JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It’s probably the same play suspended LSU coach Will Wade would have called.
After all, it worked several times during the regular season. And now it has the Tigers in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006.
Tremont Waters drove by three defenders and scooped in a banking layup with 1.6 seconds remaining to give third-seeded LSU a 69-67 victory over sixth-seeded Maryland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
“Great players make great plays, and he made a great play,” interim coach Tony Benford said.
After Maryland’s Eric Ayala failed to get off a shot from midcourt before the final buzzer, LSU players mobbed Waters under the basket. They could have done the same to Skylar Mays, who scored 16 points and hit a huge 3-pointer with 40 seconds remaining that put the Tigers (28-6) up 67-64.
Jalen Smith answered on the other end, sending the packed crowd into a frenzy and prompting LSU to call timeout.
Benford dialed up the final play for Waters, a dynamic sophomore who has been terrific all season.
“The players knew exactly what was coming,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “We all knew what was coming. It was whether we were going to be able to stop it or not.”
Kentucky 62, Wofford 56: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Kentucky ended Wofford’s season in the NCAA Tournament with a stifling defensive effort on Fletcher Magee, carrying the Wildcats to the regional semifinals.
Michigan 64, Florida 49: DES MOINES, Iowa — Michigan is back in the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year after pulling away for a win over Florida. Jordan Poole scored 19 points and took charge of the game in the final seven minutes to help the Wolverines advance.
Gonzaga 83, Baylor 71: SALT LAKE CITY — Next stop on the Brandon Clarke Dunk ‘n Swat Festival: The Sweet 16. The Gonzaga forward had five monster dunks, five blocks, matched a career-high with 36 points and enjoyed the overall kind of night that earns potential NBAers millions, while leading the top-seeded Bulldogs.
Auburn 89, Kansas 75: SALT LAKE CITY — Bruce Pearl’s Auburn rebuilding project took a massive leap. The Tigers are headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 16 years. Bryce Brown scored 25 points and hit seven 3-pointers, leading Auburn to a drubbing of Kansas. The Tigers (28-9) were a surprise last season, earning a share of their first SEC title since 1999 and winning an NCAA Tournament game.