On a day where one top seed had already fallen, the Virginia Cavaliers were having none of that.
The East Region No. 1 seed Cavaliers thumped the No. 8 seed Memphis Tigers 78-60 on Sunday night in Raleigh, advancing to New York City and the Sweet 16.
With the victory, Virginia advances to face the No. 4 seed Michigan State Spartans on Friday night in Madison Square Garden.
The Cavaliers (30-6) came out hot in the first half, steadily built their lead and dominated in every facet of the game. Their defense, known for being stingy, forced Memphis into bad looks all night, and they kept them off the glass limiting second-chance opportunities.
Virginia shot the lights out, connecting on 56 percent of its shots from the field while limiting the Tigers to just 41-percent shooting. They also had a 40-28 advantage on the boards.
Memphis (24-10) never got into any sort of offensive rhythm. When it pushed the pace in transition, the Cavaliers were able to get back, forcing them into chucking up bad, low-percentage shots.
The Tigers trailed by 15 at the half—after Virginia closed the first 20 minutes on a 16-2 run—and by as many as 27 in the second half before closing the gap with garbage-time points.
Joe Harris led the Cavaliers with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including two from behind the arc.
Austin Nichols led the Tigers—who will now bid farewell to their senior guards Joe Jackson, Michael Dixon, Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson— with 15 points.