Texas A&M played championship-level basketball Sunday in routing the second-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels 86-65 in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32.
In a game played in Tar Heels country at Charlotte, the seventh-seeded Aggies bolted to a 14-point lead at intermission and boosted it to 24 with 13 minutes left.
A&M cruised the rest of the way, ousting the defending NCAA champions from the tournament behind the likes of TJ Starks, Tyler Davis, DJ Hogg and Robert Williams III.
As a result, A&M (22-12) of the Southeastern Conference will advance to take on third-seeded Big Ten power Michigan (30-7) in the Round of 16 on Thursday in Los Angeles.
Aggies — Starks (21 points), Davis (18 points, 9 rebounds), Hogg (14 points, 8 rebounds), Admon Gilder (12 points), Williams (8 points, 13 rebounds).
Tar Heels — Joel Berry (21 points), Luke Maye (13 points, 11 rebounds)
(From Texas A&M’s athletics website)
“Great win, great team win. I thought we got a performance from everybody. I thought once we slowed them up in transition and our zone gave them some problems.” — A&M head coach Billy Kennedy
A&M forward Tyler Davis — “We just stuck to our game plan and played to our strengths. We know we have the advantage on the inside against most teams. So we just did what we do every day — go to war on the inside and eat glass.”
Two from Texas in Sweet 16
Over the past 48 hours, two teams from the state of Texas have advanced to the Sweet 16. Texas Tech will play Purdue in Boston on Friday. The Red Raiders of the Big 12 edged the Florida Gators 69-66 on Saturday in Dallas.
Round of 32 at a glance
y-(9) Kansas State beat (16) UMBC, 50-43
x-(5) Kentucky beat (13) Buffalo, 95-75
x-(11) Loyola-Chicago beat (3) Tennessee, 63-62
y-(7) Nevada beat (2) Cincinnati, 75-73
(1) Xavier vs. (9) Florida State, Sunday, 7:45 p.m., TNT
x-(4) Gonzaga beat (5) Ohio State, 90-84
x-(3) Michigan beat (6) Houston, 64-63
y-(7) Texas A&M beat (2) North Carolina, 86-65
x-(1) Villanova beat (9) Alabama, 81-58
(5) West Virginia vs. (13) Marshall, Sunday, 8:40 p.m., TBS
x-(3) Texas Tech beat (6) Florida, 69-66
y-(2) Purdue beat (10) Butler, 76-73
x-(1) Kansas beat (8) Seton Hall, 83-79
y-(5) Clemson beat (4) Auburn, 84-53
y-(11) Syracuse beat (3) Michigan State, 55-53
x-(2) Duke beat (7) Rhode Island, 87-62
Kansas State stops UMBC
The ninth-seeded Kansas State Wildcats forged a 50-43 victory over the history-making, No. 16 UMBC Retrievers in a Round of 32 game at Charlotte Sunday night.
Barry Brown scored 18 for Sweet 16-bound Kansas State. K-State will take on Kentucky in the South regional semifinals Thursday in Atlanta.
UMBC’s season is over, but it won’t soon be forgotten.
The Retrievers became the first No. 16 seed to advance to the second round after they walloped top-seeded Virginia 74-54 Friday night.
Against Kansas State, UMBC couldn’t sustain anything on offense, shooting only 29 percent. Jairus Lyles led Retrievers with 12 points.
Nevada races past Cincinnati
The seventh-seeded Nevada Wolf Pack erased a 22-point deficit in the final 11 minutes Sunday to stun No. 2 Cincinnati, 75-73, at Nashville.
Cincinnati led 65-43 with 10:48 remaining before Nevada mounted its second comeback in three days.
The Wolf Pack trailed by 14 early in the second half Friday before rallying past the Texas Longhorns, 87-83, in overtime.
Asked what the two comebacks say about his team, Nevada coach Eric Musselman said, “Just a lot of heart, a lot of determination and no quit.”
Syracuse upsets Michigan State
Eleventh-seeded Syracuse held No. 3 Michigan State without a field goal in the final 5:43 Sunday to register a stunning 55-53 victory in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In the game played at Detroit, the Syracuse zone defense completely flustered the Spartans and lifted the Orange into the Sweet 16.
Syracuse’s NCAA opponents: field goal shooting
Arizona State — 21 of 52
TCU — 19 of 48
Michigan State — 17 of 66
Clemson rips Auburn
Gabe DeVoe scored 22 points and fifth-seeded Clemson romped past No. 4 Auburn 84-53 at San Diego in the West region. Clemson held Auburn to 25.8 percent shooting in the rout.
Purdue downs Butler
Second-seeded Purdue beat No. 10 Butler 76-73 Sunday at Detroit in an East Region second-round game, setting up a Sweet 16 matchup Friday in Boston against Texas Tech.
Senior forward Vincent Edwards led the Boilermakers with 20 points and added a key blocked shot in the final minute.