Bryant McIntosh of the Northwestern Wildcats is pursued by Josh Perkins of the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Teammates Nigel Hayes and Ethan Happ of the Wisconsin Badgers try to stop Josh Hart of the Villanova Wildcats during the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center Saturday in Buffalo.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Nigel Hayes, No. 10, of the Wisconsin Badgers drives to the basket against the Villanova Wildcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center in Buffalo Saturday.
Scores and analysis from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament Round of 32:
Swanigan powers Purdue into Sweet 16
Caleb Swanigan had 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and Purdue reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in seven years with a wild 80-76 victory over Iowa State on Saturday night.
The Cyclones erased a 19-point deficit in the second half, taking their first lead of the game on Deonte Burton’s two free throws with 3:11 left. But P.J. Thompson responded with a critical 3-pointer for the Boilermakers, and Swanigan made several huge plays in the final minutes.
After Dakota Mathias missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 11 seconds left and Purdue clinging to a 78-76 lead, Swanigan tracked down the rebound to set up Thompson’s free throws with 7 seconds remaining. Monte Morris missed a 3 on the other end, and time ran out for Iowa State.
Vince Edwards had 21 points and 10 rebounds for No. 4 seed Purdue (27-7), which will play the winner of Sunday’s Michigan State-Kansas game on Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri. Isaac Haas finished with 14 points, helping the Boilermakers to a 23-5 advantage in bench points.
Florida rolls past Virginia 65-39
Devin Robinson had 14 points and 11 rebounds, the fifth double-double of his career, and No. 4 seed Florida handled fifth-seeded Virginia 65-39 on Saturday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Justin Leon added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Gators (26-8), who advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the 11th time in school history and fifth in the last seven years. They will play No. 8 seed Wisconsin in the East Regional in New York City on Friday.
They can thank stingy defense and a ridiculous run spanning halftime for this trip to Madison Square Garden.
Florida held Virginia (23-11) to a season-low 17 points in the first half and 30.2 percent shooting on the night. The turning point came late in the first half, when the Gators started a 21-0 run that was their most lopsided of the season.
Virginia was held to its fewest points since a 48-38 loss to Wisconsin in 2013.
Middle Tennessee State wilts in 74-65 loss to Butler
Kelan Martin scored 19 points, and Butler limited Middle Tennessee’s athletic scorers with smothering defense in a 74-65 victory Saturday night to advance to the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals.
The Bulldogs (25-8) are going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011, when they wrapped up back-to-back appearances in the national title game.
Andrew Chrabascz added 15 points for fourth-seeded Butler, including a 3 with 3:25 left that snapped a 7-0 run for Middle Tennessee to get the lead back to 62-56.
The senior forward played an even more important role in leading a sterling defensive effort for the Bulldogs.
Conference USA player of the year JaCorey Williams finished with 20 points, but had to work hard for nearly every bucket for No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee (31-5).
Giddy Potts, who averaged nearly 16 points a game this year, was held scoreless, going 0 of 8 from the field.
No. 11 Xavier upsets No. 3 FSU, 91-66
Trevon Bluiett scored 29 points and Kaiser Gates came off the bench to contribute 14 as the 11 seed Xavier pulled off its second upset of the NCAA Tournament with a 91-66 victory over third-seeded Florida State during Saturday’s second round.
The Musketeers (23-13) advance to the West Region semifinal marking the second time in two years and the eighth time in program history they have made it to the Sweet 16. The Seminoles, the ACC runners-up, end their season at 26-9.
Florida State was the bigger program from a power conference, but Xavier came in as a tournament tested team and it showed. The Musketeers dominated the bigger and more athletic Seminoles inside and then put the game out of reach with their superior 3-point shooting.
Northwestern loses to Gonzaga, 79-73
Top-seeded Gonzaga fought off a wild Northwestern comeback for a 79-73 victory Saturday night with help from an untimely technical foul on Wildcats coach Chris Collins.
Northwestern trimmed a 22-point deficit to five and had the ball when Gonzaga’s Zach Collins reached up through the basket to reject Dererk Pardon’s shot with 4:54 left.
There was no call, and Collins, jawing with the officials all day, ran onto the court and was slapped with a technical foul.
Nigel Williams-Goss made both free throws, and eighth-seeded Northwestern (24-12), in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, never got closer.
Williams-Goss led the Zags (34-1) with 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Collins and Jordan Mathews had 14 points each.
Bryant McIntosh, who hit the go-ahead free throws in Northwestern’s opening-round win, had 20 for the Wildcats and Vic Law had 18.
