Spurs Cool Heat
San Antonio — Tim Duncan had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed against the Miami Heat, weathering a sluggish third quarter for an intense and emotional 111-87 victory Thursday.
Tony Parker scored 17 points, including 14 in a wild first half, Boris Diaw added 16 and Kawhi Leonard had 11 for San Antonio, which has won five straight.
Chris Bosh had 24 points, LeBron James added 19, Dwyane Wade had 16 and Michael Beasley 11 for Miami.
James, who ditched the protective mask he was wearing early in the first half, was hounded by Leonard into shooting 6 for 18.
James got rid of the mask that protected his broken nose with four minutes left in the first quarter. He missed his first two attempts sans mask, tossing up a wild 14-footer that banged off the front of the rim and backboard, then botching a reverse layup. His first mask-free basket was a 5-foot running floater over Leonard with 6:26 left in the half.
No. 6 Villanova 77 Xavier 70
Cincinnati — Darrun Hilliard scored 19 points and No. 6 Villanova clinched the outright Big East championship for the first time in 32 years.
JayVaughn Pinkston added 15 points — eight in the last 3:20 — James Bell finished with 12 and Ryan Arcidiacono chipped in with 11 as the Wildcats (27-3, 15-2 Big East) extended their school record for regular-season wins with their fifth straight and 11th in their last 12 games.
No. 15 Cincinnati 97 No. 20 Memphis 84
Memphis, Tenn. — Sean Kilpatrick scored a season-high 34 points in his final home game, and a trio of senior starters steadied Cincinnati in a win that left the American Athletic Conference race tied with a game to go.
The Bearcats (25-5, 14-3 AAC) remained tied atop the first-year league with No. 11 Louisville. The Cardinals won 84-71 at No. 18 Southern Methodist on Wednesday night and finish at home against No. 19 Connecticut.
The Bearcats close the regular season at Rutgers.
With a chance to break the race open, the Tigers (22-8, 11-6) fell apart in the opening minutes and never fully recovered. Cincinnati’s seniors kept the Bearcats ahead the whole game.
Kilpatrick led the way in his final home game at the school where he will end up as the No. 2 all-time scorer behind Oscar Robertson. Forward Titus Rubles had a career-high 24 points, and forward Justin Jackson added 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Bearcats piled up a season-high points for an AAC game. It was the second-most points Memphis had allowed all season.
Joe Jackson scored 21 points for Memphis, which turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, cut a 14-point deficit to one early in the second half and got overpowered down the stretch.
No. 22 Michigan St. 86, No. 24 Iowa 76
East Lansing, Mich. — Keith Appling scored in double figures for the first time in more than five weeks and Michigan State looked healthier than it had in months in a victory over Iowa.
Appling showed his old aggressiveness before hip and wrist injuries and scored 12 points for the Spartans (23-7, 12-5 Big Ten). Travis Trice, Appling’s backup, was 3 for 4 from 3-point range and had 16 points, while Adreian Payne added 14 points in his final home game.
Denzel Valentine had 13 points and nine assists for Michigan State, which looked a lot like the team that is 19-2 with a healthy Branden Dawson in the lineup.
Roy Devyn Marble had 24 points for Iowa (20-10, 9-8).
No. 23 Iowa 81, Illinois 62
Indianapolis — Bethany Doolittle scored a career-high 26 points, hitting 10 of 14 shots, as fifth-seeded and 23rd-ranked Iowa defeat Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
Melissa Dixon added 15 points and Ally Disterhoft 14 with 12 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (24-7), who face No. 17 Purdue (21-7), the fourth seed, in the quarterfinals Friday.
Amber Moore had 26 points for the Illini (9-21), who have lost 11 straight). Ivory Crawford had 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Iowa opened the game with an 11-2 run and after Illinois regrouped to take a 27-26 lead, the Hawkeyes closed the half with a 15-2 surge for a 41-29 lead.
Iowa shot 54 percent from the field, made 21 of 26 free throw and had a 45-31 rebounding edge to offset 24 turnovers. The Illini shot just 32 percent and got to the line 14 times, making 10.