6th-seeded Clemson beats No. 2 Arizona to reach men’s Elite 8 for 1st time since 1980

Chase Hunter scored 18 points and converted a three-point play with 25.7 seconds remaining, and Clemson advanced to the men’s Elite Eight for the second time in school history, beating Arizona 77-72 in a West Region semifinal on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

PJ Hall added 17 points for the sixth-seeded Tigers (24-11), who advanced to face either top-seeded North Carolina or No. 4 seed Alabama.

Clemson last reached the final eight in 1980, when there were 48 teams in the NCAA Tournament. Coach Brad Brownell was making his second appearance in the second weekend of March Madness in his 14 seasons with the Tigers.

Oumar Ballo scored 15 points and Caleb Love 13 for second-seeded Arizona (27-9), which had a horrific shooting night, going 5 of 28 (17.9 per cent) from three-point range. Love missed all nine of his attempts beyond the arc as the Wildcats failed to reach the Elite Eight for the 12th time overall and first time since 2015.

Wildcats coach Tommy Lloyd was ousted in the Sweet 16 for the second time in his three seasons.

WATCH l Canadian Zach Edey dominates March Madness with Purdue:

Canadian Zach Edey dominates NCAA March Madness

Canadian Zach Edey is putting up a dominating performance, leading Purdue into the final ‘sweet 16’ in the NCAA men’s March Madness. While he’s now a rising star, Edey attributes a lot of his success to the continued support of his family.

UConn thumps San Diego State

Stephon Castle had 16 points and 11 rebounds for top-seeded UConn and the defending NCAA champion advanced to the Elite Eight with another double-digit victory, beating San Diego State 82-52 in Boston on Thursday night in a rematch of last year’s title game.

Cam Spencer scored 18 points and Tristen Newton added 17 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies (34-3), who will play the winner of the other East Region semifinal between No. 2 Iowa State and No. 3 Illinois for a spot in the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona.

A year after cruising to their fifth national championship — winning their six NCAA Tournament games by an average of almost 20 points — the Huskies followed up blowouts last weekend with their ninth straight double-digit March Madness victory.

Backed by a TD Garden that was virtually a UConn home crowd — Boston is about 90 miles from its Storrs, Connecticut, campus — the Huskies made it a double-digit lead early in the second half, 20 with about seven minutes left and 30 in the final minutes, after the teams sent in their benches. UConn coach Dan Hurley’s son Andrew even got into the game with 1:44 left, drawing a celebratory cheer.

Seven-footer Donovan Clingan, who played just 23 minutes after getting into foul trouble, had eight points and eight rebounds.

Jaedon LeDee scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half for fifth-seeded San Diego State, which followed up the only Final Four appearance in school history with another Sweet 16 run.

But for the second straight year, the Aztecs (26-11) ran into UConn, which is now three victories away from becoming the first team to repeat as NCAA champions since Florida in 2006 and ’07.

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