College basketball: No. 17 Michigan defeats No. 2 Michigan State
Mo Wagner scored 14 of his 15 points after a dreadful first half and fifth-seeded Michigan moved within a game of its second straight Big Ten Tournament title with a 75-64 victory over top-seeded Michigan State in the conference semifinals Saturday, ending the No. 2 ranked Spartans’ 13-game winning streak.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Zavier Simpson also had 15 for the No. 15 Wolverines (27-7), who were also the last team to beat Michigan State (29-4), when they did it on Jan. 13.
Michigan was just too balanced and quick for Michigan State, putting five players in double figures. Duncan Robinson added 13 points off the bench and Charles Matthews had 12.
Miles Bridges had 17 points to lead Michigan State before fouling out late. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 13 and Cassius Winston had 11, but they only crossed into double figures with the Michigan band revving the Maize and Blue faithful at Madison Square Garden with yet another version of “Hail To The Victors.”
at Oklahoma State 82, No. 6 Kansas 64: Kendall Smith scored a career-high 25 points and Mitchell Solomon had 16 points and seven rebounds to help lead Oklahoma State to an 82-64 victory over No. 6 Kansas in the regular season finale for both teams on Saturday.
The Cowboys’ home fans rushed the court at the final buzzer as Oklahoma State finished the season with three wins in their final four games.
Smith, who had scored just nine points in each of his two previous outings, hit 20 for the seventh time this season and for the fifth time in the last nine contests.
Oklahoma State (18-13, 8-10 Big 12) swept the season series from Kansas, marking the first time that the Jayhawks have been swept in a home-and-home since 2003-04, a span of 103 series.
Devonte’ Graham, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, scored 15 points and had eight assists to lead the Jayhawks (24-7, 13-5), who had a five-game winning streak snapped. The Jayhawks had already secured the top seed in next week’s Big 12 Conference Tournament.
at No. 1 Virginia 62, Notre Dame 57: Devon Hall scored 17 points in his final game at John Paul Jones Arena and No. 1 Virginia outlasted Notre Dame 62-57 on Saturday.
Ty Jerome added 13 points for the Cavaliers (28-2, 17-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their fifth in a row.
Bonzie Colson, playing in just his second game since missing 15 with a broken foot, had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Irish (18-13, 8-10). Martinas Geben added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Virginia led 55-54 with just over 3 minutes to play before Hall scored on a tough drive. After Notre Dame missed, Isaiah Wilkins hit a pair of free throws, pushing the Cavaliers’ lead to five. A 3-pointer by Matt Farrell got Notre Dame within 59-57 with 2:24 to play. The Irish had a chance to tie, or take the lead, in the final minute, but Colson couldn’t get free from Wilkins’ defense and, in his bid to pass the ball out, the Irish committed a 30-second shot clock violation.
De’Andre Hunter, whose banked-in three-pointer gave Virginia a stunning victory at Louisville on Thursday night, hit 3 of 4 free throws to finish it.
No. 3 Xavier 65, at DePaul 62: Trevon Bluiett scored 22 points, and No. 3 Xavier set a school record for regular-season wins while clinching the top seed in the Big East with a 65-62 victory over DePaul on Saturday.
The Musketeers (27-4, 15-3 Big East) hung on for their 12th win in 13 games after DePaul’s Eli Cain and Max Strus missed 3-pointers in the closing seconds. That ended Villanova’s four-year run of first-place finishes.
Bluiett became the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers, making four to give him 310 in his career.
Brandon Cyrus led DePaul (11-19, 4-14) with a career-high 20 points. Cain scored 14 as the Blue Demons lost for the fifth time in six games.
at No. 4 Villanova 97, Georgetown 73: Jay Wright moved into a tie atop Villanova’s career wins list with 413 in No. 4 Villanova’s 97-73 win over Georgetown on Saturday night.
Wright improved to 413-165 since he took the job in 2001 and has led the Wildcats to the 2009 Final Four and 2016 national championship. He matched Al Severance, who went 413-201 from 1936-1961. Wright can top Severance with a win in the Big East Tournament.
The Wildcats head to Madison Square Garden as the No. 2 seed after their run of four straight regular-season conference titles was ended by Xavier.
