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College basketball: Providence rallies to stun Xavier in Big East semifinal

Alpha Diallo hit a go-ahead jumper with 2:22 left in overtime and fifth-seeded Providence rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit and stunned top-seeded and No. 3 Xavier 75-72 in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament on Friday night at New York.

Kyron Cartwright made a clutch jumper with 55 seconds to go and took an offensive foul on a layup attempt by J.P. Macura with eight seconds to play as the Friars (21-12) beat the Musketeers (28-5) for the second time in three games this season.

This one was totally unexpected after the opening 25 minutes at Madison Square Garden, when Xavier held a 52-35 lead.

“We haven’t gone cold very often this year,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “And again I go back to crediting Providence’s defense for that. But, again, it’s a coin flip in terms of who is winning and who is losing. And we’re on the wrong side of the coin.”

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The win sent Providence in the title game against No. 2 Villanova, which routed Butler 87-68.

No. 12 North Carolina 74, No. 5 Duke 69: Luke Maye scored 17 points, including North Carolina’s last field goal with 5:33 remaining, and the Tar Heels held off a late rally to advance to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship game at New York.

The sixth-seeded Tar Heels (25-9) will face top-seeded and top-ranked Virginia on in a rematch of the 2016 ACC championship, won by North Carolina.

North Carolina led by 15 when Maye hit a jumper with 5:33 left and it looked as if it would cruise into the title game. But the Tar Heels went cold and Duke went on a 13-0 run, drawing within three on Gray Trent Jr.’s three-pointer.

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No. 1 Virginia 64, No. 19 Clemson 58: Kyle Guy scored 15 points and the Cavaliers (30-2) advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a win over the Tigers, who remain the lone original member of the ACC that hasn’t won the conference tournament.

Virginia used a 10-0 run to build a 14-point lead with 13 minutes remaining and then slowed the game down, but Clemson cut the deficit to five with 7:22 left. That’s when Jack Salt, a 6-foot-10 junior center from New Zealand who was averaging 3.4 points and 4.1 rebounds, came up big for the Cavaliers, scoring all eight of his points.

No. 9 Kansas 83, Kansas State 67: Malik Newman scored 22 points, Silvio De Sousa filled in admirably for ailing big man Udoka Azubuike and the Jayhawks reached the Big 12 tournament title game at Kansas City, Mo.

Devonte Graham added 15 points and Svi Mykhailiuk had 12 for the top-seeded Jayhawks (26-7), who will play No. 14 Texas Tech or No. 18 West Virginia for the championship Saturday night.

The fourth-seeded Wildcats (23-10) learned Friday morning they’d be without All-Big 12 forward Dean Wade, who hurt his foot in their quarterfinal win over TCU. Then they lost starting guard Barry Brown early against the Jayhawks when he was accidentally poked in the eye. They still put up a fight, thanks primarily to unheralded Makol Mawien, who scored a career-high 29 points.

San Diego State 90, No. 22 Nevada 73: Devin Watson scored 20 points and the Aztecs took a 30-point lead at halftime to reach the Mountain West Conference championship game.

The Aztecs, who haven’t won a tournament championship since 2011, will play in the title game for the fourth time in five years, and eighth time in 10 seasons.

Jalen McDaniels had his ninth double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

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