third No. 15 in a decade reaches the tournament’s second weekend. Since the group expanded to 64 teams in 1985, the 15 seeds have held a record 14-140. Eight of those 14 wins have been achieved since 2012.
SPORT ON TV TODAY
COLLEGE BASKETBALL (MEN)
1 p.m. Central: CBS – NCAA Tournament: Miami vs. Kansas, Elite Eight, Chicago
4:00 p.m. Center: CBS – NCAA Tournament: St. Peter vs. North Carolina, Elite Eight, Philadelphia
COLLEGE BASKETBALL (WOMEN)
6 p.m. Central: ESPN – NCAA Tournament: Creighton vs. South Carolina, Elite Eight, Greensboro, NC
8:00 p.m. Center: ESPN – NCAA Tournament: Texas vs. Stanford, Elite Eight, Spokane, Washington.