Cincinnati win is Sweet
Bearcats to play OSU in Boston
Dion Dixon stole the ball and dunked to put Cincinnati ahead for good with 1:32 left as the Bearcats edged Florida State, 62-56, in Nashville Sunday night to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001.
Cincinnati (26-10) will play No. 2 seed Ohio State at TD Garden in Boston Thursday night, joining Syracuse and Wisconsin as semifinalists in the East.
Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 points, Dixon finished with 15, and Yancy Gates had 10 for Cincinnati. JaQuon Parker grabbed 11 rebounds.
Florida State (25-10) snapped a six-game winning streak that took the Seminoles to their first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title. But the ’Noles are heading home short of the regional semifinal they reached a year ago.
Luke Loucks led the Seminoles with 14, while Bernard James and Michael Snaer had 11.
This game featured 19 lead changes and 11 ties, and neither team led by more than 3 in the second half until the Bearcats scored 7 straight points. Kilpatrick hit a free throw tying it at 50, then Dixon stole the ball from Loucks in front of the Cincinnati bench as Florida State tried to bring the ball up against the Bearcats’ press. Dixon took off and slammed down the lead.
Cashmere Wright hit a jumper, and Gates added two free throws for 56-50 lead with 35.3 seconds left, and the Bearcats sealed it by hitting their next six from the line.
Snaer, Ian Miller, and Okaro White missed 3-pointers in the final 37 seconds.
The Seminoles led, 29-28, at halftime and were up by 5 in the first half. But a Florida State team that came into the NCAA Tournament sixth in Division I holding opponents to 38.1 percent shooting couldn’t stop Cincinnati in the second half.
North Carolina 87, Creighton 73 - John Henson proved he’s healthy enough to help North Carolina’s latest push for the Final Four. It remains to be seen if Kendall Marshall will be able to help the Tar Heels.
Henson had 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks in his return from a wrist injury, but Marshall (18 points, 11 assists) broke a bone in his right wrist during the second half of North Carolina’s victory in Greensboro, N.C.
Dennis Marshall, Kendall’s father, told CBS.com that his son would have surgery Monday morning to insert a screw in the injured wrist.
North Carolina got off to a fast start and built a 15-point lead in the first half, then kept control and pushed the margin to 19 after the break on the way to its second straight double-digit victory. The top-seeded Tar Heels (31-5) reached the Round of 16 for a record 25th time.
Doug McDermott scored 20 points for the eighth-seeded Bluejays (29-6).
Harrison Barnes finished with 17 points on 7-for-19 shooting, including back-to-back 3-pointers to turn away Creighton’s final push.
Ohio 62, South Florida 56 - Walter Offutt scored 21 points, D.J. Cooper had 19, and the 13th-seeded Bobcats beat the Bulls in Nashville to advance to the regional semifinals.
The Bobcats (29-7), who opened the tournament with an upset against No. 4 seed Michigan, will make their first trip to the Round of 16 since 1964.
Ohio trailed by 2 when Offutt swished a 3-pointer, launching a 10-0 run for the Bobcats. A pair of free throws by Cooper made it 54-46 with 3:28 left.
The Bobcats had a 59-53 lead when Toarlyn Fitzpatrick connected for South Florida’s first 3-pointer of the half. But Cooper went 3 for 4 from the line while the Bulls (22-14) missed three shots in the final 36 seconds.
Xavier 70, Lehigh 58 - In Greensboro, senior center Kenny Frease scored a career-high 25 points to go with 12 rebounds and the Musketeers knocked off the upset-minded Mountain Hawks to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in five years.
Lehigh, which stunned Duke last Friday, was looking to become the first 15 seed to make it to the regional semifinals.
Frease dominated in the paint, hitting 11 of 13 shots, and Tu Holloway was his normal productive self with 21 points as 10th-seeded Xavier (22-12) advanced to play No. 3 seed Baylor Friday at Atlanta.
The Musketeers held C.J. McCollum, the nation’s fifth-leading scorer, to 14 points on 5-of-22 shooting and overcame a 15-point first-half deficit. Mackey McKnight had 20 points for Lehigh (27-7), which tied a Patriot League record for wins.
Florida 84, Norfolk St.50 - There was no big upset this time. Kenny Boynton and Florida were just too good.
Boynton scored 20 points and the balanced Gators routed the 15th-seeded Spartans in Omaha, to reach the regional semifinals for the second straight year.
Seventh-seeded Florida (25-10) hit five 3-pointers during a 25-0 run that made it 29-6 midway through the first half.
Norfolk State (26-10) upset No. 2 seed Missouri, 86-84, on Friday.