Arizona Wildcats forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (23) shoots the ball against San Diego State Aztecs forward Winston Shepard (13) during the first half in the semifinals of the west regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at Honda Center. (USA TODAY Sports: Robert Hanashiro)
Half of the Elite Eight team have been determined with wins by Dayton, Wisconsin, Florida and Arizona in Thursday’s games.
Dayton 82, Stanford 72: Jordan Sibert drained four 3-pointers en route to 18 points as the Flyers knocked off the Cardinal in an NCAA tournament regional semifinal in Memphis, Tenn.
Kendall Pollard added 12 points off the bench and Devin Oliver had 12 points and seven rebounds for No. 11 seed Dayton (26-10), which will take on top-seeded Florida in the South regional final Saturday. Matt Kavanaugh contributed 10 points as the Flyers advanced to their first regional final since 1984.
Dwight Powell collected 17 points and nine rebounds and Stefan Nastic scored 15 before fouling out as No. 10 seed Stanford (23-13) had its tournament run come to an end. John Huestis recorded 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks while Chasson Randle struggled to a game-high 21 points on 5-of-21 shooting for the Cardinal.
Powell’s three-point play with just over eight minutes left pulled Stanford within 64-58 before Devon Scott answered with a three-point play to spark a 7-2 run that pushed Dayton’s lead back to double figures. Oliver gave the Flyers their biggest lead at 77-63 on a layup with 2:51 left and the deficit was too much for the Cardinal to overcome.
Dayton put up at least one point on nine straight possessions during a 16-4 run to take an 11-point lead with 5:42 left in the first half. Stanford went into the break down 42-32 but put together a quick burst out of the half to cut the deficit to 47-43.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Flyers’ reserves outscored the Cardinal bench 34-2. … Stanford had held opponents to 63 points or fewer in each of its previous five wins. … Dayton won its first two NCAA tournament games by a total of three points but never let Stanford get that close in the second half.
Florida 79, UCLA 68: Michael Frazier II scored 19 points, including five 3-pointers, and the Gators advanced to the Elite Eight for the fourth consecutive year with an impressive win over the Bruins in Memphis, Tenn.
Scottie Wilbekin had 13 points and Casey Prather added 12 while battling foul trouble for top-seeded Florida. Dorian Finney-Smith added 10 points off the bench as the Gators (35-2) extended their winning streak to 29 games.
Jordan Adams led No. 4 seed UCLA (28-9) with 17 points while Travis Wear added 14. Kyle Anderson had 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting along with nine rebounds and five assists for the Bruins, who shot 3-of-18 from 3-point range and were ousted from the tournament by Florida for the fourth time since 2006.
Florida led 36-30 at the break before making its first six shots in the second half to move ahead 50-39 with just under 16 minutes remaining. UCLA responded with a 16-6 run over the next six minutes to cut the deficit to 56-55 before Florida scored 10 consecutive points, including six in a row from Wilbekin.
Adams scored with just over three minutes to play to pull within 68-63 but would get no closer. Frazier made seven of his 13 shots from the field and was 5-of-8 from 3-point range for the Gators, who shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded UCLA 40-30.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Frazier II set a school record for most 3-pointers in a single season with 115. … F Will Yeguete had eight points and seven rebounds for the Gators, who had 22 assists on 29 made baskets. … G Norman Powell scored eight points for the Bruins, who ended the season with their best record since 2007-08.
Arizona 70, San Diego State 64: Nick Johnson scored all 15 of his points in the final 2:46 as the Wildcats knocked off the Aztecs in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 at Anaheim, Calif.
Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson also had 15 points apiece for top-seeded Arizona (33-4), which advances to face Wisconsin (29-7) in Saturday’s West regional final. Johnson made 10 consecutive free throws over the final 90 seconds as the Wildcats prevailed.
Xavier Thames scored 25 points for fourth-seeded San Diego State (31-5), which let an eight-point second-half lead slip away. Josh Davis grabbed 14 rebounds, Dwayne Polee II added 13 points and Winston Shepard had 11 points.
Johnson was scoreless and it was a one-possession game with less than three minutes remaining when Shepard made a ball-handling miscue and T.J. McConnell (11 points) made the steal with Johnson cashing in with a layup to give Arizona a 56-51 lead. He added a 3-pointer with 1:50 left and followed up with the first two of his free throws to boost the lead to eight and the Aztecs never got closer than three the rest of the way.
San Diego State used a 12-2 surge in the first half to take an eight-point lead and took a 32-28 advantage into the break. The Aztecs again led by eight early in the second half and Arizona finally took its first lead of the half at 50-49 on McConnell’s driving basket with 7:18 remaining.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Johnson, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, missed his first 10 field-goal attempts and went 2-of-12 from the field. … San Diego State collected 18 offensive rebounds and posted a 37-29 edge on the boards. … The Wildcats shot 61.9 percent from the field in the second half to finish at 47.9.
Wisconsin 69, Baylor 52: Frank Kaminsky led the way with 19 points and a career-high six blocks as the Badgers cruised into the Elite Eight with a convincing win over the Bears in Anaheim, Calif.
Kaminsky shot 8-of-11 from the field and Ben Brust added 14 points to help propel second-seeded Wisconsin into Saturday’s West regional final. The Badgers (29-7), who led by double digits for the final 25 minutes, also received 10 points off the bench from freshman Nigel Hayes.
Cory Jefferson recorded 15 points and seven rebounds to lead sixth-seeded Baylor (26-12), which did not reach 10 points until less than seven minutes remained in the first half and did not reach the 20-point plateau until there were a little over 17 minutes left in the game. The Bears’ athleticism was expected to cause problems for the Badgers, but Baylor shot only 31.6 percent from the field, including 2-of-15 from 3-point range, and was outrebounded 39-33.
Baylor scored the game’s first basket and held the lead for 36 seconds until Kaminsky’s layup evened the score for the final time as Wisconsin suffocated the Bears in the first half, holding them to 20 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes en route to a 29-16 advantage at the break. Kaminsky had 10 points and four blocks in the first half and added a three-point play early in the second half as the Badgers continued to pour it on.
Brust’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 51-30 with a little over 10 minutes left and Wisconsin was never threatened down the stretch. Brust finished 3-of-5 from behind the arc and chipped in six rebounds while backcourt mate Traevon Jackson recorded seven points, seven rebounds and five assists to help the Badgers to their 12th win in 14 games.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Wisconsin is in the regional final for the first time since 2005, when it lost to eventual champion North Carolina. … Kenny Chery and Isaiah Austin added 12 points apiece for Baylor, which had averaged 79.5 points in tournament-opening wins against Nebraska and Creighton. … Badgers G Josh Gasser, who was instrumental in his team’s third-round win over Oregon with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, missed all five of his shots in this one and finished with four points. He also had a team-high eight rebounds.