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NCAA - Florida, Dayton reach Sweet 16

Lorenzo Gahol in Basketball 23 Mar 2014
Dayton players celebrate after eliminating Syracuse (credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Top seed Florida easily made the semifinals of the South Regional bracket while Dayton pulled off a major upset to also qualify for the Sweet 16.

Led by SEC Player of the Year Scottie Wilbekin, Florida easily dispatched No. 9 Pittsburgh 61-45 in Orlando. 

The senior guard from Gainesville scored 11 points in a crucial run in the second half that allowed the Gators to pull away.

Michael Frazier II added 10 points while Patric Young and Dorian Finney-Smith pulled down eight rebounds apiece for Florida, which led only by five points at the break.

Talib Zanna was the lone Pittsburgh player to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

Florida will play the winner between No. 4 UCLA and No. 12 Stephen F. Austin in the Sweet 16.

Dayton, meanwhile, continued its Cinderella run after eliminating No. 3 Syracuse 55-53 in Buffalo.

The 11th-seeded Flyers unleashed a 10-2 run to turn a three-point deficit into a 47-42 lead with less than five minutes remaining.

A jumper from Tyler Ennis allowed the Orangemen to come within one with 18 seconds left but the Flyers did not budge.

Dyshawn Pierre pushed Dayton's lead to 55-53 after making a free throw with seven seconds remaining. Needing a three-pointer to steal the win, the Orangemen again went to Ennis but the prized freshman missed his attempt and Dayton seized the rebound as time expired. It was a tough defeat for Syracuse, which reached the Final Four last season.

Pierre topscored for the Flyers with 14 points while Jordan Sibert added 10.

Devin Oliver collected 10 rebounds and scored seven points for Dayton, which stunned No. 6 Ohio State 60-59 in the previous round.

Ennis paced Syracuse with 19 points while CJ Fair had 14 points and 10 rebounds in his final game as an Orangeman.

Awaiting Dayton in the next round is the winner of Sunday's battle between No. 2 Kansas and No. 10 Stanford in St. Louis.

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NCAA - Florida, Dayton reach Sweet 16

Top seed Florida easily made the semifinals of the South Regional bracket while Dayton pulled off a major upset to also qualify for the Sweet 16.

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