Louisville tops No. 1 Syracuse
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A reserve guard that Louisville coach Rick Pitino considers so bashful, he sounds shy even when he yells, made sure to send venerable Freedom Hall out with one more memorable game.
Kyle Kuric scored all of his career-high 22 points in the second half, and the Cardinals stunned No. 1 Syracuse, 78-68, yesterday before a record crowd of 20,135 at the 54-year-old venue. It was the final game there before Louisville moves into a new downtown arena.
"It's an unbelievable moment," Kuric said. "It's what every kid dreams of."
Kuric may have also assured Louisville (20-11, 11-7 Big East) a return trip to the NCAA tournament by sweeping the regular-season series from the Orange (28-3, 15-3), whose only other loss came against No. 17 Pittsburgh.
"These seniors have never gone to an NIT," Pitino said. "And now they never will."
Although Syracuse led by eight points late in the first half, Kuric was a one-man wrecking crew in the second. He made 9 of 11 shots — including four 3-pointers — to make for another happy ending at Freedom Hall, which has seen its share of historic games.
"There have been 54 years of great basketball, and for us to come out and beat the No. 1 team is a great going-away present for all our fans," senior Edgar Sosa said.
No. 2 Kansas 77, Missouri 56: Marcus Morris had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the visiting Jayhawks (29-2, 15-1 Big 12) used two big runs in each half to beat the Tigers (22-9, 10-6).
The Jayhawks shot 52 percent after a shaky start and will head into next week's Big 12 tournament as the No. 1 seed and one victory from joining Kentucky and North Carolina in the 2,000-win club.
No. 4 Duke 82, North Carolina 50: Kyle Singler scored 19 of his 25 points in the first half and the host Blue Devils (26-5, 13-3) raced to a 53-26 lead and never looked back in coasting the past the Tar Heels (16-15, 5-11).
Duke clinched a share of its 12th Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title — tied with No. 22 Maryland — and wrapped up the No. 1 seed in next week's league tournament.
Iowa State 85, No. 5 Kansas State 82: Diante Garrett scored five points in overtime and the visiting Cyclones (15-16, 4-12 Big 12) stunned the Wildcats (24-6, 11-4) to snap a 21-game losing streak to ranked teams.
The Cyclones hadn't won in Manhattan since 2001 and were just 7-104 in their last 111 games against ranked teams on the road. The Wildcats are the No. 2 seed in next week's Big 12 tournament.
No. 7 Purdue 64, Penn State 60: JaJuan Johnson had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the visiting Boilermakers (26-4, 14-4) never trailed in beating the Nittany Lions (11-19, 3-15) to clinch a share of their first Big Ten conference title in 14 years.
Purdue heads to Indianapolis for the Big Ten tournament with the second seed. Conference co-leader Ohio State owns the tiebreaker and the top seed.
No. 10 West Virginia 68, No. 9 Villanova 66: Da'Sean Butler scored 21 points, including the decisive basket with 5.8 seconds left in overtime, leading the visiting Mountaineers (24-6, 13-5 Big East) over the Wildcats (14-6, 13-5).
No. 12 Butler 68, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 59: Matt Howard and Ronald Nored teamed for 10 points in a 10-6 run for 60-53 lead as the host Bulldogs (27-4) beat the Panthers (20-14) to advance to the Horizon League tournament final against Wright State on Tuesday.
South Carolina 77, No. 13 Vanderbilt 73: Devan Downey, the SEC's top scorer, scored 26 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:48 left to break a 69-all tie and the visiting Gamecocks held on to upset the Commodores (23-7, 12-4).
No. 14 BYU 107, TCU 77: Jonathan Tavernari scored 23 points, Jackson Emery and Charles Abouo added 22 each and the visiting Cougars (28-4, 13-3 Mountain West) rallied from an early 14-point deficit to beat the Horned Frogs (13-18, 5-11) for the 12th straight time.
No. 16 Tennessee 75, Mississippi State 59: J.P. Prince had 16 points, Scotty Hopson added 14 and the visiting Volunteers (23-7, 11-5 Southeastern Conference) held the Bulldogs (21-10, 9-7) scoreless for the first 6:10 of the game in taking a 17-0 lead.
