No. 15 Cincinnati rallies from late deficit to edge Rutgers, clinch share of AAC
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Sean Kilpatrick scored 24 points and No. 15 Cincinnati clinched a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season title with a tough 70-66 win against Rutgers on Saturday.
Kilpatrick converted a three-point play and drove the lane for a layup in the final 68 seconds as the Bearcats (26-5, 15-3) rallied from a late deficit against the Scarlet Knights (11-20, 5-13).
Justin Jackson had given Cincinnati a 65-64 lead with 1:46 to play, scoring underneath after Kadeem Jack blocked his original shot in the paint.
Kilpatrick pushed the lead to four points with his back-door layup and free throw. He closed out the scoring with 17 seconds to play after Kerwin Okoro scored on a goaltending call against Jackson.
Jackson finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds despite second-half foul trouble. The Bearcats did not have another player in double figures, but they limited Rutgers to two points in the final 3:16.
J.J. Moore had 19 points and Jack added 15 and 12 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights, who rallied from an eight-point second-half deficit to threaten Cincinnati's chances for its first share of a league title since winning Conference USA in 2003-04. Myles Mack added 10 points and nine assists.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Patric Young scored 18 points in his final home game and No. 1 Florida routed 25th-ranked Kentucky 84-65 on Saturday, becoming the first team in Southeastern Conference history to go 18-0 in league play.
Fellow seniors Casey Prather (15) and Scottie Wilbekin (13) also reached double figures for the Gators (29-2, 18-0), who have won 23 consecutive games and 32 in a row at home.
Head coach Billy Donovan called timeout with 36.9 seconds remaining to get his four seniors another standing ovation.
They certainly deserved this one.
Young, Prather, Wilbekin and fellow starter Will Yeguete have now won 113 games in four seasons, four shy of tying the school record held by Walter Hodge.
Julius Randle, who had his right knee treated during the first half, led the Wildcats (22-9, 12-6) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. James Young added 14 points, and Aaron Harrison chipped in 10.
ST. LOUIS -- Cleanthony Early scored 20 points with three 3-pointers and a pair of dunks, and No. 2 Wichita State improved to 33-0 with little resistance in a 67-42 rout against Missouri State in the Missouri Valley Conference semifinals Saturday.
Tekele Cotton also made three 3-pointers for the top-seeded Shockers, who matched the start by Larry Bird and Indiana State in 1979 before they lost to Michigan State and Magic Johnson in the NCAA title game. Wichita State will be heavily favored in the finals to make it 34 in a row, which would match the NCAA-record start by UNLV in 1990-91.
The Shockers, who last won the conference tourney in 1987, took control with a 17-0 run in the first half and topped it with 24 consecutive points in the second, scoring at will while Missouri State endured droughts totaling more than 15 minutes.
Missouri State (21-11) gave Wichita State its closest call in the regular season, losing by three in overtime at home in January after squandering a 19-point lead. The Bears got away with 33 percent shooting in the quarterfinals against Illinois State but were blown out shooting 31 percent against the Shockers.
Cotton added 13 points, and Fred VanVleet had nine points and five assists.
EUGENE, Ore. -- Jason Calliste made the go-ahead jumper and free throw with 4:22 left and finished with 18 points as Oregon defeated No. 3 Arizona 64-57 Saturday for its seventh consecutive victory.
Johnathan Loyd added 16 points for the Ducks (22-8, 10-8 Pac-10) who greatly improved their chances of a bid in the NCAA tournament.
Aaron Gordon had 21 points for the Wildcats (28-3, 15-3), who had already clinched the Pac-12 regular-season title heading into next week's conference tournament in Las Vegas.
The Ducks won 13 in a row to start the season and got ranked as high as No. 10, but then they lost five in a row to tumble out of the poll and fall in the Pac-12 standings.
But Oregon's winning streak has put them back in the conversation for a possible NCAA tournament bid and gave them their fourth consecutive season with at least 20 victories.
DURHAM, N.C. -- Freshman Jabari Parker had a season-high 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 4 Duke past No. 14 North Carolina 93-81 on Saturday night.
