Duke survived a tense finish against Michigan State and extended Mike Krzyzewski's final NCAA Tournament run, beating Tom Izzo's Spartans 85-76 on Sunday in the Hall of Fame coaches' bittersweet last tussle.
Star freshman Paolo Banchero scored 19 points and muscled in the go-ahead drive through contact with 2:05 left, putting the Blue Devils (30-6) ahead to stay in the record-extending 1,200th win of Krzyzewski's career. Duke reached the Sweet 16 for the 26th time under Coach K, who announced last summer that his 42nd season with the Blue Devils would be his last.
Those coaching milestones came against his longtime friend and frequent rival. The 75-year-old Krzyzewski — who has five NCAA titles and a record-tying 12 Final Four appearances — improved to 13-3 against the 67-year-old Izzo, who won the 2000 national championship and has reached eight Final Fours.
Krzyzewski will continue his push for a career-capping championship when the second-seeded Blue Devils head to San Francisco to play Notre Dame or Texas Tech next week in the West Region semifinals.
The Blue Devils shot 61% after halftime and 57% for the game, and they needed every bit of that production to survive against the seventh-seeded Spartans (23-13) in a riveting fight to the final minute. Gabe Brown scored 18 points to lead Michigan State.
HOUSTON 68, ILLINOIS 53
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Taze Moore scored 21 points, Jamal Shead added 18 and Houston, a Final Four team last season, advanced to the Sweet 16 by beating Illinois, which bowed out in the opening weekend for the second straight year.
The fifth-seeded Cougars (31-5), who lost their two best players to season-ending injuries, are headed home to Texas for the South Region semifinals, which will be in San Antonio, about a three-hour drive from Houston. They will face Arizona or TCU.
Kyler Edwards added 15 points for Houston.
For Illinois, it's another year of deep disappointment. The fourth-seeded Fighting Illini (23-10) were determined to go farther after being bumped by Loyola Chicago last year. All-American center Kofi Cockburn did his part, scoring 19 points in 38 minutes.
VILLANOVA 71, OHIO STATE 61
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Collin Gillespie scored 20 points, Eric Dixon hit a big 3-pointer late and second-seeded Villanova fended off seventh-seeded Ohio State.
The Wildcats (28-7) earned their eighth trip to the Sweet 16 under Jay Wright after surviving a second-half push from the Buckeyes (20-12), who trimmed a 15-point deficit to two before Villanova regained its footing.
The Wildcats will continue their quest for a third national title in seven seasons when they face 11th-seeded Michigan in the South Region semifinals on Thursday night in San Antonio.
Malachi Branham scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half. E.J. Liddell added 17 in likely his final game with the Buckeyes before heading to the NBA.
IOWA STATE 54, WISCONSIN 49
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Gabe Kalscheur scored 22 points and 11th-seeded Iowa State surprised Wisconsin in the Badgers' backyard to advance to the Sweet 16.
Izaiah Brockington added 10 points as the gritty Cyclones used their tough defense to hold off Johnny Davis and company in front of a raucous pro-Wisconsin crowd about 80 miles away from the school's Madison campus.
After winning just two games last season, Iowa State (22-12) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016 and the sixth time in school history. It will play the Miami-Auburn winner on Friday in Chicago.
Kalscheur went 10 for 19 from the field. The rest of the Cyclones combined for 10 field goals.
Davis, the Big Ten Player of the Year, led third-seeded Wisconsin (25-8) with 17 points, but the Badgers shot a season-low 29.8% from the field and turned it over a season-high 17 times.