The Mercury News
San Diego State, Miami take out final two No. 1s
Darrion Trammell and San Diego State used a dominant defensive performance to knock top overall seed Alabama out of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night, bottling up All-America freshman Brandon Miller in a 71-64 West Region victory in the Sweet 16 in Louisville, Ky.
Trammell, who went to St. Ignatius High in San Francisco, scored 21 points while Miller, whose outstanding season was marred by off-the-court complications, was held to nine points on 3-of-19 shooting and had six turnovers.
The fifth-seeded Aztecs (30-6) will face either Creighton or Princeton on Sunday in the regional final as they seek their first Final Four in program history.
San Diego State trailed 48-39 midway through the second half before going on a 12-0 run and controlling the game from there. The Aztecs finished with eight blocked shots — five by Nathan Mensah — and forced 14 turnovers.
Mark Sears had 16 points for Alabama (316), which shot 32% overall and a miserable 3 of 27 (11.1%) from 3-point range.
The Crimson Tide fell short of the second Elite Eight berth in school history.
“Alabama's a great team. They have a lot of talented players and individuals,” Trammell said. “We knew it was going to be hard. It was a dogfight. Very physical.”
Sears' layup got Alabama within 66-64 with 46 seconds remaining, but Matt Bradley, a transfer from Cal, made two free throws. Micah Parrish followed by making three of four attempts, including two with 17 seconds left. MIDWEST REGION: NO. 5 MIAMI
89, NO. 1 HOUSTON 75 >> Nijel Pack and the Hurricanes hit shots from near and far against the stingiest defense in the country to beat the Cougars in the Sweet 16 in Kansas City, Mo., leaving the NCAA Tournament without a single No. 1 seed among its final eight teams for the first time since seeding began in 1979.
Miami (28-7), only the fifth team this season to score at least 70 points against Houston (33-4), will play second-seeded Texas or No. 3 seed Xavier in the regional final Sunday for the chance to go to the Final Four.
The Hurricanes reached a regional final for the second straight year just a few hours after Miami's ninth-seeded women's team hung on to beat Villanova and advance to the Elite Eight for the first time. Miami and UConn are the only schools with teams remaining in both tournaments.
This is the first time in three years Houston didn't make it to the Elite Eight.
The Cougars simply couldn't stop a multifaceted Miami offense led by Pack's 3-point shooting. He had season highs of seven 3-pointers on 10 attempts and 26 points.
Isaiah Wong's midrange game helped get the 'Canes out to a fast start, and he finished with 20 points. Jordan Miller hurt the Cougars with his penetration and had 13 points, and Norchad Omier was his usual rugged self under the basket with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
It resulted in a heartbreaking end for a Cougars team that was in the Sweet 16 for a fourth straight time and had won 15 of its last 16 games.
Jarace Walker led the Cougars with 16 points.