NCAA Latest: Zion, Duke lead UCF at halftime in 2nd round


The Latest on the second round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):

6:20 p.m.

Top-seeded Duke ended the first half on a 12-2 run to lead UFC 44-36 at the half.

Zion Williamson put on the kind of show everyone expected in the first 20 minutes. The Duke freshman phenom hit a 3 for Duke’s first bucket, a twisting short jumper outside the lane as he was fouled and a dunk after a lob inside. The freshman phenom ended the half with 15 points.

Aubrey Dawkins, the son of UCF coach Johnny Dawkins, scored 18 points for the ninth-seeded Knights, shooting 3 of 4 on 3-pointers. Duke held the junior scoreless for the final 4:51 of the first half.

Tacko Fall had his highlights too for the Knights. All three buckets for the 7-foot-6 senior were dunks as he finished the half with seven points.

– Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.


5:45 p.m.

It’s been quite a start for top-seeded Duke and No. 9 seed UCF in the East Region.

There have been two dunks from 7-foot-6 UCF big man Tacko Fall along with a 3-pointer from Blue Devils star freshman Zion Williamson in the game to determine who goes to the Sweet 16.

Fall opened the scoring on a putback dunk on a rebound and then grabbed his second offensive rebound of the game and dunked again to give the Knights a 10-6 lead.

Williamson came in shooting 32 percent from 3-point range, but he hit a wide-open one early. That was part of a 3-for-5 start for a team that came in shooting about 31 percent on 3s for the worst mark in program history.

Fall and Williamson were the most anticipated matchup of this game, but they aren’t assigned to each other on defense.

UCF leads Duke 19-15 about 11 minutes into the game.

– Jeffrey Collins reporting from Columbia, South Carolina.


Here’s a name to taco ’bout: UCF center Tacko Fall.

Yes, the 7-foot-6 center has made a name for himself this March in large part to the double-double winner of his frame and his name.

College basketball announcers and headline writers can’t stop having fun with a first and last name that easily lends itself to puns and witty word play.

CBS announcer Grant Hill couldn’t resist when Fall took on Duke’s Zion Williamson: “This looks like a hard shell taco on the block on Zion Williamson!”

Hey, it doesn’t really make sense, but it’s fun, links taco to Tacko and, after all, it’s his name.


Did you know, Fall’s full name is Elhadji Tacko Sereigne Diop Fall. Trying putting that on the back of a customized jersey.

But for one of the tallest men in the game, it’s just Tacko, for short.


5:20 p.m.

Midwest No. 1 seed North Carolina is through to the Sweet 16.

The Tar Heels beat Washington 81-59 to make it to at least the second weekend for the fourth time in five seasons. Luke Maye had 20 points and 14 rebounds, while freshman Nassir Little had 20 points off the bench to lead the Tar Heels.

North Carolina shot 51 percent and finished with a 48-24 rebounding advantage, leading to 17 second-chance points.

The Tar Heels next face fifth-seeded Auburn in the regional semifinals.

Jaylen Nowell led the ninth-seeded Huskies with 12 points, but Washington shot just 38 percent.


4:10 p.m.

No. 1 seed North Carolina is leading at halftime as it tries to get to the Sweet 16 after losing in the first weekend last year.

The Tar Heels are rolling behind Coby White and Luke Maye to lead ninth-seeded Washington 41-33 at the intermission. White, the freshman point guard, is 4 of 5 from behind the arc with 12 points. And Maye has found room under the top of Washington’s zone, going for 13 points and eight rebounds.

North Carolina shot 52 percent and dominated the glass, though its 10 turnovers have helped keep Washington in it.

Nazhiah Carter leads Washington with 10 points, while the Huskies have made just 3 of 13 3-pointers.

The Tar Heels also lost top big man Garrison Brooks in the first half when he took an inadvertent elbow while playing defense. The team said that Brooks needed stitches for a cut lower lip as well as having one loose tooth and another that is possibly fractured.

-Mitch Stacy reporting from Columbus.


3:50 p.m.

Your bracket is busted. But for two entries out of the tens of millions that entered March Madness pools, the bracket is still perfect through 41 NCAA Tournament games.

The NCAA bracket tracker says only two perfect brackets remain two across all major online bracket games, including Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, Fox, Sports Illustrated and the NCAA’s own bracket game. It’s the longest streak of correct bracket picks, breaking the reported record of 39 games, which happened in 2017.

That means picking seeded upsets like No. 12 Murray State and No. 13 UC Irvine to advance, when millions more went poof. The day is young, with seven games left and plenty of potential upsets looming.

The two brackets left are also split on one game: One has No. 3 seed Texas Tech, the other has sixth-seeded Buffalo.

The NCAA says the odds of a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion – so bettors, take the under.


3:25 p.m.

The Southeastern Conference has four teams in the Sweet 16, and that’s tied for a league record.

No. 2 seeds Kentucky and Tennessee, No. 3 seed LSU and No. 5 seed Auburn have all earned their trip to the second weekend of the tournament. That’s the first time in 23 years.

In 1996, the SEC had eventual national champion Kentucky, another Final Four team in Mississippi State, Arkansas and Georgia. The other time was in 1986 with LSU, Kentucky, Auburn and Alabama.


