SportsREDIRECT SECTION: college basketball

American University gets Patriot League berth

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Tony Wroblicky had 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocks to help American University beat top-seeded Boston University, 55-36, on Wednesday night in the Patriot League championship game at Boston, sending the Eagles to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years.

Darius Gardner scored 18 points and had four assists for American, which never trailed while claiming its first conference title since winning consecutive Patriot League championships in 2008 and 2009 for the first two NCAA tournament appearances in school history.

The Eagles (20-12) closed on a 9-2 run, then celebrated together in a team huddle before being overcome by the American fans who traveled for the game and swarmed the players.

Maurice Watson Jr. led BU (24-10) with 11 points and five rebounds.

Tournaments

Big 12: Marcus Smart left one last impression on Texas Tech, scoring 18 points and leading seventh-seeded Oklahoma State to an 80-62 victory over the ninth-seeded Red Raiders in the first round of the tournament. Smart also had seven rebounds, seven assists and six steals for the Cowboys (21-11), who built a 46-23 lead by halftime and then cruised into Thursdays' quarterfinal against top-seeded Kansas.

ACC: Coron Williams scored a season-high 25 points and Wake Forest beat Notre Dame, 81-69, in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Devin Thomas added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Williams hit four three-pointers for the 12th-seeded Demon Deacons (17-15), who shot a season-best 61%. ... Erik Swoope scored 14 points and made the go-ahead basket with 2:42 left to help Miami beat Virginia Tech, 57-53.

Mountain West: Spencer Butterfield's three-pointer and subsequent go-ahead free throws, after a Colorado State technical foul, keyed Utah State's 73-69 comeback victory over the Rams in a first-round game.

Etc.

Injured Kansas center Joel Embiid remains unlikely to return before the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, even though he participated in a light shoot-around Wednesday. Jayhawks Coach Bill Self said the 7-footer's status hasn't changed since Monday, when Embiid received a second opinion on his back from a specialist in Los Angeles. No. 10 Kansas has the top seeding and a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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