By The Associated Press
Recaps of Friday games …
Curry sends Duke past Michigan State 71-61
MICHAEL MAROT,AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Seth Curry shot Duke right into the regional finals — and put Mike Krzyzewski on the verge of another milestone.
Curry scored 29 points and the Blue Devils beat Michigan State 71-61 on Friday night to advance to the Midwest Regional final in the NCAA tournament.
“Seth was just at a different level than anyone else on the court offensively tonight,” Krzyzewski said. “To get 29 points in a game like this against a good team is just incredible.”
If No. 2 seed Duke (30-5) beats top-seeded Louisville (32-5) in Sunday’s regional final, Krzyzewski would tie John Wooden’s record with 12 Final Four trips.
Third-seeded Michigan State (27-9) just couldn’t keep up with Curry and Duke’s shooters. Keith Appling had 16 points for the Spartans, and Adreian Payne finished with 14.
Curry’s sixth 3-pointer of the game broke a 38-38 tie early in the second half, sending Duke on a 9-0 run. It also matched the school record for most 3s in an NCAA tourney game, most recently accomplished by Jason Williams on March 22, 2001, against UCLA.
The Blue Devils never trailed again.
Rasheed Sulaimon had 16 points and Mason Plumlee finished with 14 for Duke.
The win comes 16 months after Duke beat Michigan State to give Krzyzewski the NCAA record for wins. Now, one year after falling to Lehigh in the second round of the tournament, Krzyzewski is on the verge of breaking a second-place tie with North Carolina’s Dean Smith and matching Wooden’s mark.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino has made six appearances in the Final Four. Another win would tie him for fourth with Roy Williams in a game that likely will be played in front of another highly partisan Cardinals crowd.
Burke leads UM rally over Kansas, 87-85 in OT
SCHUYLER DIXON,AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Trey Burke never doubted he could lead Michigan to its deepest NCAA tournament run since the Fab Five era.
Not after a scoreless first half. Not when the Wolverines trailed top-seeded Kansas by 14 with less than 7 minutes left — or by 5 with 21 seconds left.
And definitely not when he got the ball in his hands and the seconds draining away.
Burke scored all 23 of his points in the second half and overtime, including a long, tying 3-pointer in the final moments of regulation as Michigan rallied to beat Kansas 87-85 in the South Regional semifinals Friday night.
“We never lost faith out there,” Burke said. “We stuck it out together.”
Ben McLemore had 20 points to lead the Jayhawks (31-6), who looked to be on their way to a third straight regional final before Michigan’s improbable rally. Instead, they became the third No. 1 seed to fall in this tournament, joining Gonzaga and Indiana.
“Well, this will certainly go down as one of the toughest games that obviously we’ve been a part of and I’ve been a part of,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “But props to Michigan for making all the plays late.”
That’s for sure.
The fourth-seeded Wolverines (29-7) were down five when Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left, but Glenn Robinson III won a scramble for the ball and hit a reverse layup to force Kansas to win the game at the free throw line.
The Jayhawks couldn’t do it. Burke’s tying shot — he pulled up from well beyond the arc just left of the key — came with 4.2 seconds left after Elijah Johnson missed a free throw and Michigan got the rebound.
Moments earlier, with 21 seconds remaining, Johnson had hit two from the line to keep the Kansas lead at five. Burke had scored on a layup to get Michigan back to within three.
“We never had the mindset that we were going to lose the game,” Burke said. “When we were down 14, we knew anything could still happen. It’s March, anything can happen.”
Smith leads Louisville to 77-69 victory over Ducks
NANCY ARMOUR,AP National Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Even a nasty cold can’t stop Russ Smith.
With his teammates struggling with the virus he gave them and top-seeded Louisville facing its toughest test of the postseason, Russ put on his best show yet. He matched his career high of 31 points and the Cardinals proved they can win close games, too, beating Oregon 77-69 on Friday night.
“Without Russ Smith, we couldn’t win,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who improved to 11-0 in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.
Louisville (32-5) plays Duke on Sunday, the first time Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski have met in a regional final since Christian Laettner’s shot in 1992.
Louisville has been nearly untouchable during its 13-game winning streak, beating opponents by an average of 17 points. And it looked as if this was going to be more of the same when Smith outscored Oregon 9-8 through the first 10 minutes.
But the 12th-seeded Ducks (28-9) made a game of it late.
After Louisville went up 66-48 with 9:01 left, Oregon made six straight field goals to close to 70-64 — the closest anyone’s been to the Cardinals in weeks. But Kevin Ware scored on a layup and Chane Behanan threw down a monstrous dunk to put the game out of reach.
Ware finished with 11, topping his previous career best by one, and Gorgui Dieng had 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
“Russ Smith is a talented young man. They’ve got a lot of talented players,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “When he got going, we didn’t have an answer.”
Florida wins 62-50 to end FGCU’s NCAA run
STEPHEN HAWKINS,AP Basketball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Rosario had 15 points and Florida is going to an NCAA regional final for the third year in a row after a 62-50 victory over Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 15 seed whose improbable tournament journey ended just before midnight Friday.
Florida Gulf Coast, the high-flying team from “Dunk City” few people knew before this NCAA tourney, jumped out to an early 11-point lead against the SEC regular-season champs.
But the No. 3 seed Gators (29-7), with a roster filled with NCAA tourney experience, were just too strong and too good.
Michael Frazier made a pair of 3-pointer to start a 16-0 run late in the first half. That came in a 4½-minute span when the Eagles (26-11) had four turnovers and missed their only shot. They trailed the rest of the game.
The Gators play Michigan in the South Regional final at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday. They are trying to get to their first NCAA Final Four since consecutive national championships in 2006 and 2007.