Ehab Amin sparked Oregon out of a long drought to start the second half and the Ducks became the lone double-digit seed to advance to the Sweet 16 by beating UC Irvine 73-54 on Sunday night.
Payton Pritchard led 12th-seeded Oregon (25-12) with 18 points, Louis King added 16 and Amin had 12 points and three steals. The Ducks have won 10 straight after a lackluster start to the season and will play top-seeded Virginia in the South Regional semifinal Thursday.
After going more than seven minutes without scoring to start the second half and squandering all of a 12-point lead, Oregon used a 15-3 run to take control and end a 17-game winning streak for the 13th-seeded Anteaters (31-6).
Amin started it with a 3-pointer and caused two turnovers. Pritchard scored seven points in the spurt, and the game quickly turned into a laugher with Kenny Wooten getting a block on one end and an alley-oop on the other to make it 68-49 with just more than two minutes to play.
Robert Cartwright scored 14 points and Evan Leonard added 11 for UC Irvine, which came into the game with longest active winning streak in the nation.
The Anteaters looked like an entirely different team coming out of halftime starting with a 3-pointer by Cartwright on the opening possession. That started a run of 14 points in a row that put UC Irvine ahead 37-35 on a layup by Cartwright.
The Ducks missed their first 11 shots from the field and committed four turnovers before finally breaking through on Amin's 3-pointer that ended a drought of 7:32. Amin then drew a charge, and King followed with another 3 that put Oregon up 41-37 midway through the half.
Wooten capped the 15-3 burst with an emphatic dunk that made it 50-40.
The Ducks jumped on top early and used a 10-1 run featuring an emphatic slam by Wooten to take a 27-16 lead. They led 35-23 at the break.
Houston's fans chanted "Sweet 16" in the final minute of the Cougars' NCAA Tournament win over Ohio State.
The celebration was long overdue — 35 years, to be exact — since the Cougars have made this trip.
Corey Davis scored 21 points to help Houston defeat Ohio State 74-59 in a second-round Midwest Region game Sunday night. It marked the Cougars' 33rd win of the season — breaking the record set by the 1983-84 team for the most wins in a season. That squad was the last to reach the Sweet 16 and advanced to the national final.
Galen Robinson added 13 points for Houston (33-3), which next will face Kentucky.
C.J. Jackson scored 18 points and Kaleb Wesson added 15 for Ohio State (20-15).
Ohio State started off hot from 3-point range, hitting seven of its first 12. But Houston burned the Buckeyes in transition to go on a 14-6 run to close the half with a 39-31 lead.
There was a brief skirmish right after the end of the first half. Ohio State's Keyshawn Woods and Houston's DeJon Jarreau were issued technical fouls after the teams jawed at midcourt. Houston's Fabian White was held back by teammates and coaches.
A dunk by Chris Harris put the Cougars up 52-44 with just over 10 minutes remaining. A floater in the lane by Armoni Brooks pushed Houston's lead to nine and led to a timeout by Ohio State. A transition layup by Davis pushed the advantage to 11 and the Cougars maintained control for good.
South Region: No. 1 Virginia 63, No. 9 Oklahoma 51
Virginia finally breezed through an NCAA Tournament game and beat Oklahoma 63-51 on Sunday night to advance to the Sweet 16.
Mamadi Diakite scored 14 points and had nine rebounds as the No. 1-seeded Cavaliers led for all but three minutes against Oklahoma.
The game was a marked improvement for Virginia, which last season became the first overall No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16. The Cavaliers (31-3) didn't have it any easier in this year's NCAA opener and trailed by as many as 14 to No. 16 Gardner-Webb before rallying for the first-round victory.
There was only one scare in the second-round matchup and it was rather mild: Virginia scored the first seven points of the game, but Oklahoma (20-14) answered with a 13-2 run to take its only lead.
Virginia cranked up its trademark stifling defense and the Sooners hit just four of their last 18 shots in the first half to fall behind 31-22 at the break. After a Kihel Clark rebound and putback on the first possession of the second half, Virginia's lead never dipped below 10 points again.
It was the first time Virginia hasn't trailed in the second half of an NCAA Tournament game since beating Iowa State 84-71 in the Sweet 16 in 2016.
Diakite was a surprise starter and ended up leading the Cavaliers. Less than an hour before the game, Jack Salt was listed in the starting line-up provided by Virginia. But Diakite, coming off 17 points and nine rebounds against Gardner-Webb, instead got the start.
Ty Jerome added 12 points and Braxton Key his all four of his shots to as he added nine points and nine rebounds for Virginia.
