Louisville, which lost five of its previous eight games, revived its faltering fortunes against Notre Dame by beating the Irish, 87-77, Saturday at South Bend, Ind.
“When we play like we played today, even though we didn’t play that well, it’s hard to beat us,” said guard LaBradford Smith, who scored 19 points for the No. 14-ranked Cardinals.
Louisville, 20-8, has gotten some of its enthusiasm back after a three-day break following a 77-71 loss at home to Cincinnati.
“We have not been playing well, so it was good to get a victory,” Coach Denny Crum said.
The Cardinals’ Kenny Payne led all scorers with 27 points, and Pervis Ellison added 18.
Notre Dame (18-7) trailed from midway through the first half, but twice closed to within four points, the last time on a three-pointer by Joe Fredrick that made it 71-67.
Louisville came back with six straight points, including four by Payne, to take a 10-point lead with two minutes left.
Notre Dame played most of the game without its second-leading scorer, freshman forward LaPhonso Ellis. He left without scoring three minutes into the game after suffering a compound dislocation of his right index finger. Keith Robinson led the Irish with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Louisville, which starts the Metro Conference Tournament on Friday, still may not be ready mentally, Crum said.
“This team has struggled to get over the hump,” he said. “We have got to get some rest and play well down the stretch.”
Oklahoma 103, Nebraska 76--Mookie Blaylock scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half when the No. 4 Sooners pulled away from the Cornhuskers to win the Big Eight game at Norman, Okla.
The Sooners ended the regular season at 26-4--their eighth straight 20-victory season--and won the conference title with a 12-2 record. Oklahoma plays last-place Colorado in the first round of the Big Eight tournament Friday.
Blaylock made only one of nine shots in the first half when he shot primarily from outside. By taking the ball inside in the second half, he had more success as the Sooners won their 30th straight at home.
Nebraska (16-14, 4-10) got no closer than 17 points after Oklahoma took a 20-point lead with 7:12 left. The Sooners used a 12-0 run in the closing minutes to open their biggest lead, 97-68, with 2:54 left.
Missouri 66, Colorado 65--Greg Church made three free throws in the final 11 seconds of the Big Eight game at Columbia, Mo., and the No. 7 Tigers (24-7, 10-3) held off the Buffaloes to complete the regular season with a 16-0 home record.
Reggie Morton’s three-point basket with 48 seconds left cut the Tigers’ lead to 63-60. After Missouri’s Lee Coward missed the front end of a one-and-one, Morton made a basket to bring the Buffaloes (7-20, 2-12) to within 63-62 with 18 seconds left.
Church made two free throws with 11 seconds left and added another with five seconds remaining. Morton made a three-point basket at the buzzer.
Michigan 119, Iowa 96--Glen Rice scored 29 of his 33 points in the second half to lead five teammates in double figures and the No. 10 Wolverines breezed to the Big Ten win at Ann Arbor, Mich.
Rice, the Big Ten’s leading scorer with a 24.9 average, helped the Wolverines get 71 second-half points. It marked the ninth time this season that Michigan (23-6, 11-5) has scored more than 100 points, a school record.
Iowa (21-8, 9-7) got 30 points from Roy Marble.
Florida State 81, Southern Mississippi 78--George McCloud scored 29 points to help the No. 16 Seminoles clinch the regular-season Metro Conference championship at Hattiesburg, Miss.
Florida State (21-6, 9-3) will be the top-seeded team in the league’s tournament starting Friday at Columbia, S.C.
Southern Mississippi (10-16, 2-10) lost its last seven games and will be seeded fifth.
Ball State 92, Western Michigan 79--The No. 19 Cardinals extended their winning streak to 12 games in the Mid-American Conference game at Kalamazoo, Mich.
Ball State (25-2, 14-2) tied the score at 38-38 with 54 seconds remaining in the first half on a three-point basket by Billy Butts, and Keith Stalling’s layup with three seconds left in the half put the Cardinals ahead to stay.
Ball State went on an 11-4 run early in the second half to take a 51-42 lead. Billy Stanback’s three-pointer for Western Michigan (12-15, 6-10) cut the margin to 51-45, but the Broncos could not get any closer.
Clemson 81, Georgia Tech 79--Dale Davis and Eldon Campbell scored the final 24 points to lead the Tigers to the overtime victory in the ACC game at Clemson, S.C.
Campbell, who had 22 points and 10 rebounds, tied the score, 69-69, on two free throws with 25 seconds remaining in regulation. Anthony Sherrod missed a three-pointer with two seconds left in regulation for Georgia Tech (20-10, 8-6).
Clemson (18-9, 7-7) scored the first six points of overtime, including two dunks by Davis, who had 29 points, and led, 81-74, with 1:07 left. But Tom Hammonds scored on a short jumper and Dennis Scott hit a three-pointer to make it 81-79 with 32 seconds left.
The Yellow Jackets regained possession after Clemson’s Marion Cash was called for charging. But Scott was short on a three-point attempt with five seconds left, and Campbell grabbed the loose ball.
Alabama 83, Florida 63--Michael Ansley scored 25 points and the Crimson Tide held Dwayne Schintzius below his average while defeating the Southeastern Conference champion Gators at Tuscaloosa, Ala., to end the regular season.
The victory moved Alabama (20-7, 12-6), a preseason pick to finish well back in the SEC, into a second-place tie with Vanderbilt. Florida (19-11, 13-5) won the title outright when Tennessee defeated Vanderbilt.
Schintzius, averaging 19 points, got his fourth foul with 17:23 left and spent several minutes on the bench, winding up with 14 points.
Tennessee 78, Vanderbilt 61--The Commodores were held to their lowest point total of the season in the regular-season ending SEC game at Knoxville, Tenn.
The Volunteers used two bursts in the first half to build a lead the Commodores could not overcome. A 17-3 run gave them a 21-12 lead with 10:39 left. Dyron Nix had three three-point baskets and another basket in that spurt for half of his 22 points.
Vanderbilt (18-12, 12-6) moved to within 21-19 on a basket by Barry Goheen, who was held to eight points. The Volunteers (18-9, 11-7) closed the half with a 21-7 run to make it 42-26 and the Commodores never recovered.
Mississippi 113, Louisiana State 112--Gerald Glass scored his 53rd point with nine seconds left in overtime to give the Rebels the Southeastern Conference victory at Oxford, Miss.
LSU freshman Chris Jackson, who scored 55 points, made a three-pointer and a free throw with 17 seconds to send the game into overtime at 106-106.
Glass made a three-point shot with 1:05 left in overtime to tie the game, 112-112.
The Tigers (20-10, 11-7) then missed a three-pointer, and Glass was fouled with nine seconds to play to set up the winning free throw for the Rebels (14-13, 8-10).
Jackson’s 55 points gives him 895 for the season, an NCAA freshman record. He broke the record of 854 by James (Fly) Williams of Austin Peay in 29 games in 1973. The 55 also is a single-game freshman record, breaking his own mark of 53 against Florida on Dec. 10.
Colorado State 89, Brigham Young 72--Pat Durham scored 31 points to lead the Rams past the Cougars at Provo, Utah, clinching at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.
BYU (14-14, 7-9) led, 40-38, at the half, but Colorado State (20-8, 12-4) took control with a 10-2 run to open the second half. The Rams shot 78% in the second half and 67% for the game.