In as much as any team could be called an underdog in the Elite 8, Auburn recovered from losing starter Chuma Okeke to an ACL tear in their Sweet 16 game to take down one of the most successful programs in tournament history with a 77-71 victory over Kentucky in overtime. Michigan State, in the later game, likewise played the role of spoiler in taking down overwhelming national favorite Duke 68-67.
With Zion Williamson, Duke entered the tournament as one of the most popular picks in recent memory to win it all in Minneapolis. But two close games showed cracks in their invincibility, and Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans finally took them down with a 68-67 win.
In the day’s first matchup, #5 Auburn entered having just lost one of their best players to a torn ACL in the Sweet 16. Coming up against a Kentucky squad that got past the defensive force of the Houston Cougars, it seemed Bruce Pearl’s Tigers might have met their end at the hands of a team that beat them twice this year in SEC play. But Auburn scored with 37 seconds left in regulation to tie it and then slammed the door shut in overtime to advance to their first-ever Final Four.