Stanford stuns Kansas


ST. LOUIS — Kansas knows all about Stanford now.

The Cardinal couldn’t deny a slight at a news conference a day earlier fueled them just a bit before pulling their second — and much bigger — upset of the NCAA tournament.

Kansas freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden Jr. ducked their heads and giggled Saturday when asked about Chasson Randle, Stanford’s leading scorer.

“We definitely saw that video,” Randle said Sunday after the No. 10 seed Cardinal beat the second-seeded Jayhawks 60-57 to advance to the Sweet 16 in the South Regional.

“Coach told me not to talk about it but I definitely took it as a challenge. It was a little big extra motivation.”

Enough for the Cardinal to make the Jayhawks the second No. 2 seed to be knocked out of this tournament in the third round and enough for them to reach the round of 16 for the first time since 2008.

Wiggins was held to four points on 1-for-6 shooting in what could have been his final college game. He accepted his share of the responsibility for the loss.

“I let a lot of people down,” Wiggins said. “If I would have played better, we wouldn’t be in this situation, you know? I blame myself for this.”

Dwight Powell had 15 points and seven rebounds despite playing with four fouls much of the second half and Randle added 13 points, six steals and four assists for the Cardinal (23-12), who were making their first NCAA appearance since 2008.

“To beat a team like this, a storied program with great coaching, great players, always feels amazing,” Powell said. “So as of right now we’re still in the race and we’re still playing in March, and it feels great.”

Stanford beat No. 7 seed New Mexico on Friday and will have a higher seed for the first time when it faces 11th-seeded Dayton in the regional semifinal in Memphis, Tenn. The Flyers beat No. 3 Syracuse 55-53.

The 6-foot-8 Wiggins, a likely NBA lottery pick if he decides to leave school, was saddled with four turnovers for Kansas (25-10). Wiggins had averaged 28 points the previous four games but the Jayhawks were missing 7-foot freshman Joel Embiid who was sidelined by a stress fracture in his back.

Coach Bill Self thought Stanford’s height up front bothered Wiggins, but added, “I think he had an off-game, too. Give them credit for that, we put him in position to make some plays.”

Josh Huestis, who had the primary responsibility for guarding Wiggins, played 39 minutes and had six points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

“That was Josh’s assignment and he took it to heart,” Dawkins said. “He had help. We just tried to make it as difficult as we could for him to score.”

Self said the game seemed like “a struggle from the opening tip.”

Everything didn’t go right for Stanford, either. The Cardinal were 0 for 9 from 3-point range.

“We can make 3s but that’s not what we rely on,” Dawkins said. “I didn’t even notice it because that’s not what we’ve been.”

Tarik Black had 18 points and six rebounds for the Jayhawks, but he fouled out with 5:25 to go. Conner Frankamp had 12 points on four 3-pointers, the last two in the final 23 seconds to make it close after Stanford had pulled ahead by seven.

Stanford was 9 for 12 at the free throw line over the final 2:04 and needed all those points. Frankamp’s second 3-pointer narrowed the gap to 59-57 with 14.9 seconds left.

TENNESSEE 83

MERCER 63

RALEIGH, N.C. — Jarnell Stokes had 17 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds, and Tennessee denied Mercer a second straight upset in the NCAA tournament.

Josh Richardson had a career-high 26 points and Antonio Barton added 18 for the 11th-seeded Vols (24-12), who outrebounded Mercer 41-19 and kept the Southeastern Conference perfect in the tournament.

They joined Florida and Kentucky in the round of 16 — the first time three SEC teams made it that far since 2007.

Tennessee will face second-seeded Michigan (27-8) in a Midwest Regional semifinal Friday night in Indianapolis.

Langston Hall had 15 points to lead the 14th-seeded Bears (27-9), who beat Duke in the signature upset of the tournament but couldn’t answer Tennessee’s size.

EAST REGION

IOWA ST. 85

NORTH CAROLINA 83

SAN ANTONIO — DeAndre Kane drove for the game-winning layup with 1.6 seconds left and No. 3 seed Iowa State advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2000.

The Cyclones (28-7) head to Madison Square Garden next week to face No. 7 seed Connecticut in the East Regional semifinals.

