Zion Williamson's go-ahead basket helps Duke beat North Carolina in thriller

The Blue Devils also got sparks from spot-duty reserves like Jordan Goldwire and Antonio Vrankovic, with Goldwire playing more than 27 minutes to provide energy and defensive help when Johnson got hot early. NC Central and North Dakota will play each other Wednesday in a First Four game in Dayton, Ohio. The West Region concludes March 28-30 in Anaheim, California.

Picking a ideal bracket has become a almost impossible act, the ritual of ripping up brackets an annual rite of the NCAA Tournament. I think we went up one, but Florida State played well. "It's a great day".

Gonzaga: This isn't a No. 1 team we are picking against.

In the next few days we'll dig deeper into which of these teams are the best picks for value plays and different types of pools.

Initially appearing to have a quiet half, junior guard Kyle Guy started to find his rhythm late in the half for a team-high 11 points.

Duke's run to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title with a healthy Zion Williamson was enough to make the Blue Devils the No. 1 overall seed.

After missing the last five games due to a knee injury he suffered while blowing out his shoe against UNC on February 20, many in the media industry believed Williamson shouldn't play another college game. The Bulldogs are averaging 88.8 points this season, led by bigs Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke - who combine for an average of 36.6 points. "It's something we're all used to by now". "It's very evident what we need to fix, and we'll be ready come next week". But seeing as they've done it before it's feasible that they can do it again on the big stage. "They were created to be stronger and more supportive for the 6'7", 284-pound star.

Markus Howard, Marquette's 5-foot-9 shoot-from-anywhere guard, is the nation's fifth-leading scorer at 25 points per game.

(22) AUBURN 81, MISSOURI 71: Bryce Brown scored all 17 of his points in the second half, and Auburn (23-9) beat Missouri (15-17) in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Nashville, Tennessee. Most are saying he will be the first overall pick in the 2019 National Basketball Association draft if he leaves Duke after just one season. A Garrison Brooks layup stretched UNC's lead to 10 points before Louisville answered with a 3-pointer.

Block out time on your calendar for this game Thursday in Hartford, Connecticut. They defended well. They were sound, and tonight they were the tougher team, or more physical.

With the score tied at halftime, the two teams went back-and-forth at a frenetic rate. MI opened its season with 17 straight wins after playing for a national championship last season and made it to the Big Ten title game.

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED: North Carolina has been fueled by senior leadership this year while Duke has leaned on freshmen.

Murray State features the best player most folks have never heard of, flashy playmaker Ja Morant, and should be able to stay with Marquette, perhaps pull off the mild upset.

Whatever team gets through the West will have earned it.

Temple found itself on the NCAA Tournament bubble after losing its AAC tournament opener to Wichita State. They were trying to beat Duke three times in a season for the first time since 1976, though Williamson's nearly complete absence had left a bit of a question how they might respond against Duke once he returned.

(25) VILLANOVA 73, PROVIDENCE 62: Eric Paschall had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Villanova (23-9) took control in final nine minutes to beat Providence (18-15) in the quarterfinals of the Big East Conference tournament at NY.

  • Julie Sanders