Top 25 Capsules
ATLANTA (AP) — Patric Young scored 16 points and No. 1 Florida turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, rallying for a 56-49 victory over Tennessee in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament Saturday.
Florida (31-2) extended its school-record winning streak to 25 in a row after trailing by 10 in the first half. The Gators were down 35-28 at the break, but they wore down the Volunteers (21-12) over the final 20 minutes. After shooting 54 percent in the opening period, Tennessee made just 5 of 20 shots and turned the ball over 11 times, leaving its fate in the hands of the NCAA selection committee.
The Gators, improving to 20-0 against SEC opponents, will face Kentucky or Georgia in the championship game Sunday.
Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin added 14 points and Casey Prather had 12.
Jordan McRae led Tennessee with 15 points, while Jarnell Stokes had 13 points and eight rebounds.
UCLA 75, NO. 4 ARIZONA 71
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Kyle Anderson had 21 points and 15 rebounds, Jordan Adams hit a huge 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Bruins outlasted the Wildcats in a spirited Pac-12 championship game.
The Pac-12′s two best teams during the regular season, UCLA (26-8) and Arizona (30-4) put on a show in the tournament final, trading big plays and floor burns.
Offense ruled the first half and defense the second until Adams dropped in his contested 3-pointer to put the Bruins up 71-68 with 45 seconds left.
David Wear and Norman Powell combined to hit four free throws down the stretch, giving UCLA the Pac-12 title in its first year under coach Steve Alford.
NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 71, NO. 21 UCONN 61
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Montrezl Harrell had 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, and the Cardinals beat the Huskies for the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament title in the Cardinals’ lone season in the league.
The defending national champions clinched their 40th NCAA tournament berth.
The Cardinals (29-5) have won three straight league tournament titles after taking the last two in the Big East, and they added their 19th overall to go with their share of the regular-season title with Cincinnati. They will play next season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Russ Smith, named the tournament’s most outstanding player, had 19 points and five steals for Louisville, and Chris Jones added 11 points.
UConn (26-8) came in looking for an eighth tournament title to go with seven from the Big East. It was barred from postseason play a year ago, but is a virtual lock to return to the NCAA tournament this year.
No. 6 VIRGINIA 51, PITTSBURGH 48
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Anthony Gill hit two free throws with 8.5 seconds left to help Virginia hold off Pittsburgh in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Gill was shooting 63 percent from the line for the Cavaliers (27-6) but calmly made both free throws after James Robinson’s hanging layup had brought the Panthers to within 49-48.
Pitt had a chance to tie with 4 seconds left, but Justin Anderson tipped Robinson’s 3-pointer to Gill with 0.5 seconds left.
Joe Harris scored 12 points to lead the Cavaliers, who shot 47 percent against the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-9) to earn their first trip to the final since 1994.
The Cavaliers earned their first outright regular-season title since 1981 and only their second No. 1 seed.
No. 7 DUKE 75, N.C. STATE 67
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Jabari Parker scored 20 points and Duke advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship.
Rasheed Sulaimon added 16 points for the third-seeded Blue Devils (26-7) while Rodney Hood had 14 points and keyed the defensive effort against ACC player of the year T.J. Warren.
Duke earned its 31st championship game appearance and first since 2011.
The Blue Devils will play No. 6 Virginia on Sunday. Duke’s 69-65 win in January stood as the Cavaliers’ lone conference loss until Maryland beat them last week.
Warren scored 21 points but was just 4 of 13 after halftime while facing a barrage of double teams.
The seventh-seeded Wolfpack (21-13), playing their third game in three days, shot just 36 percent in the second half — after hitting 67 percent in the opening half.
NO. 20 NEW MEXICO 64, NO. 8 SAN DIEGO STATE 58
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cameron Bairstow scored 17 points to lead the Lobos over the Aztecs in the Mountain West Conference championship game, giving the Lobos the automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
Trailing by one with a little more than one minute left in the game, Bairstow — selected the tournament MVP — scored five of the Lobos’ last eight points to help the Lobos win their third consecutive tournament title.
