The first number one seed to get knocked out of the 2015 NCAA Tournament are Villanova, losing to number-eight North Carolina State, sending them home before the Sweet Sixteen, while Kentucky, Arizona and North Carolina didn’t seem to have so much trouble in an excellent day for the ACC, still perfect after three days of basketball.
#8 North Carolina State beat #1 Villanova 71-68: The first number one seed to get ousted in the 2015 tournament, Villanova shot just 31.1% from the field and couldn’t get anything going for then in the half court offense. Trevor Lacey with 17 points led four players scoring in double figures, as the Wolfpack make it to the Sweet 16 for only the third time in the last 26 years.
#1 Kentucky beat #8 Cincinnati 64-51: For about 30 minutes, the Bearcats managed to slow things down and annoy the undefeated Wildcats. But talent and depth made the difference as Kentucky move on to the Sweet Sixteen behind 13 points from Aaron Harrison and another impressive defensive game for Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns.
#2 Arizona beat #10 Ohio State 73-58: It was a sluggish start for Arizona but after a poor first half with 51 combined points, things started going their way and the OSU defense broke down. Gabe York was sharp from long range with 19 points while T.J. McConnell did just about everything with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals, helping the Wildcats make a third consecutive Sweet Sixteen.
#4 North Carolina beat #5 Arkansas 87-78: The potential everyone keep talking about is showing in the tournament, or at least after the second game as the Tar Heels rode the coattails, of Marcus Paige with 22 points, helped out by Justin Jackson with 16 points and ending their short (two-year) Sweet Sixteen drought.
#5 Utah beat #4 Georgetown 75-64: Terrific defense and excellent performance off the bench for Dakarai Tucker and Dallin Bachynski helped the Utes make the Sweet sixteen for the first time in a decade, led by Brandon Taylor with 14 points, shooting an 68.4% on effective field goal ratings, the worst defensive performance by the Hoyas this season.
#3 Notre Dame beat #6 Butler 67-64: The Irish were the final team to play during this day and improved the ACC’s record in the tournament to 9-0, needing another close win (overtime) to make it into the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2003. The Irish shot wonderfully in the clutch and stopped the Bulldogs from scoring in the paint late in the game. Steve Vasturia led them with 20 points; Jerian Grant added 16.
#11 UCLA beat #14 UAB 92-75: After barely making it into the tournament, UCLA seem to be finding their rhythm and playing their best basketball at the right time, getting 28 points and 12 rebounds from Tony Parker to make it consecutive Sweet Sixteen berths. Bryce Alford helped out with 22 points.
#6 Xavier beat #14 Georgia State 75-67: R.J. Hunter and the Panthers’ heroics ended against the Musketeers despite the coach’s son scoring 20 points. Jalen Reynolds had 21 for Xavier off the bench and 17 came from another sub, Myles Davis. Xavier shot 81% from the field in the second half.