Sindarius Thornwell scored 24 points and seventh-seeded South Carolina cruised past third-seeded Baylor 70-50 on Friday night in the East Regional semifinals, the Bears’ worst NCAA Tournament loss.
The Gamecocks (25-10) were in control from the middle of the first half on, mixing defenses and hustling all over the Madison Square Garden court to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time.
South Carolina will meet the winner of the Wisconsin-Florida game on Sunday with a trip to the Final Four at stake.
DJ Dozier and Chris Silva had 12 points each and Duane Notice added 11 for the Gamecocks.
Johnathan Motley had 18 points, 12 in the second half, for Baylor (27-8), which just couldn’t get any offense going. The Bears missed 11 of their first 13 shots from the field and it didn’t get a whole lot better the entire game. They finished 17 for 56 from the field (30.4 percent), including 3 for 13 from 3-point range.
Kentucky tops UCLA, will face top-seeded UNC next
Kentucky has advanced to the Elite Eight behind a big night from freshman De’Aaron Fox.
The second-seeded Wildcats beat third-seeded UCLA 86-75 in the South Region semifinals in Memphis, Tennessee. And Fox scored a season-high 39 points to get the better of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball in a matchup of star freshmen point guards.
Fellow freshman Malik Monk scored 21 points to help Kentucky earn a matchup with No. 1 seed North Carolina in Sunday’s regional final.
Ball managed just 10 points.
No. 1 seed UNC defeats Butler
North Carolina is now within a win of a second straight Final Four.
The No. 1 seed in the South Region led by as many as 20 points before beating fourth-seeded Butler 92-80 in Memphis, Tennessee. That sent UNC back to the regional final, the latest step toward its season-long goal of returning to the national championship game and playing for the title that slipped away in last year’s loss to Villanova.