UConn to Elite Eight as big underdogs

The Associated Press /

Published Mar 29, 2014 at 12:01AM

DeAndre Daniels scored 27 points, 19 in the second half, and UConn held off Iowa State 81-76 on Friday to reach the East Regional final a year after the Huskies were barred from the NCAA tournament.

Daniels hit his first six shots after halftime, the only Husky to make a field goal for over 8½ minutes. His 3-pointer gave seventh-seeded UConn a 49-32 lead.

The Cyclones rallied late, pulling within 67-63 with 2½ minutes remaining. But senior Niels Giffey hit a 3 in the corner for his first points since the game’s opening moments, and when the Huskies (29-8) made their free throws in the final minute, the UConn fans packing Madison Square Garden could celebrate.

Dustin Hogue scored a career-high 34 points for third-seeded Iowa State (28-8), but Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim was 3 of 13 for seven points.

In other games Friday night:

Michigan St. 61, Virginia 59: NEW YORK — Branden Dawson had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Michigan State beat top-seeded Virginia.

Michigan State overcame a horrible start to the second half and then withstood a late run by the Cavaliers to advance to the regional finals for the eighth time since 1985 — all under coach Tom Izzo.

MIDWEST REGIONAL

Kentucky 74, Louisville 69: INDIANAPOLIS — Aaron Harrison made a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to give Kentucky the go-ahead points. Harrison, Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson, all finished with 15 points for the eighth-seeded Wildcats.

Michigan 73, Tennessee 71: INDIANAPOLIS — Jordan Morgan scored 15 points and Nik Stauskas had 14 for second-seeded Michigan. Tennessee had a chance to take the lead, but Jarnell Stokes was called for an offensive foul with 6 seconds left.