CBKB: Kansas wraps up second consecutive Big 12 title
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Marcus Morris and Thomas Robinson had double-doubles and No. 2 Kansas wrapped up its seventh straight Big 12 championship by holding on for a 70-66 win over No. 22 Missouri on Saturday.
Robinson had 15 points and 13 rebounds, returning to form less than a month after arthroscopic surgery on the right knee he injured against Missouri at home. Morris had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Kansas, which has won 14 of the last 17 in a lopsided border series.
The Jayhawks (29-2, 14-2) committed a season-worst 24 turnovers, but dominated inside and held Missouri (22-9, 8-8) to season-worst 29.3 percent shooting. They have won 10 of 11 heading into the conference tournament.
The Tigers were 3 for 23 from 3-point range, many of them hurried attempts and several of them air balls.
Laurence Bowers had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five steals for Missouri.
No. 3 BYU 102, Wyoming 78
PROVO, Utah – Jimmer Fredette scored 38 points and BYU closed a tumultuous week with a runaway win.
Charles Abouo scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half for the Cougars (28-3, 14-2 Mountain West Conference), who earned their first win since Brandon Davies was kicked off the team for breaking the school’s honor code. BYU was coming off an 82-64 loss to New Mexico on Wednesday night.
Francisco Cruz scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half for Wyoming (10-20, 3-13). Daylen Harrison and Amath M’Baye had 12 points apiece.
No. 13 North Carolina 81,
No. 4 Duke 67
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Harrison Barnes scored 18 points and North Carolina clinched the Atlantic Coast Conference title.
Kendall Marshall had 15 points and 11 assists as the Tar Heels (24-6, 14-2) ended a three-game losing streak to their fierce rival and earned the top seed in next week’s ACC tournament. North Carolina also avenged last month’s loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium in which the Tar Heels blew a 16-point lead in the first half.
Nolan Smith scored 30 points for Duke (27-4, 13-3), while Seth Curry had 20 points with six 3-pointers.
No. 4 Pittsburgh 60,
No. 19 Villanova 50
PITTSBURGH – Ashton Gibbs had 18 points to help Pittsburgh clinch the outright Big East title.
After Notre Dame won at Connecticut earlier Saturday, Pitt (27-4, 15-3) needed a victory to secure the No. 1 seed for the Big East tournament for the first time since 2004 and third overall. Nasir Robinson, Travon Woodall and Gilbert Brown each had nine points for the Panthers.
Villanova (21-10, 9-9) was without Corey Stokes (left hamstring) and leading scorer Corey Fisher was limited due to early foul trouble. But the Wildcats managed to stay close behind Maalik Wayns, who had 23 of his career-high 27 points in the second half.
Iowa 67, No. 6 Purdue 65
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Jarryd Cole had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game and Iowa stunned Purdue, clinching the Big Ten title for top-ranked Ohio State.
Bryce Cartwright and Matt Gatens each added 13 points for the Hawkeyes (11-19, 4-14), who snapped the Boilermakers’ seven-game winning streak.
Cartwright hit a floater that bounced up and in with 31 seconds left to put the Hawkeyes ahead 65-61. Purdue’s Lewis Jackson answered with a layup, but Gatens raced down the floor and hit two game-icing free throws with 6 seconds left.
JaJuan Johnson had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Purdue (25-6, 14-4).
No. 7 Texas 60, Baylor 54
WACO, Texas – LaceDarius Dunn became the Big 12’s career scoring leader in his last regular-season home game for Baylor, and even he was impressed by something else: the dominating inside performance by Texas freshman Tristan Thompson.
“He’s just a monster,” Dunn said. “He’s an incredible player.”
Thompson had 19 points and 13 rebounds, nine of them on the offensive end and several leading to spectacular putback dunks, and the seventh-ranked Longhorns pulled out a victory that marked another blow to Baylor’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Texas (25-6, 13-3) was already set as the No. 2 seed for the Big 12 tournament next week.
No. 8 Notre Dame 70,
No. 16 Connecticut 67
STORRS, Conn. – Ben Hansbrough scored 21 points despite fouling out with over 8 minutes left and Notre Dame held on for the win.
Kemba Walker scored 34 points for Connecticut but missed a 3-point attempt with 8 seconds left and the Huskies trailing 69-67. Donnell Beverly also fumbled away a pass just before time ran out.
Carleton Scott and Tyrone Nash each had 13 points for the Fighting Irish (25-5, 14-4), who closed the regular season with four straight wins and have won 11 of 12 overall.
UConn (22-9, 9-9), which has lost four of five, will have to play Tuesday in the opening round of the conference tournament.
No. 9 San Diego State 66, Colorado State 48
SAN DIEGO – Kawhi Leonard had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 9 San Diego State beat Colorado State to share the Mountain West Conference title with No. 3 BYU.
The Aztecs (29-2, 14-2) will be the No. 2 seed in the MWC tournament at Las Vegas. BYU will be No. 1 because of its two 13-point wins against the Aztecs.
West Virginia 72,
No. 11 Louisville 70
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Truck Bryant sank two free throws with 1 second left to lift West Virginia to the win.
