Earl Boykins had 29 points and seven assists and didn't have a turnover in 40 minutes as Eastern Michigan defeated Miami of Ohio, 92-77, at Toledo, Ohio on Wednesday night to win the Mid-American Conference championship and gain a berth in the NCAA tournament.
The 5-foot-5 guard set a three-game tournament scoring record with 89 points, breaking the mark of 86 set by Miami's Ron Harper in 1985.
The fourth-seeded Eagles (20-9), winners of four in a row and 11 of 13, got revenge for losing in last year's MAC title game to the RedHawks. They were appearing in a record fourth straight conference final.
Boykins, averaging 34.7 points and nine assists over the last four games, made 10 of 22 shots from the field and seven of eight free throws. Wally Szczerbiak had 26 points and 12 rebounds for seventh-seeded Miami (17-12).
It was Miami's third game without Coach Charlie Coles. In Saturday's quarterfinal upset at second-seeded Western Michigan, Coles suffered a heart attack. He remains hospitalized, with assistant Ray Martin filling in on an interim basis.
Charlton Clarke and Lari Ketner each had 21 points, and Massachusetts (21-9) never trailed as it moved into the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament at Philadelphia with a 64-58 victory over Virginia Tech.
Ketner, who also had 15 rebounds, boosted his average to 19 points and eight rebounds in the Minutemen's last eight games. Rolan Roberts had 21 points for the Hokies (10-17).
Duval Simmonds made two free throws with 1.8 seconds left, giving St. Joseph's a 73-72 victory over La Salle.
The Hawks (11-16), who have now beaten the Explorers (9-18) six straight times, trailed by four points when Rashid Bey made a three-point shot to make the score 72-71 with 57 seconds left.
Rashaan Palmer had 27 points as St. Bonaventure defeated Duquesne, 75-62, in another first-round game, setting up a rematch with Xavier--a team it upset in January. Despite 16 turnovers, the Bonnies (17-13) beat Duquesne (11-19) for just the second time in six games, while the Dukes lost their fifth straight.
Dayton rallied to defeat Fordham, 68-60, in another first-round game. The Rams (6-20) led throughout most of the game and took a 56-53 lead on a three-point shot by Jason Harris with 4:50 to play. The Flyers (20-10) then scored 12 straight points to take a 65-56 lead with 00:47 left.
The Scarlet Knights' victory at Madison Square Garden may have also done some serious damage to the Mountaineers' NCAA tournament hopes.
The 12th-seeded Scarlet Knights (13-14) will meet 13th-seeded Georgetown in the quarterfinals. Rutgers had lost its tournament opener in its first two seasons in the league.
Slumping West Virginia (22-8) has lost three games in a row and five of its last eight.
Vontego Cummings scored 37 points for Pittsburgh (11-16) including a three-point basket with just over one second left in regulation to force the first overtime. John Celestand's three-point shot at the end of the five-minute extra period tied it for Villanova and forced the second overtime.
Georgetown continued its Big East tournament hex over Miami, eliminating the Hurricanes, 62-56.
It was the sixth time in the seven seasons that Miami (18-9) has been in the conference that it has lost to the Hoyas in the tournament.
Georgetown (15-13) has not lost a first-round Big East game since 1988.
Notre Dame (13-14) will have to wait until next season to try and win its first Big East tournament game. The Irish, beaten by Providence, 72-55, have never won a tournament game in their three seasons in the league.
Notre Dame (13-14) got to within 48-42 with 8:20 to play. But the Friars (13-15) led by at least 10 points the rest of the way with the final margin one of the two times they led by 17 points.
Maglos gave Boston College (15-15) the lead for good at 84-83 when he made one of two free throws with 2:51 left. The Pirates (15-14) sent the game into overtime when Shaheen Holloway made a three-point shot with 9.5 seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 81-81.
DePaul (7-23) wasted a chance to win at the end and wound up with its ninth straight loss to Marquette. Innis Glover, the Blue Demons' best free-throw shooter at 82.9%, missed the first of two with 2.2 seconds left.
Houston (9-20) finished one of its worst seasons with its 10th consecutive loss. The Cougars did not win a game after Jan. 29 and had their first 20-loss season since the school started playing basketball in 1946.
Houston finished with a five-year record of 54-84 under Coach Alvin Brooks, whose firing was announced Sunday.
Saint Louis (21-9) improved to 6-0 in first-round conference tournament games under Coach Charlie Spoonhour with a 71-53 victory over Tulane. The Green Wave (7-22) ended the season with 12 losses in their last 13 games.
Nate Johnson and Alex Sanders led a first-half run that helped Louisville (12-19) take control in a 75-64 victory over South Florida (17-13). Johnson scored 17 points and Sanders had 14 in the first half led by as many as 20 points. South Florida never led.
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Schools that have received automatic bids to the NCAA tournament. All bids are by virtue of conference tournament championships with the exception of the Ivy League and Pacific 10, which do not conduct postseason tournaments:
* Arizona: Pacific 10
* Butler: Midwestern Collegiate
* Coll. of Charleston: Trans America Ath.
* Davidson: Southern
* Eastern Michigan: Mid-American
* Fairleigh Dickinson: Northeast
* Illinois State: Missouri Valley
* Iona: Metro Atlantic Athletic
* Murray State: Ohio Valley
* Princeton: Ivy
* Radford: Big South
* Richmond: Colonial Athletic Assn.
* San Francisco: West Coast
* South Alabama: Sun Belt
* Valparaiso: Mid-Continent