Dayton beats Stanford to reach first Elite Eight since ’84

AP

Like a red and blue blur, the Dayton Flyers were pressing and passing, shooting and scoring. The waves never seemed to stop coming, with 10, 11 and then 12 players giving them quality minutes.

An exhausted and foul-plagued Stanford simply couldn’t keep up.

The underdog Flyers — the No. 11 seed in the South Region — are now in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984 after an emphatic 82-72 victory Thursday night.

“We had 11 guys score in the game and from top to bottom, we kept coming and coming,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “The way they shared the ball and moved the ball . . . it was a true team effort. It’s nice that on the biggest stage, we acted like ourselves.”

Jordan Sibert scored 18 points and freshman Kendall Pollard added a season-high 12 as Dayton (26-10) made sure this one wasn’t particularly close after slipping by in the first two rounds. Sibert was spectacular, slashing to the basket and draining 3-pointers, to help the Flyers lead for almost the entire night.

Dayton showed its depth early, using a dozen players in the first half to wear down Stanford.

“They were relentless,” Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said. “That’s the best way I can put it.”

No. 10 seed Stanford (23-13) had the superior post play, but it wasn’t enough. Chasson Randle led the Cardinal with 21 points, but shot 5 of 21 from the field. Dwight Powell added 17 and Stefan Nastic — who fouled out with more than five minutes left — had 15.

Dayton, the last remaining of the six Atlantic 10 teams in the field of 68, will play top overall seed Florida on Saturday.

Florida 79, UCLA 68

In Memphis, Michael Frazier II hit five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points as Florida reached its fourth consecutive NCAA regional final.

The Gators (35-2) also extended the best winning streak in school history to 29 straight in reaching the South Regional final.

UCLA (28-9) was back in a regional semifinal for the first time since 2008 under first-year coach Steve Alford.

Jordan Adams led the Bruins with 17 points, while Kyle Anderson had 11 and five assists with nine rebounds. Travis Wear added 14 points.

WEST REGIONAL

Wisconsin 69, Baylor 52

In Anaheim, Frank Kaminsky scored 19 points and blocked six shots, and Wisconsin romped.

Ben Brust hit three 3-pointers and scored 14 points for the second-seeded Badgers (29-7), who jumped to a 14-point lead in the first half and never let up on the overmatched Bears (26-12).

Kaminsky and his disciplined teammates shredded the Baylor zone defense that played so well in the first two games. Wisconsin also methodically shut down Baylor’s talented offense while moving into its second regional final in 13 years under Bo Ryan, who has never reached a Final Four in a 700-win coaching career.

Cory Jefferson scored 15 points for the sixth-seeded Bears, who did little with their third Sweet 16 trip in five years.

Arizona 70, San Diego State 64

In Anaheim, Nick Johnson scored all of his 15 points in the last 2:45, after missing his first 10 shots, and Arizona rallied to advance to the final eight.

Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 15 points each for the top-seeded Wildcats (33-4).

Xavier Thames scored 25 points and Dwayne Polee added 13 points for the Aztecs (31-5).

Arizona coach Sean Miller joined his brother Archie in the final eight. The younger Miller coached Dayton to the aforementioned victory over Stanford.