March Madness roundup: UNC take care of UCLA, Hurricanes storm past Cyclones
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - The North Carolina Tar Heels claimed their spot in the Elite Eight after beating the UCLA Bruins 73-66 during Friday’s Sweet 16 action.
This matchup featured two legendary men’s college basketball teams that have totaled up 17 NCAA national championships between them.
And it was the Tar Heels who early on seemed set to power their way to victory. They spent the first seven minutes of play building a lead, but UCLA wrestled back control and eventually went into halftime up 31-28.
The Bruins managed to hold on to that until the Tar Heels tied things up with five straight points for their first lead of the second half. But UCLA wasn't done and it sparked a 12-minute stretch that featured two more ties and nine lead changes between the teams.
North Carolina finally took over the game in the final 66 seconds with a 9-2 run that sent the Bruins packing for home at the final buzzer.
The Tar Heels' sophomore guard Caleb Love (20) had one of the tournament’s best games as he shot 11-for-24 overall, including six threes for a game-high 30 points, four assists, and three rebounds.
The Tar Heels have a Sunday night Elite Eight date with this year’s "Cinderellas," the Saint Peter’s Peacocks.
Miami puts on a masterclass against Iowa State
Over in Chicago, the Miami Hurricanes overpowered the Iowa State Cyclones 70-56 on Friday night, punching their ticket in this weekend’s Elite Eight round of action.
The Hurricanes came to play right from the get-go, dropping their first few buckets early and allowing their defense to set the tone by not allowing the Cyclones to get on the board until nearly two minutes into the game.
The first half score was close on paper, but Miami’s defense painted a clearer picture as they ultimately held Iowa State to just under 38% shooting from the field, an effort that included a dismal 18% shooting from three-point range. Still, the Cyclones only trailed by three at halftime.
That Hurricane defense was kept it up during the second half, pressuring the Cyclones into consistently sloppy play in the second half that tallied up 18 total turnovers in this matchup.
Giving the ball up frequently, mixed with lackluster shooting by Iowa State, made the night easier than expected for Miami as the Hurricanes cruised to their first Elite Eight appearance in the program’s history.
Senior guard Kameron McGusty led Miami with 10-for-18 shooting for a game-high 27 points, six rebounds, and four steals.
The Hurricanes will now face the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks in the Elite Eight round on Sunday.
Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire