A desperation bucket from Mamadi Diakite at the buzzer was sublime, as Virginia forced overtime at the end of a crazy second half, before outlasting Purdue in overtime to reach the Final Four for the first time since 1981. Earlier, Texas Tech pulled out a hard-fought victory over top-seeded Gonzaga to reach the last weekend for the first time in program history. And Northwest Missouri State tipped off Saturday’s slate with perfection–completing a 38-0 season by defeating Point Loma Nazarene to capture the Division II title.
After a second half long-distance shooting competition between Carsen Edwards and Kyle Guy, the Cavaliers squeaked into overtime by the skin of their teeth, before pulling out an 80-75 victory. Guy delivered 25 points and ten rebounds for Tony Bennett’s squad, while Edwards led all scorers with 42 points for the Boilermakers behind a Herculean 10-for-19 effort from beyond the arc.
Jarrett Culver poured in 19 points, while leader Tariq Owens made some clutch plays on both ends down the stretch to carry the Red Raiders past the Bulldogs. Coming up a little short, the Zags were led by Rui Hachimura’s 22 points and another double-double effort from Brandon Clarke.
Top-seeded Northwest Missouri State stayed undefeated, as the Bearcats beat Point Loma Nazarene 64-58 in the Division II Championship game–its second title in three years. Joey Witthus knocked down four triples on his way to 24 points for the Maryville school. Transfer-junior Daulton Hommes led all scorers with 26 points for the Sea Lions in the losing effort.