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MEN'S NCAA TOURNAMENT: San Diego State, Miami eliminate last of the No. 1 seeds

Houston and No. 1 overall seed Alabama fall ensuring the first Elite Eight in tournament history without a No. 1 seed

San Diego State players and staff react to defeating Alabama in the NCAA Tournament South Regional semifinals March 24, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky.
San Diego State players and staff react to defeating Alabama in the NCAA Tournament South Regional semifinals March 24, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jamie Rhodes / USA Today Sports

San Diego State kicked No. 1 overall seed Alabama out of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Elite Eight โ€” the first-ever berth for a Mountain West Conference team.

A 71-64 win sends the fifth-seeded Aztecs into the South Region final on Sunday.

Alabama All-American Brandon Miller was almost entirely erased in the second half, shooting 1 of 10 and finishing with nine points and six turnovers.

San Diego State's Darrion Trammell had a game-high 21 points, making nine of his 16 attempts from the field and 3 of 5 from 3-point range.

San Diego State's relentless, stranglehold defense and balanced offensive attack combined to quiet the Crimson Tide, who made 3 of 27 3-point attempts and just 14 of 28 layups, a testament to the Aztecs' static-cling

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Alabama (31-6) was led by Mark Sears' 16 points and 10 rebounds. Miller (3 of 19), Sears (4 of 11), Jahvon Quinerly (4 of 13) couldn't catch fire and the Crimson Tide shot 32.4% for the game.

Matt Bradley hit two free throws with 45 seconds left that allowed San Diego State (30-6) to exhale slightly after consecutive empty possessions. Bradley's pair put the Aztecs up by four, and San Diego State got the ball back after a review upheld the out of bounds call on the floor with 34.5 ticks remaining.

San Diego State's Micah Parrish made 3 of 4 free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win.

Alabama gathered a missed free throw and Sears rebounded a missed 3 all alone for a layup and 66-64 score, pushing closer after the previous possession was decided on a held ball out of a trap in front of the Alabama bench gave possession to the Crimson Tide and Sears converted a three-point play to make it 66-62 San Diego State with 1:08 left.

No. 5 Miami 89, No. 1 Houston 75

Miami guard Jordan Miller (left) attempts a shot as Houston forward Reggie Chaney moves in to defend during the second half of an NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional semifinal March 24, 2023, in Kansas City.
Miami guard Jordan Miller (left) attempts a shot as Houston forward Reggie Chaney moves in to defend during the second half of an NCAA Tournament game March 24, 2023, in Kansas City.
William Purnell / USA Today Sports

Nijel Pack scored 26 points to lead fifth-seeded Miami past top-seeded Houston in the Midwest Region semifinals Friday night.

The 89 points were the most Houston has given up all season. The previous high was 77.

The Cougars (33-4) came into the game ranked second in Division I at 56.6 points allowed per game, but Miami stormed past that mark with 12:53 left in the game.

Houston was the last remaining No. 1 seed in this year's tournament. With Alabama's 71-64 loss earlier in the evening to San Diego State in the South Region semifinals, 2023 will be the first time since 2011 that no No. 1 seeds will reach the Final Four. Texas is the final No. 2 seed in the field.

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Miami had a total of five players score in double figures. Besides Pack, Isaiah Wong had 20 points, Jordan Miller 13, Norchad Omier 12 and Wooga Poplar 11. Omier grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.

Houston was led by Jarace Walker with 16 points. Jamal Shead added 15, and Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark each had 14.

Miami scored the first five points of the second half to open its largest lead to that point at 47-36. However, Shead's first seven points of the game helped Houston climb back to within four points.

After Houston trimmed the deficit to two, Miami stretched the lead to 70-53 points thanks to three 3-pointers from Pack in a 19-4 run.

The Cougars could get no closer than 11 points the rest of the game.

Miami took a 42-36 lead into halftime. Houston owned the nation's best field goal percentage defense (36.1%), but it allowed the Hurricanes to shoot 46.9% (15-for-32) before the break, including 42.9% (6-for-14) from 3-point range.

Miami ended the night at 51.7% from the floor, 44% (11 of 25) from long distance. Houston shot 37.5% overall, 29% (9 of 31) from beyond the arc.

No. 6 Creighton 86, No. 15 Princeton 75

Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner (11) dribbles against Princeton forward Keeshawn Kellman (32) during the second half of the NCAA Tournament South Regional semifinal March 24, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner (11) dribbles against Princeton forward Keeshawn Kellman (32) during the second half of the NCAA Tournament South Regional semifinal March 24, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jamie Rhodes / USA Today Sports

Another virtuoso offensive performance showed the world why sixth-seeded Creighton was a preseason top-10 team โ€” and what its potential is now.

