Kansas No. 3 in Bleacher Report's Elite Eight power rankings

Duke shakes Syracuse but Orange refuse to go quietly

Duke shakes Syracuse but Orange refuse to go quietly

Basketball-rich Villanova, Duke and Kansas are here with a combined 34 Final Four appearances and 10 national titles.

This is how Kansas enters what now feels like an annual audition for the NCAA Tournament's biggest stage, with a 80-76 win over Clemson on Friday that was closer than it should've been. The Jayhawks had a 20 point lead over the Tigers, but saw that lead shrink to just six points with 2.27 left. By the time Elite Eight defeat finally did happen, Krzyzewski was on to one of the finer secrets of the coaching profession, one explained through the years by other coaches such as Billy Donovan and Tom Izzo: Once you've done it yourself, you just want to do it mostly for those with whom you're collaborating.

The two top seeds in the Midwest have reached the regional final. just as we all expected, right? Purdue extended their lead to five, but Texas Tech went on a 10-point run to end the half (30-25). Freshman forward Omari Spellman made 4-of-7 from 3-point range on his way to an 18-point, eight-rebound night for the Wildcats. That was followed by Daxter Miles being whistled for his third and fourth fouls over a two minute stretch that sent him to the bench with 15 minutes remaining. The Seminoles are surprisingly on the brink of the second Final Four in school history after extending the momentum from their upset of top-seeded Xavier last week by knocking out Gonzaga.

"The NCAA Tournament lasts for days, and when Carolina or Duke is in the finals, as one of them has been the past three years, it's true madness then", Fletcher said. Then Texas Tech beat the hell out of them in Lawrence and it looked like the streak was on its way to over.

For the third year in a row, Kansas made it through the Sweet 16 - although not before Clemson tried its hardest to add another wild chapter to an already unbelievable tournament.

Kansas made it through the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row as a No1 seed after surviving a late scare and beating fifth-seeded Clemson 80-76 in a Midwest region semi-final.

Malik Newman led the Jayhawks with 17 points in a win that won't mean much if KU can't finish the job in Sunday's regional final. This is the sixth time Bill Self's team has been seeded first since winning it all in 2008, but the Jayhawks haven't made the Final Four in that span. The Red Raiders are trying to follow the example of SC last season, coming out of nowhere to make the Final Four for the first time.

"When there's hollering going on when two nonlocal teams play, you can tell someone's bracket just got busted for good".

"But we should play free and loose on Sunday".

Kansas didn't score on the possession, and the Tigers got the next board for a chance to cut it to a one-possession game.

Kansas point guard Devonte Graham said having Azubuike in the lineup and playing at nearly 100 percent makes a major difference. Devonte' Graham came 2nd with 16 points and 4 assists while Udoka Azubuike added 14 points on 7 of 9 shooting with 11 rebounds and a pair of blocks for the double-double. A last second three-point play would win the game and save their season.

"Congratulate Kansas", Brad Brownell said. KU led Clemson 40-27 at halftime.

That lead ballooned to 20 points at 49-29 with 18:07 left, as KU's Vick, Newman and Graham knocked down 3s in the early moments of the second half. Third-seeded MI was the only favorite to win on Thursday night as 11th-seeded Loyola Chicago, ninth-seeded Kansas State and ninth-seeded Florida State all advanced to the Elite Eight. But the Tigers reached the regional semifinals for the first time since 1997 even after losing Donte Grantham, perhaps their best player. Chances are, Villanova will make a big run against Texas Tech at some point in the game. The Tigers didn't turn it over once down the stretch, and they finished 14 of 19 at the free throw line - which was a strong point all year. "No matter how many games you've won, if you haven't gone there, it's an empty feeling". We were able to throw the ball over the top and get a couple easy dunks and that's what he does.

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