NCAA TOURNAMENT: Ross lifts Ohio State over Arizona
LaQuinton Ross hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2 seconds to play, and Ohio State moved within one win of its second straight Final Four appearance with a 73-70 victory over Arizona on Thursday in the West Regional semifinals.
Ross scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half for second-seeded Ohio State (29-7), which rallied from an early 11-point deficit and weathered the sixth-seeded Wildcats’ late charge for its 11th consecutive victory.
Deshaun Thomas scored 20 points for Ohio State, and Aaron Craft added 13 before ceding the Buckeyes’ final shot to Ross. Craft hit an awfully similar 3-pointer against Iowa State on Sunday to send Ohio State forward.
Mark Lyons’ acrobatic three-point play for the Wildcats (27-8) had tied it with 21.8 seconds left.
Ohio State plays Wichita State on Saturday for a spot in the Final Four.
WICHITA ST. 72, LA SALLE 58: Wichita State went from sweet to elite in the West Regional, beating La Salle to reach the final eight of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 32 years.
Malcolm Armstead scored 18 points, Carl Hall added 16 and freshman Ron Baker 13 for the ninth-seeded Shockers.
Wichita State (29-8) tied the school’s 2010-11 team for most victories, and these Shockers have designs on next matching what the 1965 team did — reaching the Final Four.
Jerrell Wright and Tyrone Garland led La Salle (24-10) with 16 points each.
SYRACUSE 61, INDIANA 50: With its 2-3 zone defense disruptive from start to finish, and Michael Carter-Williams pouring in 24 points, fourth-seeded Syracuse upset No. 1 seed Indiana to reach the East Regional final.
Syracuse limited Indiana to its lowest point total of the season, forced 19 turnovers, blocked 10 shots and held the normally efficient Hoosiers (29-7) to 33 percent shooting.
Syracuse (29-9) will face No. 3 seed Marquette on Saturday for a berth in the Final Four.
MARQUETTE 71, MIAMI 61: After sweating through a pair of edge-of-your-seat comebacks early in the NCAA tournament, Vander Blue and Marquette figured out how to put one away early as the Golden Eagles earned their first trip to the Elite Eight since 2003 with a victory over Miami in the East Regional.
Blue, who spurred the rallies that beat Davidson by one and Butler by two, finished with 14 points. He wasn’t Marquette’s leading scorer — that was Jamil Wilson with 16 — but it was Blue’s offensive and defensive energy that pushed the Golden Eagles (26-8) to a double-digit lead in the first half.
Miami (29-7) made only 35 percent of its field goals and missed 18 of 26 3-point attempts.