DI Men's Hoops Top 25 Roundup
No. 2 Kansas wins Big 12 regular season title once again
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Marcus Morris and Thomas Robinson had double-doubles and No. 2 Kansas wrapped up its eighth consecutive Big 12 championship by holding on for a 70-66 win against No. 22 Missouri on Saturday that spoiled the Tigers’ unbeaten home season.
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 Big 12) committed a season-worst 24 turnovers, but dominated inside and held Missouri (22-9, 8-8) to season-worst 29.3 percent shooting, and have won 10 of 11 heading into the conference tournament. The Tigers have lost three in a row heading into the postseason and were 3-for-23 from 3-point range, many of them hurried attempts and several of them air balls.
No. 3 BYU 102, Wyoming 78 -- Box Score
PROVO, Utah -- Jimmer Fredette scored 38 points and No. 3 BYU closed a tumultuous week with an easy 102-78 win against Wyoming on Saturday.
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.
Abouo’s individual 8-0 run early in the second half helped BYU seize control after it had a 38-35 lead at halftime.
No. 13 North Carolina 81, T-No. 4 Duke 67 -- Box Score
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Harrison Barnes scored 18 points to help No. 13 North Carolina beat No. 4 Duke 81-67 on Saturday night, clinching the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship.
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.
Once again, the Tar Heels built a big lead in the first half, this time 14 points. But Barnes and the Tar Heels protected that margin Saturday and stayed in control the entire night in a game that had tension and energy befitting a postseason game.
Nolan Smith scored 30 points for Duke (27-4, 13-3), while Seth Curry had 20 points with six 3-pointers.
T-No. 4 Pittsburgh 60, No. 19 Villanova 50 -- Box Score
PITTSBURGH -- Ashton Gibbs had 18 points and No. 4 Pittsburgh clinched the outright Big East title, using a big second half to beat reeling No. 19 Villanova 60-50 on Saturday.
After Notre Dame won at Connecticut earlier Saturday, Pitt (27-4, 15-3) needed a victory to secure the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament for the first time since 2004 and third overall.
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.
Villanova opened the second half with a 10-3 run to take a 28-25 lead. But Pitt responded with an 16-4 surge to grab the advantage for good.
Iowa 67, No. 6 Purdue 65 -- Box Score
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jarryd Cole had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game and Iowa stunned No. 6 Purdue 67-65 Saturday, putting the Boilermakers’ hopes for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in jeopardy and 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 and took down their first ranked opponent this season.
Cartwright then 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), which went 5 of 25 from 3-point range and shot just 36.2 percent from the field.
No. 7 Texas 60, Baylor 54 -- Box Score
WACO, Texas -- Texas freshman Tristan Thompson had 19 points and 13 rebounds with some spectacular putback dunks, and the seventh-ranked Longhorns pulled out a 60-54 victory Saturday night at Baylor, whose NCAA tournament hopes took another big hit.
The Longhorns (25-6, 13-3 Big 12), coming off consecutive losses for the first time this season, overcame a nine-point deficit in the second half. They go into next week’s Big 12 tournament as the No. 2 seed.
LaceDarius Dunn had 22 points for Baylor (18-12, 7-9) to become the Big 12’s career scoring leader. Dunn scored 12 points in a 22-6 run over a 7-minute stretch that spanned the closing 3 1/2 minutes of the first half and the start of the second half, putting the Bears up 34-25.
Thompson then had one of his putback dunks and an inside basket to start the Longhorns’ comeback.
No. 8 Notre Dame 70, No. 16 Connecticut 67 -- Box Score
STORRS, Conn. -- Ben Hansbrough scored 21 points despite fouling out with over 8 minutes left and No. 8 Notre Dame held off Kemba Walker and No. 16 Connecticut 70-67 on Saturday.
Walker scored 34 points but missed a 3-point attempt with 8 seconds left and UConn 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 kept alive their hopes for a share of the Big East title. They closed the regular season with four consecutive 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.
Notre Dame entered one game behind Pittsburgh for the top spot in conference, but had already secured a double bye for next week’s tournament.
No. 9 San Diego State 66, Colorado State 48 -- Box Score
SAN DIEGO -- Kawhi Leonard had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 9 San Diego State beat Colorado State 66-48 on Saturday night 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. SDSU got the chance to share the title when BYU lost to New Mexico by 18 points on Wednesday night, a day after forward Brandon Davies was kicked off the team for breaking the school’s honor code.
