March Madness: North Carolina leave No 1 seed Baylor’s title defense in tatters | NCAA tournament 2022

RJ Davis racked up a career-high 30 points as North Carolina posted a 93-86 overtime win over defending national champion Baylor in an NCAA tournament East Region second-round game on Saturday at Fort Worth, Texas.

North Carolina’s Brady Manek poured in 26 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul.

After squandering a 25-point second-half lead and playing minus two starters down the stretch, the eighth-seeded Tar Heels never trailed in overtime against the top-seeded Bears (27-7). Davis had a three-point play in the extra session.

North Carolina continued what has been a late-season surge. The Tar Heels will play either Saint Mary’s or UCLA on Friday night in the East Region semi-finals in Philadelphia.

“This last month and a half, we’ve been getting a lot better and we’re gelling. We’re peaking at the right time,” said Armando Bacot, who collected 15 points and 16 rebounds. “I’m just so proud of our team.”

“That was the craziest game I’ve ever been in, but it was fun. We got thedub and we’re moving on to Philly,” North Carolina’s Leaky Black said.

Adam Flagler pumped in 27 points, James Akinjo had 20 and Jeremy Sochan added 15 points for Baylor, which rallied in the last 10 1/2 minutes of regulation.

Akinjo’s three-point play with 15.8 seconds tied the game at 80-80. Davis missed a potential winning three-pointer to end regulation.

A 12-0 run for the Tar Heels appeared to put the game out of reach in the second half, with the margin stretched to 67-42.

But Baylor mounted a response to close within 67-53 with more than eight minutes remaining. It was 71-62 by the 5:22 mark. Akinjo’s three-point play with 1:48 left made it 76-73. Bacot’s three-point play temporarily steadied the Tar Heels.

The Bears, who already were hampered by late-season injuries, fell into foul trouble by early in the second half. However, North Carolina guard Caleb Love fouled out with more than six minutes left shortly after Manek exited at 10:08.

The Tar Heels had to overcome a home-state crowd supporting Baylor, but they pulled off a second upset this month in a hostile environment after winning the regular-season final at Duke.

No. 11 Michigan 76, No. 3 Tennessee 68

Eli Brooks put Michigan ahead for good with a three-point play and delivered four critical points in the final minute, and the 11th-seeded Wolverines booked the most surprising of their five straight trips to the Sweet 16 by beating No 3 seed Tennessee 76- 68 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday.

Brooks finished with 23 points, including a looping, improvised hook shot and two free throws as Michigan (19-14) put away the Volunteers, who had a six-point lead with eight and a half minutes left but then went four minutes without scoring . Their cold shooting continued until it was too late.

Big man Hunter Dickinson had 27 points and two of his 10 rebounds in the closing seconds for the Wolverines, whose five straight Sweet 16 appearances are the most in Division I. Gonzaga are the only other team to make it four straight times.

Michigan will face either second-seeded Villanova or longtime rival Ohio State, the No 7 seed, in Thursday’s South Region semi-finals in San Antonio, Texas.

But coach Juwan Howard’s squad still has plenty of talent and elevated its play down the stretch against the Southeastern Conference champions. Howard himself had to learn some lessons about composure when he was suspended for five games late in the season for hitting a Wisconsin assistant during a postgame handshake line.

Kennedy Chandler had 19 points and Josiah-Jordan James had 13 for Tennessee (27-8), which had a seven-game winning streak snapped. Two days after shooting a school tourney record 60% from the field, the Vols shot 41.8% and came up short again in the postseason. Tennessee lost to Oregon State in the first round last year, also at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

No. 1 Kansas 72, No. 9 Creighton 72

Remy Martin scored 20 points, Ochai Agbaji put Kansas ahead for good with his first basket early in the second half, and the Jayhawks held off Creighton 79-72 on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16.

Martin hadn’t led top-seeded Kansas (30-6) in scoring all season as the fifth-year senior transfer from Arizona State battled a sore knee, but he’s done it in both NCAA tournament games.

The shorthanded Bluejays (23-12) stayed close with an uncharacteristically hot showing from three-point range. One of the worst teams in the country from beyond the arc, ninth-seeded Creighton went 12 of 28.

The biggest came from freshman Trey Alexander, who swished an off-balance heave from well behind the line as the shot clock was about to expire. Keyshawn Feazell’s bucket soon after got Creighton within one in the final two minutes.

The Bluejays had a chance to go ahead in the final minute, but Alexander’s errant pass went off Alex O’Connell’s hands, leading to a breakaway dunk for Agbaji, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half.

Ryan Hawkins drained a three-pointer from well behind the arc 13 seconds into the game and finished 3 of 6 from distance with 14 points. O’Connell was 3 of 8 and scored 16. Alexander finished with 14.

Leave a Comment