Gators Roll; Wildcats Fall
Tennessee guard Armani Moore (4) shoots against Florida center Patric Young (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament, Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Michigan guard Derrick Walton Jr. goes up for a shot in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State in the semifinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Atlanta — 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 t he 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 play in the championship game today.
UCLA 75, No. 4 Arizona 71
Las Vegas — Kyle Anderson had 21 points and 15 rebounds, Jordan Adams hit a huge 3-pointer in the final minute, and UCLA outlasted Arizona 75-71 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.
Nick Johnson had 22 points and Claremont, N.H.’s Kaleb Tarczewski added 12 for Arizona (30-4), which may have lost out on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with the loss.
No. 5 Louisville 71 No. 21 UConn 61
Memphis, Tenn. — Montrezl Harrell had 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, and fifth-ranked Louisville beat No. 21 Connecticut for the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament title in the Cardinals’ lone season in the league.
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.
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, Pitt 48
Greensboro, n.c. — 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.
No. 7 Duke 75 N.C. State 67
Greensboro, n.c. — 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.
The Blue Devils will play No. 6 Virginia today. Duke’s 69-65 win in January stood as the Cavaliers’ lone conference loss until Maryland beat them last week.
No. 20 New Mexico 64 No. 8 San Diego St. 58
Las Vegas — Cameron Bairstow scored 17 points to lead New Mexico over San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference championship game, giving the Lobos the automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
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 — 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 today’s championship game.
Nik Stauskas had 18 points and Caris LeVert had 17 to lead the Wolverines (25-7), winners of seven straight.
No. 22 Michigan St. 83 No. 12 Wisconsin 75
Indianapolis — 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.
No. 23 VCU 74, GW 55
New York — 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 today.