Underdog San Diego State kicked No. 1 overall seed Alabama out of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Elite Eight on Friday night in Louisville.
A 71-64 win sends the fifth-seeded Aztecs (30-6) into the South Region final on Sunday against sixth-seeded Creighton. They all but erased Alabama All-American Brandon Miller in the second half, limiting him to 1 of 10 shooting in the half. He finished the night with nine points and six turnovers.
San Diego State’s Darrion Trammell had a game-high 21 points, making nine of his 16 attempts from the field and 3 of 5 from 3-point range. The Aztecs’ relentless, stranglehold defense and balanced offensive attack combined to quiet the Crimson Tide, who made 3 of 27 3-point attempts and just 14 of 28 layups, a testament to the Aztecs’ static-cling.
Alabama (31-6), now 1-9 all time in the Sweet 16, was led by Mark Sears’ 16 points and 10 rebounds. Miller (3 of 19), Sears (4 of 11), and Jahvon Quinerly (4 of 13) couldn’t catch fire and the Crimson Tide shot 32.4 percent for the game.
No. 6 Creighton 86, No. 15 Princeton 75
Ryan Kalkbrenner dropped 22 points, Baylor Scheierman added 21 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting and the Bluejays shot 58.2 percent to take down the Tigers.
The Bluejays (24-12) will face fifth-seeded San Diego State in the Elite Eight on Sunday. The high-octane Bluejays made 32 of 55 shots, including Kalkbrenner’s 9 of 12 and Scheierman’s 8 of 11. Trey Alexander scored 19 points, Arthur Kaluma had 10 and Ryan Nembhard put up nine points and eight assists for Creighton.
Princeton (23-9) was vying to become the second No. 15 seed ever to make the Elite Eight, but the Tigers couldn’t match the feat of New Jersey neighbor Saint Peter’s last year. Ryan Langborg led the Tigers with a career-high 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting, and Tosan Evbuomwan supplied 24 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
No. 5 Miami 89, No. 1 Houston 75
Nijel Pack scored 26 points to lead the Hurricanes past the Cougars as the last of the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 seeds was eliminated.
Miami (28-7) had five players score in double figures. Isaiah Wong had 20 points, Jordan Miller 13, Norchad Omier 12 and Wooga Poplar 11. Omier grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Houston was led by Jarace Walker with 16 points. Jamal Shead added 15, and Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark each had 14. Walker added 11 rebounds and four blocks.
No. 2 Texas 83, No. 3 Xavier 71
Tyrese Hunter scored 19 points, Marcus Carr added 18 points and six assists and the Longhorns never trailed while cruising past the Musketeers in Kansas City, Mo.
Christian Bishop also had 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Sir’Jabari Rice added 16 points for the Longhorns (29-8), who will face fifth-seeded Miami (28-7) on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four. Texas big man Dylan Disu, who averaged 22.5 points and 10 rebounds over the Longhorns’ first two tourney games, departed after 94 seconds with foot injury.
Adam Kunkel scored 21 points and Jack Nunge had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Xavier (27-10). Colby Jones also scored 15 points and Souley Boum added 12 for the Musketeers, who lost for just the second time in the past nine games.
–Field Level Media