NCAA BK

Best of Friday at the Sweet 16

Coaches on Florida's Sweet 16 win over FGCU.
Coaches on Florida's Sweet 16 win over FGCU.
FOX Sports NCAA TOURNAMENT
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Dunk City turned to Clunk City in the Sweet 16.

It wasn't quite midnight in the Central time zone, but the clock struck 12 for Florida Gulf Coast on Friday night against Florida.

FGCU soared to an early 11-point lead before the magic run went south at Cowboys Stadium. Florida used a 16-0 run at the end of the first half to take the lead and went on to a 62-50 win.

''When they started their run, we didn't have the energy we had in the other two games,'' FGCU coach Andy Enfield said. ''We weren't playing with the same fire we were before.''

The Gators will play Michigan on Sunday in the Elite Eight. (Watch a preview here.) The Wolverines staged a rally and downed top-seeed Kansas, 87-85, in overtime behind star point guard Trey Burke, who forced OT with the biggest shot of the tournament:

Duke also is back in the Elite Eight. The Blue Devils proved Tom Izzo's kid right and sent Michigan State home. Imagine that Dunk City had become such a force that the Spartans and Blue Devils were rendered a side attraction. For those interested, Seth Curry is putting on a show, scoring 29 points in the 71-61 win. Now Coach K is one win from his 12th Final Four appearance, which would tie John Wooden's record for a coach. He is tied for second with North Carolina's Dean Smith.

Coach K and Duke will face Rick Pitino and Louisville. The Cards are the last No. 1 seed alive after ousting 12-seeded Oregon, 77-69. Sad to be taking our last look of the season at the Ducks cheerleaders:

Oh what the hell. Let's take another look.

But back to Dunk City. Just when you thought the Eagles had another stunner up their sleeve — two tournament wins and Amanda Marcum make three — that sound you heard was  the glass slipper (stiletto?) shattering.

So does Enfield return to FGCU or will he use this to head off for greener bucks? Hey, with a model for a wife, he'd be reality TV-ready if he gets the UCLA job.

Either way, we're gonna miss Ms. Marcum for the rest of the postseason. (Mrs. Enfield, not so much.) One last look:

Florida had its own dreamer: Mike Rosario, a Rutgers transfer, who had 15 points and five rebounds Friday. And add this playground-smarts play to his highlight reel.

 

 

BURKE'S TREY SAVES THE DAY

 

If Florida Gulf Coast was Cinderella, then what does that make Michigan after the Wolverines' fairy-tale performance in a stirring, 87-85 overtime victory over Kansas Friday night in a South Region game at Cowboys Stadium?

It was a real ballbuster from the start, with Kansas' Elijah Johnson seemingly guilty of a Johnson-on-johnson crime against Michigan's Mitch McGary.

After McGary was called for a foul while seemingly cleanly blocking a shot, one of the Wolverines' former football stars weighed in on Twitter.

Burke was scoreless in the first half and was 1-of-8 from 3-point range before sinking the shot to tie the contest.

And the Wolverine gridder weighed in, again.

 

 

And overtime... brought out Olympians.

 

 

Burke, who finished with 23 points and 10 assists, inspired Jen Floyd Engel to take a shot at Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, whose stadium played host to this game, and his $100 million man Tony Romo.

''We never had the mindset that we were going to lose the game,'' Burke said. ''When we were down 14, we knew anything could still happen. It's March, anything can happen.''

And after the overtime win, the gleaming eyes of Michiganers turn to the Spartans. With a final word from our tweeting ex-Michigan gridder.

 

MY CARDINALS KNOW ABOUT RICK

Another top seed was in action and didn't have as much trouble. Louisville roared out of the gate, rolled to a double-digit lead and kept Oregon at bay in a Midwest Region game.

Pitino, for the record, is 11-0 in Sweet 16 games now. And as FOXSports.com columnist Greg Couch pointed out, winning makes up for plenty of sinning.

Russ Smith had 31 points for the Cardinals, including 12-of-14 from the line. You don't want to foul him if a game gets close down the stretch.

Oh, and if you think Louisville fans didn't have enough to savor, they can enjoy this:

While Pitino was advancing to the Elite Eight, Kentucky coach John Calipari was reduced to:



Tagged: Marquette, Louisville, Oregon, Arizona, Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan, Duke, Florida, Ohio, Wichita State, Davidson, Duquesne, Syracuse, Miami (FL), Kansas, Elijah Johnson, Durand Scott, Seth Curry, Reggie Johnson, Raphael Akpejiori, Jerry Jones, Vander Blue, Davante Gardner, Aaron Craft, Russ Smith, Victor Oladipo

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