Last Updated 9:22 PM, April 01, 2023

We're tracking every upset in the NCAA men's tournament

The absurd odds of a perfect March Madness bracket
3:53 pm, March 16, 2023

We're tracking upsets in March Madness

Welcome to March Madness and welcome to the upset tracker!

This is the spot where and hall-of-fame sportswriter Mike Lopresti will catalog every upset that happens during the 2023 DI men's basketball tournament. We're using the official NCAA record book definition of an upset: "Upsets are defined as when the winner of the game was seeded five or more places lower than the team it defeated."

You can scroll down this page to see all of the upsets in 2023 and how each happened. The biggest was when No. 15 Saint Peter's knocked off No. 2 Kentucky and then No. 3 Purdue to become first 15 seed to ever make the Elite Eight.

1:46 pm, March 26, 2023

(9) Florida Atlantic outlasts (3) Kansas State, clinches East regional

Florida Atlantic University

No. 9 Florida Atlantic 79, No. 3 Kansas State 76.

How it happened:

Lots of reasons why Florida Atlantic could have lost. The Owls were down seven points in the second half, they committed a ghastly 22 turnovers and Kansas State’s Markquis Nowell was a sensation again with 30 points,12 assists and five steals. But Florida Atlantic’s magic was up to the task, especially on the boards where the Owls dominated 44-22 and outscored the Wildcats 15-2 in second chance points. Nor were they going to blink at the end, making five of six free throws in the final 29 seconds. The Kansas State cause was badly hurt by Keyontae Johnson’s foul issues as one of the Wildcats’ leading scorers played only 18 minutes and had nine points.

What it meant:

There have been lower seeds make the Final Four recently. UCLA was No. 11 only two years ago. But this is a program that did not have an NCAA tournament victory in its history when March began, and has been Division I for only three decades, so who really saw the Owls landing in Houston? They became the first Conference USA team since Memphis in 2008 to get to the Final Four. Kansas State had its own remarkable journey, from being picked to finish last in the Big 12 to the Elite Eight. And Nowell might have been the player of the tournament with 94 points, 54 assists and 16 steals in four games. Even all that wasn’t enough.

What they said:

Florida Atlantic coach Dusty May: “You're always relying on faith that you believe it's going to happen, but you never really know. In this era where everyone wants the whole pie, these guys continued sharing the pie every single day, and this was the result.”

Florida Atlantic’s Alijah Martin on the Cinderella tag: “They're going to label us whatever, but we're some pit bulls and rottweilers. We go out there and show it every night. Just label -- just call us beast boys, you know, because we're going to come out and show you how it's done.”

Kansas State coach Jerome Tang: “This is the third time I've lost in the Elite Eight (two as an assistant) and you can sit around and mope and cry about it, or you can really think about the love and the joy that you've had through the season. And winners keep their heads up. They don't drop their heads. So our guys were not going to walk off the floor with their heads down. Tough things are going to happen in our life, and we don't get to wallow in it. We've got to keep moving forward. This is more of a lesson for them of becoming men than it is about basketball.”

2:05 pm, March 25, 2023

(5) Miami (Fla.) rolls past (1) Houston, eliminates only remaining No. 1 seed


(5) Miami eliminates (1) Houston

No. 5 Miami (Fla.) 89, No. 1 Houston 75  

How it happened:

The Hurricanes showed no hesitation against one of the nation’s sternest defenses, hitting nearly 52 percent and sinking 11 3-pointers, seven of those from Nijel Pack. Houston had not allowed an average of 57 points a game this season and Miami put up 47 in the second half alone. The Hurricanes also did not flinch against any Houston pressure, committing only six turnovers. The Cougars, ranked No. 1 for much of the season, led for only 2:0 and were behind as many as 17 points.

What it meant:

The 2023 NCAA tournament of surprises reached a crescendo as the last No. 1 seed went out. It would be the first time in the history of bracket seeding, going back to 1979, that the Elite Eight would not include a single top-seeded team. For Miami, it was a second consecutive trip to the Elite Eight and put the 73-year-old Jim Larranaga on the brink of his second Final Four. He coached George Mason there in 2006.

