Saturday March 16, 2013

NEW YORK -- Brandon Triche scored the go-ahead basket early in overtime and No. 19 Syracuse advanced to the Big East championship game with a 58-55 victory over No. 5 Georgetown on Friday night in the final conference clash of their storied heavyweight rivalry.

The fifth-seeded Orange (26-8) will make their 15th appearance in the tournament title game and go for their sixth crown Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Triche, James Southerland and backup center Baye Moussa Keita all had 13 points for Syracuse, trying to close its Big East tenure with one more championship before bolting for the ACC next season.

The Orange held top-seeded Georgetown (25-6) to 22 percent shooting from 3-point range with their trademark 2-3 zone and got a big game from their bench to avenge two previous losses to the Hoyas this season.

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ACC TOURNAMENT

MARYLAND 83,

No. 2 DUKE 74

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Dez Wells scored a career-high 30 points and Maryland upset Duke in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Wells was 9 of 13 from the field and 10 of 10 from the free throw line to lead the seventh-seeded Terrapins (22-11).

They never trailed, held the league’s best team from 3-point range to 4-of-25 shooting from beyond the arc, and bolstered their NCAA tournament credentials with their second straight win over Duke.


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Mason Plumlee had 19 points to lead second-seeded Duke (27-5), which had the ball trailing by six points with about 2 minutes left after Seth Curry hit a rare 3-pointer and the Blue Devils got an even rarer defensive stop.

But Tyler Thornton missed 3-pointers on consecutive trips downcourt and Wells and Seth Allen each hit two free throws, with Allen’s stretching the lead to 77-67 with 1:44 left.

NO. 9 MIAMI 69,

BOSTON COLLEGE 58

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Shane Larkin scored 20 points and Miami pulled away to beat Boston College in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Kenny Kadji added 15 points and Trey McKinney Jones finished with 12 for the top-seeded Hurricanes (25-6).

They withstood a serious scare from eighth-seeded BC (16-17), letting an early 13-point lead disappear before making all the plays down the stretch to avoid becoming the ACC’s first No. 1 seed to lose its tournament opener since 1997.

Patrick Heckmann finished with 15 points for the Eagles. His 3-pointer with 3 1/2 minutes left tied it at 55.

Durand Scott put Miami in front to stay with two free throws with 3:01 left, and Larkin took over a few moments later.

Larkin came up with a key steal, then buried a momentum-shifting 3 off an inbounds pass to make it 60-55 with 1:49 left.

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BIG TEN TOURNAMENT

No. 3 INDIANA 80,

ILLINOIS 64

CHICAGO -- Cody Zeller scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Indiana past Illinois in the Big Ten quarterfinals.

The top-seeded Hoosiers (27-5) are off to a good start after claiming their first outright conference title in two decades and earning a first-round bye.

They took control midway through the first half and withstood a mild push in the second, avenging a two-point loss at Illinois (22-12) last month. That set up a matchup with Michigan or Wisconsin in Saturday’s semifinals.

Zeller had another big game after scoring a season-high 25 in a win at Michigan. He was 9 of 11 from the field and hit all six free throws.

Victor Oladipo added 12 points and 11 rebounds and drew the loudest cheers with a 360-degree fastbreak dunk with 90 seconds left. The Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year, he also helped contain Brandon Paul.

No. 22 WISCONSIN 68,

No. 6 MICHIGAN 59

CHICAGO -- Ben Brust scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half and Wisconsin knocked off Michigan.

Traevon Jackson had 16 points for the Badgers (22-10), who will play top-seeded Indiana in the semifinals on Saturday. Ryan Evans added 12 points, six rebounds and six assist.

Trey Burke had 19 points and seven assists for Michigan (26-7), but the Big Ten player of the year was 8 for 22 from the field. Tim Hardaway Jr. shook off a leg injury in the first half and finished with 14 points and nine boards.

NO. 10 OHIO STATE 71, NEBRASKA 50

CHICAGO -- DeShaun Thomas and Sam Thompson had 19 points apiece, helping Ohio State rout Nebraska in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals on Friday night.

