SALT LAKE CITY – Sometimes, it’s rough being the smartest guy in the room.
Harvard freshman point guard Siyani Chambers knows.
He’ll be heading back to Harvard missing part of his front tooth – all part of a wicked basketball lesson provided by Arizona in a 74-51 crushing of the Crimson on Saturday in the NCAA tournament.
Mark Lyons matched a career high with 27 points to lead the sixth-seeded Wildcats (27-7), who showed how a real basketball school does it when March rolls around.
“The history of Arizona speaks for itself,” coach Sean Miller said. “This time of year, we not only represent ourselves, but all the great players and teams of the past.”
This will be Arizona’s 15th appearance in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats are heading to Los Angeles for a West Regional matchup against today’s winner between Ohio State and Iowa State.
Marquette 74, Butler 72: At Lexington, Ky., Vander Blue scored 19 second-half points to rally third-seeded Marquette out of another hole, and the Golden Eagles survived No. 6 Butler to reach the round of 16.
Like November’s first meeting between the teams at the Maui Invitational, won 72-71 by Butler on Rotnei Clarke’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer, this was a back-and-forth, high-intensity affair that came down to the final shot.
Only this time, Butler missed.
Marquette (25-8) will meet the winner of today’s game between Illinois and Miami (Fla.) on Thursday in the East Regional semifinals at Washington, D.C.
Syracuse 66, California 60: At San Jose, Calif., C.J. Fair scored 18 points, James Southerland added 14 and fourth-seeded Syracuse survived a second-half drought of more than 12 minutes without a field goal to beat No. 12 seed California.
The Orange (28-9) frustrated California with their zone defense to overcome a dismal shooting night when they made just 39 percent of their shots and missed 15 of 41 free throws.
But it proved to be enough to send Syracuse to Washington, D.C., for the East Regional where the Orange will take on the winner of today’s game between top-seeded Indiana and Temple on Thursday.
Louisville 82, Colorado State 56: At Lexington, Ky., Russ Smith had another big night, leading four players in double figures with 27 points, and top-seeded Louisville is into the Midwest Region semifinals. The Cardinals put on a defensive clinic as they dismantled Colorado State. Louisville forced the eighth-seeded Rams into a season-high 20 turnovers, made Colton Iverson look as invisible as a 6-foot-10 guy can be and limited one of the nation’s best rebounding teams to 24 boards, more than a dozen below their average.
It was the 12th straight win for Louisville (31-5), which will play Oregon on Friday in Indianapolis. Oregon 74, Saint Louis 57: At San Jose, Calif., Damyean Dotson scored 23 points, Carlos Emory added 14 points and hot-shooting Oregon sprinted past fourth-seeded Saint Louis.
Dotson made his first five 3-pointers to carry the 12th-seeded Ducks (28-8) into the second weekend for the first time since 2007, when they lost to eventual repeat champion Florida in the regional final.
Oregon made 8 of 11 shots from beyond the arc, while the Billikens finished 3 for 21 from long range.
Michigan St. 70, Memphis 48: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Gary Harris scored 16 of his career-high 23 points in the first half to help third-seeded Michigan State reach the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.
Michigan State (27-8) will play the winner of the Duke-Creighton game on Friday in the Midwest Regional semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Michigan 78, VCU 53: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Mitch McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and fourth-seeded Michigan breezed through Virginia Commonwealth’s vaunted pressure with a clinical performance and advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 1994.
VCU (27-9) was relentless in a 46-point rout of Akron on Thursday night, but the Rams met their match against Michigan’s cool-headed backcourt. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. rarely looked rattled against VCU, and although Michigan (28-7) committed 12 turnovers, the Rams couldn’t turn many of them into quick scoring opportunities.
The Wolverines will play the winner of today’s game between Kansas and North Carolina in Arlington, Texas.