Wisconsin knocks out defending champ Villanova, 65-62
No. 1 and done.
Top-seeded Villanova was bounced from the NCAA Tournament by eighth-seeded Wisconsin, which overcame foul trouble for two of its stars in the second half Saturday to upset the defending champions 65-62 in the East region.
Nigel Hayes scored 19 points, dropping a layup in traffic with 11.4 seconds left to put Wisconsin ahead 64-62, and Bronson Koenig added 17 for the tournament-toughened Badgers (27-9), who are going back to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year. They’ll play next week at New York’s Madison Square Garden after knocking off Villanova (32-4).
Josh Hart scored 19 to lead Villanova, but the senior guard was stripped by Wisconsin center Ethan Happ on a drive in the final seconds. Wisconsin’s Vitto Brown then split a pair of free throws with four seconds left, but Villanova couldn’t get off a final shot.
When the final horn sounded, Wisconsin’s red-clad fans erupted in celebration and the Badgers stormed the floor after taking down a No. 1 seed for the third time in four years. Wisconsin beat Arizona in 2014, Kentucky in 2015 and now can add Villanova to its list.
Flushed with pride, Wisconsin coach Greg Gard hugged his wife and children as the Badgers’ pep band played their hearts out.
For Villanova, it’s a bitter end to a great season by the Big East champions, who came into the tournament expected to at least escape the East’s bracket but had their hopes busted and will have to relish those moments from last year when they won their first title since 1985.
Wildcats coach Jay Wright was concerned about Wisconsin, calling them a “great number eight” seed. As it turned out, the Badgers were more than that, as savvy seniors Koenig and Hayes made several key plays in the closing minutes.
WVU clinches Sweet 16 berth with win over Notre Dame
Don’t be fooled by the Mountaineers referring to themselves as “Press” Virginia as a result of their relentless defensive pressure.
This team can score.
Led by Jevon Carter’s 24 points, the Mountaineers outshot the Fighting Irish in an 83-71 win on Saturday to clinch their third Sweet 16 berth since 2010.
“They thought of us as defensive players,” guard Tarik Phillip said. “But the coaching staff instilled a lot of confidence in us, helped us develop our offensive game, and we became pretty good offensive players.”
West Virginia entered the tournament leading the nation in forcing 20.4 turnovers, while also ranking 15th in averaging 82 points. The Mountaineers topped 80 points for the 18th time, while also breaking the single-season school scoring record set by the Jerry West-led 1958-59 squad.
Daxter Miles scored 18 points, and Esa Ahmad had nine rebounds.
Carter led the way in matching a season high, while going 8 of 15, including 4 of 5 in 3-pointers.
His last 3-pointer all but finished the fifth-seeded Fighting Irish (26-10) as they attempted one final comeback bid.
Notre Dame’s Matt Ryan hit a 3-point basket in the right corner to cut West Virginia’s lead to 72-66 with 3:06 left.
Carter responded by crossing through the middle and pulling up to hit a fall-away 3-pointer about 25 seconds later.
“Just staying confident,” said Carter, the Big 12’s defensive player of the year. “When we step on the court, we feel like we can beat them. We got hot early and kept going from there. We keep that chip on our shoulder.”
The Mountaineers continue to overcome the sting of last year’s first-round tournament collapse, when they lost to 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin.
Now they’re off to the round of 16 for the first time since 2015, for the fourth time since coach Bob Huggins took over in 2007, and seventh time since the NCAA field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Notre Dame was denied a chance to reach the Elite Eight for a third consecutive year .
Bonzie Colson led the Fighting Irish in hitting 10 of 15 shots, scored 27 points and had eight rebounds. Otherwise, the rest of the teammates were stymied.
Guard Matt Farrell was limited to eight points, while V.J. Beachem hit 2 of 14 attempts and finished with 9 points.
Coach Mike Brey said the difference was Notre Dame falling behind 10-0 and eventually getting worn down from attempting to dig out of such a hole. The Irish did eventually cut the lead to 32-29 only to give up two baskets over a 20-second span in a game the Mountaineers never trailed.
“Any time we thought we’d get this thing to four or get it to two possessions, somebody hit a big 3 or they got a putback,” Brey said. “It’s really spirit-breaking after a while.”
Brey had to gamble in keeping Colson in after the star forward picked up his fourth foul with 9:47 left and with West Virginia up 59-47 Colson scored 10 of Notre Dame’s next 14 points over a 5-minute span.
“It’s horrible,” said Colson, whose shoulders were heaving in emotion as he left the court. “It’s frustrating when you try to play your tail off and play with everything you have and just leave everything out there.”