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Syracuse wins first Big East crown since 1992

Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2005

NEW YORK — Hakim Warrick had 20 points and 13 rebounds — his third double-double in three games — and No. 16 Syracuse won the Big East tournament for the first time since 1992 with a 68-59 victory over West Virginia on Saturday night.

The third-seeded Orange (27-6) won their fourth Big East tournament title in their 12th championship game appearance.

The loss at Madison Square Garden ended a history-making run for West Virginia (21-10), the first No. 8 seed to ever reach the championship game. No team had ever won four games to take the title and the Mountaineers fell one game short in winning their first conference championship since winning the Atlantic 10 in 1984.

Gerry McNamara added 16 points for the Orange.

Tyrone Sally had 13 points for the Mountaineers.

Big Ten

No. 1 Illinois 64, Minnesota 56

CHICAGO — Playing less than 24 hours after Illinois coach Bruce Weber's mother died, the Illini used their defense hold off Minnesota in the Big Ten semifinals.

Luther Head ignited a first-half comeback and led the Illini (31-1) with 14 points, earning him a hug from coach Weber after the game. Weber's mother, Dawn Weber, died Friday night after emergency heart surgery.

Illinois held Minnesota without a field goal for the final 4:05.

The Illini also tied a school record for victories, matching the mark set by the 1988-89 team that went to Final Four.

Vincent Grier led Minnesota (21-10) with 24 points.

No. 23 Wisconsin 59, Iowa 56

Alando Tucker banked in the biggest shot of Wisconsin's season, hitting a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to stun Iowa.

Tucker finished with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting, and Zach Morley added 17 for the Badgers (22-7). Greg Brunner led Iowa (21-11) with 18 points.

Atlantic Coast Conference

Georgia Tech 78, No. 2 North Carolina 75

WASHINGTON — Will Bynum scored a career-high 35 points, and Georgia Tech (19-10) advanced to the ACC championship game with a stunning upset.

After Bynum capped his magnificent performance by making two foul shots with nine seconds left, a 3-point try by North Carolina's Rashad McCants bounced off the rim and into the waiting arms of Tech's Jarrett Jack, who clutched the ball until time expired.

No. 5 Duke 76, N.C. State 69

WASHINGTON — J.J. Redick carried Duke to its seventh consecutive ACC final, making seven 3-pointers and scoring 35 points.

Shelden Williams added 15 points and Daniel Ewing had 14 for the Blue Devils (24-5). Andrew Brackman had 13 points for the Wolfpack (19-13).

Big 12

No. 10 Oklahoma St. 78, No. 9 Kansas 75

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Joey Graham scored 25 points, four on free throws in the final 41.4 seconds, to help Oklahoma State beat Kansas.

Graham, who set a Big 12 record this season by hitting 39 foul shots in a row, sank two to give the Cowboys (23-6) a three-point lead with 10 seconds left.

Texas Tech 69, No. 17 Oklahoma 63

Ronald Ross scored 28 points and Jarrius Jackson had 22, both career high, to help Texas Tech (20-9) reach its first Big 12 tournament final.

Terrell Everett led the Sooners (24-7) with 15 points.

Southeastern Conference

No. 4 Kentucky 79, LSU 78, OT

ATLANTA — Chuck Hayes spun into the lane to hit the winning shot with 7.9 seconds left in overtime, sending Kentucky to the championship game.

Brandon Bass hit a miraculous shot for the Tigers as the buzzer sounded in regulation, forcing overtime with the score tied at 70.

Kentucky (25-4) will be going for its third straight SEC tournament title, its 11th in 14 years and 26th overall. Kelenna Azubuike led the Wildcats with 19 points.

Antonio Hudson had 21 points for LSU (20-9).

Florida 68, No. 20 Alabama 62

David Lee scored 20 points, Matt Walsh hit six free throws in the final 17 seconds and Florida held on to reach the championship game for the second straight year.

Walsh finished with 17 points, Anthony Roberson had 13 and Brewer added 10 for Florida (22-7). Kennedy Winston led Alabama (24-7) with 19 points.

Pacific-10

No. 14 Washington 81, No. 8 Arizona 72

LOS ANGELES — Nate Robinson scored six points in the final 1:07, helping Washington upset Arizona for its first Pac-10 tournament title.

