CBKB: Ohio State avoids upset
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Jared Sullinger had 20 points and 18 rebounds as No. 1 Ohio State barely avoided a stunning upset, beating Northwestern 67-61 in overtime Friday in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
Sullinger made all 10 of his free throws in overtime after missing a baseline jumper that would have won the game as time expired in regulation. His 18 rebounds fell one short of the tournament record set by Ohio State’s Greg Oden in 2007.
Top-seeded Ohio State, the defending tournament champion, won its fifth straight game to advance to Saturday’s semifinals against Michigan.
Aaron Craft scored 17 points and Jon Diebler added 13 for the Buckeyes (30-2). Ohio State shot 32.2 percent from the field, matching its worst effort of the season, but outrebounded Northwestern 48-27.
John Shurna scored 23 points for the eighth-seeded Wildcats (18-13).
No. 2 Kansas 90, Colorado 83
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Marcus and Markieff Morris personally outscored Colorado 17-4 during one stretch of the first half, pulling Kansas out of a deep early deficit and leading the Jayhawks past Colorado in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.
Top-seeded Kansas will play second-seeded and No. 10 Texas for the championship Saturday.
Marcus, the younger of the Philadelphia twins by 7 minutes, totaled 20 points and 13 rebounds while Markieff had 20 points and eight boards for the top-seeded Jayhawks (31-2), who sent the Buffaloes off to the Pac-10 by beating them for the 45th time in 46 meetings.
Colorado (21-13) is switching conferences next season but appears to have a good chance at an NCAA tournament bid, which would be its first postseason appearance since 2005.
Alec Burks had 23 points for Colorado, giving him 76 in three tournament games as the Buffs reached the semifinals for the first time in the event’s 15-year history.
No. 14 Louisville 83, No. 4 Notre Dame 77, OT
NEW YORK (AP) – Preston Knowles, despite playing the final 10 minutes of regulation and overtime with four fouls, scored 20 points to rally Louisville past Notre Dame and into the championship game of the Big East tournament.
The third-seeded Cardinals (25-8) will face ninth-seeded Connecticut, which advanced with an overtime win over Syracuse.
It is the first time both Big East semifinals went to overtime and this was the third extra-session game of the tournament, matching the record.
Ben Hansbrough, the conference player of the year, struggled through one of his worst games of the season for the Irish (26-6), who had won 12 of 13. The senior guard finished 3 of 16 from the field for 13 points and had six turnovers.
No. 5 Duke 87, Maryland 71
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Kyle Singler scored 29 points and Duke, after star guard Nolan Smith went down with a toe injury, pulled away late to beat Maryland in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Mason Plumlee added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the second-seeded Blue Devils (28-4), but coach Mike Krzyzewski said Smith, the league’s player of the year, injured the second toe on his left foot with under 7 minutes left. He did not return, and Krzyzewski said Smith was questionable for Saturday’s semifinal.
The two-time reigning ACC tournament champions held Maryland without a field goal for 6 minutes down the stretch to reach the conference semifinals for the fourth straight year.
Jordan Williams had 16 points and 16 rebounds to lead the seventh-seeded Terrapins (19-14).
No. 6 North Carolina 61, Miami 59
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Kendall Marshall penetrated into the lane and found Tyler Zeller for a layup to beat the horn as North Carolina rallied from 19 down in the second half to beat Miami in the ACC quarterfinals.
Zeller finished with 13 points for the top-seeded Tar Heels (25-6), who escaped a shocking exit with a frantic comeback in the final 8 minutes. North Carolina rallied with a flurry of 3-pointers before Zeller provided its only lead on the final play.
Harrison Barnes had 18 points and hit four of the Tar Heels’ 10 3-pointers, seven coming in the second half. North Carolina plays Clemson in the semifinals Saturday.
The ninth-seeded Hurricanes (19-14) staged their own comeback from 10 down in the final minute to force overtime and beat Virginia in Thursday’s first round.
It was North Carolina’s biggest comeback since rallying from 20 down in the first half to beat Georgia Tech in 2006 and its biggest second-half comeback since rallying from 21 down against Florida State in 1993. It is also believed to be the program’s biggest comeback in any ACC tournament game.
No. 7 San Diego State 74, UNLV 72
LAS VEGAS (AP) – D.J. Gay sank a short jumper with 4.9 seconds left to send the Aztecs into the championship game of the Mountain West tournament.
