Gonzaga and Xavier ready for Final Four breakthrough

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Gonzaga coach Mark Few did not like the question but answered it anyway. His Zags had just held off West Virginia to reach the Elite Eight and he was asked if he felt like the monkey was off his back. Few gave a long answer about no one believing there was a monkey there in the first place.

Gonzaga, Xavier on the cusp of first Final Four

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- No. 11 Xavier (24-13) vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (35-1) Fourth Round, West Region; San Jose, California, 6:09 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Two teams once considered mid-majors are on the cusp of their first Final Four. Gonzaga has made the NCAA Tournament 19 straight seasons, the fourth-longest streak in the nation. The Zags have been to the Elite Eight twice before and entes Saturday's game with 27 NCAA Tournament wins.

Xavier overcame worst slump in 35 years to reach Elite Eight

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Xavier didn't look like an Elite Eight team in early March, coming off six straight defeats that led coaches to try to burn the month of February from the players' memories, literally. Ranked No. 7 in the preseason, the Musketeers had dropped out of the poll and were a bubble team after losing senior guard Myles Davis, point guard Edmond Sumner and top scorer Trevon Bluiett at midseason.

Thursday's Sports in Brief

NCAA TOURNAMENT SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Trevon Bluiett scored 25 points, Sean O'Mara scored inside with 40 seconds left and No. 11 seed Xavier upset No. 2 Arizona 73-71 in the West Region. Xavier (30-13) stayed with the second-seeded Wildcats behind Bluiett's 18 first-half points and tracked down the Wildcats after they tried to pull away in the second half.

Correction: NCAA-Xavier-Arizona story

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- In a story March 24 about an NCAA Tournament game between Xavier and Arizona, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Xavier's record was 30-13. It should have been 24-13. A corrected version of the story is below: Xavier knocks off Arizona 73-71 in West Region Xavier, behind Trevon Bluiett's 25 points, upsets Arizona 73-71 in West to reach Elite Eight By JOHN MARSHALL AP Basketball Writer SAN JOSE, Calif.

NCAA Tournament Capsules

Results from the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday: ___ WEST REGION XAVIER 73, ARIZONA 71 SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Trevon Bluiett scored 25 points, Sean O'Mara scored inside with 40 seconds left and No. 11 seed Xavier upset No. 2 Arizona 73-71 in the West Region on Thursday night.

The Latest: Arizona's loss means three 2-seeds are out

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Latest on the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): 1:05 a.m. Xavier's upset of Arizona wrapped up Thursday's four-game slate, sending the Musketeers into the Elite Eight as a surprise team alongside high seeds Gonzaga, Kansas and Oregon. That made Arizona the third No. 2 seed to lose after Duke and Louisville the first weekend.

Jayhawks to face Ducks...Bulldogs have meeting with Musketeers...Hoyas drop Thompson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- It will be top-seeded Kansas against No. 3 Oregon in the NCAA's Midwest Regional final tomorrow in Kansas City. Frank Mason III and Devonte Graham dropped in 26 points apiece as top seed Kansas blasted Purdue, 98-66. Tyler Dorsey capped his 20-point night by nailing the go-ahead layup with 1:08 left to lead third seed Oregon past Michigan, 69-68. SAN JOSE, Calif.

Update on the latest sports

NCAA TOURNAMENT Musketeers stun Wildcats to join Ducks, Zags, Jayhawks in Elite 8 UNDATED (AP) -- Last night's NCAA regional semifinals consisted of three close games and a blowout. Xavier, Gonzaga and Oregon managed to win their NCAA Tournament games by a combined six points, while Kansas enjoyed a 32-point blowout over Purdue. Xavier pulled off the biggest stunner as the 11th-seeded Musketeers held on to beat No.

Miller and Mack still close after time together at Xavier

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Sean Miller had just been named Xavier's head basketball coach when he began meeting with athletic director Dawn Rogers about filling out his staff. Rogers had previously worked with Chris Mack, then on Skip Prosser's staff at Wake Forest, and suggested Miller consider him with the Musketeers. Miller knew nothing about Mack, but during the meticulous process of finding assistants, the Xavier alum's name kept coming up.

Xavier looks for another upset against Arizona

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- No. 11 seed Xavier (23-13) vs. No. 2 seed Arizona (32-4) Third round, West region; San Jose, California; 10:09 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Xavier is the lone double-digit seed left in a Sweet 16 filled with power programs. The Musketeers pulled off a pair of upsets to reach the regional semifinals, beating No. 6 seed Maryland and No. 3 Florida State the first weekend of the tournament.

Three No. 1 seeds, endless optimism among Sweet 16 teams

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's win over defending national champion and overall No. 1 seed Villanova shook up office pools around the country, though the tested Badgers aren't a typical No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Eleventh-seeded Xavier might be a surprise team in the regional semifinals, but with their 3-point prowess, the Musketeers are capable of shooting their way past any opponent.

No. 11 Xavier overcomes huge setbacks to reach Sweet 16

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Point guard Edmond Sumner eased himself down the hallway from Xavier's practice gym on Monday using a pair of crutches to protect his surgically repaired knee. Somehow, his team has figured out how to move on without him. The Musketeers (23-13) are the biggest surprise in the Sweet 16.

NCAA Tournament Capsules

Results from the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday: ___ EAST REGION WISCONSIN 65, VILLANOVA 62 BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Top-seeded Villanova was bounced from the NCAA Tournament by eighth-seeded Wisconsin, which overcame foul trouble for two of its stars in the second half Saturday to upset the defending champions 65-62 in the East region. Nigel Hayes scored 19 points, dropping a layup in traffic with 11.

No. 11 Xavier upsets No. 3 FSU, 91-66, in second round

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Xavier Musketeers didn't have the regular season they hoped to have. They are making up for it now. The 11th-seeded Musketeers dominated third-seeded Florida State 91-66 during Saturday's second round of the NCAA Tournament. Their second upset in the West Region put them back into the regional semifinal round for the second time in two years and eighth time in program history.

Tall order: Xavier squares off against Seminoles' 7-footers

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- No.11 seed Xavier (22-13) vs. No. 3 Florida State (26-8) Second round, West region; Orlando, Florida; 6:10 p.m. EDT. BOTTOM LINE: Xavier will look to Sean O'Mara in the paint against Florida State the Musketeers will likely have to turn to perimeter shooting to take down Florida State. The Seminoles have the ability to dominate the paint with 7-foot-1 Michael Ojo and 7-foot-4 Christ Koumadje.

Thursday's Sports in Brief

NCAA TOURNAMENT The NCAA Tournament's first full day tipped off, and for 20 minutes, Villanova looked ordinary, vulnerable, maybe even a little scared. The Wildcats finished like champions. Donte DiVincenzo scored 21 points and the NCAA Tournament's top seed shook off a shocking start and stumbled forward in the East region Thursday night with a 76-56 victory over No. 16 seed Mount St. Mary's.

11-seed Xavier upends 6-seed Maryland 76-65 in NCAA tourney

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Trevon Bluiett doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about missed shots because he knows the makes will eventually come. After missing his first seven shots and contributing just 3 points in the first half, Bluiett found his rhythm Thursday night to lead No.11 seed Xavier to a 76-65 upset of sixth-seeded Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Tournament Capsules

Results from the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday: ___ WEST REGION NORTHWESTERN 68, VANDERBILT 66 SALT LAKE CITY -- Northwestern got its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, 68-66 over Vanderbilt, after Commodores guard Matthew Fisher-Davis inexplicably grabbed Wildcats guard Bryant McIntosh on purpose, sending McIntosh to the free throw line for the go-ahead points with 15 seconds left.