NCAA Tournament 2019: Sunday's Elite 8 Scores, Updated Bracket and Schedule

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 31: Bryce Brown #2 of the Auburn Tigers drives with the ball against Reid Travis #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 31, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After some incredible drama in the first set of Elite Eight games Saturday, the last two games of the round hoped to live up to expectations Sunday.

The last two tickets to the Final Four of the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament were on the line, with four elite squads hoping to keep their seasons alive. An SEC battle between No. 2 Kentucky and No. 5 Auburn kicked things off in the Midwest, followed by a matchup of elite coaches between No. 1 Duke and No. 2 Michigan State in the East Region.

Here is a look at what you need to know from Day 8 of March Madness.


Sunday's Matchup and Results

No. 5 Auburn def. No. 2 Kentucky 77-71

No. 2 Michigan State def. No. 1 Duke 68-67


Final Four Schedule

Saturday, April 6: No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 5 Auburn; 6 or 8:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

Saturday, April 6: No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 2 Michigan State; 6 or 8:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

Full schedule available at NCAA.com.


Auburn 77, Kentucky 71

Auburn's unlikely run will continue into the Final Four.

The Tigers didn't rely on elite shooting this time around but instead on hustle and great defense as well as incredible guard play.

Bryce Brown finished with 24 points, while Jared Harper added 26 points and five assists.

Although Harper was just 1-of-6 shooting from three-point range, he was able to consistently get into the lane, including this overtime layup that gave Auburn a big advantage:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

HARPER HANGTIME! 💪 @AuburnMBB up 7! #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/bS1MmOf7Er

Kentucky couldn't keep up while shooting just 5-of-21 from downtown. 

Auburn trailed by five points at halftime, but poor shooting was the main culprit as the squad was just 3-of-11 from three-point range in the first half.

Brown helped solve this problem with two quick threes as part of a personal 8-0 run to give the Tigers their first lead of the game:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Steal ➡️ Bryce Brown 👌! 💦 #MarchMadness | @AuburnMBB https://t.co/FXchA98qv5

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Bryce Brown is dancing on the three-point line 😯 #MarchMadness https://t.co/8jNLqjnL58

They continued to make shots in the second half, keeping the offense running smoothly despite the frantic pace.

On the other side, Kentucky remained competitive thanks to its ability to pound the ball inside to PJ Washington:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Coach Cal drawing up gems #MarchMadness https://t.co/6KoOQhLqj6

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

PJ Washington is doing it ALL! 😤 #Elite8 #MarchMadness | @KentuckyMBB https://t.co/NJJeAtF0jb

The forward finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Washington gave Kentucky the lead on a two-point shot in the final minute, but Harper responded with his own to help force overtime.

The Tigers remained confident in the extra period and scored 17 points in just five minutes to secure the win.

Auburn will hope it can keep this run going with a matchup against Virginia in the Final Four.


Michigan State 68, Duke 67

A back-and-forth battle came down to one shot from Kenny Goins with 34 seconds remaining:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

What a CLUTCH 3️⃣ to put @MSU_Basketball up ✌️! #MarchMadness | #Elite8 https://t.co/OX5Dpe9OgL

Duke couldn't take advantage of its chance to tie or take the lead in the last minute, and the Spartans held on for a dramatic win.

Cassius Winston was in control throughout the game, leading Michigan State with 20 points, 10 assists and four steals. Xavier Tillman added 19 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks in an incredible all-around effort from the No. 2 seed.

It was hard to predict which team would have the advantage early as the first half was a game of runs. Duke knocked down some outside shots on its way to a 12-0 run before Michigan State answered with a 13-0 run to end the half:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Best way to respond to a 12-0 run? A 13-0 run of your own! 💪 #MarchMadness | @MSU_Basketball https://t.co/jkQbCgYjRV

Winston was a key part of this success as he took control of the action:

Rob Dauster @RobDauster

Duke didn't score again the rest of the half, and Cassius Winston created all 13 of the points in a 13-0 run. He had eight points and a pair of assists.

However, Duke still had Zion Williamson, and he was able to make some incredible plays on both ends of the court:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Zion off the dribble. TOO EASY. https://t.co/KHet7ytZio

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Zion almost hit his head on the glass 😳 https://t.co/baJXIzDt4U

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Zion's out here blocking 3-point attempts... 😳 #Elite8 #MarchMadness | @DukeMBB https://t.co/Ah1DEgnyvg

He was unguardable at times, finishing with 24 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

RJ Barrett added 21 points. Javin DeLaurier also was a surprise contributor with 10 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

This and a tough team defense allowed Duke to remain in the hunt throughout the game.

However, the Spartans made key plays down the stretch and pulled out the win to get to the Final Four. They will now take on Texas Tech in the national semifinals Saturday.