Monday, March 25, 2013

Duke, Miami Move On To Sweet 16, Heels Headed Home

(Greg Nelson/Sports Illustrated)

Duke and Miami are headed to the Sweet 16 while horrific shooting sends North Carolina back to Chapel Hill.

MIAMI 63, Illinois 59 - Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead three-pointer with a minute left and Miami gained possession on a ball knocked out of bounds that probably should have gone to Illinois, helping the Hurricanes hold on for a 63-59 victory Sunday night to advance to the NCAA round of 16.

After Larkin's first field goal in about 9 1/2 minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a three-pointer. In the fight for the rebound, the ball appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami's Kenny Kadji out of bounds. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.

Miami (29-6) is in the round of 16 for only the second time in school history. The Hurricanes play Marquette (25-8) in Washington D.C. on Thursday night.

Larkin, the only non-senior starter for Miami and the ACC player of the year, finished with 17 points. Rion Brown had 21 with five 3s. 

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(Elsa/Getty Images)
DUKE 66, Creighton 50  - Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points, Seth Curry scored had 17 and No. 2 seed Duke held off seventh-seeded Creighton 66-50 on Sunday to advance to the round of 16 for the fourth time in five years.

A year after they lost their NCAA tournament opener, the Blue Devils (29-5) are back in the regional semifinal for the 23rd time. They'll play No. 3 seed Michigan State (27-8) in the regional semifinal Friday in Indianapolis.

Mason Plumlee, Josh Hairston and Ryan Kelly battled foul trouble all game long that could have doomeed the Blue Devils. Creighton (28-8) went cold and never made a serious run in the second half. Doug McDermott scored 21 points but made only four baskets. 

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(Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Kansas 70, NORTH CAROLINA 58 - The Tar Heels scored 30 points on 26% shooting in the first half and 28 points on 35.5% shooting in the second half including going 6 for 21 from behind the arc.

Game over. 

Kansas is the best defensive team in the country in terms of field goal percentage holding their opponents to 36% for the season.  The Heels shot 30.1% for the game and had no answer for 7’ Jeff Withey. It was UNC’s second lowest point total of the season.

Behind the impassioned play of Travis Releford and Withey, the top-seeded Jayhawks shook themselves out of a first-half slumber to dispatch the poor-shooting Tar Heels with minimal drama.

Withey had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Releford finished with 22 points for the Jayhawks (31-5), who also knocked former coach Roy Williams' team out of the NCAA tournament during their 2008 title run and again last season, when Kansas marched all the way to the Final Four.

The Tar Heels (25-11) harassed the Jayhawks into a dozen turnovers and one of its worst shooting performances of the season in taking a 30-21 lead at the break. But they buckled in the second half as Kansas, playing just 40 miles from its campus in Lawrence, turned up the pressure.

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