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Kansas tops West Virginia to win Big 12 tournament title

BY DAVE SKRETTA ranked Kansas to an 81-70 BIG 12 TOURNAMENT in the second half, and 56 lost the last three Big 12 title half, picking and choosing
AP Sports Writer victory over Jevon Carter percent for the game, while games. Sagaba Konate added when to employ their full-
and No. 18 West Virginia NO. 9 KANSAS 81, going 15 of 27 from beyond 18 points while Carter, the court press. And they caught
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — in the Big 12 Tournament No. 18 West Virginia 70 the 3-point arc. best defender in the league, a break when Mykhailiuk
Devonte Graham ripped championship game Satur- “They have a lot of guys finished with 17 points and and Mitch Lightfoot picked
off the shooting sleeve he day night. three years they’ve beaten who can make shots,” West nine assists. up two fouls apiece, allow-
was wearing and tossed it Malik Newman added 20 West Virginia (24-10) for the Virginia coach Bob Hug- West Virginia still has not ing Konate to score nearly
into the crowd, then took the points on his way to tour- championship. gins said. “Let’s be honest, won a postseason league at will in the paint.
two-time Big 12 defensive nament MVP, and fresh- “We just locked on and all of those guys out there, tournament since the Big Then the Mountaineers’
player of the year baseline man Silvio De Sousa had 16 starting plays and kept com- if they’re not McDonald’s East in 2010. big fella picked up his sec-
for a pullup jumper. points on 8-for-8 shooting peting, and it was just fun. All-Americans it’s because “They just did a real good ond foul and took a seat on
Talk about unflappable. in place of injured big man It was fun to be out there,” they’re from another coun- job of knocking down shots,” the bench. The Jayhawks
Unstoppable, too. Udoka Azubuike, lifting the Graham said with a smile. “It try. They have good players Carter said. “Seemed like roared back to briefly tie the
The league’s player of the Jayhawks (27-7) to their 11th helped that we were able to and their guy can coach, you every shot they put up, it game, and trailed 34-33 at the
year finished with 18 points tournament title and a like- make shots.” know?” went in. When we went cold, break after De Sousa threw
and 13 assists, most of them ly No. 1 seed in the NCAA Modest understatement Daxter Miles Jr. hit five 3s they kept hitting.” down an alley-oop dunk in
during the decisive second Tournament. there. The Jayhawks shot and had 25 points to lead The Mountaineers con- transition in the closing sec-
half, and Graham led ninth- It was the second time in 72 percent from the field West Virginia, which has trolled most of the first onds of the first half.

Big East beasts

62: Jairus Lyles was
determined to come up
with a different end-
ing for UMBC. Lyles
improvised in the final
moments and hit a
long 3-pointer with less
than a second left, lift-
ing Maryland Baltimore
County over top-seeded
Vermont Saturday in the
America East champi-
onship game. “I waved
off the last play from
the bench, tried to get
me some space and
take the shot to end the
game,” Lyles said.

Rivas had 22 points and CINCINNATI FORWARD KYLE WASHINGTON (24) goes up for a shot in
North Carolina Central front of Memphis forward Kyvon Davenport (0) Saturday during
scored 11 in a row to the second half of an game in Orlando, Fla.
break a 58-all tie and