2:45 p.m.

No. 2 seed Tennessee is breathing easier after holding off a would-be record Iowa rally that forced the first overtime of this NCAA Tournament.

The Volunteers are on the way to the Sweet 16 after blowing a 25-point first-half lead. After ninth-seeded Iowa came back and tied the game with 20 seconds left in regulation, Tennessee pulled away for an 83-77 win in the extra period.

The biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history was by BYU, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat Iona in the First Four in 2012.

Jordan Bone hit a pair of foul shots late to seal it for the Vols.

Down 49-28 at the half, Iowa clawed back. The Hawkeyes scored nine of the first 11 points in the half and ripped off another 17-2 run.

Admiral Schofield had 17 points in the first half and finished with 19 for Tennessee. Grant Williams also had 19.

Jordan Bohannon led Iowa with 18.

– Mitch Stacy reporting from Columbus, Ohio.


2:30 p.m.

Tennessee and Iowa are in overtime after a furious Hawkeyes rally.

Ninth-seeded Iowa overcame a 25-point first-half deficit to tie the game with 20 seconds left. A missed 3-pointer by Tennessee’s Jordan Bone just before the buzzer was off the mark.

It’s the first overtime game of the NCAA Tournament so far.

Down 49-28 at the half, Iowa chipped away at second-seeded Tennessee. The Hawkeyes scored nine of the first 11 points in the half and ripped off another 17-2 run.

Isaiah Moss has 16 points for Iowa.

Admiral Schofield had 17 points in the first half but has only two since.

– Mitch Stacy reporting from Columbus, Ohio.


1:55 p.m.

Iowa is trying to pull out of a 25-point deficit against Tennessee in their second-round game in the NCAA Tournament.

Tyler Cook failed to score in the first half as the Vols dominated every way and led by as many as 25. He asserted himself at the start of the second half, scoring the Hawkeyes’ first 9 points, and Iowa has cut the deficit to 65-58 with 5:35 to go.

Tennessee shot only 33 percent through much of the half, giving Iowa its opening.

The biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history was by BYU, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat Iona in the First Four in 2012.

– Joe Kay reporting from Columbus, Ohio.


1:10 p.m.

Tennessee is asserting itself in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Volunteers have dominated in every way while pulling out to a 49-28 halftime lead over Iowa.

Admiral Schofield hit back-to-back 3-pointers that started the blitz. He’s got 17 points, more than Iowa’s top two scorers combined.

The Vols are dominating the boards and have four steals and three blocks, holding the Hawkeyes to 32 percent shooting.

Tennessee is trying to extend its fine season – 19 straight wins, an entire season in the top 10, a No. 1 AP ranking for four weeks- by getting to the Sweet 16 for the first time 2016. Last year, the Volunteers got knocked out in the second round by Loyola-Chicago.

Iowa hasn’t been to the Sweet 16 in 20 years. The Hawkeyes knocked off Cincinnati in the opening round.

– Joe Kay reporting from Columbus, Ohio.



One of the matchups Sunday for the Sweet 16 features college basketball’s tallest player going against its most dynamic star.

Duke has Zion Williamson, an explosive freshman widely expected to go No. 1 in the NBA draft. UCF has Tacko Fall, a 7-foot-6 center who has an 8-4 wingspan, barely needing to jump to grab rebounds over other players in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Fall says he doesn’t want to make it about a 1-on-1 matchup, but he did say he’ll try not to let Williamson dunk on him. Williamson shrugged that off but says he has a lot of respect for how skilled and agile Fall is for his size.

Fall had 13 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks in helping UCF (24-8) to its first-ever NCAA victory over eighth-seeded VCU in the first round.

Williamson had 25 points and put on a dazzling, dominant show in the second half to lift Duke (30-5) to an 85-62 victory over North Dakota State.


11:30 a.m.

North Carolina and Virginia are both trying to get off to faster starts on Sunday after trailing at halftime in their first round games.

North Carolina forward Luke Maye says the top-seeded Tar Heels can’t have that letdown against No. 9 seed Washington.

Virginia should feel a little more confident now that it’s advanced beyond the first round. Virginia became the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No. 16 seed last year when it fell to Maryland-Baltimore County.

Virginia guard Kyle Guy says his team can breathe a little easier but can’t be relaxed in the single-elimination tournament.


11 a.m.

Virginia Tech and Liberty are located less than 100 miles from each other but have traveled all the way across the country to San Jose, California, to face off with an East Region semifinal berth at stake.

The 13th-seeded Flames earned this date with No. 4 seed Virginia Tech by upsetting Mississippi State 80-76 for their first NCAA Tournament victory.

These two teams should know each other pretty well. Virginia Tech beat Liberty 86-70 in a preseason exhibition that raised over $36,000 for hurricane victims.

They haven’t met with anything on the line since Virginia Tech beat Liberty 73-63 on Nov. 19, 2014.


More AP college basketball: and

North Carolina’s Nassir Little, center, goes up for a shot against Washington’s Noah Dickerson (15) and Jaylen Nowell (5) in the second half during a second round men’s college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)