Rodney Hood added 24 points to help the Blue Devils (24-7, 13-5) end the Tar Heels' 12-game winning streak and clinch the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Duke never trailed, shot 51 percent -- 57 percent in the second half -- and dominated the ACC's best team on the glass, outrebounding North Carolina 34-20.
Marcus Paige -- who led UNC's second-half comeback two weeks ago -- finished this one with 24 points, while Brice Johnson had 15 and James Michael McAdoo added 13 for the Tar Heels (23-8, 13-5).
PHILADELPHIA -- Darrun Hilliard scored 19 points to lead No. 6 Villanova to a dominating 77-59 victory against Georgetown on Saturday, preserving the Wildcats' hopes of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
JayVaughn Pinkston added 13 points, and James Bell and Ryan Arcidiacono had 11 apiece for the Wildcats (28-3, 16-2), who won their sixth consecutive game while tying the 2005-06 team for second-most wins in program history. Villanova's 16 Big East wins are the most in school history.
The 18-point win marked the largest margin of victory for Villanova in a Big East game between the teams.
Markel Starks scored 20 points for the Hoyas (17-13, 8-10), who are in jeopardy of failing to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 14 points and Aaron Bowen had 13 for Georgetown.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Eron Harris scored 28 points, Juwan Staten added 24 and West Virginia withstood 41 points by freshman Andrew Wiggins and a furious comeback by No. 8 Kansas to upset the Jayhawks 92-86 in their Big 12 regular-season finale Saturday.
The Mountaineers (17-14, 9-9 Big 12) led by as many as 25 points early in the second half before watching Kansas tear into the deficit behind Wiggins, who fouled out in the final seconds after setting a season high in scoring.
Devin Williams, WVU's star freshman, had a season-high 22 points along with 13 rebounds. It marked the first time this season that Kansas had allowed three opposing players to score 20 points.
Perry Ellis added 14 points for Kansas (23-8, 14-4), which clinched its 10th consecutivef regular-season title a week ago and had little riding on this game. The Jayhawks will have a first-round bye in the conference tournament that begins Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.
SAN DIEGO -- Xavier Thames and Matt Shrigley each made two free throws in the final 9 seconds to complete No. 10 San Diego State's rally from a 16-point second-half deficit for a 51-48 victory against No. 21 New Mexico on Saturday night to win the outright Mountain West Conference title.
Thames finished with 23 points for SDSU (27-3, 16-2), which clinched the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament in Las Vegas. Josh Davis, SDSU's other senior, had nine rebounds.
The fans rushed the court and black and red confetti fell from the ceiling at Viejas Arena, where the Aztecs were 15-1 this season. Their only home loss was to Arizona on Nov. 14.
Cameron Bairstow scored 20 points and keyed two big runs for New Mexico (24-6, 15-3).
SDSU used a 19-1 run to take a 44-42 lead with 4:59 to go.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Montrezl Harrell scored 20 points, Russ Smith recorded a career-high 13 assists and No. 11 Louisville routed No. 19 Connecticut 81-48 on Saturday to claim a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season championship.
Harrell added 11 rebounds and several thunderous dunks to help the Cardinals (26-5, 15-3) finish tied with No. 15 Cincinnati atop the upstart league. A coin flip will determine the top seed in the conference tournament.
A day in which Smith and fellow seniors Luke Hancock, Tim Henderson and Stephan Van Treese were honored beforehand as the program's winningest class ended with all playing key roles in their 116th win together. Smith topped his previous assist high by two, Hancock added 16 points, Van Treese grabbed 13 rebounds and Henderson added an early basket.
Louisville's defense, meanwhile, frustrated the Huskies (24-7, 12-6) into season-worst 29.4 percent shooting in completing the sweep.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory against Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year's defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan's tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
Morgan had 15 points and 10 rebounds, finishing a season in which he had been expected to be a backup until Mitch McGary injured his back. Nik Stauskas added 21 for Michigan, furthering his case for Big Ten Player of the Year.
Will Sheehey led Indiana (17-14, 7-11) with 17 points, while Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell added 16 apiece.
