Pitt tips UNC in quarters


Associated Press

GREENSBORO, N.C — Talib Zanna had 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to help Pittsburgh beat No. 15 North Carolina 80-75 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals Friday.

James Robinson also scored a career-best 19 points for the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-8), who used a dominating start to build a huge lead before having to hold off a late rally by the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (23-9).

Pittsburgh led by 20 points with 7:22 left before UNC’s frantic comeback behind Marcus Paige, who scored 20 of his 27 points after halftime before fouling out with 25.4 seconds left.

UNC got it to 78-75 on Nate Britt’s jumper with 11.4 seconds left but couldn’t complete the comeback. James Robinson knocked down two free throws to make it a two-possession game again right after Britt’s score, then Lamar Patterson rebounded a hurried 3-pointer by James Michael McAdoo with 4.3 seconds left to essentially seal it.

NO. 1 FLORIDA 72

MISSOURI 49

ATLANTA — Scottie Wilbekin scored 15 points and No. 1 Florida remained unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference, using one of its customary spurts to rout Missouri in the quarterfinals of the league tournament.

The game was tied 29-29 at halftime, and the Tigers were still in the game with about 10 minutes to go. That’s when Wilbekin and the Gators (30-2) suddenly took control.

After Will Yeguete laid one in off a nifty pass from Kasey Hill, Florida pressed the inbounds pass, Wilbekin came up with a steal, then got free in the corner for a 3-pointer. Missouri missed at the other end, Patric Young connected on a short hook and just like that, the Gators had stretched a two-point lead to 45-36.

They blew it open from there, sinking one 3-pointer after another to win in a breeze.

NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 94

HOUSTON 65

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Russ Smith scored a career-high 42 points and Louisville cruised to victory over Houston in the semifinals of the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament.

Smith shot 14 for 22 from the field and 5 for 7 from 3-point range. His final points came on a three-point play where he hit a reverse layup and converted the ensuing free throw.

Luke Hancock and Montrezl Harrell both added 12 for the Cardinals (28-5), the tournament’s second seed, who will face the winner of Friday’s second game between top-seeded Cincinnati and Connecticut.

TaShawn Thomas and Brandon Morris scored 13 each for Houston (17-16), while Danuel House had 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Cougars lost for only the second time in their last seven games.

NO. 6 VIRGINIA 64

FLORIDA STATE 51

Joe Harris matched a season high with 20 points, and No. 6 Virginia pulled away in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinal.

Anthony Gill added 16 points for the top-seeded Cavaliers (26-6).

They shot 48 percent, forced 15 turnovers and earned their third double-digit victory over the Seminoles this season while reaching the semifinals for the first time since 1995.

Okaro White scored 17 points and Aaron Thomas added 13 for the ninth-seeded Seminoles (19-13).

They shot 43 percent against one of the nation’s best defenses but couldn’t keep the Cavaliers off the boards when it counted most, and were denied their third victory over a top-seeded team since 2009.

NO. 8 MICHIGAN 64

ILLINOIS 63

INDIANAPOLIS — Jordan Morgan scored on a layup with 7.9 seconds left to send No. 8 Michigan to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.

The Illini had a chance to win on Tracy Abrams’ shot, but it bounced off the front of the rim as the final buzzer sounded.

Michigan (24-7), the regular season champion, advances to Saturday’s semifinals with its seventh straight win. It will face either fourth-seeded Nebraska or fifth-seeded Ohio State — two teams it has not lost to this season. The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers play later Friday.

Conference player of the year Nik Stauskas scored 19 points to lead Michigan, which won despite scoring six points in the final 7½ minutes.

Illinois (19-14) was led by Abrams and Rayvonte Rice with 11 points each.

NO. 16 IOWA STATE 94

NO. 10 KANSAS 83

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Georges Niang scored 25 points before leaving with a bloody gash to his forehead in the closing minutes, and Iowa State held on to beat Kansas and reach its first Big 12 tournament title game since 2000.

DeAndre Kane had five 3-pointers and scored 20 points, and Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim added 19 points for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (25-8), who will play for just their second tournament title against the winner of Texas-Baylor on Saturday night.

Relying on some hot outside shooting, Iowa State took charge in the second half, and then held on as the top-seeded Jayhawks (24-9) tried to make a late run to get back into the game.

Perry Ellis led Kansas with 30 points. Andrew Wiggins finished with 22.