What they said:

Miami coach Jim Larranaga:  “We emphasized moving the ball and finding the open man, and the guys did such a fantastic job from start to finish. We only ended up with six turnovers. So that's the name of the game. And we tied them in rebounding.”

Miami guard Jordan Miller on Larranaga’s postgame dance in the locker room: “I think we can agree it was like an A. Not an A+, it was a little stiff. But he's still very mobile for his age.”

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson: “There's a reason why they're the ACC champions. I don't think the final score indicates the difference in the two teams. I don't think there's much difference in the two teams. They're good. We're good. But they were certainly better than us tonight.”

1:57 pm, March 25, 2023

(5) San Diego State takes down (1) Alabama, heads to first ever Elite Eight


(5) San Diego State men's basketball takes down (1) Alabama

No. 5 San Diego State  71, No. 1 Alabama 64

How it happened:

Alabama had built a nine-point lead in the second half with the game starting to tilt the Tide’s way. Then it wasn’t, as San Diego State went on a 23-5 tear and never looked back. The Aztecs defense owned most of the hold as the Tide sank under the weight of too many missed shots. Alabama made barely 32 percent and missed 24 of the 27 attempts from the 3-point line. All-American Brandon Miller was 3-for-19 with six turnovers.

What it meant:

San Diego State’s first-ever trip to the Elite Eight, and a massive ray of sunshine for the Mountain West Conference. The league had come into this March on a real NCAA Tournament downslope, going 2-12 since 2016. This was also the end of 24 very bad hours for the SEC. The league had put three teams in the Sweet 16 but down they went in a hurry, from Arkansas to Tennessee to Alabama. It guaranteed that for the 10th consecutive tournament and 20th of the past 21, the No. 1 team in the final Associated Press poll would not be winning the national championship. Also, the Tide’s very complicated story with Miller getting caught up in a murder investigation – though charged with nothing – would not be clouding the Final Four.

What they said:

San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher: “I just tell the guys nothing is going to be easy. So just keep playing our brand of basketball, keep doing your best, stay competitive. And I'm using Muhammad Ali quotes because we're in Louisville, and we talked about confidence and the key to confidence is being fearless, and I thought we were fearless tonight.”

Dutcher: “The issue is not having a deep bench. The issue is everybody buys into a deep bench. They're not crying when they come out. We took the starting five out three or four minutes into the second half, even before the first TV time-out. And some programs that would be a disaster. You would have to sit there and massage egos to get them ready to play when they got back in. This team is not wired that way. We're wired to win.”

Alabama coach Nate Oats: “It's a lot of really good programs in the country that have lost. I mean, we could go down the list of them. That's what makes the NCAA tournament the NCAA tournament. We were going to lose to a team seeded lower than us unless we won the national championship this year. We were the No. 1 overall seed.”

4:38 am, March 24, 2023

(9) Florida Atlantic tops (4) Tennessee, makes first Elite Eight

FAU tops Tennessee

No. 9 Florida Atlantic 62, No. 4 Tennessee 55

How it happened:

Florida Atlantic got away with a bad first half when the Owls had as many turnovers as field goals but trailed only 27-22 at halftime. An ominous omen for Tennessee, it turned out. Florida Atlantic reached another gear in the second half and blew past the Vols with an 18-2 run. Johnell Davis had 13 of his 15 points after halftime to lead the rush. Not one Tennessee player scored more than 10 points as the Vols went down shooting 33 percent.

What it meant:

Two weeks earlier, Florida Atlantic had never won an NCAA tournament game. Suddenly, the Owls, a team picked to finish fifth in Conference USA this season, were one victory from the Final Four. Speaking of Final Fours, Tennessee competed its 25th tournament appearance without ever getting there. Combined with Connecticut’s 23-point thrashing of Arkansas, it was a bad night for the SEC.

What they said:

Florida Atlantic’s Nick Boyd: “We're where we're supposed to be. We're going to keep moving, keep working. We're going to stay humble and hungry. I can't count us out no more. We're here to stay and we're going to keep fighting no matter who we line up against, who we play.”

