Malachi Richardson scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half as (10) Syracuse rallied from 16 points down to stun the (1) UVA Cavaliers. The final was 68-62 for Boeheim’s squad, and the Orange advanced their first Final Four since 2013, and the fifth one under Coach Boeheim.
According to STATS, Syracuse is the lowest seed to make it the Final Four since VCU in 2011 and just the fourth-ever double-digit seed to do so. Along with Richardson’s huge scoring night, senior Michael Gbinije and freshman Tyler Lydon scored 11 each for the Orange; freshman Tyler Roberson crashed the glass and secured eight rebounds to go along with his ten points.
For Virginia, London Perrantes got off to a red-hot start in the first half and scored 15 of his 18 points. He cooled off significantly after, as did the rest of the Cavaliers. They managed just 27 second half points compared to the 35 the scored in the first half.
ACC Player of the Year Malcolm Brogdon had 12 points on a horrendous 2/14 shooting, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Late in the second half, sophomore Devon Hall attempted a three that would’ve tied the score, but he missed and Tyler Lydon secured the rebound and the victory.
The nightcap saw the (1) UNC Tar Heels beat the (6) Fighting Irish of Notre Dame 88-74. This game was different from the one before it, as it had both teams trading buckets throughout. Ultimately, it came down to UNC’s effort on the boards, and their willing passing. Brice Johnson, one of the most tenacious rebounders in the country, almost outrebounded the entire Notre Dame team. Johnson finished with 12 boards, and Notre Dame finished with 15; Johnson also added 25 points.
Joel Berry and Theo Pinson did a solid job orchestrating the offense and accounted for 12 of the team’s 17 assists. Notre Dame tallied just nine assists.
Both Demetrius Jackson and V.J. Beachem had the hot hands for ND. Jackson, who played 39 minutes, managed to score a game-high 26 on 10/16 shooting. Beachem, who played 39 minutes as well, was just as efficient and scored 18 on 6/9 shooting.
With the win, UNC advances to a record 19th Final Four and will face the Syracuse Orange on Saturday, April 2, at 8:49 PM EST. The winner will take on the winner of Oklahoma/Villanova in the National Championship game.
Be sure to check back for a full breakdown later this week.