PHILADELPHIA — Daryl Banks III scored the tying and go-ahead baskets that pushed 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s to the brink of the Final Four, the tiny Peacocks thriving off a home-court edge to beat third-seeded Purdue 67-64 on Friday night.
The Peacocks (22-11) became the first 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight, adding the Boilermakers to their NCAA Tournament string of upsets, and will face North Carolina in the East Region final on Sunday.
Saint Peter’s had the fans inside the packed Wells Fargo Center on its side from the opening tip and the arena erupted when Banks tied the game 57-all on a turnaround jumper. He hit a driving layup with 2:17 left that made it 59-57.
The Peacocks kept their composure — hey, they’re used to these wins by now after knocking off No. 2 seed Kentucky and Murray State — and held off a Purdue team that gamely tried to bully them inside.
Purdue’s Jaden Ivey buried an NBA-distance 3 with 8 seconds left that pulled Purdue within 65-64 and momentarily shushed the crowd. But Doug Edert then swished two free throws to seal the win.
Banks led the Peacocks with 14 points, Clarence Rupert scored 11 and Edert had 10. Trevion Williams had 16 points and eight rebounds, and seven-foot-four centre Zach Edey from Toronto had 11 points for Purdue.
NORTH CAROLINA 73, UCLA 66
PHILADELPHIA — Caleb Love hit game-tying and go-ahead 3-pointers 37 seconds apart and North Carolina moved within a victory of its 21st Final Four, beating UCLA in a matchup of power programs.
Love, a sophomore, finished with a career-high 30 points, including six 3s and two game-clinching free throws with 7.8 seconds left. He scored 27 of Carolina’s 45 points in the second half, including one stretch of 10 straight that kept the Tar Heels (27-9) in the game.
Love’s go-ahead 3 came with 1:03 left and marked the last of 14 lead changes in the game that was also tied eight times.
Fourth-seeded UCLA (27-8) fell two wins short of its 20th Final Four. Last year’s season ended on a shot from near half court by Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs. This time, Love did in the Bruins, who got 16 points from Jules Bernard and 15 from Tyger Campbell.
KANSAS 66, PROVIDENCE 61
CHICAGO — Remy Martin scored a season-high 23 points and Kansas did its part as the only remaining No. 1 seed, holding Providence to 17 first-half points and hanging on to reach the Elite Eight.
The Jayhawks (31-6) will face Miami on Sunday.
Jalen Wilson added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who are back in a regional final for the first time since 2018, when they reached their 15th Final Four. Coach Bill Self is seeking his fourth trip there since he arrived in 2003.
Kansas also moved ahead of Kentucky for most wins in Division I history with 2,354.
The Jayhawks led by 13 points early in the second half, let it slip away, and then regrouped. Fourth-seeded Providence (27-6) took a short-lived one-point lead, but Kansas responded by scoring seven straight.
Al Durham scored 21 points for the Friars, who shot 33.8%.
Pickering, Ont.’s Matteus Case did not see the floor for Providence.
MIAMI 70, IOWA STATE 56
CHICAGO — Kameron McGusty scored 27 points and Miami advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time, using its swarming defense to beat Iowa State.
Jordan Miller added 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting as No. 10 seed Miami more than held its own in a matchup of two of the tourney’s most suffocating defenses. The 11th-seeded Cyclones shot 32% from the field in the second half and finished with 18 turnovers.
With Charlie Moore directing the attack in his hometown, the Hurricanes (26-10) got their first win in the school’s fourth appearance in the Sweet 16.
Gabe Kalscheur scored 13 points for Iowa State (22-13), and freshman Tyrese Hunter had 13 points and seven assists. Izaiah Brockington finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.