Brady Manek and Chistian James each scored 12 for the Sooners.
Oklahoma shot 57.6 percent (34 of 59) to beat Mississippi by 23 in the first round, The Sooners shot just 36.5 percent (19 of 52) on Sunday.
Virginia's win pushed all four No. 1 seeds into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 — the last time the Cavaliers made it to the tournament's second weekend.
East Region: No. 4 Virginia Tech 67, No. 12 Liberty 58
Virginia Tech advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 52 years by beating 12th-seeded Liberty 67-58 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Kerry Blackshear had 19 points and nine rebounds for fourth-seeded Virginia Tech (25-8). The Hokies' advanced this far just once before, in 1967 when they lost to the Dayton in the regional final.
Ahmed Hill added 14 points and Justin Robinson scored 13 to help the Hokies beat an in-state rival and advance to a matchup with top-seeded Duke.
Darius McGhee scored 15 points to lead Liberty (29-7), which won its first tournament game ever Friday against Mississippi State. Caleb Homesley was held to eight points on 3-for-11 shooting after scoring 30 points to fuel the first-round upset.
Liberty looked to build on that breakthrough win and a 9-0 run early in the second half put the Flames up by five. The Hokies tightened up defensively after that and Liberty missed 11 of 12 shots from the field — with six of the misses from 3-point range. Liberty also committed four turnovers and trailed by 56-49 on a layup by Nickel Alexander-Walker with about four minutes to go that capped an 11-0 run.
After Liberty made one free throw, Hill converted a three-point play off an inbound pass to extend the lead to nine points and the Hokies held on from there.
Liberty started fast with McGhee hitting four 3-pointers in the first half — twice as many as he had in the previous seven games combined. The Flames built an eight-point lead in the half before the Hokies cut it to 32-29 at the break on a 3-pointer in the final seconds by Ahmed Hill.
Texas Tech dominated on defense once again and, boosted by Jarrett Culver's 16 points and 10 rebounds, shut down Buffalo 78-58 on Sunday to reach the Sweet 16 for the second straight year.
The third-seeded Red Raiders (28-6) broke away with a 27-3 burst that spanned both halves. They'll next face Michigan in the West Regional semifinals.
Sixth-seeded Buffalo (32-4) had won 13 in a row and was averaging over 85 points per game, fifth-best in the nation. But the Bulls were shooting under 30 percent until a late flurry.
It was a repeat performance for the Red Raiders — in the first round Friday, they stifled potent Northern Kentucky, which had been scoring 79 points per game, in a 72-57 victory.
Norense Odiase contributed a season-high 14 points and 15 rebounds for Texas Tech, which has won 11 of 12.
Nick Perkins had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Buffalo. The MAC champions for the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Bulls were the conference's highest-ever seed (since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985) and reached the NCAA second round for the second year in a row.
Leading scorer C.J. Massinburg, who averaged 18.3 points per game for the Bulls, had just two in the first half. He finished with 14, scoring mostly down the stretch with the game already decided.
Buffalo took its only lead of the day, 25-24, with 3:24 left in the opening half when Davonta Jordan connected on a 3-pointer. But Texas Tech responded by scoring the final nine points of the half and continued that dominance after the break.
Over the first 7 1/2 half minutes of the second half, the Red Raiders outscored Buffalo 18-3 while the Bulls missed each of their first eight shots from the floor.
Texas Tech pushed its advantage to 62-33 when Brandone Francis' free throw capped off another 9-0 run with 9:15 remaining, and the Red Raiders managed to maintain at least a 20-point lead the rest of the way.
East Region: No. 1 Duke, No. 9 Central Florida 76
Zion Williamson took on 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall at the end and won. So did top-seeded Duke — barely — when two last-ditch shots by Central Florida rolled off the rim.
Aubrey Dawkins finished with 32 points, but his tip-in try just missed Sunday, and Duke advanced with a 77-76 victory to reach the Sweet 16.
Williamson had 32 points, including a layup over Fall with 14.4 seconds left and his team trailing 76-73. Fall fouled out on the play and the 6-foot-7 Williamson missed the free throw, but RJ Barrett scored on a putback to put the Blue Devils (31-5) ahead.
Ninth-seeded UCF (24-9) had a final chance. Two of them, actually, from in close.
B.J. Taylor missed a short jumper and Dawkins failed on his tip attempt with less than 2 seconds left, the ball spinning off the rim. Duke got the rebound, ran out the clock and moved on to the Sweet 16 for 27th time and fourth time in the past five years.
