NCAA men's roundup: No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago heads to Elite Eight

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[March 23, 2018]  Junior guard Marques Townes scored 18 points to help 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago advance to the Elite Eight with a 69-68 victory over seventh-seeded Nevada on Thursday in NCAA Tournament South Region play at Atlanta.

Senior forward Aundre Jackson scored seven of his 15 points in the final three minutes of the Sweet 16 contest as the Ramblers (31-5) won their 13th straight game and 20th in their past 21. Junior point guard Clayton Custer also scored 15 points for Loyola-Chicago, which shot 75 percent from the field in the second half and 55.8 percent overall.

Junior forward Caleb Martin scored 21 points with five rebounds and junior forward Jordan Caroline added 19 and six boards for the Wolf Pack (29-8). Junior forward Cody Martin had 16 points and sophomore guard Josh Hall scored 10 for Nevada, which shot 41.4 percent from the field.

Loyola-Chicago has won its three NCAA Tournament games this month by a combined four points. The Ramblers will play ninth-seeded Kansas State on Saturday for a spot in the Final Four.

--In other South Region semifinal action:

Junior guard Barry Brown Jr. drove for the go-ahead basket and ninth-seeded Kansas State recorded a stunning 61-58 victory over fifth-seeded Kentucky to reach the Elite Eight for the 12th time in school history.

Sophomore forward Xavier Sneed had 22 points and nine rebounds as Kansas State (25-11) prevailed in the battle of two schools nicknamed Wildcats. Brown was just 4-of-15 shooting but knocked down the decisive one with 18.4 seconds left while scoring 13 points.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed a tying 3-point attempt as time expired as Kentucky lost a Sweet 16 game under coach John Calipari for the first time in seven attempts.

--In West Region semifinal action:

Guard Terance Mann had 18 points and the deep Florida State bench came up big one more time as the ninth-seeded Seminoles posted their second straight major upset in the NCAA Tournament with a 75-60 victory over the fourth-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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Starters C.J. Walker and Braian Angola had nine points apiece and reserve Trent Forrest had seven points, six rebounds and six assists for the Seminoles (23-11), who also beat the West No. 1 seed Xavier in the second round last Sunday.

Rui Hachimura had 16 points and nine rebounds, Zach Norvell Jr. had 14 points and Johnathan Williams had eight points and 11 rebounds for Bulldogs (32-5), who had the nation's longest winning streak snapped at 16 games.

Gonzaga, whose largest lead was three in the first half, got within five points at 59-54 when Corey Kispert made a 3-pointer with 5:21 remaining, but the Zags failed to get enough stops at the other end to get closer. Phil Cofer's breakaway dunk with 4:01 remaining game made it 66-55 as the Seminoles pulled away.

The Seminoles will meet Michigan in the West Regional final Saturday at Staples Center.

--In other West Region semifinal action:

Michigan guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds and Moe Wagner had 21 points when the hot-shooting Wolverines advanced to the Elite Eight with a lopsided 99-72 victory over Texas A&M.

Charles Matthews scored 18 points, Zavier Simpson had 11 points and Duncan Robinson had 10 for the third-seeded Wolverines (31-7), who made 14 3-pointers to extend their winning streak to 12 games.

Abdur-Rahkman had four threes, Wagner had three, Robinson had two and four other Wolverines had one apiece as Michigan rolled to a 24-point lead at the end of the first half en route to its third regional final in the last six years, its first since 2014.

Michigan's 12-game winning streak is their longest since they won their first 16 in 2013, the last time they reached the Final Four.

--Field Level Media

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