West Virginia (20-10, 11-7 Big East) clinched a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The Mountaineers earned their fourth consecutive 20-win season under coach Bob Huggins and the seventh straight overall.
Kevin Jones had a career-high 25 points and 16 rebounds for the Mountaineers. John Flowers had 12 points and 12 rebounds while Bryant finished with 10 points.
Kyle Kuric scored 21 points for Louisville (23-8, 12-6), which had won four straight.
No. 12 Syracuse 107, DePaul 59
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Rick Jackson had 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Syracuse, making sure his final game in the Carrier Dome was a memorable one.
It was the fifth straight win for Syracuse (25-6, 12-6 Big East) after a midseason swoon in which the Orange lost four straight and six of eight after an 18-0 start. Syracuse also clinched a double-bye in next week’s Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden.
No. 14 Florida 86,
No. 21 Vanderbilt 76
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kenny Boynton scored 17 points, all three of Florida’s seniors reached double figures and the Gators clinched the Southeastern Conference regular-season title.
Florida (24-6, 13-3) set a school record for conference wins and earned its third outright SEC title. The Gators pulled away after a technical foul on Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings midway through the second half.
The loss knocked Vanderbilt out of position for a first-round bye in next week’s SEC tournament. The Commodores must now hope that No. 20 Kentucky beats Tennessee on Sunday to help them remain the Eastern Division’s No. 3 seed.
No. 15 St. John’s 72,
South Florida 56
NEW YORK – D.J. Kennedy scored 16 points and St. John’s bounced back from a loss to Seton Hall.
The Red Storm (20-10, 12-6) had a six-game winning streak snapped Thursday in an 84-70 loss at Seton Hall, a game that saw coach Steve Lavin ejected with 1:55 left and forward Justin Burrell get tossed for a flagrant foul with 7.6 seconds left.
No such drama in the final home game for St. John’s 10-man senior class. The Red Storm reached the 20-win mark for the first time since 2002-03 and finished in a three-way tie for third place with Louisville and Syracuse.
Through the three-team tiebreaker, St. John’s will be the fifth seed and get a bye into the second round of the Big East tournament on Wednesday.
Augustus Gilchrist had 16 points for the Bulls (9-21, 3-14), who have lost eight of nine.
No. 17 Georgetown 47
CINCINNATI – Yancy Gates scored 10 of his 13 points from the free-throw line, where Cincinnati was nearly flawless, and the Bearcats completed a sweep of Georgetown.
The Bearcats (24-7, 11-7 Big East) completed a breakthrough regular season that put them in position for their first NCAA tournament appearance since Bob Huggins was coach. They won five of their last six, including a pair over the fading Hoyas (21-9, 10-8).
Austin Freeman scored 21 for Georgetown, which goes into the Big East tournament with a three-game losing streak.
No. 18 Arizona 90, Oregon 82
TUCSON, Ariz. – Derrick Williams had 14 points despite early foul trouble and got plenty of help in what may have been his final home game, lifting Arizona to the outright Pac-10 title.
Arizona (25-6, 14-4) already had earned a share of the title for the first time in six years and the McKale Center was juiced in anticipation of nets coming down.
The Wildcats put on quite a shooting show, hitting 11 3-pointers and shooting 56 percent overall to close out their first undefeated home season (17-0) in 12 years. Kyle Fogg led Arizona with 20 points.
Oregon (14-16, 7-11) put up a fight, trimming a 17-point deficit early in the second half to six with 5 1/2 minutes left behind Joevan Catron (28 points).
No. 23 Xavier 66, Saint Louis 55
ST. LOUIS – Tu Holloway scored 25 points and Xavier extended its winning streak to nine games.
Mark Lyons had 16 points and Kenny Frease added 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Musketeers (24-6, 15-1 Atlantic 10), who have won 16 of 17 and are the No. 1 seed for next week’s conference tournament in Atlantic City, N.J.
Brian Conklin scored 14 points for Saint Louis (12-17, 6-10), which had won four straight.
No. 24 Texas A&M 66,
Texas Tech 54
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – David Loubeau scored 21 points to lead Texas A&M to the win.
Texas A&M (23-7, 10-6 Big 12) put together a 9-0 run to stretch its lead to 43-30 with just over 14 minutes remaining. The biggest highlight from the spurt was a dunk by Loubeau that came after a nifty pass from B.J. Holmes.
The Aggies already had secured a bye in next week’s Big 12 tournament and the victory gives them the No. 3 seed.
Texas Tech (13-18, 5-11) got 14 points from David Tairu.
No. 25 Utah State 72, Louisiana Tech 30
RUSTON, La. – Tyler Newbold scored 14 points and Utah State used its stifling defense to earn its sixth consecutive victory.
The Aggies limited the Bulldogs to just 10 field goals and 18 percent shooting (10 for 56). Louisiana Tech went 0 for 14 from 3-point range and committed 20 turnovers.
Tai Wesley added 11 points and eight rebounds for Utah State, which shot 41 percent from field. Reserve Brian Green had 10 points.
The Aggies (28-3, 15-1 Western Athletic Conference) have won 26 of 27 overall.
C.J. Scott scored 10 points for Louisiana Tech (12-20, 2-14).