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For as wild as the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament was, Friday's Sweet 16 action mostly fell chalk as two No. 1 seeds -- Villanova and Kansas -- reserved their spots in the Elite Eight, as did No. 2 seed Duke and No. 3 seed Texas Tech.

The curious code of Syracuse's pesky zone defense that has befuddled foes this postseason was cracked by the Blue Devils, who dispatched the Orange in a 69-65 victory. But it didn't come easy for Duke, as it hit just 5 of 26 from the 3-point line and a woeful 39.6 percent clip from the field.

The heroics of Marvin Bagley III and his 22-point night, though, kept the Blue Devils afloat -- and was ultimately the biggest reason why the Blue Devils will continue their dance into the Elite Eight on Sunday against Kansas.

So now the field that began at 68 has been whittled all the way down to eight, with four more set to be eliminated by Sunday's end. Let's recap Friday with eight things to know.

The legend of Sagaba Konate grew

If shot-blocking is an art, consider West Virginia big man Sagaba Konate a modern-aged hoops version of Pablo Picasso. The Mountaineers star finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks -- one of which was an absolute soul-crusher to deny Mikal Bridges a surefire poster.

West Virginia looked poised to take top-seeded Villanova to the brink of defeat, but the Wildcats' high-octane offense buried West Virginia in the final 20 minutes, putting an end to its season in a 90-78 loss. Konate's volleyball style shot-blocking legend, however, grew exponentially.

Kansas avoided a meltdown

Kansas led by 13 points at halftime and as many as 20 in the second half, but the Jayhawks struggled to put away No. 5 seed Clemson in Omaha, Nebraska. They turned it over eight times in the final 20 minutes and allowed Clemson, led by Gabe Devoe's 31 points, to roar back and get within four in the final minute.

It would never get closer than four -- the final score being 80-76 -- but KU was a bad bounce or two away from being on the receiving end of one of the biggest NCAA Tournament comebacks ever.

Duke cracks the Syracuse zone

Arizona State couldn't do it, nor could TCU or Michigan State. But Duke did it. Duke cracked the code to the Syracuse zone defense that has suffocated teams in the Tournament, defeating the Orange 69-65.

Ironically, the Blue Devils did so by throwing a zone of their own at Syracuse, forcing 16 turnovers and converting that into 18 points that proved to be the difference in the game.

Texas Tech breaks through ahead of schedule

Texas Tech is going to the Elite Eight for the first time ... ever. The Red Raiders achieved the feat by taking down 2 seed Purdue 78-65, putting them well ahead of schedule in the Chris Beard era, as our own Matt Norlander wrote from on site in Boston.

And finally, the Final Four things to know: Saturday's key matchups and picks

No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (6:09 p.m. ET): Never in the history of the NCAA Tournament has a No. 9 played a No. 11. But that exact seed matchup between Kansas State and Loyola-Chicago, respectively, will transpire on Saturday. The Ramblers of Loyola have Sister Jean on their side, and Kansas State? The Wildcats escaped Kentucky -- along with #HandshakeGate2018 -- unblemished.

Pick: This is where I foresee the Sister Jean magic running out. I like Kansas State, a 1.5 point-favorite according to SportsLine, to win and cover the spread here.

No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 9 Florida State (8:49 p.m. ET): Michigan's offense looked lethal against Texas A&M in hanging one point shy of a hundred on the Aggies. But don't count out Florida State, which keeps winning as underdogs, its latest examples being two consecutive stunning victories, first over No. 1 seed Xavier then over No. 4 seed Gonzaga.

Pick: Michigan is fresh off an ole-fashioned butt-whoopin' of Texas A&M, and its high-octane offense is finally catching up to speed with its suffocating defense. For that reason alone, I like the Wolverines, 4.5-point favorites according to SportsLine, to win. But take Florida State to cover. This one will be close.