There’s little worry on the Main Line that Villanova can’t make a deep run in the postseason. The Wildcats (27-4, 14-4 Big East) beat champion Xavier twice this season and will surely be a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
They used the Hoyas (15-14, 5-13) as little more than a tune-up in the finale and took a 15-point lead in the first half that was never seriously challenged. Mikal Bridges scored 24 points and Jalen Brunson solidified his player of the year candidacy with 16 points and seven assists.
at No. 5 Duke 74, No. 9 North Carolina 64: Marvin Bagley III had 18 of his 21 points in the second half along with 15 rebounds, and No. 5 Duke pulled away to beat No. 9 North Carolina 74-64 on Saturday night.
Grayson Allen added 15 points in his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and Gary Trent Jr. had 13 points — including three 3-pointers in the final 10 minutes — to help the Blue Devils (25-6, 13-5) clinch the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Duke was 8 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half — the Blue Devils made just 1 of 10 from that distance in the first half — and outrebounded North Carolina 24-13 after halftime.
Cameron Johnson scored 16 points for the Tar Heels (22-9, 11-7), while Kenny Williams and Luke Maye each had 13. Three weeks after they rallied from a double-figure deficit to beat their fiercest rivals, it was the Blue Devils’ turn to flip the script.
Duke trailed by 11 with 14 1/2 minutes to play before the ACC’s top offense finally found its rhythm, hitting four three-pointers in 4 1/2 minutes to erase that deficit. That came as part of a 25-10 burst keyed by six three-pointers that put the Blue Devils ahead to stay.
No. 7 Gonzaga 83, Loyola Marymount 69: Killian Tillie scored 24 points, including making all five 3-point attempts, while Johnathan Williams added 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 7 Gonzaga past Loyola Marymount 83-69 on Saturday night in the West Coast Conference quarterfinals.
Zach Norvell Jr. had 17 points as top-seeded Gonzaga (28-4) could not pull away until 5 minutes left in the game, despite shooting 61 percent from the field, including 19 of 24 (79 percent) in the second half. This was Bulldogs’ 12th straight win, and 15th at the WCC Tournament.
After a tournament off day, Gonzaga moves to the semifinals Monday night against fourth-seeded San Francisco, which defeated Pacific earlier Saturday.
James Batemon led eighth-seeded LMU (11-20) with 27 points, while Cameron Allen added 12 for the Lions, who had two four-point first half leads.
No. 8 Purdue 78, Penn State 70: Carsen Edwards scored 27 points and No. 8 Purdue pulled away from Penn State in the second half of a 78-70 victory Saturday that put the Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the second time in three seasons.
Third-seeded Purdue (28-5) faces No. 5 Michigan, which will try to repeat as tournament champs on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Purdue frustrated conference scoring leader Tony Carr, holding him to 4-of-18 shooting and 12 points. Shep Garner led the Nittany Lions (21-12) with 33 points.
The Boilermakers will be making their third appearance in the Big Ten championship since the tournament started in 1998. Their one championship came in 2009.
Evans had his first double-digit scoring game since a toe injury that sidelined him at halftime of a loss to Baylor that started the skid when the Red Raiders (23-8, 11-7) were in sole possession of the Big 12 lead.
Desmond Bane scored 21 points for the Horned Frogs (21-10, 9-9), who had their first four-game conference winning streak in 20 years stopped. The late-season surge put TCU in good shape for its first NCAA Tournament berth since going 14-0 in the Western Athletic Conference in 1997-98.
at No. 14 Auburn 79, South Carolina 70: Bryce Brown scored 29 points, making eight 3-pointers, and No. 14 Auburn claimed at least a share of the Southeastern Conference title with a 79-70 comeback victory over South Carolina on Saturday.
The Tigers (25-6, 13-5) earned the top seed in next week’s SEC Tournament with their first regular-season title since 1999 and third overall. Auburn would win the outright championship if No. 16 Tennessee loses to Georgia, and holds the tiebreaker thanks to a win over the Volunteers.
Auburn fans began “SEC! SEC!” chants in the final two minutes, celebrating a rare title for a long-struggling program that’s also poised to end a 15-year NCAA Tournament drought. Afterward, confetti rained down on the team as they donned SEC championship T-shirts on the court.
at No. 16 Tennessee 66, Georgia 61: Admiral Schofield scored 23 points to lead Tennessee’s second-half comeback Saturday as the 16th-ranked Volunteers rallied past Georgia 66-61 to win a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.
The Vols (23-7, 13-5) share the SEC regular-season title with No. 14 Auburn, which defeated South Carolina 79-70 on Saturday. Because Auburn won 94-84 at Tennessee on Jan. 2 in their lone regular-season matchup, the Tigers (25-6, 13-5) get the No. 1 seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament that starts Wednesday in St. Louis.
Tennessee is getting a share of its first league crown since 2008 after being picked to finish 13th out of 14 teams by the league’s media before the season. The Vols also won a share of the Eastern Division title in 2009.
The Vols have won four straight and 11 of their last 13. Tennessee’s latest victory ended Georgia’s five-game winning streak in this series.
at Syracuse 55, No. 18 Clemson 52: Oshae Brissett and Tyus Battle each scored 17 points and Syracuse rallied to beat No. 18 Clemson 55-52 on Saturday to remain in the hunt for a postseason berth.
It was an opportunity for Syracuse (19-12, 8-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) to fill the biggest void on its resume — the lack of a marquee win — and the Orange capitalized. They were coming off a 15-point loss at Boston College, which put a big dent in their postseason hopes.
Clemson (22-8, 11-7) entered the game ranked eighth in RPI and already assured of its first NCAA Tournament berth in seven years. The Tigers finished 4-6 on the road and suffered just their second loss this season after leading at halftime.
Marcquise Reed had 21 points and Elijah Thomas 18 to lead Clemson as the pair accounted for every Clemson point in the second half. Gabe DeVoe was 2 of 13, 0 of 6 from beyond the arc, for four points.
at Texas 87, No. 20 West Virginia 79: Matt Coleman and Kerwin Roach II each scored 22 points and Texas used an 11-0 run early in overtime to pull away from No. 20 West Virginia for an 87-79 win Saturday that was critical for the Longhorns’ NCAA Tournament hopes.
The Longhorns (18-13, 8-10) were in desperate need of a big late-season victory to shore up an inconsistent resume and got it in their seventh overtime game of the season.
The Big 12’s worst offensive team made 11 three-pointers, including two in the overtime by Coleman and Jacob Young, and shot 57 percent from the field.
at San Diego State 79, No. 21 Nevada 74: Trey Kell scored six points in the final 1:19 to finish with 17 and fellow senior Malik Pope scored 16 to lead San Diego State to a 79-74 victory against No. 21 Nevada on Saturday night that gave the Aztecs the No. 5 seed in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
The victory, coupled with Wyoming’s loss at Boise State, means the Aztecs (19-10, 11-7) avoid a play-in game in Las Vegas on Wednesday and will instead start in the quarterfinals on Thursday. SDSU won its sixth straight game.
Jordan Caroline scored eight of Nevada’s final 10 points in the last 3 minutes and finished with 29 for the Wolf Pack (26-6, 15-3), who had already clinched their second straight regular-season title and the No. 1 seed. The Wolf Pack’s six-game winning streak was snapped, and they failed to tie SDSU’s record of 16 conference wins in a season.
No. 22 St. Mary’s 69, Pepperdine 66
at Florida 80, No. 23 Kentucky 67: Jalen Hudson scored 22 points, Chris Chiozza broke the school’s all-time assist record and Florida beat No. 23 Kentucky 80-67 on Saturday, ending the Wildcats’ four-game winning streak.
The Gators won their third straight, swept Kentucky for the first time in four years and secured the No. 3 seed in next week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament.
The Wildcats (21-10, 10-8 SEC) will be seeded fourth or fifth depending on the outcome of the Arkansas-Missouri game later Saturday. No team seeded lower than third has won the SEC Tournament since it went to a 14-team format in 2013.
Regardless, the loss won’t sit well with coach John Calipari, whose team failed to match Florida’s energy and effort on “Senior Day.” The Gators honored Chiozza, Egor Koulechov and injured center John Egbunu before the game.
Marshall 76, at No. 24 Middle Tennessee 67: Jon Elmore scored 23 points and Marshall swept two games from No. 24 Middle Tennessee with a 76-67 win on Saturday night.
