College basketball: No. 12 Oklahoma State ousts No. 2 Baylor in Big 12 semifinals

Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham drives on Baylor's Mark Vital during a Big 12 tournament semifinal game March 12, 2021.
Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, driving against Baylor’s Mark Vital, scored 25 points in the Cowboys’ 83-74 win in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cade Cunningham scored 25 points, Avery Anderson III added 20, and No. 12 Oklahoma State was nearly perfect from the foul line down the stretch in beating second-ranked Baylor 83-74 on Friday night in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

Rondel Walker also had 11 points for the No. 5-seeded Cowboys (20-7), who will play No. 13 Texas for the title Saturday night.

The third-seeded Longhorns advanced earlier Friday when their semifinal against No. 11 Kansas was canceled because of a positive COVID-19 test that forced the Jayhawks to withdraw from the tournament. While the Cowboys have two Big 12 tournament titles to their credit, Texas has never won the event in six appearances in the finals.


“I’m a confident player. I feel like every shot I shoot is supposed to go in,” said Cunningham, a freshman who is the projected No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. “I try to shoot them with confidence and make plays that my teammates need.”

MaCio Teague scored 17 points and Jared Butler had 16 for the top-seeded Bears (22-2), who had won 10 of their last 11 against the Cowboys after sweeping them in the regular season.

“You have to give Oklahoma State a lot of credit,“ Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “They made a lot of big-time plays.”

Virginia is out of the ACC tournament and Kansas has withdrawn from the Big 12 tournament, both because of positive coronavirus tests within the organizations.

March 12, 2021

No. 3 Illinois 90, Rutgers 68

INDIANAPOLIS — Ayo Dosunmu scored 23 points, and Illinois easily beat Rutgers in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.

Dosunmu shot eight for 11 from the field, seven for nine from the line, and added six assists and five rebounds.

Illinois (21-6) has won 12 of its last 13 games and avenged a regular-season loss to Rutgers to advance to Saturday’s semifinals against No. 5 Iowa.


Ron Harper Jr. scored 21 points and Jacob Young had 13 for the Scarlet Knights (15-11).

No. 4 Michigan 79, Maryland 66

Michigan coach Juwan Howard, left, leaves the court after he was ejected from the game March 12, 2021.
Michigan coach Juwan Howard, left, leaves the court after he was ejected from his team’s win over Maryland in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

INDIANAPOLIS — Michigan coach Juwan Howard was ejected midway through the second half after getting into a shouting match with the Maryland bench, and the Wolverines beat the Terrapins to reach the Big Ten semifinals.

Mike Smith scored 18 points and set a Big Ten tournament record with 15 assists for top-seeded Michigan (20-3). The Wolverines rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit and will face No. 9 Ohio State in Saturday’s semifinals.

Michigan swung the game by ending the first half on a 16-2 run and starting the second half on an 11-4 spurt.

Ethan Thompson scores 16 points and Rodrigue Andela adds 13 as fifth-seeded Oregon State defeats Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.

March 12, 2021

But during a timeout with 10:44 to go, Howard walked toward midcourt and shouted toward the Maryland bench. The referees called two technical fouls on Howard and another on Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon, who was not ejected.

Franz Wagner and Eli Brooks each scored 16 points for the league’s regular-season champions.


Eric Ayala scored 19 points and Darryl Morsell added 16 to lead the eighth-seeded Terrapins (16-13).

UCLA has lost four straight games and, assuming they make the NCAA tournament, the Bruins will need to make some changes.

March 12, 2021

No. 5 Iowa 62, Wisconsin 57

INDIANAPOLIS — Luka Garza scored 24 points, Joe Wieskamp made two key baskets late, and Iowa fended off Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

The third-seeded Hawkeyes (21-7) rallied from a six-point halftime deficit behind Garza. Their all-time leading scorer dominated inside, making 10 of 15 field-goal tries and four of five free throws.

Iowa advanced to face third-ranked Illinois in Saturday’s semifinals.

The sixth-seeded Badgers (17-12), who entered the tournament having lost five of six, dropped another close game because they couldn’t make clutch shots. D’Mitrik Trice led Wisconsin with 19 points.

No. 6 Alabama 85, Mississippi State 48

NASHVILLE — Jahvon Quinerly scored 14 points off the bench, Jaden Shackelford had 13 points, and Alabama blew out Mississippi State in a Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinal.

The Crimson Tide (22-6) will face Tennessee in Saturday’s semifinals.

Playing as the tournament’s top seed for the first time since 2002, the Crimson Tide followed a couple of small early runs before going on a 17-0 surge over five minutes for a 43-13 cushion just before halftime.


Iverson Molinar scored 18 points, Tolu Smith had 11 and Abdul Ado grabbed 11 rebounds for ninth-seeded Mississippi State (15-14).

