College tournament action
From around college hoops…
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Mario Littleís three-point play broke a tie with 71 seconds to go and Oklahoma State missed a desperation heave at the buzzer, allowing No. 2 Kansas to escape with a 63-62 victory Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
Big 12 player of the year Marcus Morris, shut down most of the second half, hit a key 3-pointer for the Jayhawks (30-2), who play Colorado in the semifinals Friday night. Kansas trailed by as many as eight until Oklahoma State (19-13) got in deep foul trouble in the second half.
Keiton Page had 23 points and Jean-Paul Olukemi had 17 for Oklahoma State, which did a good job of keeping Marcus and Markieff Morris away from the basket and forced the Jayhawks out deep. They put up 25 3-pointers but made only five.
No. 21 Connecticut 76, No. 3 Pittsburgh 74
NEW YORK (AP) ó Kemba Walker hit the winning basket on a classic stepback jumper at the buzzer and Connecticut stunned Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
Walker got the ball at the top of the key with 15 seconds left and found himself guarded by 6-foot-10 Gary McGhee after the Panthers switched on a screen. The shifty guard used a crossover and shoulder roll to dump McGhee to the ground, then calmly swished the shot.
The Huskies (24-9) have won three games in three days after a late-season slide sent them to the No. 9 seed in the Big East tournament. Theyíll face fourth-seeded Syracuse in the semifinals Friday night.
No. 4 Notre Dame 89, No. 25 Cincinnati 51
NEW YORK ó Ben Hansbrough led a brutally efficient attack with 23 points and Notre Dame dismantled one of the nationís best defenses in a quarterfinal rout of Cincinnati at the Big East tournament.
The leagueís player of the year had plenty of help.
Carleton Scott scored 18 points and Tim Abromaitis had 17 for the Fighting Irish (26-5), who have already won more games than in any other season under longtime coach Mike Brey.
No. 8 BYU 64, TCU 58
LAS VEGAS ó Jimmer Fredette scored 24 points and BYU overcame a slow start to edge TCU in the Mountain West Conference quarterfinals.
With suspended teammate Brandon Davies watching from the bench in street clothes, the top-seeded Cougars (29-3) had a tougher time than expected against a TCU team that went 1-15 in conference play before snapping a 13-game skid with a win over Wyoming in the play-in game 24 hours earlier.
No. 10 Texas 74, Oklahoma 54
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson each had a double-double, helping Texas cruise past Oklahoma in a lopsided quarterfinal at the Big 12 tournament.
The Longhorns, who beat Oklahoma for the third time this season and 11th in 13 meetings, led by as many as 25 and never let the Sooners (14-18) get closer than 13 after that.
Hamilton had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Thompson totaled 13 points and 11 boards for second-seeded Texas (26-5), which lost three of its last five in the regular season to finish second in the Big 12 behind Kansas.
No. 11 Syracuse 79, No. 17 St. Johnís 73
NEW YORK ó Brandon Triche had a season-high 22 points and freshman center Fab Melo scored a career-high 12, including two layups in the final 2 minutes, to help Syracuse beat St. Johnís in the Big East quarterfinals.
Melo, a 7-foot native of Brazil who has been inconsistent in his rookie season, gave the fourth-seeded Orange (26-6) the lead for good at 70-68 with a layup off an inbounds pass with 2 minutes left. He added another layup on a bounce pass from Triche that made it 74-70 with 32 seconds left.
Dwight Hardy had 22 points for the Red Storm (21-11), who reached the quarterfinals with a controversial win over Rutgers.
No. 16 Arizona 78, Oregon State 69
LOS ANGELES ó Derrick Williams scored 22 points and Arizona rode its 3-point shooting to a victory over Oregon State in the Pac-10 tournament quarterfinals.
The top-seeded Wildcats (26-6) advanced to play fourth-seeded Southern California in Fridayís semifinals at Staples Center.
Kevin Parrom added 13 points, helping the Wildcats end a three-year skid in the tourney quarterfinals. A year ago, they lost to UCLA and finished 16-15, ending the schoolís streak of 25 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
Now, Arizona remains on track to add its first league tourney title since 2002 to the regular-season championship it wrapped up last weekend. Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who began the schoolís NCAA tourney streak in 1985, was in the crowd.
Colorado 87, No. 19 Kansas State 75
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Cory Higgins scored 28 points, Alec Burks had 24 and Colorado beat Kansas State for the third time this season, ousting the Wildcats in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals.
Colorado (21-12), after losing nine in a row to Kansas State, was the only team to beat the streaking Wildcats (22-10) in their final nine games. The latest win was a big one for the Buffaloes as they try to secure an NCAA tournament bid.
Higgins had 19 points in the second half, picking up the slack while Burks struggled with three fouls and spent much of the time on the bench. The Buffaloes closed the game on a 14-3 run, sinking eight straight free throws during one stretch. They were 23 of 27 from the line.
Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly had 18 points apiece for Kansas State, which rode a six-game winning streak into the tournament. Kelly also had 10 rebounds.
Andre Roberson had 11 points and 14 rebounds for Colorado.
The Associated Press