Florida Atlantic coach Dusty May: “Our guys, I think they really believe in what we do, and when it's not working, they don't panic. They just stay the course and trust over the course of 40 minutes. . . that we're going to figure it out.”

Tennessee’s Josiah-Jordan James on the Vols’ injury-plagued year: “I feel like a lot of people don't know all the things that we've been through internally. . . . We stayed resilient, and I think that if everybody outside of our locker room knew all the things that we went through, they'd be proud of us. I know we're proud of ourselves.”

12:33 am, March 20, 2023

(7) Michigan State beats (2) Marquette, advances to the Sweet 16

Getty Images Michigan State beats Marquette in second round of March Madness

No. 7 Michigan State 69, No. 2 Marquette 60

How it happened:

Not by Michigan State firepower, for sure. The Spartans were 2-for-16 in 3-pointers. Defense, rebounding and power — Michigan State mainstays forever — were the featured weapons as the Spartans jumped to an early 13-point lead, lost it, then grabbed back the game. The power on offense accounted for a 32-16 gap in points in the paint and 23 points from Tyson Walker on a lot of dribble penetration. The rebounding led to a 15-8 advantage in second-chance points. The defense created a nightmare day for Big East player of the year Tyler Kolek, who was 2-for-8 with six turnovers.

What it meant:

Another star on the glowing March resume of Tom Izzo, sending him to the Sweet 16 for the 15th time. The 7-8 finish to the regular season didn’t matter much. The Spartans were the first Big Ten team to get to the Sweet 16 after six members went down. Marquette’s thrilling ride from the ninth-place pick in the Big East to the league title to the round of 32 ended with 38.5 percent shooting. The Golden Eagles were the second-best shooting team in the Big East but had run into Michigan State in March.  

What they said:

The 6-1 Tyson Walker about a dunk that highlighted Michigan State’s early surge: “I ain’t never dunked. I went for it today, though.”

Izzo: "That was a war. That was a 2000 game. I am so proud of these guys for withstanding that, because that was — I've been in Elite Eight games; I've been in Final Four — that was as intense and tough a game as I've been in my career.”

Kolek on if a sore thumb was a factor in his turnovers: “It wasn't an issue at all. There's no excuses for those. Just trying to be out there for my team and command the game. And I didn't do that today.”

5:20 am, March 19, 2023

(15) Princeton quiets (7) Missouri

Getty Images Princeton beats Missouri in the second round of March Madness

No. 15 Princeton 78, No. 7 Missouri 63

How it happened:

No surprise the Tigers would cause some trouble by shooting well from the 3-point line, committing only nine turnovers and having 16 assists on 27 field goals. But a 44-30 dominance on the boards and 19-2 advantage in second chance points? A 21-point lead on an SEC team? Ryan Langborg, who had the go-ahead basket against Arizona in the first round, led Princeton with 22 points.

What it meant:

Princeton’s first trip to the Sweet 16 in 56 years. The Tigers also became only the fourth No. 15 seed to advance to the second week, all in the past 10 tournaments. The last Ivy League team to get there was Cornell in 2010.

What they said:

Princeton coach Mitch Henderson: “I've always dreamed of playing deep into the tournament. As a player, got to the second round a couple times. Never got beyond it. I feel like these guys, it's unbelievable.”

Henderson on the floor game of Tosan Evbuomwan: “Tosan's passing, you won't see that again at Princeton for 50 years. I mean, he's really a very unique passer. When he came to us, it was like first week of practice . .  . it was like a brilliant, blinding light from heaven.”

Missouri coach Dennis Gates: “We were able to get the lead one time. We held the lead for 30 seconds in the entire game. Every time we got the lead or when they had the lead, we cut it to six, they came back down and did what a good team would do: make a shot or make a play.”

4:47 am, March 19, 2023

(8) Arkansas upsets (1) Kansas in the second round

Arkansas celebrates against Kansas

No. 8 Arkansas 72, No. 1 Kansas 71

How it happened:

With Kansas ahead by eight points at halftime and 12 early in the second half, the day looked normal. Then it wasn’t. Arkansas came charging back behind Davonte Davis, who scored 21 of his 25 points after halftime, and 10-of-11 free throw shooting from Ricky Council IV. The Razorbacks pulled off the upset with only three 3-pointers. Rebounding was another fatal number for the Jayhawks. Arkansas had a 15-2 gap in second-chance points, four of them coming in the last 50 seconds when the Razorbacks got the lead for good. Kansas had been 26-0 this season when leading at halftime. The Jayhawks led for 34 minutes in the game, the Razorbacks only 1:44, while having three players foul out. Hard to win that way, but they did.

