NCAA Tournament: Kansas holds off Clemson; Villanova victorious

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A year ago, the top-seeded Jayhawks lost to OR in nearby Kansas City in the Elite Eight.

Are any top seeds at risk this evening?

However, he led Kansas with four assists and four rebounds to help the top-seeded Jayhawks to a 40-27 lead at the break. Only this time, Bill Self intends to leave with a Final Four bid.

"I just love making free throws", the freshman deadpanned. I do expect this game to be extremely close but I think that Kansas will squeak out a victory. Plop, plop, plop. Not for them, and maybe that's why they rolled up a 20-point lead on Clemson before scuffling to the finish line to win 80-76.

"Two Hall of Fame coaches, two great programs, two sets of great players", said Grant Hill, who coincidentally is Turner's TV analyst in Omaha this weekend and will call Sunday's showdown at the CenturyLink Center. Down 62-42, Clemson engineered a 26-12 run to pull to within just six after Shelton Mitchell's second dunk of the season.

Kansas didn't score after Graham's rebound, and the Tigers got the next board for a chance to cut it to a one-possession game.

Clemson guard Gabe DeVoe did not come this far to have his college career end like this.

DeVoe had a career-high 31 for Clemson (25-10), which couldn't replicate the magic it showed in beating Auburn by 31 to reach its first Sweet 16 in 21 years.

Triad-area employees likely were contributing to that productivity loss, given that Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and UNC Greensboro all played first-round games in the afternoon.

More news: Top seeds Villanova, Kansas advance to Elite Eight

Clemson, which trailed Kansas by as many as 20 points early in the second half, shot 43 percent and went just 6 for 20 from 3-point range.

Jalen Brunson scored 27 points to lead the Wildcats to a 90-78 victory over fifth-seeded West Virginia.

Graham sat out more than four minutes in the second half after picking up his third foul.

DeVoe scored 22 points in each of the first two games of the NCAA Tournament to lead the Tigers into the Sweet 16 for the first time in more than 20 years.

KU (30-7), which has fallen short the past two seasons, losing to Villanova and OR as the No. 1 seed in consecutive Elite Eight contests, got 14 points and 11 rebounds in 25 foul-plagued minutes from a seemingly healthy Udoka Azubuike. Brownell would credit Kansas with "a really good gear" and an enviable tempo. "He never gave up", senior Donte Grantham said. Kansas inbounded to Graham, who was fouled and made both his shots. Clemson has spent money on facilities to become a basketball school - but will it ever get out of the shadow cast by the football team?

Duke 69, Syracuse 65 - The Blue Devils are back in the Elite Eight for the first time since its 2015 team won it all after holding off a late charge from the Orange.

That will bring Duke, a 69-65 victor over Syracuse, and that will ratchet up the meaning of Azubuike in the middle, what with Kansas's four-and-one approach this season differing from so many of Self's past teams and what with the margin for error not thick. Purdue came in ranked second nationally in 3-point percentage and connected on 7 of 18 for the game.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Teaira McCowan had 24 points and 15 rebounds, Victoria Vivians added 14 points and top-seeded Mississippi State routed North Carolina State 71-57 on Friday night to reach the Elite Eight of the women's NCAA Tournament. Udoka Azubuike looked strong in his first start of the tournament with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Graham, despite a couple of early disappointments that led to non-league defeats, has been every bit an All-American.

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