The Buckeyes turned a close game into a runaway with an impressive 30-5 spree spanning halftime that included a little bit of everything. LaQuinton Ross connected on three consecutive 3-pointers, Aaron Craft made a couple of nifty passes and Thompson had two jams to go along with a 3-pointer.

Thomas closed it out with a strong reverse dunk that lifted the Buckeyes to a 54-28 lead with 12:01 left. The junior forward flexed and yelled after the big slam led to a celebration on the Ohio State sideline.

Ross finished with 11 points for the Buckeyes (24-7), who have won six straight games and seven of eight overall.

Brandon Ubel had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Cornhuskers (15-18).

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BIG 12 TOURNAMENT

NO. 7 KANSAS 88, IOWA STATE 73

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Perry Ellis scored a career-high 23 points, and seventh-ranked Kansas pulled away in the second half to beat Iowa State and reach the Big 12 tournament title game.

Jeff Withey and Elijah Johnson added 14 points each, and Ben McLemore finished with 10 for the top-seeded Jayhawks (28-5), who advanced to play No. 11 Kansas State or No. 14 Oklahoma State on Saturday night for its sixth Big 12 tournament championship.

Georges Niang scored 19 points and Melvin Ejim had 17 for the fifth-seeded Cyclones (22-11), who were trying to turn the tables after losing to the Jayhawks twice in overtime this season.

Instead, Kansas won for the 16th time in their last 17 meetings.

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SEC TOURNAMENT

No. 13 FLORIDA 80, LSU 58

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Erik Murphy scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds to help Florida take the first step toward trying to add a Southeastern Conference tournament title to their regular season championship by beating LSU.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive presented Florida coach Billy Donovan with the regular season trophy before tipoff. Then the Gators (25-6) started working toward their first tournament title since 2007 when they wrapped up a three-peat.

Ninth-seeded LSU (19-12) tried to keep up with the rested Gators but looked a step slow with too many shots just short a day after beating Georgia to advance.

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ATLANTIC 10 TOURNAMENT

No. 16 SAINT LOUIS 72, CHARLOTTE 55

Dwayne Evans played through foul trouble to score 25 points on near-perfect shooting, and top-seeded Saint Louis pulled away early to beat Charlotte 72-55 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The Billikens ensured the 49ers would not be making any crazy comebacks this time by forcing 20 turnovers and turning them into 21 points. A day earlier, ninth-seeded Charlotte came from behind to shock Richmond 68-63 by hitting eight free throws in the final five seconds after the Spiders were called for three technical fouls.

Evans made his first seven field goal attempts before finally missing on one of his easiest chances of the day, a putback that bounced off the rim with just over 7 1/2 minutes remaining. He finished 8 for 9 from the floor and 9 for 9 from the foul line and added nine rebounds.

Chris Braswell led the 49ers with 20 points and nine rebounds.

No. 25 VCU 82, SAINT JOSEPH’S 79

Treveon Graham scored 17 points, and hot-shooting VCU beat Saint Joseph’s in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The 25th-ranked Rams made 11 3-pointers to build a double-digit lead in the second half before the Hawks’ frantic comeback in the final minutes fell short. Darius Theus had 12 points and six assists, making all five of his field-goal attempts, as five players scored in double figures for second-seeded VCU (25-7).

Tenth-seeded Saint Joseph’s pulled within 80-76 with 9.1 seconds left, but Theus found an open Briante Weber downcourt for an emphatic slam to cap the victory.

Carl Jones scored 29 points and Langston Galloway had 25 for the Hawks (18-13).

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CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Chris Crawford scored 30 points while connecting on eight 3-pointers to set new career highs in both categories for the second straight game, D.J. Stephens had 10 points and 10 rebounds after attending his grandmother’s funeral earlier in the day and Memphis reached the Conference USA championship by beating Tulsa.

Crawford had three 3-pointers from the right wing during a 14-4 run that put the top-seeded Tigers (29-4) in control midway through the second half after Tulsa had erased an 11-point deficit to take the lead just after halftime.

Crawford’s third 3 during the stretch made it 61-46 with 9:57 to play, and he hit two more during a 10-0 burst later on that prevented the fifth-seeded Golden Hurricane (17-15) from making another comeback.

Senior Scottie Haralson led Tulsa with 25 points and 12 rebounds in his final game.