The Sweet 16 is finished.
On the second night of this stage of the Big Dance, a No. 1 seed was vanquished, Michigan State cruised, Duke’s fate came down to the last shot and Kentucky was pushed to the brink.
Here’s what went down Friday night.
Michigan State 80, LSU 63
The Spartans started the game out on an 8-0 run and never looked back, leading wire to wire. LSU went on an 8-0 run of their own to start the second half, but could only come within four points of the Michigan State lead. The Spartans closed the game on a 10-2 run, securing the big win.
LSU was undone by shooting struggles. The Tigers shot 39.3 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from three-point range and 64.3 percent from the charity stripe. Losing the turnover battle by seven and coughing up nine turnovers didn’t help either.
Tremont Waters was the only Tiger to score more than 11 points, as the sophomore poured in 23 points. Javonte Smart, a freshman guard, played 25 minutes but failed to score on six shot attempts.
Michigan State racked up 22 assists and shot 40.6 percent from behind the arc. Cassius Winston tallied 17 points and eight assists, while Aaron Henry added 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Spartans are now in the Elite Eight for the first time since 2015, the same year they last made a Final Four. It’s the 10th time Michigan State has went to the Elite Eight under the direction of Tom Izzo.
Michigan State made 13 threes vs LSU, their most ever in an NCAA Tournament game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 30, 2019
Aaron Henry became the 5th Spartan ever to post a 20-5-5 game in the NCAA Tournament, joining Draymond Green (2x), Mateen Cleaves, Steve Smith and Magic Johnson (3x). pic.twitter.com/SVdefWdAKC
Auburn 97, North Carolina 80
The Tar Heels were the first No. 1 seed of the tournament to lose, falling to the SEC champs in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s just the second time that Auburn will appear in an Elite Eight.
The game was a fast-paced one that saw the Tigers attempt 37 three-pointers. North Carolina turned the ball over 14 times and shot 25 percent from behind the arc.
For a complete breakdown of this game and what it means, click here.
Quote from Chuma Okeke:— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 30, 2019
"I'm really proud of our team. We were able to make history tonight. We do not drop off when we go to our bench and we'll be ready for whoever we play on Sunday."
Every single Auburn fan right now. pic.twitter.com/bmr8oLHJti— ~Brooke~ (@wareagleblonde) March 30, 2019
Kentucky 62, Houston 58
The Cougars had a three-point lead with 1:16 to play, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Wildcats at bay. After a PJ Washington jumper, Tyler Herro scored five points in the final 25 seconds to lead Kentucky to a win.
Houston missed its last three shots, missing out on the chance to go to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984. The Cougars stayed in the game by taking care of the ball, turning it over just seven times, and by getting a big performance out of Armoni Brooks, who tallied 20 points, two rebounds and two steals.
Kentucky kept its edge by shooting well from the floor — connecting on 47.8 percent of all shots — and by winning the rebounding margin by 13 boards. Herro led all Wildcats scorers with 19 points, while Washington added 16 points off the bench. Reid Travis patrolled the paint, collecting 11 rebounds.
Since John Calipari took over the reins of the Wildcats in 2009, they have now appeared in seven Elite Eights. They are 4-2 in their previous six trips.
PJ WASHINGTON BLOCKS. TYLER HERRO DROPS.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 30, 2019
Kentucky up two. pic.twitter.com/7yYtNJr4zQ
Duke 75, Virginia Tech 73
For the second straight game, Duke’s fate in the NCAA tournament was decided by the final possession. Virginia Tech had three looks at the basket and missed each time in the last six seconds of the game.
In the end, it came down to this: One team had Zion Williamson, Tre Jones and RJ Barrett, and the other team did not. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, they were the ones defending the talented trio on Friday night.
Williamson had 23 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Jones tallied a career-high 22 points to go along with four assists. Barrett notched a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists.
This block from Zion was ridiculous. Justin Robinson shattered his ankles with a hesi and Zion still put that thru the backboard. pic.twitter.com/YflPcOryc2— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) March 30, 2019
Duke didn’t miss often, shooting 55.4 percent from the floor.
Virginia Tech had four players score in double digits, but the top performer for the Hokies was Kerry Blackshear Jr., who hauled in 18 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. What was a detriment to the Hokies were 11 turnovers and a 40.3 percent shooting performance from the floor.
A win for the Hokies would’ve put Virginia Tech in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1967. Instead, Duke is making its 22nd trip there.
OH MY ZION! pic.twitter.com/aFSfPc6l8j— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 30, 2019
Duke down to the last shot for the second straight game. Man.— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) March 30, 2019
Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and is now based in Durham, N.C.