What it meant:

Half the No. 1 seeds in the tournament were gone by the first Saturday. No repeat national championship for Kansas, so Florida 2007 will remain the last team to go back-to-back. A March that began so promising for the Jayhawks turned wrong in multiple ways with a stunning loss and Bill Self unable to coach because of needing stents for artery blockage. Arkansas has now beaten a No. 1 seed in consecutive tournaments, taking out Gonzaga in 2022, and advanced to three consecutive Sweet 16s.

What they said:

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman: “I've been coaching a long time, that's as great of a win as I've ever been a part of . . . because of the history of Kansas, because of some of their veteran players that were part of a championship team last year. A lot of people didn't think we were going to win our first-round game.”

Musselman on the Razorbacks’ recent NCAA tournament success: “You can't win at any level, CYO, grade school, high school, college, pro, G-League, national team, unless you have really good players. And we have really good players. We have guys that have insane buy-in, incredible buy-in.”

Kansas assistant Norm Roberts:  “It was tough not having Coach here, but, you know, we don't make any excuses. We have to line up and get it done, and we came up a little bit short today.”

4:58 am, March 18, 2023

🚨 HISTORY: (16) FDU stuns (1) Purdue — AND the world

USA TODAY Sports FDU celebrates against Purdue

No. 16 FDU 63, No. 1 Purdue 58

How it happened:

There were 14 lead changes before the Fairleigh Dickinson defense exerted its will in the final eight minutes, harassing Zach Edey and stopping the rest of the lineup. The Boilermakers had 16 turnovers and shot only 35.8 percent, including 5-for-26 from beyond the arc. Never mind they had nine more rebounds and made seven more free throws. When the Knights edged into the lead Purdue had no way to come back. Edey scored 21 points but the Boilermakers’ freshman backcourt of Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer had six field goals and 10 turnovers.

What it meant:

For Fairleigh Dickinson, history. The Knights joined UMBC of 2019 as the only No. 16 seeds to ever upset a No. 1. With Florida Atlantic’s win over Memphis, it set up the second round game few could have expected --- Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Florida Atlantic. One of them is going to the Sweet 16. For Purdue, it continued an amazingly painful trend of NCAA tournament exits to low seeds. The Boilermakers went down to No. 13 North Texas, No. 15 Saint Peter’s and No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson in consecutive years.

What they said:

Fairleigh Dickinson’s Demetre Roberts: “Our job was to just come into the game and throw a punch. We know they would throw multiple punches. Just throw a punch back. We knew what type of game this was. We showed why we belong here.”

Fairleigh Dickinson coach Tobin Anderson: “We’ll be prepared for Sunday. I have belief but I’m not sure I have that much belief. I have to do some laundry."

Purdue coach Matt Painter: “They earned it. They played better than we did, they coached better than we did. And we have to sit in it. We’ve got to face it. We’ve got to deal with it. And we’ve got to come back stronger. But that will take some time.”

11:19 pm, March 17, 2023

(11) Pitt dominates (6) Iowa State

Getty Images Pitt beats Iowa State in March Madness

No. 11 Pittsburgh 59, No. 6 Iowa State 41

How it happened:

The trouble started for Iowa State before the game when the Cyclones asked the rim on their end to be checked after warmups. A slight adjustment was made. It apparently didn’t help much. Iowa State missed its first 11 shots and was down 22-2 in under 10 minutes. The Cyclones finished with a 23.3 field goal percentage, including 2-for-21 in 3-pointers.

What it meant:

Beware the power of the First Four. This is the 11th time in 12 years that a First Four survivor promptly upset a higher seed in the first round. Pitt has not been in the second round in nine years. It continued quite a ride for a Panthers team picked to finish 14th in the ACC.