Cincinnati rallies
beat Hampton 71-63 in
the Mid-Eastern Athletic
Conference Tournament
championship on Satur-
day. Jordan Perkins add-
ed 13 points and nine
assists and John Guerra
scored 12 for the Eagles
(19-15), who earned
the league’s automat-
past Memphis
ic berth in the NCAA ORLANDO, Fla. — For AAC TOURNAMENT
Tournament for the the second straight day, the NO. 8 CINCINNATI 70,
third time in five years. No. 8 Cincinnati Bearcats No. 5 Memphis 60
struggled but survived in
SOUTHWESTERN the American Athletic Con-
ference Tournament.
Jacob Evans chased John-
son all over the floor and
Coach Mick Cronin hopes held him to 0-for-4 shooting
TEXAS SOUTHERN that with the NCAA Tour- after the freshman guard
84, ARKANSAS-PINE nament just a few days had hit all five of his field
BLUFF 69: Texas away, his players have attempts in the first half,
Southern started out learned their lesson. including four 3-pointers.
0-13 this season. Didn’t “Hopefully, we learned a “He lit us up,” Clark said of
win a game until Jan. lesson that the other team Johnson’s first-half shoot-
1. Never beat a non- — no matter their record or ing. “When you let a guy
conference opponent. FRANK FRANKLIN II | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS their situation — is coming like that get comfortable,
Trayvon Reed had 17 VILLANOVA’S MIKAL BRIDGES (25) shoots over Providence’s Isaiah Jackson (44) Saturday dur- to win,” Cronin said after the rim gets bigger. We
points and 10 rebounds, ing the Big East men’s tournament final in New York. the top-seeded Bearcats ral- didn’t let him get comfort-
Demontrae Jefferson lied to beat Memphis 70-60 able in the second half.”
added 15 points and
Texas Southern downed
top-seeded Arkansas-
’Nova wins second straight conference title on Saturday and advance
to their second straight
AAC Tournament final. “I
Memphis missed 14 of its
first 15 shots to start the
second half and had two
Pine Bluff 84-69 Satur- BY DAN GELSTON BIG EAST TOURNAMENT ars!” headed into a time- think we were in shock that turnovers.
day in the Southwest- AP Sports Writer out. He sank the free to (Memphis) actually came That many opportunities
ern Athletic Conference NO. 2 VILLANOVA 76, give Providence its first out with confidence and put some life in the Cincin-
championship game. NEW YORK — Mikal No. 5 Providence 66 lead of the game, 52-51. wasn’t afraid of us. nati offense, which was dor-
Bridges scored 25 points The Wildcats snatched “That’s going to be the mant to that point.
and hit two 3-pointers in last-gasp shot at the buzz- the lead back and Bridges same next week.” The Bearcats went on a
MOUNTAIN WEST overtime to lift No. 2 Vil-
lanova to a 76-66 win over
er and played in its third
straight overtime game.
buried a 3 from the top of
the arc that sent the team
Ja r r o n C u m b e r l a n d
scored 18 points and Gary
21-2 run to start the second
half that featured contribu-
Providence in the Big East The Friars ran out of to their feet. Brunson was Clark had 17 points and 12 tions from all five starters,
SAN DIEGO STATE 82, Tournament champion- gas in OT. Bridges, who whistled next time down rebounds to help Cincin- including three 3-point-
NEW MEXICO 75: Troy ship game Saturday night. scored 25 points, opened for an offensive foul and nati rally from a 13-point ers from Cumberland,
Kell scored 28 points to The Wildcats (30-4) overtime with a 3 and coach Jay Wright twirled halftime deficit against who ended the run with
lead San Diego State won their second straight hit another that helped and stretched his arms Memphis, a day after the a 3 that gave Cincinnati a
to a victory over New Big East Tournament and stretch the lead for good. toward the sky in protest. Bearcats overcame a six- 50-44 lead.
Mexico on Saturday. third in four years (losing Brunson tied a career- Eric Paschall hit a floater point second-half deficit to The Bearcats were never
The Aztecs earned the in the 2016 final). They high with 31 points on an in the lane that seemed to beat SMU in the quarterfi- seriously challenged after
league’s automatic bid put the bow on a fantastic emphatic dunk that sent steady the Wildcats. nals. Kyle Washington add- that. They made 10 of their
to the NCAA Tourna- season that should have the Madison Square Gar- Providence just kept on ed 11 for the Bearcats, who last 11 free throws to seal
ment. San Diego State them earn a No. 1 seed in den crowd into a frenzy. coming. The Friars had advanced to play the win- the game.
