RJ Davis goes for 20 as North Carolina beats Michigan State 85-69

Sat, Mar 23, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

RJ Davis goes for 20 as North Carolina beats Michigan State 85-69

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - RJ Davis scored 20 points to help North Carolina beat Michigan State 85-69 in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, pushing the Tar Heels to the Sweet 16 while keeping them unbeaten in March Madness against Spartans Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo.

Harrison Ingram made five 3-pointers and scored 17 points for the West Region's top seed, which continued its NCAA success in its home state. UNC (29-7) ran off 17 straight points during a 23-3 run over the last eight minutes of the first half to erase a 12-point deficit, then continued answering every push by the Spartans after halftime.

The Tar Heels improved to 5-0 in the tournament against Izzo, including victories in the 2005 Final Four and 2009 title game. And they move on to the regional semifinals in Los Angeles, where they will face either Grand Canyon or Alabama on Thursday night.

UNC also got a strong showing inside from Armando Bacot (18 points), who got into the paint to score, draw fouls or kick out against oncoming double teams. Ingram was on the receiving end of some of those, knocking down 5 of 7 3-pointers to go with seven rebounds.

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Tyson Walker scored 24 points for the ninth-seeded Spartans (20-15).

EAST REGION

NO. 4 IOWA STATE 67, NO. 25 WASHINGTON STATE 56

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Tamin Lipsey scored 15 points, Iowa State cranked up the second-half pressure against Washington State, and the No. 2 seed Cyclones marched into their seventh Sweet 16 with a victory over the seventh-seeded Cougars in the NCAA Tournament.

Curtis Jones added 14 points and Keshon Gilbert and Milan Momcilovic had 10 apiece for the Cyclones (29-7), who made it to the second weekend of the tourney for the second time in three years. They will play third-seeded Illinois or No. 11 seed Duquesne in the East Region semifinals on Thursday night at TD Garden in Boston.

Jaylen Wells scored 20 points and Myles Rice had 13 for the Cougars (25-10), who were sent back to the Palouse still searching for their first Sweet 16 appearance since Tony Bennett was on the sideline in 2008.

MIDWEST REGION

NO. 18 GONZAGA 89, NO. 17 KANSAS 68

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Gonzaga played a nearly perfect second half, busting open a back-and-forth game with a 15-0 run Saturday to pull away from Kansas for a win and extend its nation-best streak of trips to the Sweet 16 to nine.

Anton Watson shot 8 for 11 for 21 points on an afternoon when basically everyone in a navy jersey was a star, especially after halftime.

The fifth-seeded Zags (27-7) made their first five 3-pointers of the second half, not missing from long range until 1:30 remained and the game had long entered extended garbage time.

Mark Few's team will make its regular trip to the second weekend to play the winner of Sunday's game between Purdue and Utah State.

Nolan Hickman finished with 17 points for the Zags, and big man Graham Ike had 15 points and nine rebounds, going toe to toe with KU's Hunter Dickinson, who finished with a quiet 15 points. Making all the Bulldogs look good was Ryan Nembhard, who blew off a rough shooting night (1 for 6) and finished with 12 assists.

During Gonzaga's 15-0 run, the Jayhawks (23-11) missed 10 straight shots and never got within single digits again.

SOUTH REGION

NORT CAROLINA STATE 79, OAKLAND 73, OT

PITTSBURGH (AP) - DJ Burns Jr. scored 24 points, including a go-ahead putback that ignited a 9-0 run in overtime, and 11th-seeded North Carolina State beat 14th-seeded Oakland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Powered by their versatile 6-foot-9, 275-pound forward, the Wolfpack (24-14) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015 by finally pulling away from 3-point specialist Jack Gohlke and the Golden Grizzlies (24-12) in the extra period.

N.C. State will face either second-seeded Marquette and 10th-seeded Colorado in Dallas on Friday in the South Region semifinals.

Michael O'Connell had 12 points for the Wolfpack. DJ Horne and Casey Morsell added 11 apiece. Jayden Taylor came off the bench in overtime to hit a 3-pointer that put N.C. State ahead by five.

Oakland, which ousted third-seeded Kentucky on Thursday, just missed becoming the first 14 seed to reach the Sweet 16 since Chattanooga in 1997.

WEST REGION

NO. 9 ARIZONA 78, DAYTON 68

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Caleb Love scored 19 points and second-seeded Arizona reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons, beating No. 7 seed Dayton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats (27-8), who also reached a regional semifinal in 2022 in coach Tommy Lloyd's first season, will face either the West Region's No. 6 seed, Clemson, or third-seeded Baylor in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Keshad Johnson and Pelle Larsson each had 13 points and seven rebounds for Arizona. Larsson also had six assists, and Jaden Bradley scored 12 points off the bench. The Wildcats shot 53% from the field and made eight 3-pointers.

DaRon Holmes II had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Flyers (25-8), who were denied their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2014. Koby Brea added 14 points and Kobe Elvis scored 13 for Dayton, which trailed by 17 points in the first half but stayed within striking distance nearly to the end.

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