Ethan Thompson scored 20 points, including a pair of clinching foul shots with 35 seconds left, and No. 12 seed Oregon State kept its dream March going, beating eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago.
Warith Alatishe added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Beavers (20-12), who were picked to finish last in the Pac-12 but ran roughshod through the conference tournament and have kept on winning on college basketball’s biggest stage.
They’re headed for their first Elite Eight since 1982 one that was later vacated by the NCAA and will play second-seeded Houston on Monday night for a spot in the Beavers’ first Final Four since 1963.
Not even the fervent prayers of Sister Jean could help Loyola (26-4) deal with the constantly changing defenses that Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle rolled out. The Ramblers wound up shooting 33% from the field and 5 of 23 from beyond the arc.
All-America forward Cameron Krutwig led Loyola with 14 points.
No 1 Baylor 62, No 5 Villanova 51
Top-seeded Baylor overcame some frigid outside shooting Saturday to move into the Elite Eight, getting 16 points from Adam Flagler in a 62-51 victory over Villanova and their versatile defense.
The Bears (25-2) came in as the nation’s leading 3-point team, shooting 41.5%, but made only 3 of 19 in this one, unable to find room or get into a comfort zone against fifth-seeded Villanova’s mix of 2-3 zone and man. Davion Mitchell, a 46% shooter from 3 this season, went 0 for 3 in a 14-point night.
Baylor, which started the season 18-0 and won its first-ever Big 12 regular-season title, is one win from the Final Four for the first time since 2012. The Bears will play Arkansas in the South regional final.
This game changed midway through the second half when Baylor all but abandoned what is normally its go-to shot the 3. The Bears took a six-point lead with a 14-2 run during which not a single point came from outside the arc.
The Bears played some defense, too. Baylor held Villanova to 37.5% shooting in the second half and 0 for 9 from 3.
The Wildcats (18-7) got 16 points from Jermaine Samuels, but only three from Caleb Daniels on 1-for-11 shooting.
No 3 Arkansas 72, No 15 Oral Roberts 70
Davonte Davis hit a short jumper with 2.9 seconds left, and Arkansas beat Oral Roberts to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in 26 years.
The Muss Buss grinded its gears through the first half into the second, bad shots and even worse defense putting third-seeded Arkansas in a 12-point hole against the 15th-seeded Golden Eagles.
Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks (25-6) got their swagger back, turning defensive stops into early offense opportunities and offensive rebounds into points.
It came down to one final shot and Davis made it, sending Arkansas to the Elite Eight for the first time since the Nolan Richardson “40 Minutes of Hell” days.
The let-it-fly Golden Eagles (18-11) let history slip through their grasp. Max Abmas did his best, scoring 25 points. His 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
No 2 Houston 62, No 11 Syracuse 46
Quentin Grimes scored 14 points while Houston’s defense locked down on surging Buddy Boeheim, helping the Cougars beat Syracuse.
Justin Gorham had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the second-seeded Cougars, who pushed through to their first trip to a regional final in 37 years.
The Cougars also got a strong all-around effort from DeJon Jarreau, who finished with nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists while leading the defensive effort that kept Boeheim in check.
Houston (27-3) came in holding opponents to a national-low 37.3% shooting, and then harassed No. 11 seed Syracuse (18-10) into just 28% (14 for 50).
Buddy Boeheim managed just one first-half basket and finished with 12 points on 3-for-13 shooting, including 1 for 9 from 3-point range.