March 23, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Latest on the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

1:05 a.m.

Xavier's upset of Arizona wrapped up Thursday's four-game slate, sending the Musketeers into the Elite Eight as a surprise team alongside high seeds Gonzaga, Kansas and Oregon.

That made Arizona the third No. 2 seed to lose after Duke and Louisville the first weekend. Throw in top-seeded Villanova, and four of the top eight seeds are gone.

Gonzaga, the top seed in the West bracket, reached the Elite Eight for the second time under coach Mark Few to face Xavier. Kansas looked every bit the part of a No. 1 seed by routing Purdue in the Midwest to earn a date with 3-seed Oregon in Saturday's regional final.

Of note: three of the four games were decided by 3 points or fewer. And we end the night with 12 teams still alive in the tournament.


12:50 a.m.

Xavier has upset No. 2 seed Arizona for a surprise spot in the Elite Eight.

The 11th-seeded Musketeers beat the Wildcats 73-71 on Thursday night on a layup and key rebound from Sean O'Mara.

The win for Xavier sets up a showdown with Gonzaga for the Final Four.


12:40 a.m.

UPSET WATCH: Xavier's Trevon Bluiett has hit two free throws to tie the game at 71 with Arizona with 1:09 left.

Arizona started to pull away and led by as many as 8 points, but the 11th-seeded Musketeers pushed back with a 7-0 run to even the score.


12:05 a.m.

Xavier is surging against No. 2 seed Arizona.

The Musketeers have hit six of their first eight shots in the first half and are on a 7-0 run to take a 48-45 lead over the Wildcats.

Arizona has been steadily feeding the ball to big man Dusan Ristic, who has 17 points.


11:45 p.m.

It took a bit for Kansas to show up, but the Jayhawks eventually showed they could be the most dominant team left in the NCAA Tournament.

Kansas beat Purdue by 32 points on Thursday night, its third blowout win in March Madness.

The Jayhawks rolled to easy wins over UC Davis and Michigan State to start the NCAA Tournament, and the cold, calculating way they dispatched Purdue should make them the favorite going forward.

If they weren't the popular pick already.

More than half of bracketeers playing on Yahoo picked Kansas to go to the Final Four.


11:35 p.m.

Trevon Bluiett is keeping Xavier in its West Region semifinal.

The junior guard has made 7 of 8 shots and made both of his free throws to score 18 points in the first half.

Arizona has spread the scoring around and has 11 second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds.

The Wildcats lead 37-35 after Rawle Alkins' buzzer-beating jumper.


11:20 p.m.

Top-seeded Kansas is cruising toward its third straight NCAA Tournament blowout.

The Jayhawks blew out UC Davis 100-62 in their opener, then trounced No. 9 seed Michigan State 90-70 to reach the Sweet 16. Now, they've pushed their lead over fellow Big Ten powerhouse Purdue to 78-60 with less than 8 minutes left at the Sprint Center.

Purdue was able to hang with the up-and-down pace that Kansas favors in the first half, but the much bigger Boilermakers are struggling to do the same thing over the final 20 minutes.

Speed appears to be winning out over size.

- Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri.


11:10 p.m.

Kansas is giving its fans reason to party early.

The Jayhawks have reeled off eight straight points, highlighted by a 360-degree dunk by Lagerald Vick and a step-back 3-pointer by Josh Jackson, to take a 66-54 lead over Purdue with under 12 minutes to go in their Midwest Regional semifinal.

Boilermakers coach Matt Painter was forced to call timeout to stop the momentum.

The Jayhawks' biggest lead came moments after Ryan Cline buried a 3-pointer to get Purdue within 58-54. Frank Mason III answered with a floater in the lane to kick-start the next Kansas run.

- Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri.


11:09 p.m.

Xavier has rallied from a slow start to take a 20-19 lead over Arizona.

The reason? Trevon Bluiett.

The Musketeers guard has hit all four of his shots and both free throws to score 11 points in the opening 12 minutes.

- John Marshall in San Jose, California.


11 p.m.

Biggie Swanigan is taking his big boy game outside.

The Purdue post player has hit a couple of 3-pointers early in the second half, helping the No. 4 seed Boilermakers hang with the top-seeded Jayhawks. They trail 56-51 with 15 minutes to go.

Swanigan, who had 28 double-doubles this season, had a lousy first half, scoring 6 points with just two rebounds. He also had four turnovers. But with the Jayhawks double-teaming him every time he touches the ball in the paint, he's started to rain in 3s in the Sprint Center.

- Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri.


10:50 p.m.