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Ryan Kalkbrenner dropped 22 points, Baylor Scheierman added 21 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting and Creighton shot 58.2% to take down 15th-seeded Princeton in the South Region semifinals on Friday in Louisville.

Creighton made its second Elite Eight in program history โ€” the first came in 1941, when the tournament had just eight teams โ€” and will vie for its first trip to the Final Four.

The high-octane Bluejays made 32 of 55 shots, including Kalkbrenner's 9 of 12 and Scheierman's 8 of 11. Scheierman added nine rebounds as the Bluejays outrebounded Princeton 37-26 and never trailed by more than four points.

Trey Alexander scored 19 points, Arthur Kaluma had 10 and Ryan Nembhard put up nine points and eight assists for Creighton.

Princeton (23-9) was vying to become the second No. 15 seed ever to make the Elite Eight, but they couldn't match the feat of New Jersey neighbor Saint Peter's last year.

Ryan Langborg led the Tigers with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting, and Tosan Evbuomwan supplied 24 points, nine assists and six rebounds.

Creighton made eight shots in a row en route to a 10-for-13 start from the floor and a 24-16 lead. Then the Tigers' Caden Pierce waltzed in for an open dunk, which began to turn the tide for Princeton.

Evbuomwan made his first of two 3-point attempts after he had made nine all season prior to Friday. He scored or assisted on 13 of Princeton's 19 made field goals in the first half.

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Langborg's 3-pointer with 5:51 left in the half put Princeton back on top, and Evbuomwan assisted Blake Peters on a triple 56 seconds later for a 37-33 lead.

Scheierman soon responded with a 3-pointer to start a 12-5 Creighton run to end the half, with Kalkbrenner scoring the Bluejays' last seven. Creighton led 47-43 at intermission after shooting 62.1% to Princeton's 51.4%.

Kalkbrenner threw home an alley-oop dunk and added a free throw early in the second half. Creighton grew the gap as wide as 68-52 with 12:28 remaining.

Princeton got within seven once thanks to four straight points by Evbuomwan. However, Kalkbrenner dropped in a layup and added a wide-open, two-handed dunk with 1:14 left to ice the game.

No. 2 Texas 83, No. 3 Xavier 71

Texas guard Sir'Jabari Rice (10) attempts a shot against Xavier forward Jack Nunge (24) during the first half of an NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional semifinal game March 24, 2023, in Kansas City.
Texas guard Sir'Jabari Rice (10) attempts a shot against Xavier forward Jack Nunge (24) during the first half of an NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional semifinal game March 24, 2023, in Kansas City.
Jay Biggerstaff / USA Today Sports

Tyrese Hunter scored 19 points, Marcus Carr added 18 points and six assists and Texas never trailed while cruising to victory over Xavier in Midwest Region semifinal play on Friday night in Kansas City.

Christian Bishop also had 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for second-seeded Texas (29-8), which advances to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008. Sir'Jabari Rice added 16 points and Timmy Allen had 11 for the Longhorns.

Texas will face fifth-seeded Miami (28-7) on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four.

Adam Kunkel scored 21 points and Jack Nunge had 15 points and 10 rebounds for third-seeded Xavier (27-10). Colby Jones also scored 15 points and Souley Boum added 12 for the Musketeers, who lost for just the second time in the past nine games.

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Texas big man Dylan Disu, who averaged 22.5 points and 10 rebounds over the Longhorns' first two NCAA Tournament games, attempted to play through a left foot injury but was unsuccessful. Disu departed after 94 seconds to be examined in the locker room and later returned to the bench with a boot on his foot.

The Longhorns shot 52.5% from the field, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range.

Xavier made 43.8% of its shots and was 7 of 17 from behind the arc.

Texas led by 17 at halftime and the advantage stood at 51-33 after Hunter's 3-pointer with 16:07 left in the game.

Carr and Hunter later made consecutive treys to push the lead to 20 for the first time at 61-41 with 11:59 remaining. Texas added four more points to complete a 10-0 run and lead by a game-high 24 with 10:49 remaining.

Xavier scored 14 of the next 19 points to move within 15 before Bishop scored on a dunk and Hunter added two free throws to make it 74-55 with 5:04 left. The Musketeers again narrowed the gap in the final minutes.

Allen banked in a 3-pointer from just inside halfcourt as time expired to give the Longhorns a 42-25 halftime advantage.

Carr scored 15 points, including 11 in the first 10:02 as Texas took a 20-12 lead. Carr later added consecutive baskets as the Longhorns expanded the lead to 34-18 with 3:14 left.

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Texas shot 53.1% (17 of 32) from the field in the first half, while Xavier made just 27.3% (9 of 33).

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