March Madness continued Friday with eight teams in action on the final day of the Sweet 16.
Here is a look at Friday’s scores, an updated bracket and the schedule for the Elite Eight:
|Matchup||Region||Result / Times (ET)|
|No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 Iowa State||East||84-71, UVA|
|No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Wisconsin||Midwest||61-56, ND|
|No. 10 Syracuse vs. No. 11 Gonzaga||Midwest||63-60, SYR|
|No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 5 Indiana||East||101-86, UNC|
|Saturday, March 26||Region||Time (ET)||TV||Favorite|
|No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 2 Oklahoma||West||6:09 p.m.||CBS||OKLA (-1)|
|No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Villanova||South||8:49 p.m.||CBS||KU (-2)|
|Sunday, March 27||Region||Time (ET)||TV||Favorite|
|No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 10 Syracuse||East||6:09 p.m.||TBS||TBD|
|No.1 North Carolina vs. No. 6 Notre Dame||Midwest||8:49 p.m.||TBS||TBD|
Source: NCAA.com; Odds via OddsShark.com
Virginia 84, Iowa State 71
The Virginia Cavaliers rode a dominant first-half performance to an 84-71 win over the Iowa State Cyclones and advanced to the Elite Eight in Chicago.
Virginia’s 45 first-half points were its most since its 83-66 win over George Mason on Nov. 22 and its most against a ranked opponent since hanging 47 on Feb. 6, 2003, against then-No. 8 Maryland, per ESPN College BBall.
The East Region’s top seed was on cruise control, via NCAA March Madness:
London Perrantes finished with just six points, but he helped the Cavaliers build early momentum:
Virginia big man Anthony Gill’s blocked shot on Georges Niang as time expired was a microcosm of Iowa State’s first-half efforts:
But the Cavaliers were sluggish out of the break, connecting on just two of seven shots to start the second half. Iowa State capitalized and found momentum in the process:
Officiating became a focal point in the second half when Niang, the Cyclones' leading scorer, was called for his fourth foul with 13 minutes, 10 seconds remaining.
Jason McIntyre of USA Today’s the Big Lead shared a screen grab of the controversial call against Niang that forced head coach Steve Prohm to bring his star shooter to the bench:
Here's the 4th "foul" on Georges Niang. That's an awful, game-changing call. pic.twitter.com/j1gS1rliJa— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) March 26, 2016
Niang returned with nine minutes remaining and the Cyclones trailing 63-50. He finished with a game-high 30 points but couldn’t get Iowa State on a big enough run to challenge Virginia for the lead.
The Cyclones outscored the Cavaliers in the second period, 40-39, but were plagued by their hefty deficit after the first half.
Top-seeded Virginia is in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995, and the Cavaliers look like title contenders with their offensive efficiency and methodical defense.
Notre Dame 61, Wisconsin 56
Notre Dame defeated last year's runner-up, Wisconsin, 61-56 in a Sweet 16 thriller to advance to the Elite Eight for the second straight season.
Demetrius Jackson forced two game-determining turnovers in the final minute, which helped Notre Dame steal a win over a Badgers team that appeared to be on the verge of victory.
Jackson’s go-ahead score came just after he stole the ball from Nigel Hayes thanks to a triple-team. The trio of defenders surrounded Hayes on an inbounds pass out of a timeout, and Jackson was able to snag the bobbled ball and score quickly to put the Fighting Irish ahead with 15 seconds remaining, via CBS Sports CBB:
ACTION JACKSON!— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) March 26, 2016
What a steal and clutch bucket for Notre Dame. https://t.co/pGoxBAhHgS
Wisconsin looked to be on the brink of a win when Vitto Brown drained a three-pointer with 26 seconds remaining that put the Badgers up 56-53. But Jackson immediately answered with a coast-to-coast layup that allowed the Fighting Irish to call a quick timeout and slow the tempo.
Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com noted the Fighting Irish are one win away from the Final Four thanks in large part to their late heroics on defense:
Notre Dame's final-minute defense in the NCAA Tournament has been absurdly good. Three straight games now.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) March 26, 2016
After falling behind 23-19 at halftime, Notre Dame found the offensive punch it needed to keep pace in the second half.
