A Southeastern Conference clash will take center stage this afternoon as the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats take on the fifth-seeded Auburn Tigers in the Elite Eight.
Auburn (30-9) overcame PJ Washington's 28 points and 13 rebounds, foul trouble and a slow start to punch its ticket to Minneapolis for its first appearance in the Final Four.
"I love our will to win", Kentucky coach John Calipari said.
"I just tried to go out there and give everything I have, " he said.
The sophomore forward single-handedly outscored the Cougars bench by finishing with 16-points to go along with the defensive play of the game to send the United Kingdom program to its 34th Elite Eight, which is an NCAA record. The Tigers outscored the Tar Heels 56-41 in the second half on its way to the way.
"There wasn't enough time so I tried to miss the second one and it went in", Barrett said.
Michigan Wolverines Basketball: Sweet Not Elite, But The Future Is Bright
For Tech to advance, it would be necessary for one or more players to perform above their norm at the offensive end. But Texas Tech responded by scoring the final nine points of the half and continued that dominance after the break.
Kentucky had been playing without Washington since March 16, who sprained his left foot in the SEC Tournament semi-final against Tennessee. Neither team led by more than five points at any point in the half. Auburn is in its second-ever Elite Eight, having last made the round in 1986. They were not going to go away.
Earlier Sunday, Auburn defied the odds to knock off blue-blood Kentucky in overtime, 77-71, in Sunday's Midwest Regional Final in Kansas City. Auburn is 5-2 ATS in its last seven neutral court games.
The Cougars (33-4) got 20 points from junior guard Armoni Brooks, who made six of 12 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
For UNC, White led the offensive pace and scored a tie for a team-high 15 points.
After back-to-back blocks by Horace Spencer and Anfernee McLemore on the defensive end, Brown came down with the ball, and with only 12 seconds left in regulation, for a chance to take the final shot and send the Tigers to the next round.
Auburn lost twice to Kentucky during the regular season with Okeke, its top rebounder and third-leading scorer, in the lineup.
Kentucky: The Wildcats look formidable now that Washington is back.