Jordan Gathers, St. Bonaventure send St. Louis to early exit in A10 tourney
NEW YORK -- St. Bonaventure guard Charlon Kloof drew in the Saint Louis defense, the Billikens rightly concerned about the trouble he could cause.
That left Jordan Gathers wide open at the top of the key, and he drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to stun No. 18 Saint Louis 71-68 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament on Friday.
The ninth-seeded Bonnies (18-14) had lost four in a row before Thursday; now they've won two games in two days.
The Bonnies trailed the top-seeded Billikens by 10 points at halftime but rallied behind a swarming 1-3-1 zone and clutch 3-point shooting.
Saint Louis big man Dwayne Evans, who had hit three 3-pointers all season, made a 3 against 7-foot Youssou Ndoye with 20.9 seconds left to tie the game at 68-68.
St. Bonaventure put the ball in Kloof's hands, and he had been productive with it all day. He scored 22 points on 6 of 8 shooting, made all nine free throws, pulled down a career-high nine rebounds and dished out six assists.
ATLANTA -- Scottie Wilbekin scored 15 points and No. 1 Florida remained unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference, using one of its customary spurts to rout Missouri 72-49 in the quarterfinals of the league tournament on Friday.
The game was tied 29-29 at halftime, and the Tigers were still in it with about 10 minutes to go. That's when Wilbekin and the Gators (30-2) suddenly took control.
After Will Yeguete laif the break, he knocked down another trey to put the Gators ahead 50-36, capping a 12-0 run.d one in off a nifty pass from Kasey Hill, Florida pressed the inbounds pass, Wilbekin came up with a steal, then got free in the corner for a 3-pointer. Missouri missed at the other end, Patric Young connected on a short hook and just like that, the Gators had stretched a two-point lead to 45-36.
It only got worse from there for the Tigers.
During a wild scramble on the floor after Keanau Post turned it over, Wilbekin yanked the ball away from a Missouri player and smartly called a timeout to ensure the Gators kept possession.
LAS VEGAS -- Nick Johnson scored 16 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 12 and Arizona ran away from tired Colorado in a dominating second half to rout the Buffaloes 63-43 in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals Friday night
Unlike its last win against Colorado, Arizona (30-3) started slow, allowing the Buffaloes to keep it close at halftime.
Playing its third game in as many days, Colorado had no chance at stopping the Wildcats once they got rolling, succumbing to Arizona's defensive pressure and string of highlight-reel plays.
Arizona shot 60 percent in the second half and held Colorado (23-11) to 5 of 22 shooting in the final 20 minutes to earn a spot Saturday's championship game against UCLA or Stanford.
T.J. McConnell added 12 points, five assists and four rebounds for the Wildcats in front of a pro-Arizona crowd at MGM Grand Garden Arena that made it feel like McKale Center West.
Askia Booker had 20 points to lead Colorado, which has a two-day wait to see if the NCAA tournament selection committee deems it worthy of the bracket.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Russ Smith scored a career-high 42 points and No. 5 Louisville cruised to a 94-65 victory against Houston on Friday in the semifinals of the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament.
Smith shot 14-for-22 from the field and 5-for-7 from 3-point range. His final points came on a three-point play where he hit a reverse layup and converted the ensuing free throw.
Luke Hancock and Montrezl Harrell both added 12 for the Cardinals (28-5), the tournament's second seed, who will face the winner of Friday's second game between top-seeded Cincinnati and Connecticut. Stephan Van Treese grabbed 10 rebounds.
TaShawn Thomas and Brandon Morris scored 13 each for Houston (17-16), while Danuel House had 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Cougars lost for only the second time in their past seven games.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It's been a season of firsts for No. 6 Virginia. The Cavaliers are savoring their latest one by sticking around the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament a little while longer than usual.
Virginia advanced to the ACC semifinals for the first time since 1995 by pulling away to beat Florida State 64-51 in a quarterfinal on Friday.
Joe Harris matched a season high with 20 points and Anthony Gill added 16 for the top-seeded Cavaliers (26-6).
They shot 48 percent, forced 15 turnovers and earned their third double-digit victory against the Seminoles this season while winning their 14th in 15 games.
They shot 43 percent against one of the nation's best defenses but couldn't keep the Cavaliers off the boards when it counted most, and were denied their third victory against a top-seeded team since 2009.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Rodney Hood hit two free throws with 3.8 seconds left to lift No. 7 Duke past Clemson 63-62 Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.
ACC rookie of the year Jabari Parker scored 18 points and Hood had 17 for the third-seeded Blue Devils (25-7).
They blew a 13-point lead with 12 minutes left before regrouping just in time to avoid joining No. 15 North Carolina and No. 11 Syracuse as ACC quarterfinal losers.
