NCAA Tournament: A roundup of Thursday's Sweet Sixteen gamesWASHINGTON — It took winning a national title for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to get over a late-shot loss to Indiana the last time the schools played in the NCAA tournament. This meeting, 26 years later, was never close enough to come down to the final seconds, thanks mostly to Boeheim's trademark 2-3 zone defense. Now he has the Orange one victory from getting back to the Final Four.
WASHINGTON — It took winning a national title for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to get over a late-shot loss to Indiana the last time the schools played in the NCAA tournament.
This meeting, 26 years later, was never close enough to come down to the final seconds, thanks mostly to Boeheim's trademark 2-3 zone defense. Now he has the Orange one victory from getting back to the Final Four.
Limiting Indiana to its lowest output of the season while forcing 19 turnovers and blocking 10 shots, fourth-seeded Syracuse used Michael Carter-Williams' 24 points to upset the No. 1 seed Hoosiers 61-50 Thursday night and reach the East Regional final.
After getting past preseason No. 1 Indiana, Syracuse (29-9) will face No. 3 seed Marquette on Saturday night in an all-Big East matchup for a berth in the Final Four. Boeheim and the Orange haven't been to the national semifinals since Carmelo Anthony led them to the 2003 title.
Ohio State 73, Arizona 70
LaQuinton Ross hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2 seconds to play, and Ohio State moved within one win of its second straight Final Four appearance with a 73-70 victory over Arizona on Thursday night in the West Regional semifinals.
Ross, the Buckeyes' remarkable reserve, scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half for second-seeded Ohio State (29-7), which rallied from an early 11-point deficit and weathered the sixth-seeded Wildcats' late charge for its 11th consecutive victory since mid-February.
Deshaun Thomas scored 20 points for Ohio State, and Aaron Craft added 13 before ceding the Buckeyes' final shot to Ross. Craft hit an awfully similar 3-pointer against Iowa State last Sunday to send Ohio State forward.
Mark Lyons' acrobatic three-point play for the Wildcats (27-8) had tied it with 21.8 seconds left.
Craft dribbled down the clock and gave the ball to Ross, who coolly drilled his second 3-pointer and set off a wild celebration in the Ohio State section of the Arizona-dominated crowd.
Ohio State will play Saturday against the winner of the late game between underdogs Wichita State and La Salle.
Wichita State 72, La Salle 58
Wichita State went from sweet to elite, beating La Salle 72-58 on Thursday night to reach the final eight of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 32 years.
Malcolm Armstead scored 18 points, Carl Hall added 16 points and freshman Ron Baker 13 for the ninth-seeded Shockers, who proved their upset of No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the third round was no fluke. They never trailed in this matchup of small schools whose past NCAA tourney success was long buried in the history books.
The Shockers advanced to Saturday's West Regional final against No. 2 seed Ohio State, a 73-70 winner over Arizona in the first semifinal at Staples Center. Their yellow-clad fans, several waving handmade signs, made up nearly all of the smaller crowd that stuck around to see the end.
Marquette 71, Miami 61
After sweating through a pair of edge-of-your-seat comebacks early in the NCAA tournament, Vander Blue and Marquette figured out how to put one away early as the Golden Eagles earned their first trip to the Elite Eight since 2003 with a victory over Miami.
Blue, who spurred the rallies that beat Davidson by one and Butler by two, finished with 14 points. He wasn't Marquette's leading scorer — that was Jamil Wilson with 16 — but it was Blue's offensive and defensive energy that pushed the Golden Eagles to a double-digit lead in the first half, a spread Miami never came close to making up.
The third-seeded Golden Eagles (26-8) will face either top-seeded Indiana or No. 4 seed Syracuse in the East Regional final on Saturday, aiming for a spot in the Final Foul for the first time since Dwyane Wade took them there a decade ago.
Miami (29-7) made only 35 percent of its field goals and missed 18 of 26 3-pointers. Shane Larkin scored 14 points to lead the second-seeded Hurricanes, whose NCAA run to the round of 16 matched the best in school history.
Marquette, meanwhile, shot 54 percent, a stark turnaround from its 38 percent rate from the first two games in the tournament. Davante Gardner added 14 points, with 12 coming in the second half when the Golden Eagles were comfortably ahead.