We have one more Sweet Sixteen matchup set after the afternoon slate of games. No. 1 Virginia was threatened by No. 9 Butler early on, facing a halftime deficit. But the Cavaliers pulled away late and got the 77-69 win, avoiding the ignominy of being the first No. 1 seed eliminated from this year's NCAA Tournament.
With both teams famed for their tough, physical defense, this game lived up to the hype early on, with a grinding, low-scoring first half. Butler went into halftime with the 25-23 lead and stayed with Virginia for most of the second half, but Tony Bennett's squad did just enough to keep the lead. The big turning point was a 9-2 run that gave the Cavaliers a 64-55 lead with 5:50 left in the game. Butler came back and made it a three-point game with less than 30 seconds to go, but Virginia's defense held stout in the late critical moments.
Malcolm Brogdon led the Cavaliers with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, while Anthony Gill was close behind with 19. Virginia shot 56.9 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Butler, 30-22.
This is Virginia's second Sweet Sixteen trip in the past three years. With Michigan State knocked out of the Midwest Region, the Cavaliers have an excellent chance to make the Final Four in Tony Bennett's tenure. But first, they'll have to tangle with Iowa State.
In the other afternoon game, No. 4 Iowa State ended No. 12 Little Rock's Cinderella run with a convincing 78-61 win. The Trojans were riding high after an epic double-overtime win over No. 5 Purdue in the first round, but having to play again just two days later clearly took a lot of energy out of them. Georges Niang led the way with 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting, while Jameel McKay pulled down 10 rebounds. The Cyclones move on to face Virginia next week.
This is the Cyclones' fifth Sweet Sixteen appearance in school history and second in the past three years. It's a fine accomplishment for head coach Steve Prohm, who had the unenviable task of filling Fred Hoiberg's shoes after Hoiberg jumped to the NBA's Chicago Bulls.
Here are the updated scores. Be sure to follow along with our printable bracket, available right here.
Saturday's final scores:
No. 3 Miami 65, No. 11 Wichita State 57
No. 4 Duke 71, No. 12 Yale 64
No. 5 Indiana 73, No. 4 Kentucky 67
No. 4 Iowa State 78, No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock 61
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 9 Butler, TBS
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Connecticut, CBS
No. 3 Utah vs. No. 11 Gonzaga, TNT
Still to come:
Approximately 9:40 p.m., TBS (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Lewis Johnson)
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Providence
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Watch No. 11 Northern Iowa stun No. 6 Texas with this amazing buzzer beater from half court
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