Duke will play seventh-seeded NC State on Saturday in a semifinal.
Rod Hall scored 13 points to lead sixth-seeded Clemson (20-12), and his runner in the lane with 7.4 seconds left capped a late 15-5 run and gave the Tigers their only lead of the second half at 62-61.
After Hood's free throws, Hall made it deep into the lane before he was stripped by Tyler Thornton a moment before the buzzer sounded.
INDIANAPOLIS -- This time, Jordan Morgan got the ball to bounce the right way -- and Michigan celebrated.
A little more than one year after missing a last-second tip-in that would have given the Wolverines a share of the Big Ten regular-season title, Morgan, a 6-foot-8 forward, scored on a layup with 7.9 seconds left to give No. 8 Michigan a 64-63 victory against Illinois in Friday's Big Ten tournament quarterfinals and a shot at another league championship.
Illinois had a chance to win it when Tracy Abrams drove in for a layup, expecting contact, but the ball hit the front of the rim and bounced off. No foul was called.
It's about time something went right for the Wolverines (24-7) in this tournament.
Since going 3-0 to win the first title in 1998, Michigan has not won more than one game in the annual tourney. The Wolverines later vacated that tourney title because of NCAA infractions, and Michigan has endured everything from an embarrassing 21-turnover game in a 2006 first-round loss to Evan Turner's buzzer-beating 40-foot heave, which gave rival Ohio State a 69-68 quarterfinal win in 2010.
LAS VEGAS -- Dwayne Polee II had 18 points and six rebounds to lead No. 8 San Diego State to a 59-51 win against UNLV in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament Friday night.
San Diego State used a 19-9 run out of the break to open up a 48-33 lead with 8:13 left in the game. The Aztecs scored 12 points off of turnovers and outrebounded UNLV 34-29.
Xavier Thames added 17 and six assists for the Aztecs (29-3), who will face New Mexico or Boise State in the title game on Saturday.
Deville Smith led the Rebels (29-13) with 17 points, while Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 10 and Khem Birch added six points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Georges Niang scored 25 points before leaving with a bloody gash to his forehead in the closing minutes, and No. 16 Iowa State held on to beat No. 10 Kansas 94-83 Friday night and reach its first Big 12 tournament title game since 2000.
DeAndre Kane had five 3-pointers and scored 20 points, and Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim added 19 points for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (25-8), who will play for just their second tournament title against the winner of Texas-Baylor on Saturday night.
Relying on some hot outside shooting, Iowa State took charge in the second half, and then held on as the top-seeded Jayhawks (24-9) tried to make a late run to get back into the game.
Perry Ellis led Kansas with 30 points. Andrew Wiggins finished with 22.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- T.J. Warren scored 28 points while Ralston Turner banked in the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:28 left to help NC State upset No. 11 Syracuse 66-63 in Friday's quarterfinals at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The seventh-seeded Wolfpack (21-12) blew a 10-point second-half lead but came through with two clutch baskets late to hold off the Orange (27-5).
Warren followed Turner's tiebreaking 3 with a jumper to make it 64-61, then hit two free throws with 24.6 seconds left to keep the Wolfpack up three.
Syracuse had one wild final possession, missing six shots -- including four hurried 3-pointers from Tyler Ennis, Trevor Cooney and C.J. Fair -- to ensure its first trip to the ACC tournament would be a one-and-done stop.
It was a huge win for NC State's NCAA tournament hopes and allowed to avenge a loss to the Orange last month on a last-second basket.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Ben Brust scored a career-high 29 points and Frank Kaminsky had 12 rebounds to lead No. 12 Wisconsin to an 83-57 rout against Minnesota 83-57 in Friday's Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
The second-seeded Badgers (26-6) have won nine of 10 and will face No. 22 Michigan State or 11th-seeded Northwestern in Saturday's semifinals.
Minnesota (20-13) was led by Deandre Mathieu with 18 points and Joey King with 14 but lost for the sixth time in their past eight tries against the Badgers. The Gophers now must wait to see if the NCAA tournament selection committee thinks they have done enough to get one of the 36 at-large bids.
The Badgers scored the last eight points of the first half to take a 34-22 lead, then fended off Minnesota's second-half charge with 10-2 run that made it 50-33. The Gophers couldn't get closer than 10 the rest of the game.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shabazz Napier hit a free throw with 11.1 seconds left as No. 21 Connecticut held off 13th-ranked Cincinnati 58-56 Friday night to advance to the American Athletic Conference tournament final.
The Huskies (26-7) were barred from last year's tournament in the Big East, and now they are back in their first tournament final since 2011 when they won the national championship. They will play another former Big East team for the inaugural American tournament title Saturday in No. 5 Louisville, a 94-65 winner against Houston.
Cincinnati (27-6) lost to UConn for the second consecutive time and missed out on its second tournament final in three years.