Mentor is meeting protege in San Jose tonight.

Arizona coach Sean Miller and his former assistant, Xavier coach Chris Mack, are squaring off in the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years.

Miller's Wildcats beat Mack and the Musketeers two years ago and entered this game as the No. 2 seed in the West.

Arizona leads 9-2 into the first timeout.


10:40 p.m.

Purdue coach Matt Painter said Kansas deserved to have a homecourt advantage, playing just down the road from campus in Kansas City, because of what the Jayhawks accomplished this year.

Maybe he's regretting it right now.

The crowd inside the Sprint Center was so loud in the first half that his coaching staff had to begin scribbling plays on a dry erase board so players could see them at the opposite end of the floor.

There was no chance they could hear them 60 or so feet away.

The heavily pro-Kansas crowd has reason to cheer, too. After a sluggish start, the Jayhawks scored the final five points to lead 47-40 at the break.

- Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri.


10:25 p.m.

Bill Murray is in the house in San Jose.

The actor's son, Luke, is a second-year assistant at Xavier, which plays Arizona in the second game of the West Region semifinals. Murray got to the SAP Center a little early to take in the first game between Gonzaga and West Virginia, arriving just after halftime.

- John Marshall reporting from San Jose, California


10:10 p.m.

Gonzaga has survived.

The top-seeded Bulldogs held off fourth-seeded West Virginia 61-58 in the West Region semifinals. That sent the Bulldogs on to the Elite Eight to face the winner of the Xavier-Arizona game.


10:05 p.m.

Purdue big man Isaac Haas is having his way with Kansas center Landen Lucas, using his massive 7-foot-2, 290-pound frame to seal off for easy baskets on the low post.

Not surprisingly, the Jayhawks have given the job of guarding 6-9 star Caleb Swanigan to freshman guard Josh Jackson. He stands 6-8, so he doesn't give up much height, and his athleticism has already allowed him to get around Swanigan to pick off a couple steals.

Still, the Boilermakers are pouring it in from beyond the arc and lead 30-25 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

- Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri.


10 p.m.

Top-seeded Gonzaga is set for a tight finish. The Bulldogs are tied with fourth-seeded West Virginia at 55-all at the 2-minute mark after leading by eight earlier in the second half in San Jose, California. Stay tuned.


9:55 p.m.

After watching Oregon and Michigan put up a load of bricks in their Sweet 16 matchup, Kansas and Purdue can't seem to miss as they try to join the Ducks in the Elite Eight.

The Boilermakers made their first four 3-pointers and are shooting 64 percent from the floor, a big reason why they've raced to a 21-18 lead midway through the first half. Devonte Graham has a couple of 3s for the Jayhawks, who are 7 of 13 from the field in their own right.

High-scoring games tend to favor Kansas. But so far, the Boilermakers seem right at ease.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City, Missouri


9:45 p.m.

You wouldn't expect there to be a man-to-man showdown between national player of the year front-runners when one stands 5-foot-11 while the other is 6-9 and 250 pounds.

That's exactly what is happening in the Kansas-Purdue regional semifinal.

Jayhawks guard Frank Mason III lives by getting to the rim, but every time he makes a move that way, Boilermakers' big man Caleb Swanigan is there to get in his way. It's clear that Purdue is willing to sell out just about everywhere else on defense to avoid Mason driving to the basket.

The Boilermakers' hot shooting has them out to an 11-8 lead at the first media timeout.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City, Missouri.


9:25 p.m.

After a rough shooting first half for both Gonzaga and West Virginia, the Bulldogs started to find their stroke as they took a lead early in the second half.

Jordan Mathews, who started the game 1 for 8 from the field, hit 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the court. He was fouled on the second and made the four-point play that put the Bulldogs up 41-34 early in the second half.

A jumper by Przemek Karnowski gave the top-seeded Bulldogs their largest lead at 45-37 with less than 14 minutes to play.

- Josh Dubow reporting from San Jose, California


9 p.m.

Oregon has beaten Michigan 69-68 to move on to the Elite Eight.

Tyler Dorsey scored 20 points in a game that was back and forth throughout.

Oregon will advance to play the winner of the Kansas-Purdue game to be played later Thursday night.


8:55 p.m.

Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, who led Kansas to the 1988 national championship, is sitting behind what will be the Jayhawks' bench for their Sweet 16 matchup with Purdue.

Brown has been a regular at Kansas games since retiring from SMU.

He's joined at the Sprint Center by Florida Gulf Coast coach Joe Dooley, who was an assistant to Kansas coach Bill Self before taking over Dunk City. Dooley's team took Florida State to the wire in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City, Missouri.


8:50 p.m.

Derrick Walton Jr. looks like he wants to start taking over for seventh-seeded Michigan again. In a little over a minute, the Wolverines' 5-point deficit has turned into a 1-point lead against No. 3 Oregon.

Walton hit a pull-up jumper to pull the Wolverines within 58-55 and then a 3-pointer to give them a 61-60 lead with 4:22 left.

- Eric Olson reporting from Kansas City, Missouri


8:45 p.m.

The first half of the Sweet Sixteen matchup between West Virginia and Gonzaga can be summed up by two numbers: 27 fouls and only 16 baskets.

The combination of frequent whistles and shoddy shooting gives the game a disjointed feel that plays into the fourth-seeded Mountaineers hands. They were tied at 30 with top-seeded Gonzaga at the break Thursday night despite shooting just 7 for 31 (22.6 percent) from the field. The Bulldogs weren't much more accurate at 9 for 24 (37.5 percent).

A possible cause for concern for both teams in the second half will be foul trouble. West Virginia has four players with two fouls, including starters Daxter Miles Jr., Elijah Macon and Esa Ahmad.

Reserve Killian Tillie has three fouls for Gonzaga and five other Bulldogs have two, including starters Johnathan Williams, Jordan Mathews and, Josh Perkins.

- Josh Dubow from San Jose, California


8:25 p.m.

Tyler Dorsey is heating up for Oregon. He's made five straight shots, including four 3-pointers, to help the Ducks to a 45-44 lead over No. 7 Michigan with 15:29 left.

Dorsey is 5 for 9 and has scored a team-leading 15 points. He came into the game having scored 20-plus points in five straight games.

- Eric Olson reporting from Kansas City, Missouri


8:15 p.m.

Gonzaga's Johnathan Williams is one of the only players to find his stroke in the first half of the Bulldogs' Sweet 16 matchup against West Virginia.

Williams has made all four shots from the field, including a 3-pointer that put Gonzaga up 21-16 with just under 8 minutes left in the first half.

His teammates have made just 4 of 14 shots from the field and the Mountaineers are doing even worse, shooting 5 for 18. They missed their first four from long range before Jevon Carter hit a 3 just before Williams answered.

- Josh Dubow from San Jose, California


8 p.m.

Tyler Dorsey has scored 12 points, Jordan Bell has eight points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, and No. 3 seed Oregon leads No. 7 Michigan 35-33 at halftime in a Midwest Regional semifinal.

Derrick Walton Jr. has 11 points and seven assists for the Wolverines.

There were eight ties and eight lead changes the first 20 minutes as both teams struggled with their shooting.

Oregon finished the half at 41.4 percent after making its last four shots. Michigan hit its last three and is shooting 39.3 percent.

Moe Wagner, who scored a career-high 26 points against Louisville on Sunday, has struggled mightily. He's just 2 of 8 for four points.

- Eric Olson reporting from Kansas City, Missouri.


7:55 p.m.

There is a lot of Big Ten love inside the Sprint Center for the Midwest Regional semifinals.

As fans of No. 4 seed Purdue wait for their game against top-seeded Kansas to begin, the black-and-gold contingent has been decidedly backing Michigan in the early game. The seventh-seeded Wolverines are in a nip-and-tuck game with No. 3 seed Oregon for the right to advance to the Elite Eight.

No doubt, Purdue fans hope the Michigan fans return the favor.

Even with a large crowd of Oregon fans behind its bench, and the two brotherly Big Ten fan bases, the vast majority of the 19,000 fans are wearing blue and red in support of the Jayhawks.

- Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City, Missouri.


7:50 p.m.

Gonzaga has managed to handle West Virginia's relentless press at the start of this Sweet 16 matchup.

The Bulldogs haven't turned the ball over against the full-court press in the opening minutes and have a plus-two turnover margin against the team that led the nation with a plus-7.8 coming into the game.

With Gonzaga's defense holding the Mountaineers to 1-for-6 shooting, the top-seeded Bulldogs have taken an early 10-6 lead as they seek their third trip in school history to the regional final.

- Josh Dubow in San Jose, California.


7:40 p.m.

Michigan, the nation's best team at avoiding turnovers, has coughed up the ball five times in the first 13 minutes of its Midwest Regional semifinal against Oregon. That's quite a change; the Wolverines had a combined 10 turnovers in 80 minutes against Oklahoma State and Louisville in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 7-seeded Wolverines lead the Ducks 18-16. The teams were a combined 10 for 33 (30 percent).


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