Blue Devils, Vols recover from blown leads to survive upset bids


Duke got everything it could handle from ninth-seeded UCF, but–with a couple of clutch plays from Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, fortunate close calls, and lucky bounces of the basketball in the final minute–Coach K and the Blue Devils managed to survive a scare from protege Johnny Dawkins–and son Aubrey–to pull out a 77-76 win over the Knights. Earlier, Tennessee looked on its way to cruising to a blowout at halftime, only for Iowa to storm all the way back and force overtime. Admiral Schofield and company righted the ship in the extra session to send the Vols into the Sweet 16.

Aubrey Dawkins matched Williamson’s 32 points, but alas, his final tip of the basketball in the closing seconds rimmed out, and the Orlando school fell just short in their upset bid.

Four Tennessee starters scored in double figures, and while Schofield shot the Vols into the lead early, it was the clutch play of Grant Williams and Jordon Bone in overtime that sealed the victory for Rick Barnes’s squad–over an Iowa team that saw all five of its starters finish in double figures.

Virginia Tech got 19 points from Kerry Blackshear, as the Hokies came back in the second half to hold off upset-minded Liberty.

In a crazy game of runs, Oregon raced out to a big first half lead, before UC Irvine came storming back right out of the locker room, only for the Ducks to turn on another gear and blow the Anteaters off the court. Payton Pritchard led all scorers with 18 points.

In typical Cavalier fashion, Tony Bennett’s team slowed down the pace of the game and looked in control from the tip on its way to a 63-51 Virginia victory over ninth-seeded Oklahoma.

Corey Davis Jr. scored 21 points to lead Houston to a 74-59 win over Ohio State and deliver the Cougars into the Sweet 16 for the first time in 35 years.

The top-seeded Tar Heels emerged from a first-half dogfight to coast after the break to an 81-59 win over Washington. Luke Maye pulled down 14 rebounds to go with his 20 points.

Texas Tech used a balanced scoring attack–which included 14 points and 15 rebounds from Norense Odiase–to control the second half and breeze past a cold-shooting Buffalo 78-58.

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