What they said:

Pittsburgh’s Nelly Cummings: “We've had something to prove since the preseason ranked us 14th our conference. We've had a chip on our shoulder the first time we seen that. We're definitely looking forward to proving more.”

Pittsburgh’s Greg Elliott: “We knew the last of the season we had a chance to do something big, but we didn't because of our defense. Everybody wanted to say it, but we knew. Our defense wasn't up to par. We knew if we wanted to win games in March . . . you have to play defense and rebound. That's what we've been doing."

Iowa State’s Gabe Kalscheur: “It just wasn’t going in. Sometimes that happens and you have to eat the punches.”

2:05 am, March 17, 2023

(15) Princeton shocks (2) Arizona in the first round 😳

Getty Images Princeton beats Arizona in March Madness

No. 15 Princeton 59, No 2 Arizona 55

How it happened:

The Tigers didn’t lead much of the game, just the right part. Behind 12 points with 11:46 left, Princeton steadily crept back and took its first lead on a driving layup by Ryan Langborg with just over two minutes left. The Tigers were in front to stay as Arizona’s offense crashed. The Wildcats missed their last seven shots, were outscored 9-0 in the final 4:21 and from the eight-minute mark had only two field goals but four turnovers. The two teams shot only 12 free throws.

What it meant:

Princeton’s giant-killer label was starting to get a little worn. It’s been 27 years since the famous backdoor sacking of defending champion UCLA and the Tigers had not won an NCAA tournament game this century. Now Princeton is back in the shocker business – at the expense of the Pac-12 again. Mitch Henderson was one of the players who led the 1996 upset of UCLA and was on the bench Thursday as the Tigers’ head coach. A No. 15 seed shocking a No. 2 was once rare but has become as annual in March as St. Patrick’s Day. This was the third consecutive year.   

What they said:

Henderson on the inevitable comparisons to 1995: “I want to be really clear that this group did this. That was a really long time ago. This group did something special for its university, for the fans, for the former players and for one another . . . I’ve been the beneficiary of that game, along with my teammates, for a long time.”

Tosan Evbuomwan, whose 15 points made him the only Princeton player in double figures: “When we are playing our best, we think we can take down everybody. A great program, a selfless one, that plays our brand of basketball.”

 Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd: “I told our guys, if you want to be a great player, you want to be a great coach, we all got to learn from this. We got to go back and figure out what happened and understand the value of being up 10 to 12 points with 10 minutes to go, putting the hammer on people, not letting people get back in the game.

1:52 am, March 17, 2023

(13) Furman edges (4) Virginia to kick off the 2023 upset tracker

Getty Images Furman beats Virginia in March Madness

No. 13 Furman 68, No. 4 Virginia 67

How it happened:

JP Pegues’ 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left — after a truly shocking Virginia turnover — gave the tournament its first dropped jaws. The Paladins were down 12 points midway through the second half before rallying, switching to a zone defense they had used maybe 15 possessions all season. Ahead 67-65 and with a chance to run out the clock, Virginia senior Kihei Clark was trapped in the corner. Rather than call a timeout, he tried a desperation heave down the floor but the pass was easily intercepted by Garrett Hien who quickly got the ball to Pegues. It was the only 3-pointer he made all day.

What it meant:

Furman’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 43 years turned into their first victory since 1974. The Paladins had to figure they had this coming, after losing the Southern Conference title game last year on a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Cavaliers have not won a tournament game since the 2019 national championship and their past three NCAA defeats have come at the hands of two No. 13 seeds and a No. 16. It’d be more conspicuous without a national championship in the middle of it. It was Clark’s heady assist that saved the day against Purdue in the Elite Eight back in 2019.

What they said:

Pegues: “As soon I saw it go into Garrett Hien’s hands, I was like, I want the ball. I feel like those moments I’ve created my whole life, and I feel like I’m built for it.”

Furman coach Bob Richey on the turnover: “I was calling for a foul but the Good Lord knew they couldn’t hear me and they threw it to us.”

Richey on the idea of a zone: “A wild thought a couple of days ago.”

