No. 3 Duke Holds Off Miami
Texas forward Connor Lammert, right, grabs for fellow forward Ioannis Papapetrou, center, as he fouls Oklahoma State guard Le'Bryan Nash, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, March 2, 2013. Oklahoma State won 78-65. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
Duke's Ryan Kelly (34) shoots as Miami's Julian Gamble (45) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Durham, n.c. — Ryan Kelly scored a career-high 36 points in his return from a foot injury that had sidelined him since January, helping third-ranked Duke beat fifth-ranked Miami 79-76 last night.
Kelly knocked down 10 of 14 shots — including 7 of 9 3-pointers— for the Blue Devils (25-4, 12-4 ACC), who avenged a blowout road loss in January by grinding out a tough win in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Quinn Cook added 15 points as Duke built a 10-point lead with about 2 minutes left, then held off a frantic rally by Miami.
Shane Larkin scored 25 points to lead the Hurricanes (23-5, 14-2), who missed two 3s in the final seconds to tie it. Larkin came up short on the first over Kelly. Durand Scott ran down the rebound and fired a pass to the left corner to Rion Brown, whose final 3 clanged off the rim as the horn sounded.
No. 2 Gonzaga 81 Portland 52
Spokane, Wash. — Elias Harris had 20 points and nine rebounds as No. 2 Gonzaga beat Portland 8to stake a claim to its first-ever No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press’ Top 25.
Kelly Olynyk added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Gonzaga (29-2, 16-0 West Coast), which had already clinched the conference regular season title and the top seed in next weekend’s tournament. Gary Bell Jr. added 14 points.
No. 6 Kansas 91, W. Va. 65
Lawrence, Kan. — Ben McLemore scored a Kansas freshman-record 36 points, and Jeff Withey came within one block of a triple-double as the sixth-ranked Jayhawks beat West Virginia.
McLemore, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, went to the bench with a little more than 5 minutes left after hitting 12 of 15 shots from the field, including 5 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. He had seven rebounds and four assists.
No. 8 Florida 64
Gainesville, Fla. — Casey Prather had 10 points and nine rebounds, most of them in the second half, and Florida rallied from an eight-point deficit.
The Gators used a 15-0 run late in the second half — fueled by Prather — to pull away from the Crimson Tide and remain unbeaten at home.
No. 10 Louisville 58
No. 12 Syracuse 53
Syracuse, n.y. — Luke Hancock hit a 3-pointer from the corner to break a tie with 50 seconds left for Louisville, which lost to Syracuse earlier this season.
It was the third straight loss for Syracuse (22-7, 10-6 Big East).
Louisville (24-5, 12-4) snapped a three-game losing streak against Syracuse, and the Cardinals did it before a stunned crowd of 31,173.
No. 14 New Mexico 53 Wyoming 42
Albuquerque, n.m. — Alex Kirk had 15 points and nine rebounds and New Mexico clinched the Mountain West Conference regular season title.
The Lobos (25-4, 12-2 MWC) went 21 for 27 from the free throw line in winning or sharing the title for fifth time in the last six seasons. Cameron Bairstow contributed 13 points and nine rebounds and Kendall Williams had six assists for the Lobos.
No. 15 Okla. St. 78
Stillwater, Okla. — Markel Brown scored 18 points, Le’Bryan Nash added 16 and Oklahoma State corralled Texas star Myck Kabongo.
A showcase of two of the Big 12’s marquee point guards ended up being a sloppy one, with Kabongo committing a career-high seven turnovers while the Cowboys’ Marcus Smart had five.
Oklahoma State (22-6, 12-4 Big 12) took advantage of two of Kabongo’s turnovers to score the final eight points of the first half and start an 18-2 run that carried beyond halftime.
No. 19 Memphis 76
C Florida 67
Orlando, Fla. — Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford both scored 19 points and Memphis claimed its eighth Conference USA championship.
Adonis Thomas added 12 points for the Tigers (25-4, 14-0 CUSA), who gave coach Josh Pastner his 100th career win, all at Memphis.
VCU 84, No. 20 Butler 52
Richmond, Va. — Troy Daniels scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half and VCU’s full-court pressure overwhelmed Butler from the outset.
No. 22 Marquette 72
No. 21 Notre Dame 64
Milwaukee — Jamil Wilson tied his career-high with 19 points and Chris Otule added a season-high 16 on 8-of-8 shooting as Marquette won its 25th consecutive home game.
Wilson scored 17 points in the second half, including seven down the stretch, for the Golden Eagles (21-7, 12-4 Big East). His two free throws were the final points in the game.
Jerian Grant scored 21 points and Eric Atkins added 16 for Notre Dame (22-7, 10-6).
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame’s leading scorer, had his minutes limited due to illness. He was 0 for 1 from the field and had one rebound in 15 minutes.