MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dayton advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in 30 years with an 82-72 victory over Stanford on Thursday night in the NCAA South Regional men’s basketball semifinals at FedExForum.
The 11th-seeded Flyers (26-10) advance to play top-seeded Florida for passage to the Final Four.
Guard Jordan Sibert led Dayton with 18 points, as he shot 4-for-9 from 3-point range. Forward Kendall Pollard scored 12 points off the bench for the Flyers, forward Devin Oliver had 12 points and seven rebounds, and center Matt Kavanaugh finished with 10 points.
Tenth-seeded Stanford (23-13) got 21 points from guard Chasson Randle, and 17 points and nine rebounds from forward Dwight Powell. Center Stefan Nastic had 15 points for the Cardinal but fouled out with 5:04 left in the game. It was his ninth disqualification of the season. Stanford forward Josh Huestis added 13 points and eight rebounds.
Stanford pulled within 47-43 with 15:53 to go on a Powell layup as the Cardinal made a 7-0 run to cut into the Flyers’ lead. However, that was close as Stanford could get, and Dayton’s advantage never dropped below 10 points in the last five minutes of the game.
Dayton shot 48.3 percent (28-for-58), and Stanford shot 37.9 percent (22-for-58). The Cardinal finished with 10 assists and 12 turnovers.
Dayton led 42-32 at halftime, compiling 13 assists and four steals while committing just two turnovers through the first 20 minutes.
An 8-0 run allowed the Flyers to stretch the lead to 34-23. Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins picked up a technical at the end of the run, but it only cost the Cardinal a point as Flyers forward Dyshawn Pierre split two free throws and Dayton didn’t score on the ensuing possession.
The Flyers led by as many as 13 points in the half, as a 3-pointer from guard Jordan Sibert made the score 42-29. Sibert and Pollard each had eight first-half points for Dayton.
Stanford had more turnovers (five) than assists (four) in the first half and shot just 33.3 percent. Nastic picked up his third foul in the first half. Randle and Huestis each scored eight first-half points, and Huestis had three blocks before the break.
The Flyers had a 17-16 edge in rebounds at halftime, and Dayton scored the only nine fast-break points of the half.
Frank Kaminsky led the way with 19 points and a career-high six blocks as the Badgers cruised into the Elite Eight with a convincing win over the Bears in Anaheim, Calif.
Kaminsky shot 8-of-11 from the field and Ben Brust added 14 points to help propel second-seeded Wisconsin into Saturday’s West regional final against top-seeded Arizona. The Badgers (29-7), who led by double digits for the final 25 minutes, also received 10 points off the bench from freshman Nigel Hayes.
Cory Jefferson recorded 15 points and seven rebounds to lead sixth-seeded Baylor (26-12), which did not reach 10 points until less than seven minutes remained in the first half and did not reach the 20-point plateau until there were a little over 17 minutes left in the game. The Bears’ athleticism was expected to cause problems for the Badgers, but Baylor shot only 31 percent from the field, including 2-of-15 from 3-point range, and was outrebounded 40-33.
Baylor scored the game’s first basket and held the lead for 20 seconds until Kaminsky’s layup evened the score for the final time as Wisconsin suffocated the Bears in the first half, holding them to 20.8 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes en route to a 29-16 advantage at the break. Kaminsky had 10 points and four blocks in the first half and added a three-point play early in the second half as the Badgers continued to pour it on.
Brust’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 51-30 with a little over 10 minutes left and Wisconsin was never threatened down the stretch. Brust finished 3-of-5 from behind the arc and chipped in six rebounds while backcourt mate Traevon Jackson recorded seven points, seven rebounds and five assists to help the Badgers to their 12th win in 14 games.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Wisconsin is in the regional final for the first time since 2005, when it lost to eventual champion North Carolina. … Kenny Chery and Isaiah Austin added 12 points apiece for Baylor, which had averaged 79.5 points in tournament-opening wins against Nebraska and Creighton. … Badgers G Josh Gasser, who was instrumental in his team’s third-round win over Oregon with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, missed all five of his shots in this one and finished with four points. He also had a team-high eight rebounds.
Nick Johnson scored all 15 of his points in the final 2:46 as the Wildcats knocked off the Aztecs in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 at Anaheim, Calif.
Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson also had 15 points apiece for top-seeded Arizona (33-4), which advances to face Wisconsin (29-7) in Saturday’s West regional final. Johnson made 10 consecutive free throws over the final 90 seconds as the Wildcats prevailed.
Xavier Thames scored 25 points for fourth-seeded San Diego State (31-5), which let an eight-point second-half lead slip away. Josh Davis grabbed 14 rebounds, Dwayne Polee II added 13 points and Winston Shepard had 11 points.
Johnson was scoreless and it was a one-possession game with less than three minutes remaining when Shepard made a ball-handling miscue and T.J. McConnell (11 points) made the steal with Johnson cashing in with a layup to give Arizona a 56-51 lead. He added a 3-pointer with 1:50 left and followed up with the first two of his free throws to boost the lead to eight and the Aztecs never got closer than three the rest of the way.
San Diego State used a 12-2 surge in the first half to take an eight-point lead and took a 32-28 advantage into the break. The Aztecs again led by eight early in the second half and Arizona finally took its first lead of the half at 50-49 on McConnell’s driving basket with 7:18 remaining.
Michael Frazier II scored 19 points, including five 3-pointers, and the Gators advanced to the Elite Eight for the fourth consecutive year with an impressive win over the Bruins in Memphis, Tenn.
Scottie Wilbekin had 13 points and Casey Prather added 12 while battling foul trouble for top-seeded Florida (35-2), which will face No. 11 seed Dayton in the South regional final Saturday. Dorian Finney-Smith added 10 points off the bench as the Gators extended their winning streak to 29 games.
Jordan Adams led No. 4 seed UCLA (28-9) with 17 points while Travis Wear added 14. Kyle Anderson had 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting along with nine rebounds and five assists for the Bruins, who shot 3-of-18 from 3-point range and were ousted from the tournament by Florida for the fourth time since 2006.
Florida led 36-30 at the break before making its first six shots in the second half to move ahead 50-39 with just under 16 minutes remaining. UCLA responded with a 16-6 run over the next six minutes to cut the deficit to 56-55 before Florida scored 10 consecutive points, including six in a row from Wilbekin.
Adams scored with just over three minutes to play to pull within 68-63 but would get no closer. Frazier made seven of his 13 shots from the field and was 5-of-8 from 3-point range for the Gators, who shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded UCLA 40-30.
Michigan’s bid for a second straight trip to the Final Four is entering the second weekend of the NCAA tournament as the second-seeded Wolverines cruised through to the Sweet 16. The road gets a little tougher at the Midwest regional on Friday, when Michigan faces Tennessee in Indianapolis. The 11th-seeded Volunteers were perhaps the most impressive team of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, rolling over Massachusetts and Mercer by a combined 39 points.
In a matchup with seemingly endless storylines, Louisville and Kentucky face off Friday in Indianapolis with a berth in the Elite Eight of the Midwest Regional on the line. For starters, the Cardinals and Wildcats have won the last two national championships and also are playing for the second time this season after Kentucky handed Louisville a 73-66 loss Dec. 28. Of course that was nearly three months ago and now both teams are playing some of their best basketball. the Cardinals having won 14 of 15 and the Wildcats having won four of their last five, the loss a one-point defeat to No. 1 Florida in the SEC tournament title game.
Iowa State is in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 14 years, but will have to overcome the loss of one of its top players to reach the Elite Eight. The third-seed Cyclones face Connecticut in the East regional semifinals Friday in New York City without forward Georges Niang, who averaged 20.4 points in his previous five games before breaking his right foot in Iowa State’s second-round victory over North Carolina Central. The seventh-seeded Huskies have made the most of their return to the postseason following a one-year ban for academic sanctions, upending second-seeded Villanova 77-65 in the third round as Shabazz Napier scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half.
Despite drawing a No. 4 seed in the East region, Michigan State was considered by many the NCAA tournament favorite while top-seeded Virginia had the misfortune of winding up in the same part of the bracket. The Spartans, who face the Cavaliers in Sweet 16 action Friday in New York City, are 6-1 since getting all of their players back in a season filled with key injuries. The Big Ten tournament champions have carried over their recent success to the Big Dance, defeating Delaware and Harvard.