The defending tournament champions secured their third straight title game appearance when UNLV’s Billy White was off target on a fadeaway, contested 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Gay finished with 15 points for the second-seeded Aztecs, and Kawhi Leonard added 18 points, and eight rebounds.
Eighth-ranked BYU is the only team that’s beaten the Aztecs (31-2) this season, winning 71-58 in Provo, Utah, and 80-67 in San Diego.
Chace Stanback led UNLV with 22 points and Tre’Von Willis added 19. No. 8 BYU 87, New Mexico 76
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Jimmer Fredette scored a career-high 52 points in BYU’s win over nemesis New Mexico in the Mountain West Conference semifinals.
The nation’s leading scorer made sure the top-seeded Cougars (30-3) didn’t lose to the Lobos for a third time, breaking his own tournament record of 45 points set exactly a year earlier and scoring a career-best 33 in the first half.
The Cougars will face San Diego State in Saturday’s championship game.
The Lobos’ chances of a third win over BYU – and perhaps an accompanying NCAA bid – took a dive when their pinballing point guard, Dairese Gary, went down with a right knee injury in the opening minutes of the second half. He was taken to the locker room to a standing ovation from fans of both teams.
With Gary on the bench grimacing in pain, the Lobos (21-12) hung in gallantly but missed their best player and leader down the stretch when the Cougars pulled away.
Michigan State 74, No. 9 Purdue 56
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 30 points to help resurgent Michigan State rout Purdue in a Big Ten quarterfinal.
Lucas tied a career high with four 3-pointers for the Spartans (19-13), who greatly improved their chances of receiving an NCAA tournament bid. Michigan State had a 14-11 record on Feb. 15 and was in danger of being left out of the field after reaching the Final Four the past two years. But now the Spartans have won five of their past seven games.
Purdue (25-7) had defeated the Spartans twice this season, including a 67-47 win at Michigan State on Feb. 27. The Spartans said on Thursday that they wanted payback.
JaJuan Johnson, the Big Ten player of the year, had 21 points and nine rebounds for Purdue. E’Twaun Moore added 17 points for the Boilermakers, who have lost two straight and fallen from consideration for a No. 1 seed.
No. 10 Texas 70, Texas A&M 58
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Jordan Hamilton scored 17 points and Texas had four players in double figures while beating Texas A&M in the Big 12 semifinals, giving the Longhorns a three-game season sweep of their old rivals.
Tristan Thompson, the Big 12 freshman of the year, had 14 points and 13 rebounds for second-seeded Texas (27-6), which plays Kansas for the tournament title. The Longhorns, one of two teams to beat the Jayhawks, upset them 74-63 on Jan. 22 and snapped their team-record 69-game home court winning streak.
Khris Middleton had 18 points and eight rebounds for No. 3 seed Texas A&M (24-8).
No. 21 Connecticut 76, No. 11 Syracuse 71, OT
NEW YORK (AP) – Connecticut didn’t need six overtimes. One was enough.
Kemba Walker had 33 points and 12 rebounds in another phenomenal performance and the Huskies held off Syracuse in overtime in the Big East tournament semifinals – two years after the teams played a six-overtime game for the ages.
The ninth-seeded Huskies (25-9) improved to 10-3 in Big East semifinals with their fourth win in four days and will play Saturday night for their first tournament championship since 2004.
Scoop Jardine had 20 points for the fourth-seeded Orange (26-7), including a pair of 3-pointers at the end of regulation that sent the game to overtime.
Walker also had six steals and five assists. He has scored 111 points to eclipse former Syracuse star Eric Devendorf’s Big East tournament record of 84 set in 2009.
No. 12 Florida 85, Tennessee 74
ATLANTA (AP) – Kenny Boynton scored 22 points and Florida rebounded after going more than 6 minutes at the end of the first half without scoring, beating Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
All five starters were in double figures for the Gators (25-6), who picked up their trophy for winning the SEC regular-season title, then played like champions after that dismal stretch.
Tobias Harris had 25 points for Tennessee (19-14), which closed the first half on a 21-4 run and went to the locker room up 34-29.
Penn State 36, No. 13 Wisconsin 33
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Talor Battle looked better than anyone else on the ugliest night in Big Ten tournament history.
