NCAA Tournament Roundup: Dayton stuns Syracuse 55-53 to advance

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Associated Press

No. 11 Dayton 55, No. 3 Syracuse 53

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Dyshawn Pierre scored 14 points and Jordan Sibert hit a key 3-pointer with 47.7 seconds left as Dayton stunned Syracuse 55-53 Saturday night to earn a spot in Sweet 16 for the first time in three decades.

Syracuse was poised to pull out another close victory, but Tyler Ennis' 3-point attempt clanged off the rim at the buzzer.

Dayton (25-10), the 11th seed in the South Regional, advances to the regional semifinals next week and will play Kansas or Stanford.

The third-seeded Orange (28-6), who finished second in their first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, struggled all game against the swarming Dayton defense, missing all 10 attempts from beyond the arc, while the Flyers hit seven times from long range.

No. 4 Louisville 66, No. 5 Saint Louis 51

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Louisville didn't need a big game from Russ Smith to get back to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Luke Hancock scored 21 points and the defending national champions shrugged off a cold shooting performance to beat Saint Louis 66-51 on Saturday and advance to the round of 16 for the third straight year.

The fourth-seeded Cardinals (31-5) shot under 45 percent, had 19 turnovers and only got 11 points from Smith, their star. It didn't matter with the fifth-seeded Billikens (27-7) going 0 for 15 from 3-point range and struggling to take care of the basketball.

Louisville moves on the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis against either No. 1 seed Wichita State or No. 8 seed Kentucky. The unbeaten Shockers and Wildcats meet Sunday in St. Louis.

Saint Louis, which has never been to the Sweet 16, lost in the third round for the third consecutive year. Dwayne Evans led the Billikens with 16 points and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Jordair Jett finished with 15.

No. 2 Michigan 79, No. 7 Texas 65

MILWAUKEE -- Nik Stauskas and Michigan are headed back to the Sweet 16.

Stauskas had 17 points and eight assists to lead the Wolverines to a 79-65 victory over Texas in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Jordan Morgan added 15 points and 10 rebounds as Michigan (27-8) advanced to next week's Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis. The Wolverines will face the winner of Sunday's Mercer-Tennessee game in Raleigh, N.C.

Michigan lost to Louisville in the national championship game a year ago.

Isiah Taylor scored 22 points for Texas on 8-for-22 shooting. The Longhorns (24-11) outrebounded the Wolverines 41-30, but got off to a slow start and never recovered.

No. 1 Florida 61, No. 9 Pittsburgh 45

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Scottie Wilbekin scored 21 points and top-seeded Florida beat Pittsburgh 61-45 in the NCAA Tournament Saturday, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year.

Patric Young added seven points and eight rebounds for the Gators, who extended their school record for consecutive wins to 28.

Coming off a lackluster performance in its NCAA opener, Florida (34-2) played with considerably more energy and intensity against the Panthers (26-10).

Wilbekin and Young spearheaded the effort. And had Florida not been cold from 3-point range, the game would have been essentially over much sooner than it was. The Gators were 5-of-20 from behind the arc, with at least five of those rimming in and out.

Florida advanced to the round of 16, where it will play either fourth-seeded UCLA or 12th-seeded Stephen F. Austin on Thursday in Memphis, Tenn. The Bruins and Lumberjacks play Sunday in San Diego.

Talib Zanna led the Panthers with 10 points, their only player in double figures.

No. 4 San Diego State 63, No. 12 North Dakota State 44

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Xavier Thames sent San Diego State home. As in back to the sunshine of California and a spot in the Sweet 16 for the second time in school history

Whether he was dropping 3s, finessing floaters in the lane or leading the Aztecs' suffocating defense, Thames would not let North Dakota State become this year's version of Florida Gulf Coast.

Thames scored 30 points, and fourth-seeded San Diego State ended the run of No. 12 seed North Dakota State 63-44 on Saturday.

The Aztecs (31-4) now get to make the short drive up the interstate to Anaheim where they will face either No. 1 seed Arizona or eighth-seeded Gonzaga in the West Regional semifinals on Thursday.

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