Shockers Improve to 31-0
Wichita, Kan. — Wichita State will carry its pursuit of perfection into the Missouri Valley tournament.
Cleanthony Early scored 19 points, Ron Baker added 13 and the second-ranked Shockers rolled to a 68-45 victory over Missouri State on Saturday, easily putting away a team that had given them fits this season.
Relying on the same stubborn defense that carried it on last year’s improbable March run, Wichita State (31-0, 18-0) became the first team since Saint Joseph’s in 2004 to enter its league tournament unbeaten.
No. 1 Florida 79, LSU 61
Gainesville, Fla. — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, and top-ranked Florida used a season-high 13 3-pointers to overwhelm LSU and extend its school-record winning streak to 21 games.
Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II added 14 points apiece for the Gators, who also won their 31st straight at home.
No. 12 Virginia 75, No. 4 Syracuse 56
Charlottesville, Va. — Malcolm Brogdon scored eight of his 19 points during a decisive second-half run and No. 12 Virginia clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament by beating No. 4 Syracuse.
Akil Mitchell added 12 points and nine rebounds and Mike Tobey and Justin Anderson scored 11 each for the Cavaliers (25-5, 16-1 ACC).
Xavier 75, No. 9 Creighton 69
Cincinnati — Justin Martin had 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and Xavier led most of the way during a 75-69 victory over No. 9 Creighton (23-5, 13-3 Big East) in front of the largest crowd in the 14-year history of the Musketeers’ arena.
It was a long-awaited rematch for Xavier, (20-9, 10-6), which lost one of the Big East’s most wide-open games at Creighton in January.
No. 21 Memphis 72 No. 7 Louisville 66
Memphis, Tenn. — Chris Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Tigers swept the season series from the Cardinals.
No. 21 Memphis (22-7, 11-5 American Athletic Conference) trailed 65-57 with 4:45 left when Michael Dixon Jr. scored six straight, jumpstarting the Tigers who scored 15 of the final 16 points.
VCU 67, No. 10 Saint Louis 56
Richmond, Va. — Treveon Graham had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Virginia Commonwealth added a quality win to its NCAA tournament resume by beating No. 10 Saint Louis.
Briante Weber added 13 points and four steals for the Rams (22-7, 10-4 Atlantic 10), who handed Saint Louis its second consecutive defeat following a school-record, 19-game winning streak. The Billikens were upset at home Thursday night by Duquesne, a 14-point underdog.
UConn 51, No. 11 Cincinnati 45
Hartford, Conn. — Shabazz Napier scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead UConn.
The Huskies (23-6, 11-5 American) won despite going without a field goal for the game’s final 7½ minutes.
But they held Cincinnati (24-5, 13-3) to just 13 baskets on 48 shots.
Napier, the Huskies’ player of the year candidate, bested Cincinnati’s, Sean Kilpatrick, who finished with 16 points.
No. 16 Michigan 66 Minnesota 56
Ann Arbor, Mich. — Nik Stauskas scored 21 points and Glenn Robinson III provided an emotional lift with his dunks as No. 16 Michigan clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title.
Michigan (21-7, 13-3) can clinch its first outright conference title since 1986 with a win Tuesday at Illinois or next Saturday at home against Indiana.
S. Carolina 72, No. 17 Kentucky 67
Columbia, s.c. — Brenton Williams scored 24 points for South Carolina, and Kentucky coach John Calipari was ejected midway through the second half as the Gamecocks held off the 17th-ranked Wildcats.
Illinois 53, No. 18 Michigan St. 46
East Lansing, Mich. — Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading Illinois over No. 18 Michigan State.
The Fighting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) have three straight victories for the first time since winning four in a row from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4. That successful stretch included a win over then-No. 23 Missouri.
No. 19 UNC 60, Va. Tech 56
Blacksburg, Va. — James Michael McAdoo scored 15 points to lead No. 19 North Carolina to its 11th straight victory.
McAdoo hit 6 of 9 from the floor for the Tar Heels (22-7, 12-4), who started Atlantic Coast Conference play 1-4 and have not lost since.
No. 23 SMU 70, UCF 55
Dallas — Markus Kennedy scored 18 points, Nic Moore had 11 of his 13 in the second half and No. 23 SMU took another step toward its first NCAA tournament berth in 21 years.
The Mustangs (23-6, 12-4 American) improved to 15-0 at home.
Oklahoma 77, No. 24 Texas 65
Norman, Okla. — Isaiah Cousins scored a career-high 24 points and Oklahoma gained ground in the race for second place in the Big 12.
Buddy Hield hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Oklahoma (21-8, 10-6), which entered the game in a four-way battle with Texas (21-8, 10-6), Kansas State and Iowa State behind Kansas.
After Saturday, all four teams will have two games remaining.