College Basketball: Top 25 Roundup
The Top 25 roundup …
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Tyshawn Taylor and Marcus Morris sparked a quick start and No. 2 Kansas raced past No. 10 Texas 85-73 on Saturday in the Big 12 title game, avenging one of the saddest losses the Jayhawks have experienced in years.
Texas, which dropped to 0-6 in Big 12 championship games, whittled a 48-33 halftime deficit to 66-52 with about 8 minutes left, taking advantage while Marcus and Markieff Morris sat on the bench with three fouls.
But after Taylor and J’Covan Brown swapped 3-pointers, Tyrel Reed hit an uncontested 3 and rebounded a Texas miss, leading to Markieff Morris’ tip-in for a 68-55 lead. A moment later, Reed’s steal led to Markieff Morris’ free throw.
Jordan Hamilton had 21 points for second-seeded Texas (27-7), which beat Kansas 74-63 and snapped the Jayhawks’ team-record 69-game home court winning streak on a melancholy afternoon in January.
NEW YORK ó NEW YORK ó Kemba Walker capped the best five days an individual and team may have ever had in college basketball, scoring 19 points to lead No. 21 Connecticut to a 69-66 victory over No. 14 Louisville in the Big East championship Saturday night.
Walker, a 6-foot-1 junior guard, took home the most obvious MVP award in any conference tournament after leading the ninth-seeded Huskies (26-9) to five wins in as many days ó the last four over teams ranked in the Top 25 ó and the program’s seventh conference title, tying Georgetown for the most in Big East history.
He finished the five games with 130 points, 46 more than the previous record. It wasn’t just the points. He grabbed so many big rebounds, made so many key passes and clutch steals, all while exhibiting leadership good enough to take a team loaded with sophomores and freshmen to the championship.
Preston Knowles had 18 points for the third-seeded Cardinals (25-8) and his 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the rim, setting off a well-deserved celebration by the Huskies.
INDIANAPOLIS ó Jared Sullinger had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 1 Ohio State boosted its bid for the NCAA tournament’s top overall seed with a 68-61 victory over rival Michigan in the Big Ten semifinals Saturday.
The regular-season league champions and defending tournament champs will play in a record-tying third straight championship game Sunday against sixth-seeded Penn State. Illinois also played in three consecutive title games from 2003-05.
Jon Diebler scored 16 points and William Buford had 14 for the Buckeyes (31-2).
Penn State 61, Michigan State 48
INDIANAPOLIS ó Talor Battle will have a chance to do what he considers most important ó win a championship.
Battle scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half to help Penn State defeat Michigan State 61-48 in the Big Ten tournament semifinals
LAS VEGAS ó Billy White put on an offensive display and bedeviled national scoring leader Jimmer Fredette in leading San Diego State past BYU for the Mountain West Conference title.
Second-seeded San Diego State (32-2), whose only two losses were against the Cougars (30-4), finally figured out how to topple top-seeded BYU. Despite 30 points from a late-charging Fredette, the Cougars fell to 3-2 without Davies.
ATLANTA ó Kenny Boynton scored 24 points, Erving Walker added 17 and Florida recovered from another slow start to beat Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference semifinals.
The Gators (26-6) matched their biggest comeback of the season, overcoming a 12-point deficit early in the second half. They will meet Kentucky in the championship game Sunday.
Florida beat the Commodores (23-10) at their 3-point game. Boynton hit five shots beyond the arc, Walker made three and the Gators finished 11 of 21 overall.
No. 15 Kentucky 72, Alabama 58
ATLANTA ó Brandon Knight finally got rolling at the Southeastern Conference tournament and Kentucky looked like a young team peaking at just the right time with a semifinal victory over Alabama.
Knight scored 10 straight points to blow it open for the Wildcats (24-8), who have won seven out of eight with their three freshman starters.
LOS ANGELES ó Isaiah Thomas hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer, lifting Washington over Arizona for the Pac-10 tournament championship in the first overtime title game in league history.
Thomas scored 19 of his 28 points in the first half, and freshman Terrence Ross added 16 for the third-seeded Huskies (23-10), who successfully defended their title and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. ó Kevin Anderson scored 22 points and Richmond beat three-time defending champion Temple in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.
Justin Harper added 18 points and nine rebounds as the third-seeded Spiders (26-7) avenged a loss to the No. 24-ranked Owls (25-7) in last year’s title game and a 20-point loss earlier this season.