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College basketball: Kentucky clinches SEC regular-season title; Florida and Butler upset

College basketball: Kentucky clinches SEC regular-season title; Florida and Butler upset
Kentucky forward Derek Willis blocks a shot by Texas A&M forward Tavario Miller during the first half Saturday. (Sam Craft / Associated Press)

De'Aaron Fox scored 19 points and No. 9 Kentucky overcame an early 15-point deficit to defeat Texas A&M, 71-63, on Saturday in College Station and claim the Southeastern Conference regular-season title outright.

Kentucky won its fifth regular-season SEC championship in eight seasons under coach John Calipari.

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The Aggies (16-14, 8-10) leaped to a 19-4 lead 8 minutes into the game, as the Wildcats (26-5, 16-2) missed nine of their first 10 shots. A&M's big lead early only seemed to ignite the Wildcats, and Kentucky closed the first half with a 28-9 run.

Admon Gilder led the Aggies with 22 points and Robert Williams added 20.

at Vanderbilt 73, No. 12 Florida 71: Riley LaChance's layup with 1:35 left gave the Commodores the lead for good after they rallied from a 12-point deficit to upset and sweep the Gators.

With the win, Vanderbilt (17-14, 10-8 Southeastern Conference) has won five of six overall and polished up its resume for the NCAA tournament. The Commodores won despite one of their worst shooting days this season outside the arc by the SEC's best three-point shooters.

Florida (24-7, 14-4) goes into the SEC Tournament having lost two of its last three. The Gators led 54-42 with 12:06 left, then went cold down the stretch.

No. 2 Villanova 81, at Georgetown 55: Josh Hart scored 21 points, including back-to-back three-pointers with seven minutes left that put the game out of reach.

The senior guard from nearby Silver Spring, Md., was ice cold for stretches but came up big when it mattered. But Hart finished eight of 15 from the field with six rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead the Wildcats (28-3, 15-3 Big East) to their fifth consecutive victory against the Hoyas (14-17, 5-13) — tying the longest streak in the history of the rivalry.

Kris Jenkins scored 19 points and Jalen Brunson had 17 on a day Villanova struggled to make shots from the field and even the free throw line until a late surge pushed its lead above 20.

Despite 21 points from Rodney Pryor, Georgetown wrapped up a disappointing regular season with 20 turnovers in its fifth consecutive loss.

Seton Hall 70, at No. 13 Butler 64: Desi Rodriguez scored 21 points while Angel Delgado contributed 20 points and 16 rebounds to help the Pirates rally from a 10-point deficit in the second half to upset the Bulldogs.

The Pirates (20-10, 10-8 Big East) scored the game's final seven points, taking a 65-64 lead on Khadeen Carrington's basket with 1:24 remaining. Myles Powell's three-pointer with 35.3 seconds left stretched the lead to 68-64. Carrington, who finished with 17 points, iced it with two free throws with 12 seconds to go, extending the Pirates' winning streak to four.

Butler (23-7, 12-6) got 19 points from Kelan Martin and 13 from Avery Woodson but had its four-game winning streak snapped.

No. 1 Kansas 90, at Oklahoma State 85: Frank Mason scored 27 points to help the Jayhawks hold off the Cowboys.

Mason, the Big 12's leading scorer, also had nine assists and eight rebounds. Josh Jackson had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Devonte' Graham added 13 points for the Jayhawks, who won their eighth straight overall and snapped a three-game skid in Stillwater.

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Kansas had already clinched its 13th consecutive Big 12 title, but the Jayhawks (28-3, 16-2) remained focused and shot 56 percent against one of the hottest teams in the league.

Jeffrey Carroll scored a career-high 27 points and Jawun Evans added 22 points and a career-best 15 assists for Oklahoma State (20-11, 9-9). Kansas led by 12 in the first half before Oklahoma State rallied. Carroll's 3-pointer with 18.3 seconds left in regulation cut the Jayhawks' lead to 88-85, but the Cowboys got no closer.

at No. 5 North Carolina 90, No. 17 Duke 83: Joel Berry II scored 28 points — including a critical late-game burst of seven straight for his team — to help the Tar Heels hold off the Blue Devils.

