The Elite Eight field is officially set after Friday night's Sweet 16 games. No. 10 Syracuse made a late comeback to knock off No. 11 Gonzaga 63-60, while No. 1 North Carolina destroyed No. 5 Indiana, 101-86. The result means that all four No. 1 seeds are still alive as we head into the regional finals.
The Bulldogs got the early jump on Syracuse, taking a 21-10 lead in the first half. The game threatened to get out of hand from there, but Jim Boeheim's squad rallied with an 18-7 run to close out the half. Gonzaga went into halftime leading by just one point, 29-28.
Syracuse's momentum continued into the second half when the Orange took a five-point lead out of the gate. However, their lead didn't last long. Gonzaga quickly tied things back up and eventually pulled away late in the game with a 14-4 run.
But the Orange weren't done yet. Boeheim called for the full-court press and Gonzaga had a hard time responding, leading to turnovers and quicker points for Syracuse. The Orange rallied back and reduced the deficit to just two points with less than two minutes left, and Michael Gbinije gave them the lead with a tip-in shot at the 20-second mark. On the Zags' next possession, Josh Perkins turned the ball over with 11 seconds to go, but the referees ruled that Trevor Cooney stepped out of bounds, giving Gonzaga one final possession.
In the end, the call didn't matter because the Bulldogs couldn't even get a shot off before losing the ball again. Syracuse heads to the Elite Eight for the 10th time in school history, and the eighth time in Boeheim's tenure.
The final game of the night was anything but competitive. Marcus Paige was on fire for North Carolina, scoring 14 points in the first half alone. The Tar Heels as a team shot 62.1 percent in the first half and raced out to a 52-41 halftime lead over Indiana. The Hoosiers never made a real run in the second half and UNC walked away with the 101-86 win, making its eighth Elite Eight appearance since Roy Williams took over in 2004.
Paige finished the game with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, leading the team. Brice Johnson added 20 points and all five starters scored double digits. The Tar Heels were absurdly hot from the three-point line, knocking down 11-of-20 shots from downtown.
Follow the action with our printable bracket here.
No. 1 Virginia 84, No. 5 Iowa State 71
No. 6 Notre Dame 61, No. 7 Wisconsin 56
No. 10 Syracuse 63, No. 11 Gonzaga 60
No. 1 Tar Heels 101, No. 5 Indiana 86
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March Madness: Does sixth-seeded Notre Dame qualify as a Cinderella story?
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