N.C. STATE 66

NO. 11 SYRACUSE 63

GREENSBORO, N.C. — T.J. Warren scored 28 points while Ralston Turner banked in the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:28 left to help North Carolina State upset Syracuse in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals.

The seventh-seeded Wolfpack (21-12) blew a 10-point second-half lead but came through with two clutch baskets late to hold off the Orange (27-5).

Warren followed Turner’s tiebreaking 3 with a jumper to make it 64-61, then hit two free throws with 24.6 seconds left to keep the Wolfpack up three.

Syracuse had one wild final possession, missing six shots — including four hurried 3-pointers from Tyler Ennis, Trevor Cooney and C.J. Fair — to ensure its first trip to the ACC tournament would be a one-and-done stop.

It was a huge win for N.C. State’s NCAA tournament hopes and allowed to avenge a loss to the Orange last month on a last-second basket.

NO. 12 WISCONSIN 83

MINNESOTA 57

INDIANAPOLIS — Ben Brust scored a career-high 29 points and Frank Kaminsky had 12 rebounds to lead Wisconsin over Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

The second-seeded Badgers (26-6) have won nine of 10.

Minnesota (20-13) was led by Deandre Mathieu with 18 points and Joey King with 14, but lost for the sixth time in its last eight tries against the Badgers. The Gophers now must wait to see if the NCAA tournament selection committee thinks they have done enough to get one of the 36 at-large bids.

ST. BONAVENTURE 71

NO. 18 SAINT LOUIS 68

NEW YORK — Jordan Gathers hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and St. Bonaventure stunned No. 18 Saint Louis in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

The ninth-seeded Bonnies (18-14) came into the tourney on a four-game losing streak before beating La Salle on Thursday. They trailed the top-seeded Billikens by 10 points at halftime but rallied behind a swarming defense and clutch 3-point shooting.

Saint Louis big man Dwayne Evans, who had hit three 3-pointers all season, made a 3 over 7-foot Youssou Ndoye with 20.9 seconds left to tie the game at 68-68.

Matthew Wright and Charlon Kloof led St. Bonaventure with 22 points. Gathers had just two points before making the winner.

Mike McCall scored 21 for Saint Louis (26-6), which lost its first game in its attempt to defend its A-10 tournament title. The Billikens have dropped four of five.

NO. 23 VCU 71, RICHMOND 53

NEW YORK — Defensive ace Briante Weber scored 18 points in 18 minutes, and VCU routed crosstown rival Richmond in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Weber, who led the country in steals with 111 during the regular season, came in averaging 9.1 points. The two-time conference defensive player of the year shot 8 for 10 and pulled down five rebounds.

The second-seeded Rams (25-7) face George Washington or UMass in Saturday’s semifinals.

Freshman ShawnDre Jones led Richmond with 18 points.

NO. 24 OHIO STATE 71

NEBRASKA 67

INDIANAPOLIS — LaQuinton Ross had 26 points and 13 rebounds and No. 24 Ohio State rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit in the quarterfinals.

The victory sends No. 5 seed Ohio State (25-8) into a semifinal matchup with No. 1 seed Michigan on Saturday. The Wolverines defeated No. 9 seed Illinois 64-63 in another quarterfinal.

Amedeo Della Valle added 12 points for the Buckeyes, who led for all but the final minute of the first half, then had to rally past the Cornhuskers (19-12).

Terran Petteway led Nebraska with 20 points, but fouled out while defending Ross late in the game.

No. 4 Arizona 63

Colorado 43

LAS VEGAS — Colorado had seen Arizona’s defense at work before, in person and in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals.

Even knowing what was coming, the Buffaloes didn’t stand much of a chance.

Unable to match Arizona after a close first half, Colorado lost to the fourth-ranked Wildcats 63-43 in the Pac-12 semifinals on Friday night.

Arizona (30-3) crushed Utah in its tournament opener behind a record-setting defensive show.

The Wildcats didn’t peel open the record book against Colorado, but they sure gave the Buffaloes fits.

Unlike its previous win over Colorado, Arizona started slow, allowing the Buffaloes to keep it close at halftime.

Arizona shot 60 percent in the second half and held Colorado (23-11) to 5-of-22 shooting in the final 20 minutes to earn a spot Saturday’s championship game against UCLA or Stanford.

Nick Johnson scored 16 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 12 and eight rebounds for Arizona. T.J. McConnell facilitated the Wildcats’ offense and spearheaded the top of the D, finishing with 12 points, five assists and four rebounds

 

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