Top 8 seeds earn clean sweep to Sweet 16
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Top 8 seeds earn clean sweep to Sweet 16

The Houston Cougars breathed a sigh of relief, celebrating their latest Sweet 16 berth.What looked like a victory in hand turned into an overtime thriller in the span of two minutes.Video above: How an arena prepares to host NCAA Tournament Emanuel Sharp started overtime with a 3-pointer that put Houston ahead to stay as the top-seeded Cougars advanced to the Sweet 16 back in Texas by topping No. 9 seed Texas A&M 100-95 on Sunday night.Houston coach Kelvin Sampson credited playing this debut season in the Big 12, filled with lots of close games, with having his Cougars ready for this game.“We’re very fortunate tonight to win. Texas A&M could’ve won that game,” Sampson said. “But only one team can advance. I’ve learned not to autopsy wins at this time of the year. So we move on.”The Aggies forced overtime with a furious rally, outscoring Houston 17-5 in the final two minutes of regulation. Andersson Garcia beat the buzzer with his ninth 3-pointer of the season, and then was mobbed by his teammates.“Obviously, it’s a shot that will go down in Texas A&M lore,” Aggies coach Buzz Williams said. “It was to tie. It wasn’t to win, you know?”Sampson called the final two minutes of regulation “Murphy’s Law,” with missed free throws and the ball bouncing everywhere. “They didn’t miss a 3,” Sampson said. “And they didn’t make an easy one. They were all hard 3’s.”Sharp fouled out after his 3, finishing with 30 points. His teammates outscored Texas A&M 7-1 to start the extra session and close it out.The win by Houston (32-4) means all eight teams seeded 1 and 2 advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time since the NCAA tourney started seeding in 1979. The top eight seeds also advanced in 2019, 2009, 1995 and 1989.The Cougars will play Duke, a 93-55 winner over James Madison, on Friday in Dallas in the South Region semifinals. This will be Houston’s fifth straight Sweet 16 and 16th all-time.Another No. 1 seed that advanced on Sunday was UConn.Donovan Clingan, Tristen Newton and the top-seeded Huskies overwhelmed an undermanned Northwestern team 75-58 on Sunday night to sail into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.Newton had 20 points and 10 assists, and Clingan finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks. Connecticut led wire-to-wire and became the first defending national champion to reach the regional semifinals since Duke in 2016.“Just obviously impressed with the performance. Just really attacked them in the paint,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. “Obviously, the injuries that they have sustained during the year changed the total complexion of that team.”The Huskies (33-3) built a 30-point cushion with 13:27 left and matched a program record for wins set by the 2013-14 national title squad. They’ll play Thursday night in the East Region semifinals against No. 5 seed San Diego State in Boston, about an 85-mile drive from UConn’s campus.The Huskies beat a fifth-seeded San Diego State squad 76-59 in last year’s national championship game. They lost Adama Sanogo, Jordan Hawkins and Andre Jackson Jr. to the NBA from that talented team, but this balanced and focused group has looked even more dominant as it attempts to become the first program to repeat as NCAA champion since Florida in 2007.

The Houston Cougars breathed a sigh of relief, celebrating their latest Sweet 16 berth.

What looked like a victory in hand turned into an overtime thriller in the span of two minutes.

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Video above: How an arena prepares to host NCAA Tournament

Emanuel Sharp started overtime with a 3-pointer that put Houston ahead to stay as the top-seeded Cougars advanced to the Sweet 16 back in Texas by topping No. 9 seed Texas A&M 100-95 on Sunday night.

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson credited playing this debut season in the Big 12, filled with lots of close games, with having his Cougars ready for this game.

“We’re very fortunate tonight to win. Texas A&M could’ve won that game,” Sampson said. “But only one team can advance. I’ve learned not to autopsy wins at this time of the year. So we move on.”

The Aggies forced overtime with a furious rally, outscoring Houston 17-5 in the final two minutes of regulation. Andersson Garcia beat the buzzer with his ninth 3-pointer of the season, and then was mobbed by his teammates.

“Obviously, it’s a shot that will go down in Texas A&M lore,” Aggies coach Buzz Williams said. “It was to tie. It wasn’t to win, you know?”

Sampson called the final two minutes of regulation “Murphy’s Law,” with missed free throws and the ball bouncing everywhere.

“They didn’t miss a 3,” Sampson said. “And they didn’t make an easy one. They were all hard 3’s.”

Sharp fouled out after his 3, finishing with 30 points. His teammates outscored Texas A&M 7-1 to start the extra session and close it out.

The win by Houston (32-4) means all eight teams seeded 1 and 2 advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time since the NCAA tourney started seeding in 1979. The top eight seeds also advanced in 2019, 2009, 1995 and 1989.

The Cougars will play Duke, a 93-55 winner over James Madison, on Friday in Dallas in the South Region semifinals. This will be Houston’s fifth straight Sweet 16 and 16th all-time.

Another No. 1 seed that advanced on Sunday was UConn.

Donovan Clingan, Tristen Newton and the top-seeded Huskies overwhelmed an undermanned Northwestern team 75-58 on Sunday night to sail into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Newton had 20 points and 10 assists, and Clingan finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks. Connecticut led wire-to-wire and became the first defending national champion to reach the regional semifinals since Duke in 2016.

“Just obviously impressed with the performance. Just really attacked them in the paint,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. “Obviously, the injuries that they have sustained during the year changed the total complexion of that team.”

The Huskies (33-3) built a 30-point cushion with 13:27 left and matched a program record for wins set by the 2013-14 national title squad. They’ll play Thursday night in the East Region semifinals against No. 5 seed San Diego State in Boston, about an 85-mile drive from UConn’s campus.

The Huskies beat a fifth-seeded San Diego State squad 76-59 in last year’s national championship game. They lost Adama Sanogo, Jordan Hawkins and Andre Jackson Jr. to the NBA from that talented team, but this balanced and focused group has looked even more dominant as it attempts to become the first program to repeat as NCAA champion since Florida in 2007.

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