Midnight struck in the Cinderella stories for Saint Mary's and Northern Iowa Friday night as both schools were ousted from the NCAA Tournament with defeats in the regional semifinals.
LaceDarius Dunn provided Baylor with 23 points and Tweety Carter added 14, as the Bears pummeled Saint Mary's, 72-49, in a one-sided South Regional semifinal of the NCAA Tournament. The Gaels were seeded 10th in the region, but bowed out. Meanwhile, the Bears advanced to take on top-seeded Duke on Sunday. The Blue Devils bested Purdue, 70-57, in the second game Friday from Reliant Stadium in Houston to reach a regional final for the first time since 2004. Kyle Singler recorded 24 points and eight rebounds, and Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith recovered from a rough first half to help Duke upend the fourth- seeded Boilermakers.
Things got started in the Midwest with a dandy from the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Wayne Chism scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half and Brian Williams tipped home the eventual game-winning basket with 32.1 seconds left, as sixth-seeded Tennessee knocked off No. 2 seed Ohio State, 76-73. The Volunteers, into the Elite Eight for the first time, will take on No. 5 seed Michigan State Sunday for the right to advance to the Final Four. The Spartans received 19 points from Durrell Summers in a 59-52 win over ninth-seeded Northern Iowa. The Panthers upset top seed Kansas in the second round, but couldn't withstand a late Spartans run in the closing minutes.
Spots in the Final Four will be up for grabs in the West and East regions on Saturday with Butler hoping to have a chance to play in front of basically a home crowd if it can beat Kansas State. The fifth-seeded Bulldogs head into the West Regional final in Salt Lake City on a titanic 23-game win streak. That includes a monumental upset of top seed Syracuse on Thursday. Butler, into the Elite Eight for the first time in school history, is a co-host of this year's Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Kansas State, seeded second, will try to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1964. The Wildcats are coming off a 101-96 double-overtime win over Xavier on Thursday.
The East Regional Final will be between a pair of elite conferences as top- seeded Kentucky and No. 2 seed West Virginia battle at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Wildcats stopped the magic run of Cornell with a 62-45 victory Thursday, while the Mountaineers were 69-56 winners over Washington. Kentucky is aiming for a 14th Final Four appearance, but its first since 1998 when the Wildcats beat Utah in the national championship game. The Mountaineers, who haven't made it to a national semifinal since 1959, will need to take better care of the basketball against an athletic Kentucky club. On Thursday night against Washington, the Mountaineers turned the ball over a season-high 23 times.
Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg has agreed to terms on the remaining four years of his contract plus an additional two years, as announced by school officials Friday. Greenberg, who was reportedly targeted for the opening at St. John's, recently completed his seventh season with the Hokies, leading them to a 25-9 record and a No. 1 seed in the NIT. Virginia Tech's season ended when it lost to Rhode Island in the quarterfinals.