The Tar Heels (24-10) are gone in the NCAA tournament’s opening weekend for the first time in consecutive seasons under coach Roy Williams.

North Carolina’s Nate Britt raced the ball up court after Kane’s basket, but time expired before he could reach halfcourt and call a timeout. Officials huddled for several minutes reviewing clock replays before ruling the game was over.

Marcus Paige led the Tar Heels with 19 points.

VIRGINIA 78

MEMPHIS 60

RALEIGH, N.C. — Joe Harris scored 16 points and top-seeded Virginia shot 56 percent to beat Memphis 78-60 on Sunday night, earning its first trip to the NCAA tournament round of 16 in nearly two decades.

Anthony Gill added 13 points for the Cavaliers (30-6), who turned in a dominating performance while controlling the tempo and shutting down the eighth-seeded Tigers (24-10) at nearly every turn.

Virginia led by 15 at halftime and pushed that to 27 points late, picking right up where it left off in its strong finish to Friday’s tournament-opening win against Coastal Carolina.

In what has already been the program’s most successful season in decades, Virginia added another milestone: its first regional semifinal appearance since making it to a regional final in 1995. And the Cavaliers, carrying a No. 1 seed for the first time since the days of Ralph Sampson, look ready to go even farther.

Now they’re headed to New York to face fourth-seeded Michigan State (28-8) on Friday night in the East Regional semifinals at Madison Square Garden.

On top of that, it’s Virginia — not traditional powers Duke and North Carolina or league newcomer Syracuse — that stands as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s only team still alive in the round of 16.

SOUTH REGION

UCLA 77

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 60

SAN DIEGO — Jordan Adams scored 19 points and UCLA reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008.

The fourth-seeded Bruins (28-8) will play Florida, the tournament’s overall top seed, in the South Regional semifinals on Thursday in Memphis. First-year coach Steve Alford has won as many NCAA tournament games in three days as the Bruins had in the previous five seasons combined.

Alford replaced Ben Howland, who was fired a year ago after the Bruins lost to Minnesota in their NCAA tournament opener. This is UCLA’s first trip to the regionals since Howland got the Bruins to their third straight Final Four in 2008.

Stephen F. Austin (32-3), the No. 12 seed, had its 29-game winning streak snapped. The Lumberjacks hadn’t lost in exactly four months.

Florida beat UCLA in the national championship game in 2006 and again in the national semifinals the following season.

WEST REGION

BAYLOR 85

CREIGHTON 55

SAN ANTONIO — Isaiah Austin and Brady Heslip each scored 17 points and Baylor shut down Creighton’s Doug McDermott with suffocating defense, ending the career of the one of the most prolific scorers in college history.

Baylor’s size and speed overwhelmed the third-seeded Bluejays (27-8) and their national scoring leader, earning a third trip to the Sweet 16 since 2010.

McDermott, who averaged 27 points this season, finished with 15 but had just three in the first half as Baylor built a 20-point lead. McDermott ranks fifth on the NCAA career scoring list.

No. 6 seed Baylor (26-11) had five players score in double figures and shot 64 percent in one of the dominant performances of the NCAA tournament. The Bears advance to play Wisconsin in the West Regional semifinals.

ARIZONA 84

GONZAGA 61

SAN DIEGO — Arms waving and legs churning, the Arizona Wildcats are racing back into the Sweet 16.

Overwhelming Gonzaga with its contest-everything defense, Arizona looked very much like the top seed in the West, blowing out the Bulldogs 84-61 on Sunday to reach the Sweet 16 for the third time in four years.

Coming off a shaky NCAA tournament opener, Arizona (32-4) ended a wild first weekend of upsets and buzzer beaters with a display of domination.

This was not the epic double-overtime game these teams played in the 2003 NCAA tournament. This was an eye-popping display of what one of the nation’s best teams can do when it gets rolling.

The Wildcats overran Gonzaga (29-7) with their size, athleticism and quick hands to blow the eighth-seeded Bulldogs out of the bracket.

Arizona scored 31 points of Gonzaga’s 21 turnovers — 15 on steals — and never gave the Zags a chance after racing out to a 21-point lead in the first half.

 

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