College Basketball Roundup
The Top 25 roundup …
NEW YORK (AP) ó Kemba Walker immediately flashed back two full years the moment the buzzer sounded, just like everyone inside Madison Square Garden who remembered that night.
Connecticut and Syracuse were headed to overtime in the Big East tournament. Again.
This time, there’d be only one.
Walker had 33 points and 12 rebounds in another phenomenal performance Friday night, and the No. 21 Huskies held on after blowing a late lead to beat No. 11 Syracuse 76-71 in the semifinals ó two years after their six-overtime marathon in Manhattan.
“I didn’t want to go into another six overtimes, I know that,” Walker said. “I was mad we went to the first overtime. As soon as the first overtime came, I thought about six. I wanted the win and didn’t want to go to another one and another one.”
Especially with another game to play Saturday night.
The ninth-seeded Huskies (25-9) improved to 10-3 in Big East semifinals with their fourth win in four days, and will face No. 4 Notre Dame or No. 14 Louisville for their first title since 2004.
“It’s tough, but we’re ready for the challenge,” said Walker, who also had six steals and five assists. “We’re mentally tough and we’re just going to stay together.”
Louisville 81, Marquette 56
NEW YORK ó Rick Pitino was worried about how his Louisville team would react to the dreaded double-bye in the Big East tournament. Turned out he could have saved all that concern.
The third-seeded and 14th-ranked Cardinals used an impressive 3-point effort and some solid defense to beat 11th-seeded Marquette 81-56.
INDIANAPOLIS ó Forget about that midseason slump ó it’s business as usual for Michigan State in March.
Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 30 points to help the surging Spartans beat No. 9 Purdue 74-56 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
Lucas tied a career high with four 3-pointers for the Spartans (19-13), who greatly improved their chances of receiving an NCAA tournament bid. Michigan State had a 14-11 record on Feb. 15 and was in danger of being left out of the field after reaching the Final Four the past two years.
Ohio State 67, Northwestern 61, OT
NDIANAPOLIS ó For the second straight year, Ohio State barely avoided a stunning upset in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.
Jared Sullinger had 20 points and 18 rebounds as the top-ranked Buckeyes beat Northwestern 67-61 in overtime Friday. Last year, Evan Turner’s 37-foot shot at the buzzer lifted Ohio State past rival Michigan.
Sullinger shot 2 for 12 from the field but 16 of 18 on free throws. His 18 rebounds fell one short of the tournament record set by Ohio State’s Greg Oden in 2007.
Michigan 60, Illinois 55
INDIANAPOLIS ó Darius Morris scored eight of his 17 points in the final eight minutes Friday, leading Michigan back from a nine-point deficit to beat Illinois 60-55.
EL PASO, Texas ó Joe Jackson scored a career-high 24 points as Memphis defeated short-handed East Carolina 76-56 in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament on Friday.
Charles Carmouche added 19 points and Will Coleman 11 for the fourth-seeded Tigers (24-9), who face No. 3 seed UTEP in the championship game on Saturday.
Darrius Morrow had 25 points and 14 rebounds for No. 8-seeded East Carolina (18-15), which was without Brock Young, the C-USA sixth man of the year. The guard was unable to play due to a knee injury suffered against Alabama-Birmingham on Thursday.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó When in trouble, dial “M” for Morris.
It works for No. 2 Kansas almost every time.
For one key stretch in the first half Friday night, it was Marcus and Markieff Morris 17, Colorado 4 as the Philadelphia twins almost personally pulled the Jayhawks out of a deep early deficit and led them to a 90-83 victory in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.
No. 10 Texas 70, Texas A&M 58
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) ó Jordan Hamilton scored 17 points and No. 10 Texas had four players in double figures while beating Texas A&M 70-58 in the Big 12 semifinals Friday night, giving the Longhorns a three-game season sweep of their old rivals.
LAS VEGAS ó Jimmer Fredette scored a career-high 52 points in No. 8 BYU’s 87-76 win over nemesis New Mexico in the Mountain West Conference semifinals Friday night.
The nation’s leading scorer made sure the Cougars didn’t lose to the Lobos for a third time, breaking his own tournament record of 45 points set exactly a year earlier and scoring a career-best 33 points in the first half.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. ó Richmond overcame its worst shooting game of season with one of its best defensive efforts. Now it will get a chance to end Temple’s three-year run in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament and avenge a loss to the Owls in last year’s title game.
Kevin Anderson scored 21 points and third-seeded Richmond won a defensive battle with Rhode Island, posting a 55-45 victory in the quarterfinals.
No. 24 Temple 96, La Salle 76
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. ó Ramone Moore scored 23 points, Khalif Wyatt had 20 and No. 24 Temple continued to build its boardwalk empire with a 96-76 victory over Philadelphia-rival La Salle in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
“What we do, every time, is respect the game, respect the opponent and respect each possession,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. “I don’t think it’s anything special about being here in Atlantic City. I love this team, they’ve showed great resiliency. We’re in a good place.”
It showed in the final statistics. The Owls (25-6) had five players in double figures in posting a season-high point total and beating La Salle (15-18) for the third time this season.
In pregame talks, Dunphy didn’t spend much time talking about facing La Salle a third time.
“Many times in this situation, everyone knows each other in the league,” he said. “It is like getting blood from a stone.”
What did catch the Owls’ attention were the upsets earlier in the quarterfinals. Ninth-seeded Dayton (21-12) knocked off top-seeded Xavier and No. 12 seed Saint Joseph’s (11-21) surprised fourth-seeded Duquesne.
“We saw the upsets earlier, and we didn’t want