The surprises continued at the NCAAB Championship, with the two remaining 1-seeds sent packing in the last 16.
The third round of the tournament saw overall top seeds Alabama eliminated, quickly followed by a Houston side that were set for home advantage in the last four.
Below is a run-through of the standout displays from the last-16 matchups, which also included a record-breaking turn for Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell.
San Diego State made the last eight of the NCAAB Championship in style, following a 71-64 win over tournament 1-seed Alabama.
The 5-seed underdogs led pretty much throughout the game and they survived late foul trouble to book their place in the next round.
San Diego also limited Alabama’s NBA Draft prospect Brandon Miller to just nine points as he shot 3-19 from the field and 1-11 from three, finishing the game with six turnovers.
After the game, their coach Brian Dutcher hailed the win as a sign of parity across the tournament, which foreshadowed the final 1-seed’s exit.
However, they’ll be hoping for some dominance over 6-seed Creighton in the south regional final. Creighton ended 15-seed Princeton’s incredible run at the tournament, claiming an 86-75 win to make the final eight for the first time since 1941.
With Alabama out, that should have set the stage for a dominant display from Houston as they pushed to make the last four. The final remaining 1-seed would have had home advantage in the semis and final, but they also exited to a 5-seed.
Miami claimed an 89-75 win over UofH, with guards Nijel Pack and Isiah Wong combining for 46 points. However, it was the underdogs’ defensive effort which sent them through.
They routinely defended with every player in the paint and cut out any lanes for Houston to drive into. Miami finished with 29 defensive rebounds to Houston’s 11 offensive rebounds.
Three-point shooting has been a problem for Houston at this tournament and they shot 9-31 collectively, which proved to be the difference against a Miami side which sunk 44% of their attempts from deep.
Before the last round of games, the 1-seeds were priced at +150 to win, with the field at -180. With both sides now out, the final remaining 2-seed, the University of Texas, are the highest-ranked side left at the tournament.
They secured an 83-71 win over Xavier on Friday night, having effectively ended the contest with a 17-point half-time lead.
Texas were able to share the points around and they were clear winners in terms of bench scoring, picking up 35 points from their subs to Xavier’s five.
3-seeds Xavier couldn’t live with the lights-out shooting of their opponents, who hit 58% of their three-point attempts to book their last eight spot.
Kansas State booked their place in the last eight with a dramatic 98-93 overtime win over Michigan State, which included an incredible display from Markquis Nowell.
The guard broke the tournament record for assists, racking up 19 in Madison Square Garden. He also scored 20 points in the victory and produced a decisive late steal to settle the game.
It was a dream display for the Harlem-born guard, who is set to lead 3-seed Kansas State into the regional final in the big apple this weekend.
Coach Dusty May guided Florida Atlantic through to the next round after an upset win over 4-seeds Tennessee. This is the program’s first-ever run to the last eight, having just made their first tournament appearance in 21 years.
Julian Strawther’s three with just 7.2 seconds left on the clock was enough for Gonzaga to edge out UCLA in their last-16 clash.
That was part of a hectic finish to the clash, which saw UCLA miss an opportunity to send the game to overtime. Gonzaga won the #2 vs. #3 seed clash 79-76, which saw Drew Timme drop 36 points, along with 13 rebounds and four assists.
Despite that big win, Gonzaga head into the next round as underdogs once again against 4-seed Connecticut.
UConn are a game away from their first return to the last four in nine years, following a dominant 88-65 win over Arkansas.