OMAHA, Neb. -- Doug McDermott scored a career-high 45 points and became the eighth player in Division I history to eclipse 3,000 for a career, and No. 13 Creighton rolled to an 88-73 victory against Providence on Saturday night.
McDermott passed the milestone with a 3-pointer midway through the second half. After the ball went in, he ran backward with his right hand in the air, three fingers raised. At the next timeout Doug and his coach-father, Greg McDermott, shared a long embrace on the court as the team huddled at the bench.
McDermott scored 22 points in the first half as the Bluejays (24-6, 14-4 Big East) put away the Friars (20-11, 10-8) quickly.
Bryce Cotton, the Big East's second-leading scorer, had all of his 23 points in the second half for Providence. LaDontae Henton added 21.
AMES, Iowa -- Naz Long forced overtime with a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer, DeAndre Kane scored five of his 27 points in the closing seconds, and No. 16 Iowa State overcame a 16-point deficit to beat Oklahoma State in overtime 85-81 on Saturday.
Kane hit a layup and a pair of free throws to put Iowa State ahead 82-79 with 11.7 seconds left.
Georges Niang had 22 points for Iowa State (23-7, 11-7 Big 12), which snapped a two-game losing streak and fell behind by as much as 45-29 before rallying.
Markel Brown missed two free throws with 3 seconds left for Oklahoma State (20-11, 8-10). Marcus Smart had 27 points to lead the Cowboys, but he and Cyclones star Melvin Ejim fouled out in regulation.
Brown finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Oklahoma State's Phil Forte, an 89 percent free throw shooter entering play, needed to hit just one from the line with 5 seconds left in regulation to seal the win. But his try clanked off the side of the rim and Long -- who hit a 3 to force triple OT in a 98-97 win at Oklahoma State a month ago -- buried yet another desperation bucket to give the Cyclones five more minutes.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Joe Jackson scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half to lead No. 20 Memphis to a 67-58 victory against No. 18 SMU on Saturday.
Jackson hit his first four shots after intermission as the Tigers (23-8, 12-6 American Athletic Conference) shot 59 percent in the second half while building the lead to as many as 14.
Austin Nichols finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for Memphis.
Nic Moore led the Mustangs (23-8, 12-6) with 16 points. Nick Russell and Markus Kennedy scored 13 each for SMU, which lost its second in a row, the first time this season the Mustangs have lost consecutive games.
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Buddy Hield scored 24 points and 23rd-ranked Oklahoma clinched the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tournament with a 97-67 victory Saturday at TCU, the league's first team in 10 years to go through the regular season without winning a conference game.
Isaiah Cousins and Cameron Clark had 18 points each for the Sooners (23-8, 12-6), who have won five of their past six games. Ryan Spangler added 10 points.
Injury-plagued TCU (9-21, 0-18) won nine of its last 10 games before beginning Big 12 play. The Horned Frogs lost their league opener 74-69 to West Virginia, but that ended up being one of only three conference games they lost by single digits -- and none were closer.
The last Big 12 team to go without a league win was Texas A&M during the 2003-04 season, when the Aggies were 0-16. That is the same mark Baylor had in 1998-99.
Jarvis Ray, one of two TCU seniors in their final home game, matched his career high with 18 points. Kyan Anderson, a junior guard and one of only four Horned Frogs to play in every game this season, added 17 points.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jon Ekey hit a 3-pointer in the final second to lift Illinois to a 66-63 victory against No. 24 Iowa on Saturday night.
Rayvonte Rice scored 15 points to lead the Illini (18-13, 7-11 Big Ten), who notched consecutive road wins against ranked opponents for the first time since 2005.
Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble -- the Big Ten's leading scorer -- was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. The Hawkeyes (20-11, 9-9) have lost five of their past six games.
Ekey's 30-foot game-winner left only a half-second on the game clock. An Iowa foul with 13.8 seconds left had reset the shot clock and gave Illinois the final shot.
Ekey hit another big 3-pointer with 3:03 left to give the Illini a 63-59 lead. A layup by Marble and Gabe Olaseni's putback with 41 seconds left tied the game at 63.
Illinois' Nnanna Egwu scored 14 points. Aaron White led Iowa with 12 points.