Dawkins cringed at the miss. His father, Johnny, is the UCF coach and was a former Duke star and longtime assistant under coach Mike Krzyzewski. The two coaches shared a long embrace at midcourt after it was over.
Barrett finished with 16 points.
It looked as if Dawkins might take down his dad's alma mater in the NCAAs.
His last basket broke a 70-all tie and when Fall dunked Taylor's miss — the play was reviewed for a possible shot-clock violation — the Knights were ahead 74-70.
UCF missed a huge chance to go up six when it couldn't quite complete an alley-oop dunk attempt with 1:49 left, and Cam Reddish came back with a 3-pointer for Duke. Taylor made it 76-73 with two foul shots with 45 seconds to go.
Williamson then missed a 3, but Duke grabbed the rebound and got the ball back to its dominant freshman. Williamson caught a pass left of the key and dribbled straight into Fall's 7-6, 310-pound frame.
Fall had stuffed Williamson three previous times and Duke's young star was less effective underneath than he'd been his past four games. But Williamson got this shot to drop, shouting as he fell hard to the ground.
When Duke dribbled away with the final rebound, Williamson and his teammates jumped in celebration and relief. They were moving on.
Duke will face fourth-seeded Virginia Tech or No. 12 seed Liberty in Washington, D.C., on Friday night for a spot in the Elite Eight.
Williamson clearly was affected by Fall. Who wouldn't be as the Knights senior stood 11 inches taller than Williamson and has a wingspan of 8-foot-4?
But with Fall inside, Williamson went outside, hitting three 3-pointers after entering with just 18 on the season. And when Fall was hit with foul trouble, Williamson charged to the hoop.
Fall finished with 15 points and six rebounds in his final college game.
Duke's four fantastic freshmen combined for 72 of its 77 points. Reddish had 13 points and Tre Jones 11.
It was the second straight sluggish start for Duke in the NCAA Tournament. But the Blue Devils closed the half with a 12-2 run to move in front.
Trailing 34-32 in the final four minutes of the opening half, Williamson hit a short jumper, then collected Jordan Goldwire's miss for a three-point play. Barrett added a three-point play and Williamson threw a one-handed bounce pass to a streaking Jones for an easy layup as Duke led 44-36 at the break.
Williamson had 15 points in the first half, but had not dunked on the tall Fall — mainly because UCF's center played just eight minutes due to foul trouble.
Midwest Region: No. 1 North Carolina 81, No. 9 Washington 59
Luke Maye and Nassir Little each scored 20 points and top-seeded North Carolina breezed into the Sweet 16, beating Washington 81-59 Sunday.
The Tar Heels (29-6) never trailed and moved on to face fifth-seeded Auburn on Friday in a Midwest Regional semifinal.
Last year, one season removed from its national championship, North Carolina was eliminated in the second round in a rout by Texas A&M. The Tar Heels were not going to let it happen again.
Maye added 14 rebounds for North Carolina, a No. 1 seed for a record 17th time.
The Tar Heels committed 10 turnovers in the first half, and led by eight points at the break. But they bolted out in the second half, put together a 13-0 run over 5 minutes and pulled away.
Pac-12 player of the year Jaylen Nowell paced Washington (28-8) with 12 points.
North Carolina forward Garrison Brooks took an elbow to the mouth in the first half that knocked out one tooth, chipped another and required stitches to close his cut lip. He returned to start the second half.
North Carolina guard Kenny Williams exited early in the second half grasping his left hamstring, but he also returned later in the half and seemed to be OK.
Tennessee avoided one of the biggest meltdowns in NCAA Tournament history Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, letting a 25-point lead slip away before two-time SEC player of the year Grant Williams scored six points in overtime.
The Volunteers (31-5) made it back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016, though there were more tense moments than the Vols imagined after they ran off to a 44-19 lead in the opening half.
The biggest NCAA Tournament comeback? BYU's 25-point rally past Iona in the First Four in 2012.
Tenth-seeded Iowa (23-12) nearly pulled off another one, sending it overtime tied at 71 — the first overtime game in this year's tournament.
Williams had a pair of free throws, two jumpers, and a strip in overtime that helped the Vols pull it out and match their school record for wins in a season. He finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Admiral Schofield scored 17 of his 19 in the Vols' blistering first half.
Jordan Bohannon scored 18 for Iowa, which never led but managed to tie it twice after falling so far behind.
Last year, the Volunteers lost to Loyola in the second round. They followed it with a record season — ranked No. 1 for four weeks, a school-record 19-game winning streak, a full season in the Top 10 — and had just enough in overtime Sunday to keep it going.