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NCAA major conference roundup: Friars claim Big East title

Sun., March 16, 2014

Bryce Cotton scored 23 points to help Providence win its first Big East tournament title since 1994 with a great defensive effort against Doug McDermott and No. 14 Creighton (26-7) in a 65-56 victory Saturday night in New York.

The fourth-seeded Friars (23-11) used a 2-3 zone to hold the second-seeded Bluejays to 24 points less than their season average. Creighton went 8 for 30 from behind the 3-point line.

McDermott, who came in leading the nation in scoring with a 26.5 average, finished 10 for 19 from the field, including 5 of 12 from 3-point range, for 27 points.

Creighton got as close as 58-56 on McDermott’s fifth and final 3-pointer with 1:18 to play.

But the Friars held on from the free-throw line, going 8 for 8 over the final 2:47 while scoring just one basket from the field.

Atlantic Coast

Jabari Parker scored 20 points to guide No. 7 Duke (26-7) to a 75-67 win over North Carolina State (21-13) in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinal in Greensboro, N.C.

ACC player of the year T.J. Warren had 21 points for the Wolfpack but was 4 of 13 after halftime while facing a barrage of double teams.

The Blue Devils will play No. 6 Virginia for the title today.

The Cavaliers held off Pittsburgh 51-48 in the other semifinal game. Anthony Gill hit two free throws with 8.5 seconds left to help Virginia (27-6) slip past the Panthers (25-9).

Pitt had a chance to tie with 4 seconds left, but Justin Anderson tipped James Robinson’s 3-pointer to Gill with 0.5 seconds left.

Big 12

DeAndre Kane scored 17 points, Georges Niang added 13 and No. 16 Iowa State rallied to beat Baylor 74-65 in Kansas City, Mo., to win its first Big 12 tournament title since 2000.

Naz Long and Dustin Hogue had 12 points apiece, and Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (26-7).

Kenny Chery had 16 points for the seventh-seeded Bears (24-11), who have never won a postseason conference tournament. They’ve lost three tries since the formation of the Big 12.

Big Ten

No. 8 Michigan (25-7) blew a 12-point second-half lead before finishing the game on a 7-1 run to beat archrival Ohio State 72-69 in a Big Ten tournament semifinal in Indianapolis.

Ohio State (25-9) was led by LaQuinton Ross with 19 points and Shannon Scott with 18.

Michigan, the league’s regular-season champs will face No. 22 Michigan State in today’s championship game.

Adreian Payne scored 18 points and Branden Dawson added 14 to guide the third-seeded Spartans (25-8) to an 83-75 victory over No. 12 Wisconsin (26-7) in the other semifinal.

Michigan State outrebounded the second-seeded Badgers 32-28.


Aaron Harrison recorded 22 points and Kentucky (24-9) took a methodical 70-58 win over Georgia (19-13) to advance to the SEC tournament championship game at Atlanta.

James Young had 14 points and Julius Randle had 12 points and 11 boards for the Wildcats.

Kentucky will play No. 1 Florida in today’s championship game. Florida beat Tennessee 56-49 in the first semifinal.

Patric Young had 16 points and the Gators (31-2) turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, rallying for a win over the Volunteers (21-12) after trailing by 10 in the first half.

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