No. 1 Gators surge past Missouri in SEC quarters
NO. 1 FLORIDA 72, MISSOURI 49
ATLANTA (AP) — 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. (AP) — 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. 8 MICHIGAN 64, ILLINOIS 63
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — 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. (AP) — 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.
NO. 12 WISCONSIN 83, MINNESOTA 57
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — 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.
The Badgers scored the last eight points of the first half to take a 34-22 lead, then fended off Minnesota's second-half charge with 10-2 run that made it 50-33. The Gophers couldn't get closer than 10 the rest of the game.
ST. BONAVENTURE 71, NO. 18 SAINT LOUIS 68
NEW YORK (AP) — 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 (AP) — 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.
Aside from Weber, VCU's best offense was its rebounding. The Rams had 20 offensive boards that turned into 22 second-chance points.
Freshman ShawnDre Jones led Richmond with 18 points.
NO. 24 OHIO STATE 71, NEBRASKA 67
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — 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 on Friday.
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.