March Madness Men's & Women's Roundup
No. 2 seed Duke heads to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament after defeating Creighton, 66-50. North Carolina exits the tournament at the hands of the Kansas Jayhawks for the second straight year.
Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points for the Blue Devils Sunday night and Seth Curry added 17. Several Blue Devils players battled foul trouble throughout the game but Creighton's cold shooting didn't allow them to take advantage. The win means Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will take a team to the round of 16 for the 21st time.
"It's the best defense we've played all year," Krzyzewski said of Creighton.
"Our guys really fought. It was just tough to get buckets. We beat an outstanding team and my kids played really hard and well together. I'm really proud of them."
The Blue Devils will play No. 3 seed Michigan State in a Midwest Region semifinal this Friday in Indianapolis.
Meanwhile, North Carolina's season ended Sunday night when the Tar Heels were eliminated by Kansas, 70-58. P.J. Hairston scored 15 points to lead UNC. James Michael McAdoo finished with 11. Sunday's loss marked the third time since 2008 that the Jayhawks have eliminated North Carolina.
"We've got a chance to be a sensational basketball team again," UNC coach Roy Williams said.
"That doesn't make the feeling I have right now any better. This team, it got beat three or four times this year by really good people by big margins, (but) just kept coming back and we've got a chance to be a sensational basketball team again, but that's not going to help me get through this spring."
The Tar Heels finish the season with a 25-11 record. Duke is the only team from the state of North Carolina remaining in the tournament.
In the women’s NCAA Tournament, both Duke and Carolina celebrated first-round wins this weekend and will advance to the Round of 32. No. 2 seed Duke defeated no. 15 seed Hampton 67-51.
Junior Tricia Liston led the Blue Devils in scoring with 20 points, and sophomore Elizabeth Williams had 18, helping Duke secure their 20th straight NCAA tournament-opening victory. But according to coach Joanne P. McCallie, it wasn’t an easy victory. "The last thing you want is to get the impression that things are easy, because they're just not,'' she said. The Blue Devils will face seventh-seeded Oklahoma State (22-10) on Tuesday night in the second round.
For the Carolina women, the victory was tighter. The no. 3 seed Tar Heels managed to beat 13 seed Albany 59-54 after trailing 28-23 at halftime and 48-44 with just under 10 minutes left.
Tar Heels senior Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored a career-high 30 points, while senior Waltiea Rolle had 14. Coach Sylvia Hatchell was not impressed with her team’s performance. "We survived,” she said. "We're looking forward to playing Tuesday night. Hopefully, we'll play a little better.''
The Tar Heels will face no. 2 seed Delaware on Tuesday.