The Thundering Herd (21-10, 12-6 Conference USA) was the only C-USA team to beat the Blue Raiders (24-6, 16-2) this season as they ended Middle’s 11-game winning streak.
Marshall redshirt freshman Jannson Williams came off the bench to record a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Blue Raiders won their first two games since earning the first national ranking in school history by double-digit margins, but trailed for much of the night against the Herd.
PAC-12 WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT
Bruins go cold as Ducks rally to win
Oregon’s comeback recipe for its first berth in the Pac-12 title game was simple: Hold the No. 9 team in the country scoreless for the final 51/2 minutes.
Sabrina Ionescu had 17 points and No. 6 Oregon scored the final 10 points to rally for a 65-62 victory over UCLA on Saturday night in the Pac-12 semifinals.
“I thought down the stretch, especially in the last half of that fourth quarter, I just thought we were tremendous defensively,” said Oregon coach Kelly Graves. “They got some second shots here and there late, we made the stops when we needed.”
UCLA opened a 62-55 lead on Kennedy Burke’s jumper with 5:28 remaining, but the Bruins failed to score again.
Lexi Bando made a three-pointer from the right corner to pull Oregon to 62-61 with 3:05 left. The Ducks turned it over on their next two possessions before Maite Cazorla scored on a drive to put Oregon up 63-62 with a minute to go.
After a UCLA turnover, Ionescu found Oti Gildon wide open under the basket for an easy layup and a 65-62 lead with 31 seconds left.
Jordin Canada missed on UCLA’s next possession, but the Bruins grabbed the offensive rebound. Canada was hounded on the final possession, with Japreece Dean finally missing a long three-pointer from the left side with one second left.
Oregon (29-4) advanced the title game against the winner of the late game between No. 16 Stanford and Arizona State.
Canada had 19 points, and Monique Billings 18 for the Bruins (24-7), who had lost twice to Oregon in conference play. Ruthy Hebard added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Ducks.
at No. 16 Stanford 58, Arizona State 46: Kiana Williams scored 24 points to lead the Cardinal (22-9, 14-3) past the Sun Devils (21-12, 10-8) and into Sunday’s championship game.
Loyola Marymount can’t stay with Gonzaga at end
Killian Tillie scored 24 points and Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount 83-69 on Saturday night in a West Coast Conference quarterfinal game at Las Vegas.
The top-seeded Bulldogs (28-4) could not pull away until five minutes left. They have won 12 games in a row.
James Batemon led the eighth-seeded Lions (11-20) with 27 points.
St. Mary’s 69, Pepperdine 66
San Francisco 71, Pacific 70 (OT): Jordan Ratinho had 20 points to help the Dons (18-14) hang on against the Tigers (14-18) in a quarterfinal game. Miles Reynolds had 20 points for Pacific.
Brigham Young 85, San Diego 79: Elijah Bryant and Yoeli Childs combined for 49 points for the Cougars (23-9). Isaiah Pineiro had 21 points for the Toreros (18-13) and Olin Carter III had 20.
UC Davis 90, at UC Irvine 84 (2OT): TJ Shorts II scored 21 points, A.J. John had 20 and the Aggies (21-9, 12-4) clinched the Big West Conference title in double overtime. Evan Leonard led the Anteaters (16-16, 11-5) with 22 points. John Edgar Jr. made two free throws for Irvine with 53 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Shorts made two free throws with 24 seconds left in the first overtime to extend the game.
Hawaii 68, at Cal State Fullerton 60: Gibson Johnson and Drew Buggs each had 15 points for the Rainbow Warriors (17-12, 8-8 Big West). Kyle Allman Jr. led the Titans (17-11, 10-6) with 18 points.
at UC Santa Barbara 86, Cal Poly 61: Leland King II and Max Heidegger each scored 23 points for the Gauchos (22-8, 11-5 Big West), who took control with two 14-0 runs. The Mustangs (9-21, 4-12) got 20 points from Josh Martin.
at Long Beach State 77, UC Riverside 59: Gabe Levin scored 17 points, Deishuan Booker had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the 49ers (15-17, 9-7) will be seeded fifth in the Big West tournament. The Highlanders (9-21, 4-12) are seventh.
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