Isaiah Hicks added 21 points for the Tar Heels, who battled through a nearly shot-for-shot fight with their fiercest rival to finish unbeaten at home. The game featured 24 lead changes and 14 ties before UNC (26-6, 14-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) finally pushed ahead for good in the final six minutes, with its final margin the biggest lead for either team all night.

Luke Kennard finished with 28 points to lead the Blue Devils (23-8, 11-7).

at No. 8 Louisville 71, No. 19 Notre Dame 64: Donovan Mitchell scored 20 points, including four throws in the final 22 seconds, and Deng Adel made a critical three-pointer to help the Cardinals win the regular-season finale for both teams.

Mangok Mathiang came off the bench to score a career-best 18 points with 11 rebounds in his home finale as Louisville (24-7, 12-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) avoided its first losing streak this season.

Bonzie Colson had 20 points and V.J. Beachem added 17 with eight rebounds for Notre Dame (23-8, 12-6), which had won six straight and looked to clinch second place in the ACC.

No. 11 Baylor 75, at Texas 64: Johnathan Motley had 17 points and 17 rebounds for Baylor. The 6-foot-10 Motley also had a big game in a victory against Texas earlier in the season with 32 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks.

Jake Lindsey added 16 points as Baylor (25-6, 12-6) matched school records for total victories and Big 12 wins. Jarrett Allen had 20 points and nine rebounds for Texas (10-21, 4-14), which has lost seven straight games.

at No. 14 Southern Methodist 103, Memphis 62: Sterling Brown had 26 points and 10 rebounds SMU, which and clinched the outright American Athletic Conference title. Brown, one of three seniors playing their Moody Coliseum finale, was part of his school-record 106th victory as the Mustangs (27-4, 17-1) won their second conference title in three seasons.

Keon Clergeot had 14 points for Memphis (19-12, 9-9), which trailed by as many as 48 points in the second half.

at No. 15 Florida State 66, No. 25 Miami 57: Dwayne Bacon scored 23 points and Florida State clinched a double bye in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

The Seminoles (24-7, 12-6) will be the second seed for the tournament, which begins Tuesday at Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York. It is their highest seeding since they were second in 1993.

The win gives Florida State its first unbeaten home season since 1977-76. It is 18-0 at the Tucker Center and has won 21 straight dating to last season. Davon Reed led the Hurricanes (20-10, 10-8) with 22 points.

at No. 23 Virginia 67, Pittsburgh 42: London Perrantes scored 22 points in his final home game for the winning Cavaliers.

Freshman Ty Jerome, the likely replacement as Virginia's starting point guard next season, added 13 points as the Cavaliers (21-9, 11-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their third straight. They also avenged an 88-76 loss in overtime at Pittsburgh in January.

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Michael Young scored 14 points to lead Pittsburgh (15-16, 4-14). The Panthers played the first 10 minutes without Young or Jamel Artis after both were late for a team function.

When the team's top two scorers finally checked in with 9:54 left in the half, Virginia led 19-2.

SOUTHLAND

Men

at UC Irvine 79, UC Davis 49: Luke Nelson made a career-high seven three-pointers and finished with 29 points to help UC Irvine clinch the Big West Conference regular-season title. Jaron Martin added 10 points for the Anteaters (19-13, 12-4), who entered the game tied with the Aggies for first place in the conference standings. Lawrence White's jumper gave UC Davis (19-12, 11-5) a 2-0 lead, but Martin answered with a three-pointer to spark a 22-1 run, and the Anteaters led by double figures the rest of the way.

Cal State Fullerton 86, at Cal State Northridge 78: Kyle Allman tied his career high with 27 points as the Titans (16-13, 10-6 Big West) beat the Matadors (11-18, 7-9). The teams, which split the regular-season series, will face off in the first round of the Big West tournament Thursday.

at Long Beach State 84, Hawaii 75: Temidayo Yussuf scored 23 points and Roschon Prince had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Long Beach State. Leading, 65-64, Long Beach State (14-18, 9-7 Big West) went on a 16-4 run to pull away from the Rainbow Warriors (14-15, 8-8).

UC Santa Barbara 57, at Cal Poly 44: Eric Childress scored 19 points for UC Santa Barbara (6-22, 4-12 Big West), which finished a game back of eighth place in the standings and will miss the conference tournament for the first time since 1998. Cal Poly (11-19, 6-10) had its three-game win streak snapped.

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