Washington (27-5) outscored the Wildcats 19-4 over the final 5:12 after trailing by six points. Robinson and Tre Simmons led the Huskies with 18 points each, and Jamaal Williams added 16 off the bench.

Conference USA

No. 6 Louisville 75, Memphis 74

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Louisville escaped with the victory when Memphis freshman Darius Washington missed two of three free throws with no time left on the clock.

Brad Gianiny hit one of two free throws with 6.7 seconds to give Louisville (29-4) a two-point lead en route to its second C-USA tournament title in three years.

Francisco Garcia led the Cardinals with 19 points. Washington had 23 poin6ts and six assists for Memphis (19-15).

Atlantic 10

George Washington 76, Saint Joseph's 67

CINCINNATI — T.J. Thompson led a late 12-point run to help George Washington (22-7) win its first Atlantic 10 tournament title — and first NCAA berth in six years.

Pat Carroll had 25 points for Saint Joseph's (19-11).

Mid-American

Ohio 80, Buffalo 79, OT

CLEVELAND — Freshman Leon Williams made a layup in the final second as Ohio, down by 19 points in the second half, rallied to win the Mid-American Conference championship for its first NCAA berth since 1994.

Williams finished with a career-high 29 points and 15 rebounds and was selected the named the tournament MVP. Jeremy Fears added 21 points for the Bobcats (21-10).

Turner Battle had 22 points for the Bulls (22-9).

America East

Vermont 80, Northeastern 57

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Taylor Coppenrath scored 37 points to help Vermont advance to the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.

The Catamounts (24-6) are playing their final season under longtime coach Tom Brennan. Jose Juan Berea had 14 points for Northeastern (21-9).

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Delaware St. 55, Hampton 53

RICHMOND, Va. — Aaron Williams made a 10-foot shot with 2 seconds left to give Delaware State its first NCAA tournament berth.

Jahsha Bluntt scored 16 points for the Hornets (19-13). Bruce Brown had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Pirates (17-13).

Western Athletic Conference

UTEP 91, Boise St. 78

RENO, Nev. — Filiberto Rivera scored 17 of his 32 points in the last 6 minutes to help Texas El-Paso hold off Boise State in the WAC championship game.

Women's capsules

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sophia Young scored 18 points, earning Big 12 tournament MVP honors, and No. 6 Baylor won its first championship with a 68-55 victory over No. 17 Kansas State on Saturday night.

Steffanie Blackmon had a season-high 14 rebounds for the Bears (27-3), who won their 14th straight. Chameka Scott added 12 points and Chelsea Whitaker finished with 10 for the former Southwest Conference members, who added their first automatic NCAA tournament bid in school history to the Big 12 regular-season title.

It wasn't easy against a Kansas State team that trailed Texas 17-0 in the semifinals before rallying to win 72-69.

The Wildcats (23-7) started slowly in each half Saturday night, but kept mounting comebacks that fell just short.

Kansas State, which trailed 47-30 with just over 14 minutes remaining, drew to three points and was still within 57-53 on Kendra Wecker's free throws with 3:53 to go. But the Wildcats scored only once more after that, and Baylor closed out the game with an 11-2 run.

Megan Mahoney scored eight points in a 13-0 run that got the Wildcats within 47-43 with 7 1/2 minutes left, and Kansas State got a boost when Young and Blackmon both picked up their fourth fouls near the end of that run.

But after hitting the front end of a two-shot foul with 7:33 to go, Mahoney missed the second and then injured her left leg in a collision as she tried to chase down the rebound. She did not return.

Mahoney still led Kansas State, playing in its first tournament final since the Big 12 formed in the 1996-97 season, with 17 points. Wecker, the Big 12 player of the year, had 14 points and 16 rebounds.

Laurie Koehn added 11 points for the Wildcats, but the Big 12's career 3-point leader turned cold from outside after the half. Koehn went 3-for-6 from long range before the break but missed all four of her 3-point tries after that.

The Bears held Kansas State without a field goal for almost 6 minutes to open the game and led 23-7 with just under 9 minutes left in the first half. The Wildcats pulled to 34-28 on Koehn's last 3-pointer with 2:19 left in the half, but trailed 39-28 at the break.

Wecker, Mahoney, Blackmon and Texas' Tiffany Jackson joined Young on the all-tournament team.



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