The record-breaking guard finished with a team-high nine points, hitting a 3-pointer and a free throw in the closing minutes to lead Penn State past Wisconsin 36-33 in the lowest-scoring game in the 14 years of the event.
The previous record low was 85 points, set in 2008 when Wisconsin beat Michigan 51-34. The Badgers have been involved in four of the tourney’s six lowest-scoring games, though none was quite like this.
The Badgers’ top scorers, Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor, struggled all night, and it took nearly 36 minutes for Wisconsin (23-8) to put a third player in the scoring column. Taylor finished with 16 points and, fittingly, missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds to go. Leuer had 10 points.
The third-seeded Badgers, who lost their second straight for the first time in more than two years, were just 15 of 51 from the field and a dismal 2 of 21 from beyond the arc.
The No. 6 seed Nittany Lions (18-13) went 13 of 39 from the field and 3 of 12 from 3-point range. But that was good enough to move into Saturday’s semifinals against Michigan State.
No. 15 Kentucky 75, Mississippi 66
ATLANTA (AP) – Doron Lamb scored 19 points and fellow freshman Brandon Knight had 17 to lead Kentucky past Mississippi in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Knight made five free throws in the final 41 seconds as Kentucky (23-8), which never trailed, held off Ole Miss. The Rebels trailed 68-66 following Chris Warren’s 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining, but didn’t score again.
Warren had 20 points for Mississippi (20-13) but shot only 5 of 20 from the field.
Darius Miller had 15 points and Josh Harrellson 13 for Kentucky, which will play Alabama in Saturday’s first semifinal.
Terrance Henry had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Ole Miss, which likely awaits a spot in the NIT.
No. 16 Arizona 67, Southern California 62
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Derrick Williams scored 20 points and Arizona held off Southern California to earn a spot in the Pac-10 tournament title game for the first time since 2005.
The top-seeded Wildcats (27-6) have won 12 of 14 and will play for the championship Saturday against Washington, a trophy they last won in 2002.
Marcus Simmons, the Pac-10’s defensive player of the year, led the Trojans with a career-high 20 points. Nikola Vucevic scored 12 of his 16 in the second half and had 12 rebounds.
The fourth-seeded Trojans (19-14) played without coach Kevin O’Neill, whose suspension for the rest of the tournament was announced by USC two hours before tipoff. He and his wife got into a verbal altercation with an Arizona booster Thursday night at the team hotel. Bob Cantu, the Trojans’ associate head coach, took over and paced the sideline, regularly checking laminated play cards.
Dayton 68, No. 18 Xavier 67
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Luke Fabrizius hit two free throws with 5.8 seconds to play and Dayton stunned Xavier in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
The ninth-seeded Flyers (21-12), last year’s NIT champions, blew a 17-point lead in the second half and trailed by a point before Fabrizius made his foul shots.
Atlantic 10 player of the year Tu Holloway’s running 35-footer bounced off the backboard and the rim at the buzzer as top-seeded Xavier (24-7) continued its recent run of A10 tournament woes.
The Musketeers, who have made the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament each of the last three seasons, have not won a league tournament title since 2006 despite winning or sharing the regular-season crown the past five seasons.
Chris Wright had 15 points to lead Dayton, which lost both regular-season meetings with Xavier. Paul Williams scored eight of his 14 in a game-opening 21-3 spurt.
No. 23 Utah State 58, San Jose State 54
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Tai Wesley had 14 points and 12 rebounds, Brockeith Pane added 16 points and Utah State held off San Jose State to reach the Western Athletic Conference championship game.
Top-seeded Utah State (29-3), hoping to boost its NCAA tournament credentials, is looking for a second WAC tournament title in three years.
No. 8 seed San Jose State (17-15) gave Utah State everything it could handle in the semifinals despite playing for the third straight day, just missing the lead in the closing seconds when Adrian Oliver’s 30-footer rimmed out.
No. 24 Temple 96, La Salle 76
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Ramone Moore scored 23 points and Khalif Wyatt had 20 to lead three-time defending champion Temple over Philadelphia-rival La Salle in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
Lavoy Allen added 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists as the No. 24 Owls (25-6) posted a season-high point total in beating La Salle (15-18) for the third time this season.
Juan Fernandez added 19 points and Aaron Brown had 14 as second-seeded Temple won its 10th straight tournament game at Boardwalk Hall.
Aaric Murray had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the 10th-seeded Explorers.