Here’s a complete recap of Friday’s NCAA Tournament action with a lookahead to today’s Elite 8 games. Plus, the updated bracket and top pics.
If the shoe fits: Love leads Carolina over UCLA into Elite 8
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Turns out, the best explanation for the shooting spree Caleb Love put on for North Carolina was also the simplest.
It’s gotta be the shoes.
Reinvigorated by a change of sneakers at halftime, Love went crazy for the Tar Heels on Friday night. He made the game-tying and go-ahead 3-pointers 37 seconds apart to lift Carolina to a 73-66 victory over UCLA in a March Madness matchup of power programs.
Love scored 27 of his career-high 30 points in the second half, part of a barrage that included NBA-range 3s and no-look layups. His go-ahead 3 came with 1:03 left. He also hit a pair of free throws with 7.8 seconds remaining that put away the fourth-seeded Bruins for good.
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Saint Peter’s beats Purdue, reaches Elite 8 as 15 seed
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Daryl Banks III scored the tying and go-ahead baskets that pushed 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s to the brink of the Final Four, the tiny Peacocks thriving off a home-court edge to beat third-seeded Purdue 67-64 on Friday night.
The Peacocks (22-11) became the first 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight, adding the Boilermakers to their NCAA Tournament string of upsets, and will face North Carolina in the East Region final on Sunday.
Saint Peter’s had the fans inside the packed Wells Fargo Center on its side from the opening tip and the arena erupted when Banks tied the game 57-all on a turnaround jumper. He hit a driving layup with 2:17 left that made it 59-57.
The Peacocks kept their composure — hey, they’re used to these wins by now after knocking off No. 2 seed Kentucky and Murray State — and held off a Purdue team that gamely tried to bully them inside.
Click here for recaps from all 4 of Friday’s Sweet 16 contests:
THE WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT
A complete recap of Friday’s NCAA women’s action:
GREENSBORO, N..C (AP) — Aliyah Boston had 28 points and 22 rebounds, and top-seeded South Carolina moved on to the Elite Eight with a 69-61 victory over North Carolina on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament.
SCOREBOARD & SCHEDULE
Saint Peter’s 67, Purdue 64
All times Eastern
No. 5 Houston vs. No. 2 Villanova, 6:09 p.m.
No. 4 Arkansas vs. No. 2 Duke, 8:49 p.m.
South Carolina 69, UNC 61
Creighton 76, Iowa State 68
All times Eastern
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 1 NC State, 11:30 a.m.
No. 3 Indiana vs. No. 2 Connecticut, 2 p.m.
No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Louisville, 4 p.m.
No. 10 South Dakota vs. No. 3 Michigan, 6:30 p.m.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
GAME OF THE DAY: ARKANSAS VS. DUKE
Mike Krzyzewski would pass John Wooden for most Final Four appearances if No. 2 seed Duke can beat fourth-seeded Arkansas in the West Region final in San Francisco. UCLA’s Wizard of Westwood went to the national semifinals 12 times between 1962-1975.
For Coach K to get there for a 13th time, and first since the 2015 national championship season, Duke might need to be as sharp offensively as it was against Texas Tech on Thursday. Jeremy Roach, Paolo Banchero and the Blue Devils shot 71% from the field in the second half and made their last eight shots against one of the best defensive teams in the country in a 78-73 victory.
JD Notae and Arkansas have been playing great defense in the tournament, too, allowing 62.3 points per game and becoming one of just four teams to hold Gonzaga under 70 points in a 74-68 win.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Photos: Top pics from Friday’s NCAA Sweet 16 action