No. 17 Pittsburgh 83, Rutgers 54: Gilbert Brown scored 19 points and the host Panthers (24-7, 13-5) took control early with a 19-2 run to rout the Scarlet Knights (15-16, 5-13) and earn the No. 2 seed and first-round bye in the Big East tournament.
No. 19 Georgetown 74, Cincinnati 47: Six days after being taken to the hospital and diagnosed with diabetes, Austin Freeman scored 24 points as the host Hoyas (20-9, 10-8) beat the Bearcats (16-14, 7-11) to clinch a first-round bye in the Big East tournament.
No. 20 Temple 70, George Washington 57: Micheal Eric scored 18 points to help the host Owls (26-5, 14-2) beat the Colonials (16-13, 6-10) to win a share of the Atlantic 10 title with No. 25 Xavier and earn the top seed (by tiebreaker) in next week's conference tournament.
No. 21 Baylor 92, Texas 77: LaceDarius Dunn scored 30 points, Quincy Acy had 10 dunks among his 24 points and the host Bears (24-6, 11-5) wrapped up their winningest regular season in 64 years and a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament with a rout of the Longhorns (23-8, 9-7).
No. 22 Maryland 74, Virginia 68: Greivis Vasquez scored 23 points, and the visiting Terrapins (23-7, 13-3 ACC) clinched a tie for the conference regular season title — with No. 4 Duke — after a victory over the Cavaliers (14-15, 5-11).
No. 23 Texas A&M 69, Oklahoma 54: Khris Middleton scored 15 points, Bryan Davis added 13 points and 10 rebounds and the visiting Aggies (22-8, 11-5 Big 12) pulled away from a 36-32 halftime lead in beating the Sooners (13-17, 4-12).
No. 24 UTEP 52, UAB 50: Derrick Caracter scored his team's final six points, including a dunk with one second left, as the host Miners (24-5, 15-1 Conference USA) rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to beat the Blazers (23-7, 11-5).
No. 25 Xavier 93, St. Bonaventure 72: Jordan Crawford scored 22 points, and the host Musketeers (23-7, 14-2) beat the Bonnies (14-15, 7-9) to earn a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season title, this time with No. 20 Temple.
Nevada 79, Louisiana Tech 68: Luke Babbitt scored 29 points to lead the host Wolf Pack (19-11, 11-5) over the Bulldogs (22-9, 9-7) to clinch the second seed in the Western Athletic Conference tournament this week in Reno.
Utah State 81, New Mexico State 63: Tai Wesley scored 24 points and Jared Quayle added 17 points and seven rebounds to lead host and regular-season champion Utah State (25-6, 14-2) over New Mexico State (19-11, 11-5), which will be the third seed in the WAC tournament.
Boise State 85, San Jose State 56: Paul Noonan scored 15 points as the host Broncos (15-16, 5-11) secured the eighth and final berth in the WAC tournament with a rout of the Spartans (14-16, 6-10), who locked up the No. 6 seed earlier.
DIXIE STATE 106, Hawai'i Pacific 99: Tom Whitehead scored 27 points and the host Red Storm (20-5, 14-2) held off the Seasiders (19-4, 11-4) at St. George, Utah to clinch at least a share of the Pacific West Conference title. Dixie State can win the title outright if Hawai'i Pacific beats BYU-Hawai'i (13-2 in PacWest) tomorrow night.
BYU-Hawai'i 81, Notre Dame de Namur 55: Rory Patterson scored 19 points and Lucas Alves added 18, powering the visiting Seasiders (19-5, 13-2) past the Argonauts (4-23, 2-14) at Belmont, Calif. Jet Chang added 12 points and Marques Whippy 11 for BYUH, which led 44-17 at halftime.
Grand Canyon 70, HAWAI'I-HILO 65: Steve Morin and T.J. Benson each scored 12 points, and Justin Wesolowski and Rony Tchatchoua each added 10 as the host Antelopes (16-16, 10-6) rallied from a 33-27 halftime deficit to beat the Vulcans (13-12, 7-8) at Phoenix Ariz.
Dominican (Cal.) 67, Chaminade 59: Alastair Flack scored 17 points, Killian Larson added 14 points and the host Penguins (9-17, 6-9) opened up a 61-53 lead with 3:43 left to play and did not allow the Silverswords (9-14, 6-8) to get closer than six the rest of the way at San Rafael, Calif.