Virginia coach Tony Bennett, on the turnover that Clark committed after making so many big plays for the Cavaliers through the years: “He can handle it. We can handle this. Sometimes things happen, and I’ve said this, you get to choose how to respond. That it happened and played out like that -- for someone who’s been so good for this program – that’s the madness of the tournament. We’ve lived both sides of it and that’s a hard way to go. In time you’ll appreciate things and it’ll shape him.”

3:34 pm, April 3, 2022

(8) North Carolina takes down (2) Duke to advance to national championship game

No. 8 North Carolina 81, No. 2 Duke 77 

How it happened: As often happens in true classics, it was not so much that anyone blinked, but one team just made more plays than the other. Duke nursed a 68-67 lead toward the three-minute mark, and from that point there were five lead changes in the next 120 frantic seconds. The last – the 18th lead change of the night – happened with two RJ Davis free throws that put North Carolina ahead 75-74 with 1:01. The Tar Heel dagger came with 25 seconds left on Caleb Love’s fearless pullup 3-pointer that made it 78-74. Love’s 28 points carried North Carolina, as did Armando Bacot’s 21 rebounds, and the team’s 50 percent shooting in the second half. Duke had only four turnovers and outscored North Carolina 48-26 in the paint, but two areas cost the Blue Devils – 5-for-22 shooting from behind the 3-point arc and 12-for-20 at the free throw line. But to the end, these two ancient rivals were so close in so many ways. Duke led for 17:09, North Carolina for 16:22.

What it means: Where to begin? The victory put North Carolina in its 12th national championship game, and made Hubert Davis the first coach to get that far in his first season since Michigan’s Steve Fisher, 33 years ago. The Tar Heels’ No. 8 seed matched the lowest ever for a championship game, joining Kentucky of 2014, Butler of 2011, Villanova of 1985 and UCLA of 1980. Combined with the season-ending win at Duke, the victory gave the North Carolina fan base enormous bragging rights on Tobacco Road. For Duke and Mike Krzyzewski, it simply meant goodbye after 42 years. An era ended with the game’s final second.

What they said: 

Davis, on the two big wins against Duke: ”It doesn't help us for Monday. It just doesn't. And so when I talk about the noise and things that aren't beneficial to help us prepare, to help us practice and help us play, I think dwelling on the two wins against Duke doesn't help us against Kansas. So we put that in a box to think about over the summer."

Davis on the crucial Love basket with 25 seconds left: “One of the things I love about all of our guys they're always willing to step up. He wants that shot. He's actually looking for that shot. And very few guys in that situation are looking for that type of shot. Caleb is one of them. He has the confidence to be able to knock it down.”

Krzyzewski on his last Duke team: “For these guys, they've been a joy. When we made our announcement it would be our last year, I told my wife, Mickie, look, we're going for it. And I'm going to put everything into it. And I got a group, they're young, but I think they've got a chance. And I was right about that. We had a few bumps in the road, but they won 32 games. And they turned it around in March where they've been beautiful young men to coach. I could not ask for more.”

2:10 am, March 26, 2022

(15) Saint Peter's upsets (3) Purdue to become first No. 15 seed in Elite Eight

No. 15 Saint Peter’s 67, No. 3 Purdue 64

How it happened: By now it’s a familiar script. Play defense, play hard, hit crucial late shots, and the other team will eventually blink, no matter what name is on the front of the jersey. The Peacocks forced Purdue into 42.6-percent shooting and made life particularly miserable on the Boilermaker stars. Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey combined for nine field goals and 11 turnovers. A late switch to a zone defense bothered Purdue, and nobody saved the day from the outside. The Boilermakers missed 11 of 12 3-pointers in the second half. In a tense struggle with 10 ties and 15 lead changes — the biggest lead Saint Peter’s had all night was four points — the Peacocks got the lead for good with 2:17 left on a driving layup by Daryl Banks III. Then it was a matter of making free throws to stay in front. Saint Peter’s went 8-for-8 the final 1:43. The most historic win in school history was a true team effort. No one had more than 14 points or three rebounds, but nine Peacocks scored and 10 had at least one rebound.