also got 16 points from the NCAA Tournament. Brunson proved his defeated three top-five ner of the Houston-Wichita BIG PICTURE: Cincinnati —
Malik Pope and 12 from Villanova had rolled to a worth as the best in the teams this season and was State game later Saturday. The Bearcats were project-
Devin Watson. The pair of dominant victories conference. He hit four 3s soaring following two Jamal Johnson led Mem- ed to be a No. 2 or No. 3 seed
Aztecs were playing in in the tourney and held and made 12 of 23 over- straight overtime victo- phis with 17 points, but he in the NCAA Tournament
the title game for the off a pesky Providence all from the floor, show- ries over Creighton and didn’t score in the second and nothing that happens in
fourth time in five sea- team that played its third ing on the national stage the Musketeers to reach half, when the Tigers wilt- the AAC Tournament likely
sons, and eighth time in straight overtime game. why he’s a candidate for the final. Diallo led with ed under intense defensive would have changed that.
10 years. The fifth-seeded Friars national player of the 22 points and Cartwright pressure from Cincinnati. However, Cincinnati hasn’t
(21-13) rallied in the sec- year. scored 19 for Providence. Kyvon Davenport had 12 won a conference tourna-
ond half from yet anoth- Providence coach Ed BIG PICTURE: Providence points and 11 rebounds for ment since 2004 (in Confer-
MID-AMERICAN er double-digit hole and
seemed set to pull off one
Cooley may have split his
pants as he coached the
— The Friars need some
rest following a grueling
Memphis (21-13), which
shot 51.9 percent in the first
ence USA) and Cronin has
made a point of telling his
more upset and earn the second half with a towel weekend in New York. half but just 18.5 percent (5 players they need to finish
BUFFALO 76, TOLEDO automatic NCAA berth. tucked in his waist. Villanova — The Wild- of 27) in the second. something this season.
66: Wes Clark scored Providence erased a It almost worked as a cats are the best in the Big “When you make shots, Memphis — The Tigers
26 points, Nick Perkins 17-point hole in the sec- rally towel. East. What else is new? things go a lot smoother played really well at the
added 16, including a ond half to beat top-seed- Cartwright put Provi- UP NEXT: Providence — and look a lot easier,” Tigers end of the season, winning
big 3-pointer, and Buf- ed Xavier to reach the dence’s comeback in The Friars are headed to coach Tubby Smith said. seven of their last nine and
falo won its third Mid- final. With one stunning overdrive when he hit a their fifth straight NCAA “I thought we kind of got dominating Cincinnati for
American Conference rally on its resume, Provi- 3 that made it 51-46 and Tournament. Providence them back on their heels a half.
championship in four dence nearly made it two. had Cooley smiling and had made only six tour- in the first half because we The question now is
years by beating Toledo Kyron Cartwright hit a clapping on the sideline. ney appearances from were attacking the basket whether that was enough
on Saturday night. The jumper with 1:38 left that He loved it even more 1988 to 2013 since its trip and making shots. But we to save Smith’s job. The
top-seeded Bulls were tied the game at 58-all and when Cartwright came to the Final Four in 1987. just didn’t seem to match Memphis coach was asked
the MAC’s best team all Alpha Diallo scored on a right back and hit anoth- Villanova — The Wild- Cincinnati’s intensity in the if he expected to be back
season, and it was no driving layup with 40 sec- er 3 to pulled the Friars cats should be a No. 1 second half.” next season and responded:
different inside Quicken onds left for a 60-58 lead. within two. seed in the tournament. Cincinnati trailed 42-29 “Who knows?”
Loans Arena, where Big East player of the Drew Edwards flexed The Wildcats lost on the at halftime but wiped out UP NEXT: Cincinnati — Fac-
Buffalo won its three year Jalen Brunson tied his biceps when he was opening weekend in 2014, all of that in the first seven es the winner of Wichita
games by an average it for Villanova with two fouled on a tying bas- 2015 and 2017. In 2016? minutes of the second half State-Houston.
of 14. free throws. ket and had the crowd They won the national with an active and aggres- Memphis — Awaits word
Providence missed a chanting “Let’s Go Fri- championship. sive defense. on a possible NIT berth.