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Top seeds Villanova, Kansas advance to Elite Eight

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NCAA Predictions: Will Villanova cover vs. West Virginia? 3/23/18

Carter finished with 12 points on five-of-16 shooting including one-of-five from three and eight assists.

It's also a journey that came to an end on Friday night with a loss to Villanova in the Sweet 16.

"What a game, man". Coach Hugs, man, he gave me an opportunity, like I said. "That was the most physically demanding, mentally draining 40 minutes we've played in a long time. They are so relentless".

But 'Nova then ripped off an 11-0 run to take a 65-60 lead with 9:03 left.

"Press Virginia" was in full effect from the start causing nine Villanova turnovers in the first half and turning the game into a grind. "But there's nobody like West Virginia's pressure", said assistant coach Ash Howard, who handled the Wildcats' scouting of the Mountaineers. "I was just trying to take the right shots and be aggressive". After Carter recorded a steal and a layup with just over 11 minutes remaining to put West Virginia up by six, Wright called a timeout to remind his players why they had made it this far.

The Wildcats kept the momentum going, stretching the lead to 76-66 on a 3-pointer by Brunson. "We didn't make open shots". Each of them were tasked with helping to change the culture at West Virginia as well as the brand of play.

We know we can make the right play. We missed shots but we got to the foul line. And even though Villanova walked back to the locker room with a 44-42 lead at the break, its players looked frustrated that they weren't up more.

Daxter Miles Jr. scored 16 for the Mountaineers before fouling out with just over two minutes left. The Wildcats converted their first six field goal attempts but the Mountaineers were almost as productive. They just fought. And they'll have one more fight in Boston to get to San Antonio, Texas.

Wright said he never lost faith in his team. "We were just looking to come out and run offense and score".

For the third year in a row, Kansas made it through the Sweet 16 - although not before Clemson tried its hardest to add another wild chapter to an already unbelievable tournament.

As a top seed the last two seasons, Kansas made it through the regional semifinals, only to flop a game shy of the Final Four both times.

Since the pair arrived, WVU has won at least 25 games each season, has gone to the NCAA Tournament each season and has advanced to the Sweet 16 in three of their four seasons. I mean we expect that of him. The Tigers got the ball with a chance to cut it to a one-possession game, but misfired on back-to-back 3s.

Still, it could've ended on Friday - in horrifying fashion - after Clemson stormed back from a 20-point deficit that stunned a crowd filled mostly with fans from Lawrence and surrounding areas, which are only a few hours from Omaha. But it was a string of crucial plays down the stretch from the frontcourt duo of Eric Paschall (14 points) and freshman Omari Spellman (18 points) that ensured Villanova's rally. The Jayhawks led 62-42, but the Tigers pulled within six with 2:27 remaining before Devonte Graham grabbed a huge offensive rebound that allowed Kansas to kill nearly a full minute off the clock. You have to get into the game and adjust. But Shelton Mitchell and Gabe DeVoe each missed from beyond the arc. So you don't want it to happen for the first time in a final eight game. The lead grew to 11 after another 3 by Spellman and two free throws by Brunson with 2:12 to play.

All that talk about busted brackets and the maddest March ever - not happening in the Midwest.

He liked what he saw.

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Then the second half started.

"For me, it's been everything", Carter said, voice cracking.

"These two guys are, they're at the head of that class though. Thank goodness they got out of it".

But Syracuse stayed in it until the end.

Syracuse is no typical 11, and this was a zone-centric battle of wits between two of the most renowned coaches in the game.

Carter was called for his third with 17:33 left in the game.

BOSTON (AP) - Chris Beard has done it to Purdue again.

The second game matched the Purdue Boilermakers against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Texas Tech will play top seed Villanova in the East regional final Sunday.

In the end, it was not enough to stop Villanova from reaching the Elite eight with a 90-78 victory.

Villanova looks like the team to beat now in an NCAA Tournament where No. 1 seeds keep dropping like flies.

This time, No. 2 seed Purdue (30-7) was hoping to join Villanova in the Elite Eight, getting 30 points from Carsen Edwards and 12 points and 13 rebounds from Vincent Edwards.

But Beard was in their way again.

Brunson, who was named an NABC First Team All-American earlier this week, led the way with 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from long range.

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