What it means: History. Plain, simple and incredible. The Peacocks have now gone where no No. 15 seed has gone before (or No. 13 or No. 14 seed for that matter) — to the Elite Eight. Along the way they have taken out royalty in Kentucky, the nation’s best record in Murray State and a former AP No. 1 this season in Purdue. If they aren’t the greatest Cinderella story of all time yet, they’re getting close. Purdue’s hopes for easing its 42-year Final Four drought ended in desolation. And the Big Ten, for all its regular-season might, did not put a single team in the Elite Eight.

What they said:

Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway: “That's what we've been the whole year. That's who we are. We're not a team that's going to blow teams out. That's not our DNA. We try to keep it close and try to make them make mistakes down the stretch. When you're playing against teams like that who's supposed to win, when you keep it tight, certain things can happen. I told my guys, 'Just keep battling, keep battling, let's see what happens.' We kept battling, I knew the ball was going to bounce our way, and it did.”

Saint Peter’s guard Doug Edert: “We're happy, but don't mistake, we're not satisfied. We're not satisfied at all. The job is not finished. We feel like we belong, and the more games we win, the more confidence we build.”

Purdue forward Trevion Williams: “I'm honestly still in shock. It just doesn't feel real. I just wish we could have played a little bit better. Man, you've got to give them their respect. That's a real team. If you don't respect them, you'll be outplayed kind of like we did today.”

Purdue coach Matt Painter: “It eats at you. Like you work hard to do things and to work and represent your school and to put yourself in a position to do well. It's so hard to get in position to do well — like these guys won 29 games and then you feel awful. We put ourselves in a position to win a Big Ten championship and we didn't. You get to this point right here and you don't move forward. We have a good program. Our guys graduate, we're successful, we have the most Big Ten championships of any school in the Big Ten. We just haven't gotten over that hurdle. We just haven't gotten that push to where we haven't been to a Final Four in 42 years. So yeah, I think about it all the time, but it's not going to stop me from driving to get here and get back in this position again and try to get over that hurdle. That's what our players deserve and our fans deserve. It's part of competition. It's a very, very competitive world.”

5:09 am, March 25, 2022

(5) Houston sends (1) Arizona home, pulls within one win of Final Four

No. 5 Houston 72, No. 1 Arizona 60

How it happened: Arizona’s high-octane offense ran into the Houston defense and went splat, scoring 24 points under its average with 33-percent shooting. The Wildcats might have been the No. 1 seed, but the Cougars took the lead 46 seconds into the game and were never caught. They also outscored Arizona 24-6 in points off turnovers. Houston guard Jamal Shead continued to be one of the developing stars of the tournament with 21 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals. That after 18 points, three assists and three steals against Illinois.

What it means: Down went another No. 1 seed, leaving Kansas the only one standing at the end of Thursday of the Sweet 16. It’s the first time in nine years there would be at most one No. 1 seed in the Elite Eight. Arizona’s demise also left UCLA the last West Coast team alive. Just four years ago, Houston had not won an NCAA tournament game in 33 seasons, but this was the 10th victory for the Cougars and Kelvin Sampson in the past four tournaments. It put them on the brink of a return to the Final Four. It was also the second power-conference regular-season champion they had beaten in a week, with Big Ten co-winner Illinois a victim in the second round.

What they said:

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson: “Good, bad, or indifferent, every team is known for something. All our teams eventually get there. It's not always smooth sailing, we're not going to win a lot of beauty contests, but victories don't come with asterisks. I watched Arizona play. I watched them play UCLA. I watched them play Colorado. I watched the way those teams guarded them, and I knew we weren't going to guard them like those teams did. Those teams just switched them. They let them be comfortable. I knew we were going to make them uncomfortable. That's what we do.”

Houston’s Jamal Shead: “Once we come out of the locker room, we feel like we're supposed to be here at all times. We always feel like the toughest team out there and always try to play like it. We always have each other's back, and I think that's the most important thing there. We can't be scared of anybody if we all are together and just trying to go at it all the time.”

Arizona’s Christian Koloko: “We started the season, and nobody believed in us. We made them believe in us. We won the Pac-12 regular season, we won the Pac-12 tournament, and we get to the Sweet 16. We knew we could have done better. That's why our team is sad right now. We knew how good of a team we (were), but right now we can't do anything.”