Only 60 Spots Left in the NCAA Field

From Associated Press

Five teams earned berths to the NCAA tournament Saturday as the 65-team field began to take shape.

North Carolina Asheville, Austin Peay, East Tennessee State and Troy (Ala.) State won conference tournaments. Pennsylvania secured the Ivy League title.

The most surprising entry is Asheville (14-16), which became the 17th team with a losing record to earn a bid with an 85-71 victory over Radford in the Big South final at Lynchburg, Va.

The Bulldogs probably will be selected to play in the play-in game on March 18 at Dayton, Ohio.

In the Ohio Valley championship at Nashville, Austin Peay (23-7) earned its bid with a 63-57 victory over Tennessee Tech. It is the Governors' fifth berth.

In the Atlantic Sun final at Atlanta, Troy State (26-5) defeated Central Florida, 80-69, for its first berth.

In the Southern final at North Charleston, S.C., East Tennessee (20-10) held off Chattanooga, 97-90.

Penn (21-5) won its 14th consecutive game with a 69-52 victory over Cornell, completing a 13-0 Ivy League record.

In other games:

Trace Caton scored a career-high 20 points at Salt Lake City as Utah (23-6, 11-3) cruised to an 86-70 victory over Wyoming (20-9, 8-6) to clinch the No. 1 seeding in the Mountain West Conference tournament.... Air Force held New Mexico guard Ruben Douglas to 15 points and the Falcons (12-15, 3-11) scored a 68-60 victory over the Lobos (10-17, 4-10) at Air Force Academy, Colo. Douglas, the nation's scoring leader, saw his average dip to 28.3.


Kara Lawson scored a career-high 32 points, including the winning basket in the lane with one second left, as No. 3 Tennessee (28-3) scored a 76-75 victory No. 10 Mississippi State (23-7) in a semifinal of the SEC tournament at North Little Rock, Ark. The Volunteers will play No. 6 Louisiana State (26-3), a 78-69 winner over No. 15 Vanderbilt (21-9), in the final.... Candace Sutton had a season-high 20 points at Greensboro, N.C., as North Carolina (26-4) held on for an 80-71 victory over Clemson (14-15) in a semifinal of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.... Lindsay Taylor had 22 points at Goleta as No. 19 UC Santa Barbara (23-4, 15-1 Big West) cruised to a 76-36 victory over UC Riverside (8-19, 5-11).

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