Syracuse, North Carolina fill out Final Four
PHILADELPHIA — North Carolina will be making a record 19th trip to the Final Four when it plays Syracuse in a national semifinal next Saturday in Houston. The Tar Heels, top seed in the East, became the only No. 1 seed to make it to the Final Four by outlasting Notre Dame 88-74 to win the East Regional behind 25 points and 12 rebounds from Brice Johnson.
Syracuse is in the Final Four for the second time in four years. The 10th-seeded Orange became the fifth double-digit seed in NCAA tournament his to reach the Final Four after they stunned top seed Virginia 68-62 by outscoring the Cavaliers 29-87 in the final nine and a-half minutes. Malachi Richardson scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half.
The other two spots in the national semifinals in Houston were determined Saturday night with Villanova and Oklahoma advancing. They will play the first game next Saturday.
The championship game is Monday, April 4.
In the NCAA women’s tournament, Syracuse advanced to its first Final Four with an 89-67 victory over Tennessee in the Sioux Falls Regional final. The fourth-seeded Orange will play No. 7 seed Washington in a national semifinal next Sunday in Indianapolis. Washington eliminated Stanford 85-76.
Unbeaten Connecticut, the No. 1 seed in the Bridgeport Regional, tries to improve to 36-0 when the Huskies play 31-4 Texas tonight for a trip to the women’s Final Four. Baylor plays Oregon State in the final of the Dallas Regional with a trip to Indianapolis awaiting the winner.