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Hancock, Louisville knock off Saint Louis

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Luke Hancock scored 21 points and defending national champion Louisville shrugged off a cold shooting performance to beat Saint Louis 66-51 on Saturday and advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.

The fourth-seeded Cardinals (31-5) shot under 45 percent, had 19 turnovers and only got 11 points from star Russ Smith. It didn’t matter with the fifth-seeded Billikens (27-7) going 0 for 15 from 3-point range and struggling to take care of the basketball.

Louisville moves on the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis against either No. 1 seed Wichita State or No. 8 seed Kentucky. The unbeaten Shockers and Wildcats meet Sunday in St. Louis.

Saint Louis, which has never been to the Sweet 16, lost in the third round of the tournament for the third consecutive year. Dwayne Evans led the Billikens with 16 points and Atlantic 10 player of the year Jordair Jett finished with 15.

Florida 61, Pittsburgh 45

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Scottie Wilbekin scored 21 points and top-seeded Florida beat Pittsburgh 61-45 in the NCAA tournament Saturday, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year.

Patric Young added seven points and eight rebounds for the Gators, who extended their school record for consecutive wins to 28.

Coming off a lackluster performance in its NCAA opener, Florida (34-2) played with considerably more energy and intensity against the Panthers (26-10).

Wilbekin and Young spearheaded the effort. And had Florida not been cold from 3-point range, the game would have been essentially over much sooner than it was. The Gators were 5 of 20 from behind the arc, with at least five of those rimming in and out.

San Diego St. 63, North Dakota St. 44

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Xavier Thames scored 30 points, and fourth-seeded San Diego State reached the round of 16 for the second time in school history, ending the run of No. 12 seed North Dakota State 63-44 on Saturday in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

The Aztecs (31-4) now get to make the short drive up the interstate to Anaheim, Calif., where they will face either No. 1 seed Arizona or eighth-seeded Gonzaga in the West Regional semifinals on Thursday.

Thames, who was 9 of 19 from the field, had five assists and ended the comeback hopes of the Bison with a six-point spurt late in the second half.

Dwayne Polee II was the only other San Diego State player in double figures with 15 points.

Kory Brown led the Bison (26-7) with 13 points, but the best shooting team in the country shot only 31.9 percent.