The Bearcats had the ball and a final chance with Napier defending Sean Kilpatrick, but he missed a layup with 3 seconds left. Cincinnati couldn't get another shot off before the buzzer.
Napier finished with 15 points.
NEW YORK -- Doug McDermott scored 32 points and second-seeded and 14th-ranked Creighton advanced to the Big East tournament championship game in its first year in the conference with an 86-78 victory against Xavier on Friday night.
The Bluejays looked to be on their way to an easy semifinal win, but Xavier used a 20-6 run to get within 77-72 with 1:23 to play and Creighton was able to seal the game by going 9 for 10 from the free-throw line during the final 1:16. The only miss, by Grant Gibbs, was rebounded by Austin Chatman, at 6 foot the shortest of the Bluejays, and they were able to turn it into two points and an 80-72 lead with 58 seconds left.
The Bluejays (26-6) will face fourth-seeded Providence, one of the Big East's original members, in the championship game Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The Friars (22-11) beat Seton Hall 80-74 in the other semifinal. This is their second championship game appearance. They won the title in 1994.
Ethan Wragge added 17 points, all but two on 3-pointers, and Chatman had 11.
Isaiah Philmore scored 23 points and Semaj Christon added 18 for third-seeded Xavier (21-12), which advanced to the semifinals in its first season in the Big East. The Musketeers beat Marquette 68-65 in the quarterfinals.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Talib Zanna had 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to help Pittsburgh beat No. 15 North Carolina 80-75 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals Friday.
James Robinson also scored a career-best 19 points for the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-8), who used a dominating start to build a huge lead before having to hold off a late rally by the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (23-9).
Pittsburgh led by 20 points with 7:22 left before UNC's frantic comeback behind Marcus Paige, who scored 20 of his 27 points after halftime before fouling out with 25.4 seconds left.
UNC got it to 78-75 on Nate Britt's jumper with 11.4 seconds left but couldn't complete the comeback. James Robinson knocked down two free throws to make it a two-possession game again right after Britt's score, then Lamar Patterson rebounded a hurried 3-pointer by James Michael McAdoo with 4.3 seconds left to essentially seal it.
LAS VEGAS -- Cameron Bairstow had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 20 New Mexico to a 70-67 victory against Boise State in the Mountain West Conference tournament semifinals Friday night.
The Lobos (26-8) advance to Saturday's championship game against San Diego State, a team they split with during the regular season.
Bairstow's 10-foot baseline jumper with 42.2 seconds left pushed New Mexico's lead to seven, while his two free throws with 3.8 seconds left sealed the victory.
Kendall Williams added 16 points for the Lobos, while Deshawn Delaney added 14 points and seven rebounds.
Derrick Marks led the Broncos (21-13) with 20 points.
NDIANAPOLIS -- Branden Dawson had 16 points and Gary Harris added 13 points to lead No. 22 Michigan State to a 67-51 victory against Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals Friday night.
The third-seeded Spartans (24-7), who lost 3 of 4 games heading into the contest, will face No. 12 Wisconsin in one semifinal on Saturday.
Drew Crawford scored 21 points and Alex Olah finished with 10 for the 11th-seeded Wildcats (14-19), who lost to the Spartans in the league tournament for the fourth time.
Michigan State went on a 13-3 spurt in the first half and then extended the lead with a 9-3 run in the second half.
Denzel Valentine made a free throw, and Keith Appling, Adreian Payne and Dawson each scored. Harris made a reverse layup and hit a 3-pointer to put Michigan State ahead 57-33 with 9:23 remaining.
NEW YORK -- Defensive ace Briante Weber scored 18 points in 18 minutes, and No. 23 VCU routed crosstown rival Richmond 71-53 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Weber, who led the country in steals with 111 during the regular season, came in averaging 9.1 points. The two-time conference defensive player of the year shot 8-for-10 and pulled down five rebounds.
The second-seeded Rams (25-7) face George Washington or UMass in Saturday's semifinals.
Aside from Weber, VCU's best offense was its rebounding. The Rams had 20 offensive boards that turned into 22 second-chance points.
Freshman ShawnDre Jones led Richmond with 18 points.
INDIANAPOLIS -- LaQuinton Ross had 26 points and 13 rebounds and No. 24 Ohio State rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to beat fourth-seeded Nebraska 71-67 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.
The victory sends No. 5 seed Ohio State (25-8) into a semifinal matchup with No. 1 seed Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines defeated No. 9 seed Illinois 64-63 in another quarterfinal on Friday.
Amedeo Della Valle added 12 points for the Buckeyes, who led for all but the final minute of the first half, then had to rally past the Cornhuskers (19-12).
Terran Petteway led Nebraska with 20 points, but fouled out while defending Ross late in the game.