Thames scored 30 points and the Aztecs pulled away to beat North Dakota State 63-44 on Saturday to reach the Sweet 16 for the second time in four years.
The fourth-seeded Aztecs (31-4) moved on to next week's West Region semifinals close to home in Anaheim, Calif., where they will face the winner of Sunday's game between top-seeded Arizona and eighth-seeded Gonzaga.
Dwayne Polee II added 15 points in the win and Josh Davis had 13 rebounds.
Kory Brown led North Dakota State (26-7) with 13 points while Taylor Braun -- the Bison's leading scorer at 18.0 points per game coming in -- scored seven on just 2-of-14 shooting.
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]