Students rushed the court at the buzzer to celebrate the second conference title in coach Steve Fisher’s 12 seasons at SDSU, and the first for this group of players.
Leonard, a sophomore forward, had his 21st double-double of the season and 38th of his career.
Andy Ogide scored 11 for Colorado State (19-11, 9-7), which lost for the fourth time in five games.
West Virginia 72, No. 11 Louisville 70 -- Box Score
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 consecutive overall.
Kevin Jones had a career-high 25 points and 16 rebounds -- his third double-double in a row -- for the Mountaineers. John Flowers had 12 points and 12 rebounds while Bryant finished with 10 points.
West Virginia beat a ranked team for the fifth time this season and will take a three-game winning streak into the conference tournament.
Kyle Kuric scored 21 points for Louisville (23-8, 12-6), which had won four in a row. The Cardinals, who were picked to finish eighth in the Big East preseason poll, already had clinched the No. 3 seed and a double bye into Thursday’s Big East quarterfinals.
No. 12 Syracuse 107, DePaul 59 -- Box Score
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Rick Jackson had 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, making sure his final game in the Carrier Dome was one he would never forget as No. 12 Syracuse overwhelmed DePaul 107-59 on Saturday.
It was the fifth straight win for Syracuse (25-6, 12-6 Big East) after a midseason swoon in which the Orange lost four in a row 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.
DePaul (7-23, 1-17) has won only two regular-season conference games in the past three years, and its chances of adding another were dim at best without standout freshman forward Cleveland Melvin, the team’s leading scorer with a 17.4 average in Big East play. Melvin’s season ended with sprained left thumb suffered against St. John’s 11 days ago.
No. 14 Florida 86, No. 21 Vanderbilt 76 -- Box Score
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Kenny Boynton scored 17 points, all three of Florida's seniors reached double figures and the 14th-ranked Gators clinched the Southeastern Conference regular-season title with an 86-76 victory against No. 21 Vanderbilt on Saturday night.
Florida (24-6, 13-3) set a school record for conference wins and earned its third outright SEC title -- its first since 2007.
In coach Billy Donovan's 500th game with the Gators, Florida pulled away after a technical foul on Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings midway through the second half. That wiped out a potential tie for the Commodores (21-9, 9-7) and gave the Gators a six-point swing.
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.
John Jenkins led Vanderbilt with 22 points.
No. 15 St. John's 72, South Florida 56 -- Box Score
NEW YORK -- D.J. Kennedy scored 16 points and No. 15 St. John’s bounced back from a loss to Seton Hall two days earlier with a 72-56 victory against South Florida on Saturday night to close the Big East regular season.
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 will get a bye into the second round of the Big East tournament on Wednesday.
Cincinnati 69, No. 17 Georgetown 47 -- Box Score
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 No. 17 Georgetown with a 69-47 victory on Saturday.
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).
Cincinnati made 20 consecutive free throws while pulling away, finishing 24 of 30 from the line.
Austin Freeman scored 21 for Georgetown, which goes into the Big East tournament with a three-game losing streak. Senior point guard Chris Wright missed his second game with a broken bone in his left (non-shooting) hand that required surgery.
No. 18 Arizona 90, Oregon 82 -- Box Score
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 No. 18 Arizona to a 90-82 win against Oregon and the outright Pac-10 title on Saturday.
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 and Solomon Hill added 14.
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). The Ducks never made it all back, though, ending the regular season with four-game losing streak.
No. 23 Xavier 66, Saint Louis 55 -- Box Score
ST. LOUIS -- Tu Holloway scored 25 points and No. 23 Xavier extended its winning streak to nine games with a 66-55 win against Saint Louis on Saturday.
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 at next week’s conference tournament in Atlantic City, N.J. Xavier has not lost since dropping a 66-62 decision at Charlotte on Feb. 2.
Brian Conklin scored 14 points for Saint Louis (12-17, 6-10), which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
The Billikens trailed 31-21 at the half, but clawed their way back to get within 45-42 on Jordair Jett’s three-point play with 9:44 left.
But Frease answered with a turnaround jumper and Holloway converted a three-point play of his own when he was fouled on a drive to extend the lead back to 50-42 and essentially end the threat.
No. 24 Texas A&M 66, Texas Tech 54 -- Box Score
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- David Loubeau scored 21 points to help No. 24 Texas A&M beat Texas Tech 66-54 on Saturday.
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 Red Raiders went almost four minutes without scoring, thanks to turnovers and missed layups, as Texas A&M built the lead.
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), which trailed 34-15 at halftime.