The teams went back and forth throughout the evening, and the even matchup led to some thrilling highlights, including this rebound and slam by Wisconsin’s Zak Showalter in the second period:
The Badgers have to feel as though they let one get away with such a disappointing effort over the final minute. This year’s team wasn’t nearly as good as the squad that reached the title game last year, but after head coach Bo Ryan retired in December, many wrote Wisconsin off.
The Badgers went on to finish 22-13 and tied for third in the Big Ten regular-season standings under new head coach Greg Gard. Their trip to the Sweet 16 as a No. 7 seed was probably a surprise to many.
Notre Dame, however, continued to claw its way through the tournament and became the first team that isn’t a No. 1 or 2 seed to reach the Elite Eight. The Fighting Irish aren’t flashy, but they’re quietly resilient and could give fits to their next opponent, either North Carolina or Indiana.
Syracuse 63, Gonzaga 60
In the second sloppy offensive showing in Friday’s action, Syracuse held on to a 63-60 win and became the third ACC team to reach the Elite Eight.
Tyler Lydon’s block on Josh Perkins with three seconds remaining proved to be the game-winning play, as Lydon came up with the loose ball, drew a foul and sank a pair of free throws to secure the victory.
The climax of the game came on the play prior, when Syracuse guard Trevor Cooney came up with an incredible steal with 11 seconds remaining but was called out of bounds.
After a lengthy review, the officials ruled the call to stand and allowed Gonzaga the chance at the final shot trailing 61-60.
Xfinity Sports shared a screen grab showing Cooney clearly inbounds with all 10 toes by mere inches:
But the referee told the scorers table, via the CBS telecast: “We cannot change the out of bounds call by rule.”
The Orange got the go-ahead score on a resilient putback by Michael Gbinije with 22 seconds remaining that came just before Cooney’s big steal.
Gbinije finished with a team-high 20 points and was the Orange’s catalyst in the second half.
Gonzaga took control of the tempo early, jumping to a 21-10 lead midway through the first half before Syracuse began to crawl its way back. At the break, the Orange trailed by only one point, 29-28.
The teams went back and forth in the final period, and Gonzaga went on a 10-2 run that swung momentum in its way before Gbinije sparked a response, via Bleacher Report:
After missing last year’s tournament due to a self-imposed ban, Syracuse is back in the Elite Eight as a No. 10 seed—by far the highest among the remaining teams.
It will take on conference foe Virginia, the Midwest Region's top seed, for the chance to reach the Final Four for the second time in four years.
And even with a 22-of-61 shooting effort Friday that assuredly won’t be able to keep pace with the Cavaliers, counting out a Jim Boeheim squad at this tie of year would be foolish.
North Carolina 101, Indiana 83
The No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels completed the ACC sweep Friday night with a convincing victory over the No. 5 Indiana Hoosiers.
These numbers from ESPN Stats & Info sum up what kind of night it was for the Hoosiers:
North Carolina Starters: 78 points— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 26, 2016
Indiana as a team: 76 points
The Heels were efficient on offense, knocking down 51.6 percent of their field goals, including 11 of 20 from three-point range.
Senior point guard Marcus Paige, who shot just 33.0 percent from downtown during the regular season, connected on 6 of 9 from behind the three-point arc and finished with a team-high 21 points.
Marcus Paige caught fire in the first half with 4 triples!https://t.co/5NI8rZrqQU— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 26, 2016
North Carolina never trailed in the game, and all five starters scored in double figures, led by Paige and fellow senior Brice Johnson. The power forward had 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, including this monster one, via NCAA March Madness:
It was a tough way for star Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell to end his career, but he did have a game-high 25 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. The senior left it all on the floor, per Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv: "I feel like I gave my all to IU...and it's just something I will remember,"
The Indiana fans will certainly remember him, but they also will remember their team shot just 41.0 percent and turned it over 12 times in a highly-anticipated game that did not live up to the billing.
North Carolina lived up to its expectations—and then some—outperforming Indiana in every major statistical category during the game.
Now the Tar Heels move on to face a Notre Dame team it split two games with during the season, including a 78-47 UNC victory in the ACC tournament. While the rubber match won't be another unmitigated blowout, the Irish just don't have enough in the tank to keep up with a North Carolina team clicking on all cylinders while outscoring opponents in the tournament by an average of 16.7 points per game.
Check out Bleacher Report's live updating bracket to track your picks along the road to the Final Four.