Photo Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK
Fighting through a second-half ankle injury, Markquis Nowell put up 20 points and an NCAA Tournament-record 19 assists to lead third-seeded Kansas State to a 98-93 overtime victory over seventh-seeded Michigan State on Thursday in an East Region semifinal.
Nowell fed Keyontae Johnson (22 points) an alley-oop pass, and Johnson’s two-handed reverse slam pushed the Wildcats ahead 94-92 with 52 seconds left in overtime. Malik Hall got to the line for the Spartans and missed the second of two foul shots.
On a baseline out-of-bounds play, Nowell hit Ismael Massoud for a corner jumper with 17 seconds left. On the Spartans’ last play, Nowell slapped the ball away from Tyson Walker and added a triumphant layup at the buzzer.
The Wildcats are headed to their third Elite Eight since 2010. They are one win away from reaching their first Final Four since 1964 and the fifth in program history. A.J. Hoggard scored 18 of his game-high 25 points after halftime to lead Michigan State (21-13). Joey Hauser posted 18 points and Walker had 16.
No. 9 Florida Atlantic 62, No. 4 Tennessee 55
Michael Forrest powered an 18-2 stretch in the middle of the second half and the ninth-seeded Owls took down the fourth-seeded Volunteers.
Underdog FAU, in just its second NCAA Tournament in program history, will face third-seeded Kansas State on Saturday at Madison Square Garden for the right to go to the Final Four.
Johnell Davis led all scorers with 15 points for the Owls, making 9-of-10 at the foul line and adding six rebounds. Forrest put up eight of his 11 points during the run that turned the tide in the Owls’ favor. Jonas Aidoo produced 10 points and seven rebounds for Tennessee.
No. 3 Gonzaga 79, No. 2 UCLA 76
Drew Timme recorded 36 points and 13 rebounds and Julian Strawther buried a long go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left as the Bulldogs beat the Bruins in a West Region semifinal in Las Vegas.
Strawther had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Malachi Smith scored 14 points as the Bulldogs overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to reach the Elite Eight for the fifth time in the past eight NCAA Tournaments. Gonzaga has won 12 straight games entering a Saturday clash with fourth-seeded UConn (28-8) in the regional final with a Final Four berth on the line.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. registered 29 points, 11 rebounds and three steals for the second-seeded Bruins, who lost for just the second time in the past 16 games. Bailey had 19 points and Tyger Campbell added 14 points and nine assists.
No. 4 UConn 88, No. 8 Arkansas 65
Jordan Hawkins poured in 24 points and UConn won the first NCAA Tournament game ever played in Las Vegas, advancing to the Elite Eight.
Adama Sanogo recorded 18 points and eight rebounds for UConn, which is making its deepest NCAA Tournament run since winning the national title in 2014. Alex Karaban had 11 points and seven rebounds as the Huskies led by as many as 29 points and won for the 12th time in their last 14 games.
Anthony Black recorded 20 points and five steals and Ricky Council IV tallied 17 points for eighth-seeded Arkansas, which was looking to reach the Elite Eight for the third straight year.
–Field Level Media