Teams push for top seeds
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Sam Young scored 31 points and No. 3 Pittsburgh likely secured one of the top seeds in the NCAA tournament, opening up a 14-point lead early in the second half before holding off top-ranked Connecticut 70-60 on Saturday.
Pitt (28-3, 15-3 Big East) had never beaten a No. 1-ranked team in school history, only to accomplish it twice in less than a month — both times against Connecticut (27-3, 15-3).
The Panthers had to wait for the outcome of Saturday night’s game between No. 6 Louisville and West Virginia to see if they would win a share of the Big East regular season title.
Young scored 56 points in the wins over UConn, getting 25 in the 76-68 victory on Feb. 16.
Young scored the two biggest baskets of the game after Connecticut went on a 12-0 run, keyed by A.J. Price’s eight points, to close within 52-50 with 8:24 remaining.
Price finished with 19 points.
No. 4 Oklahoma 82, Oklahoma St. 78
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 33 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to set a Big 12 season record and Oklahoma claimed the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
Griffin moved past Kansas’ Drew Gooden for the season record with 425 rebounds. He notched his 25th double-double for the Sooners (27-4, 13-3), who had lost three of four.
Oklahoma State’s James Anderson scored 37 points to tie the most points ever scored in the Bedlam rivalry. He got the Cowboys (20-10, 9-7) within 77-74 in the final 2 minutes when he connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing.
Austin Johnson hit two free throws with 1:47 to play to extend Oklahoma’s lead, and the Sooners emerged with their fifth straight win in the series.
No. 5 Memphis 74, Tulane 47
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Robert Dozier had 16 points and 12 rebounds as three Memphis players recorded double-doubles, and the Tigers extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 22 games.
Tyreke Evans had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Shawn Taggart added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers (28-3, 16-0 Conference USA).
Memphis, which won its 58th straight C-USA game including the postseason, finished its third consecutive unbeaten regular season in conference play.
Kevin Sims had 14 points for the Green Wave (13-16, 7-9).
No. 9 Kansas 83, Texas 73
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Sherron Collins had 21 points and seven assists, and Kansas claimed its fifth straight Big 12 title.
The Jayhawks (25-6, 14-2) left no doubt against Texas (20-10, 9-7), pulling away down the stretch to extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 41 games.
Cole Aldrich overcame a dismal first half — 1-of-6 from the field — to finish with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who won their 26th straight home finale and their ninth title in the 13-year history of the Big 12.
Damion James had 26 points for Texas, which blew a 14-point lead late in the first half and matched their worst Big 12 record (2005) in Rick Barnes’ 11 seasons as coach.
Auburn 69, No. 12 LSU 53
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Korvotney Barber had 16 points and 17 rebounds as Auburn won for the seventh time in eight games.
Auburn (21-10, 10-6 Southeastern Conference) scored 42 points in the paint and outrebounded the regular-season champions 45-37.
Marcus Thornton had 23 points for LSU (25-6, 13-3), which lost its second straight and posted its lowest point total of the season.
Rasheem Barrett has 12 points for Auburn and DeWayne Reed added 11.
No. 25 Syracuse 86, No. 13 Marquette 79, OT
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jonny Flynn scored 20 of his 24 points after halftime and Syracuse won in overtime, handing the Golden Eagles their fourth straight loss without injured guard Dominic James.
Andy Rautins added 20 points for the Orange (23-8, 11-7 Big East), who took control in overtime after allowing Marquette to rally from a seven-point deficit in the final 5 minutes of regulation.
Jerel McNeal scored 25 points for the Golden Eagles (23-8, 12-6) in the final home appearance for Marquette’s highly regarded trio of senior guards: McNeal, James and Wesley Matthews. James is out for the season with a broken bone in his foot, an injury he sustained in the opening minutes of the Golden Eagles’ Feb. 25 loss to Connecticut.
Texas A&M 96, No. 15 Missouri 86
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Donald Sloan scored 16 points and Texas A&M fought off a late rally for its sixth straight victory.
The Aggies (23-8, 9-7 Big 12) were up by 26 points with about 16 minutes remaining. But Missouri (25-6, 12-4) went on two separate runs to whittle the lead. The second one was an 11-4 stretch that made it 81-71 with about 5 minutes left.
DeMarre Carroll cut the lead to seven points twice after that, but Sloan answered with a dunk on a fast break to push the lead to 90-81 with 32 seconds left.
Carroll led Missouri with 18 points.
No. 16 Washington 67, Washington St. 60
SEATTLE (AP) — Quincy Pondexter scored 16 points and Jon Brockman tied his career high with 18 rebounds in his final home game to lead Washington to its first outright conference championship since 1953.
The Huskies (24-7, 14-4) won their first Pac-10 outright title, and first outright championship in any league since winning the Pacific Coast Conference 56 years ago.
Taylor Rochestie overcame a cold start to score 23 points for Washington State (16-14, 8-10), which lost both games to its archrival this season after beating the Huskies seven consecutive times.
Rochestie made a deep 3 with 5:49 left to keep the Cougars within 54-52, and another 3 that made it 58-56 with 4 minutes to go, but Pondexter then made a shot in the lane off a spin move and a bank shot underneath.
Richmond 80, No. 17 Xavier 75
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Kevin Anderson scored a career-high 29 points and Justin Harper had 20 points for the Spiders (17-14, 9-7 Atlantic 10), who shot 50.9 percent and were 19-of-23 from the line. Jarhon Giddings added 12 points.
Derrick Brown had 16 points for Xavier (24-6, 12-4), which cut the lead to 75-73 with 1:21 remaining on Terrell Holloway’s short jumper in the lane to cap a 20-7 run.
Richmond hung on to beat a ranked team at the Robins Center for the seventh time in 37 years and first since last season against Dayton. Spiders scoring leader David Gonzalves was held to eight points.
No. 20 UCLA 94, Oregon 68
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Josh Shipp scored a career-high 28 points and Darren Collison added 19 for UCLA.
The Bruins (24-7, 13-5) finished as the No. 2 seed for next week’s Pac-10 tournament.
Freshman Drew Wiley matched his career high with 18 points, including a career-best six 3-pointers, for the last-place Ducks (8-22, 2-16).
Shipp saved his two best performances for his final two games at Pauley Pavilion.
The senior, who scored 27 points in Thursday’s rout of Oregon State, topped himself Saturday in his 130th start, passing Earl Watson for most in school history.
No. 21 Arizona St. 83, California 66
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Jeff Pendergraph had 27 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game and Arizona State snapped a three-game losing streak.
James Harden, the Pac-10’s leading scorer, had 20 points for the Sun Devils (22-8, 11-7).
Jerome Randle scored 24 points for Cal (22-9, 11-7).
California and the Sun Devils finished tied for third in the Pac-10, but the Golden Bears own the tiebreaker and will be the third seed in the conference tournament next week in Los Angeles.
No. 22 Butler 62, Wright State 57
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Horizon League player of the year Matt Howard had 24 points in the conference tournament semifinals.
The Bulldogs (26-4) tied Detroit’s league record with 26 tournament wins and will try to match the league record of ex-member Xavier by winning a sixth title Tuesday night against either Wisconsin-Green Bay or Cleveland State.
The Raiders (20-13) were led by Cory Cooperwood with 11 points and Will Graham with 10. Wright State managed only one point in the final 70 seconds after closing within 59-56.