NCAA Tournament 2019: Friday's Sweet 16 Scores, Updated Bracket and Schedule

Megan ArmstrongContributor IIIMarch 30, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 29: Bryce Brown #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2019 NCAA tournament Elite Eight will be decided by the end of Friday night, and none of the eight teams playing in the Sweet 16 are going down without a fight.

The action began with the No. 2 Michigan State Spartans rebutting a pesky No. 3 LSU Tigers squad in Washington, D.C., while No. 1 North Carolina flamed out against red-hot No. 5 Auburn in Kansas City, Missouri, but the win came at a cost for the Tigers.

While the early games resulted in blowouts, the late games were each a toss-up until the final whistle.

Top-seeded Duke tangled with No. 4 Virginia Tech, who beat the Blue Devils on Feb. 26, at the same time No. 3 Houston attempted to make the Elite Eight for the first time since the 1983-84 season at No. 2 Kentucky's expense.


Friday Matchups and Results

No. 2 Michigan State def. No. 3 LSU, 80-63

No. 5 Auburn def. No. 1 North Carolina, 97-80

No. 1 Duke def. No. 4 Virginia Tech, 75-73

No. 2 Kentucky def. No. 3 Houston, 62-58





Keep updated on the full schedule heading into the weekend at NCAA.com.



Michigan State Spartans 80, LSU Tigers 63

Pat Semansky/Associated Press

The Spartans entered halftime with a 12-point lead and won by a wide margin, too, but LSU gave MSU a scare regardless of what the scoreboard says—even if it was a fleeting one.

The Tigers began the second half with a 13-5 run capped off by a jam from senior forward Kavell Bigby-Williams to come within four points.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Here come the Tigers! 😤 #Sweet16 #MarchMadness | @LSUBasketball https://t.co/hwpIRh85NW

However, Michigan State regained control with an 11-0 run of its own to bloat the lead back out to 56-41. From there, it was all Sparty. 

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

And just like that, @MSU_Basketball goes on an 11-0 run to extend their lead to 15! 😯 #MarchMadness | #Sweet16 https://t.co/eTO8q1pPGl

LSU sophomore guard Tremont Waters led all scorers with 23 points, but contributions from MSU freshman forward Aaron Henry (20 points), junior guard Cassius Winston (17), sophomore forward Xavier Tillman (12) as well as freshman forward Gabe Brown (15) off the bench overwhelmed Waters' performance. 

With the win, the Spartans advance to their first Elite Eight since the 2014-15 season and 10th time under head coach Tom Izzo. They will face the winner of No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Tom Izzo & the @MSU_Basketball are heading to the #Elite8! 💪 #MarchMadness https://t.co/NKzQH3LiGn


Auburn Tigers 97, North Carolina Tar Heels 80

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Auburn is headed to its second Elite Eight in program history and first since 1985-86, but it's a bittersweet feeling.

The Tigers were rolling the Tar Heels, up 76-62 with just over eight minutes to go in regulation, when sophomore forward Chuma Okeke crumpled to the ground in excruciating pain. Okeke was driving to the rim when his left knee sharply turned inward at an awkward angle.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

All class from UNC players who show support for Chuma Okele's injury Sportsmanship means more than any competition 🙏 #MarchMadness https://t.co/8uQ5dMZUw5

It was a non-contact knee injury and described as "severe" on the TBS broadcast by Jamie Erdahl. After the game, head coach Bruce Pearl couldn't contain his tears when addressing Okeke's status with Erdahl:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Coach Pearl is for his players, just wants to hug Okeke talking about the injury #MarchMadness https://t.co/ZxgLSvaeRi

Prior to his disheartening exit from the game, Okeke led all scorers with 20 points—three three-pointers—and snagged 11 rebounds. 

Auburn was an automatic bucket as a team, shooting 54.5 percent from the field and going 17-of-37 from three-point land. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

THE BANK IS OPEN, AUBURN CANNOT MISS #MarchMadness https://t.co/HedbqARlWN

The Tigers will rally around each other now ahead of their game against either No. 2 Kentucky or No. 3 Houston on Sunday. 

Until then, Charles Barkley will surely gloat until his heart's content.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Barkley’s Tigers upset Kenny’s Tar Heels 97-80 😱 https://t.co/qwhgxgsjDi

Duke Blue Devils 75, Virginia Tech Hokies 73

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Ahmed Hill #13 of the Virginia Tech Hokies reacts after missing a layup against the Duke Blue Devils late in the second half in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 29
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It was deja vu for Duke.

The Blue Devils held a 75-73 lead with five seconds remaining and the Hokies coming out of a timeout. The Hokies were inbounding the ball under the basket and couldn't have asked for a better look as senior guard Ahmed Hill was open in the paint.

All Hill had to was lay it in off an alley-oop for the tie, but he missed. 

Five days after UCF barely missed a last-second tap-in to send Duke home, the Blue Devils lucked out again. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Duke survives AGAIN... barely #MarchMadness https://t.co/Ll3pOQQLiE

Duke freshman forward Zion Williamson performed as the country has come to expect him to—leading all scorers with 23 points, six rebounds, three blocks (this recovery was particularly impressive) and one assist. Freshman guard Tre Jones was right behind him with 22 points (including five threes), eight assists, four rebounds and one steal. 

Jones' steal resulted in an alley-oop dunk by Williamson:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

AIR WILLIAMSON #MarchMadness https://t.co/AqOinUtMtQ

Duke squeaks into the Elite Eight and will face No. 2 Michigan State on Sunday.


Kentucky Wildcats 62, Houston Cougars 58

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Freshman guard Tyler Herro was—sorry—the hero Kentucky needed in the final minute. 

Houston took a 58-55 lead with 1:16 before the final buzzer, but Herro nailed a three-pointer with 25.8 seconds left and two free throws with 14 seconds left to put the game out of reach for the Cougars.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Sequence of the game Tyler Herro | 19 PTS, 7-13 FG PJ Washington | 16 PTS, 6-8 FG https://t.co/X2FgJ5HRjz

For the game to even have gotten to that point is a testament to Houston, who went into halftime down by by 11 points. Cougars junior guard Armoni Brooks led all scorers with 20 points while going 6-of-12 from three. 

Herro was on his heels with 19 points and ultimately got the last laugh.

Kentucky will play No. 5 Auburn in the Elite Eight on Sunday.