No. 7 Houston 77, Tulane 52

FORT WORTH — DeJon Jarreau had his first career triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, helping Houston beat Tulane in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Quentin Grimes scored 15 points and Marcus Sasser added 14 as each connected on four three-pointers to help the Cougars (22-3) recover from a cold-shooting first half from long range. Houston will play Memphis in the semifinals Saturday night.

Kevin Cross scored 11 points for the 10th-seeded Green Wave (10-13), who stayed with a top-10 team into the second half after beating seventh-seeded Tulsa 77-70 in the first round.

Letters to the L.A. Times sports department for March 13.

March 12, 2021

No. 8 Arkansas 70, Missouri 64

NASHVILLE — Reserve JD Notae scored a season-high 27 points, and Arkansas overcame a 10-point deficit to beat Missouri and advance to the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals.

The second-seeded Razorbacks (22-5) won their 12th straight SEC game. They will play Louisiana State in the semifinals Saturday, their fourth such berth since 2015.


Justin Smith scored 16 points before fouling out for Arkansas, and Davonte Davis added 11.

Xavier Pinson led Missouri (16-9) with 14 points. Dru Smith added 11 for the Tigers, who have never reached the SEC tournament semifinals.

No. 9 Ohio State 87, No. 20 Purdue 78 (OT)

INDIANAPOLIS — Seth Towns scored six of his season-high 12 points in overtime, and Ohio State beat Purdue in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

Duane Washington Jr. scored 20 points for Ohio State (20-8), which led by 18 at halftime.

Trevion Williams finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and five for Purdue (18-9), which had its five-game winning streak end. Jaden Ivey added 19 points.

No. 15 Florida State 69, North Carolina 66

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Anthony Polite hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 2:06 left, and Florida State held off North Carolina in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Balsa Koprivica had career highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the second-seeded Seminoles (16-5), who blew a 13-point lead, then rallied from five down midway through the second half to grind out a tough win that came down to the final seconds.


Caleb Love scored 13 points to lead the sixth-seeded Tar Heels (18-10).

In the championship game, the Seminoles will face Georgia Tech, which advanced when its semifinal game against No. 16 Virginia was canceled because of a positive COVID-19 test, quarantining and contact tracing in the Cavaliers program.

Saturday will mark the second time in league history that no North Carolina-based team will appear in the ACC championship game. The only other time came in 1990, when Final Four-bound Georgia Tech beat Virginia in Charlotte.

No. 17 Creighton 59, Connecticut 56

Connecticut's R.J. Cole, bottom, and Creighton's Marcus Zegarowski battle for the ball March 12, 2021.
Connecticut’s R.J. Cole, bottom, and Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski battle for the ball Friday.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

NEW YORK — Marcus Zegarowski made two key baskets in a decisive nine-point run late in the second half, and Creighton held Connecticut without a field goal over the final six minutes to beat the Huskies in the Big East tournament semifinals.

The second-seeded Bluejays (20-7) will play eighth-seeded Georgetown in the championship game Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Zegarowski finished with 13 points, and Damien Jeffeson led Creighton with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

James Bouknight scored 14 points to lead third-seeded Connecticut (15-7), which was playing in its first Big East tournament since 2012 after returning to the conference this season.


No. 19 San Diego State 77, Nevada 70

Nevada's Grant Sherfield passes as San Diego State's Matt Mitchell, left, and Aguek Arop defend March 12, 2021.
Nevada’s Grant Sherfield passes as San Diego State’s Matt Mitchell, left, and Aguek Arop defend Friday night.
(Isaac Brekken / Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS — Matt Mitchell had 24 points and eight rebounds to lead San Diego State to a victory over Nevada in the Mountain West tournament semifinal.

The Aztecs (22-4) advanced to their fourth straight conference championship and seventh in eight years. San Diego State will make its 15th appearance in the Mountain West title game, where it will play the winner of Friday’s late game between Utah State and Colorado State.

Jordan Schakel scored 15 points, Trey Pulliam added 13 and Lamont Butler chipped in with 10 for the Aztecs.

Grant Sherfield scored 25 points for Nevada (16-10). Warren Washington added 19 points for the Wolf Pack.

San Diego State has won its last six against Nevada and improved to 4-0 against the Wolf Pack in the tournament.


UC Santa Barbara 71, UC Davis 55

LAS VEGAS — Amadou Sow scored a season-high 23 points as UC Santa Barbara defeated UC Davis in the semifinals of the Big West Conference tournament.

The top-seeded Gauchos will face UC Irvine in Saturday’s championship game. Irvine defeated UC Riverside 78-61 in the late semifinal Friday night.

Sow made nine of 10 from the free-throw line, was seven-for-12 shooting, and added seven rebounds with two steals. JaQuori McLaughlin added 17 points for UC Santa Barbara (22-4), and Ajare Sanni had 16.

Christian Anigwe had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Aggies (10-8).