The No. 2 seed in the Mountain West tournament is now 6-0 all-time when playing the No. 1 seed.
It didn’t come easy against the conference’s No. 1 defense, as New Mexico (27-6) had its five-point halftime lead disappear when the Aztecs opened the second half on an 8-0 run, to take a 30-27 lead.
No. 8 MICHIGAN 72, No. 24 OHIO STATE 69
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michigan blew a 12-point second-half lead, then finished the game on a 7-1 run to advance to the Big Ten tournament title game.
The league’s regular-season champs will face No. 22 Michigan State in Sunday’s championship game.
Nik Stauskas had 18 points and Caris LeVert had 17 to lead the Wolverines (25-7), winners of seven straight. It will be Michigan’s first title game appearance since 1998, when it won its only tourney title, which was later vacated.
Ohio State (25-9) was led by LaQuinton Ross with 19 points and Shannon Scott with 18.
The Buckeyes rallied to take their lead at 61-60 with 7:57 to go and still led 68-65 with 4:12 to play.
But the Wolverines allowed just one free throw the rest of the way and stripped Aaron Craft of the ball on a potentially tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
No. 22 MICHIGAN STATE 83, No. 12 WISCONSIN 75
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Adreian Payne scored 18 points, Branden Dawson had 14 and Michigan State beat Wisconsin to reach the Big Ten tournament championship.
The third-seeded Spartans (25-8) won consecutive games for the first time since winning 11 straight in a stretch over December and January. They will face No. 8 Michigan in the final on Sunday.
The Spartans went on a 16-1 run in the first half and took a 37-16 lead when Gary Harris scored with 5:39 left before halftime.
Frank Kaminsky had 28 points and Sam Decker added 11 points and seven rebounds for the second-seeded Badgers (26-7).
PROVIDENCE 65, NO. 14 CREIGHTON 58
NEW YORK (AP) — Bryce Cotton scored 23 points and Providence won its first Big East tournament title since 1994 with a great defensive effort against Doug McDermott and Creighton.
The fourth-seeded Friars (23-11) used a 2-3 zone to hold the second-seeded Bluejays (26-7) 24 points below their season average and to an 8-for-30 effort from behind the 3-point line.
Cotton, the senior guard who finished second to McDermott in the conference scoring but was also a unanimous first-team All-Big East selection, was the scoring star in the championship game and he was selected the tournament MVP.
McDermott, who came in leading the nation in scoring with 26.5 average, finished 10 for 19 from the field, including 5 of 12 from 3-point range, for 27 points.
No. 16 IOWA STATE 74, BAYLOR 65
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — DeAndre Kane scored 17 points, Georges Niang added 13 and Iowa State won its first Big 12 tournament title since 2000.
Naz Long and Dustin Hogue had 12 points apiece, and Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (26-7), who knocked off top-seeded Kansas in the semifinals before ending the Bears’ tremendous tournament run.
When the final buzzer sounded inside the Sprint Center, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg rounded the court with his finger raised — No. 1, as in the top of the Big 12, for only the second time in school history.
Kenny Chery had 16 points for the seventh-seeded Bears (24-11), who have never won a postseason conference tournament. They’ve lost all three tries since the formation of the Big 12.
No. 23 VCU 74, GEORGE WASHINGTON 55
NEW YORK (AP) — Treveon Graham scored 22 points and VCU pressed and pressured its way into another conference tournament championship game, beating George Washington in the Atlantic 10 semifinals.
The second-seeded Rams (26-7) will play for the A-10 title for the second year in a row, facing fourth-seeded St. Joseph’s on Sunday. Coach Shaka Smart has led the Rams to a conference tournament final in four of his five seasons, first in the Colonial Athletic Association and the past two in the A-10.
Briante Weber added 16 points for the Rams, who lost last year’s final to Saint Louis, and Mo Alie-Cox provided muscle and energy off the bench with eight points, seven rebounds and a block.
Isaiah Armwood led third-seeded George Washington (24-8) with 15 points.
VCU will likely have to move on without A-10 sixth man of the year Melvin Johnson, who injured his knee early in the first half.