Men's Basketball

Minnesota purees Purdue in Big Ten

When Tubby Smith throws superlatives around, he means it.

Minnesota's coach won a national championship at Kentucky and has 450 career victories, yet no half of basketball he has coached in 18 years could top what his Golden Gophers did to Purdue on Saturday. Minnesota held the No. 6 Boilermakers to the worst first half in Purdue's record books and rolled to a 69-42 victory in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in Indianapolis.

Minnesota led 37-11 at the break and by as many as 34 points in the second half.

"It's as good a half as I think I've been a part of as a coach," Smith said.

It was the fewest points by Purdue in a half since the school started keeping track in 1950. Only a late layup by Patrick Bade allowed the Boilermakers (27-5) to avoid the worst defeat ever in a Big Ten Tournament game.

"With everything on the line, I thought it was going to be a great college basketball game, and obviously it wasn't," Purdue Coach Matt Painter said.

Ralph Sampson III scored 13 points for the sixth-seeded Golden Gophers (21-12), who reached the finals for the first time. Minnesota won its fourth straight and seventh of nine.

No. 5 Ohio State 88, Illinois 81 (2 OT): Evan Turner scored 12 of his 31 points after regulation. The Big Ten Player of the Year finished with a triple double — 31 points, 10 rebounds, 10 turnovers.

The Buckeyes (26-7) won their sixth straight. Illinois (19-14) was led by Demetri McCamey with 22 points.

Big East

No. 7 West Virginia 60, No. 22 Georgetown 58: Da'Sean Butler's second game-winner in three days gave West Virginia its first Big East championship.

The senior guard, who banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to give West Virginia a quarterfinal win, scored in the lane with 4.2 seconds left to push the Mountaineers past the Hoyas.

Butler had 20 points for the Mountaineers (27-6).

Chris Wright had 20 points for the Hoyas (23-10). His length-of-the-court drive to tie the game came up short.

The win left West Virginia in the running for a possible No. 1 seed when the NCAA Tournament field is announced Sunday night.

Big 12

No. 1 Kansas 72, No. 9 Kansas State 64: Marcus Morris had 18 points, Tyrel Reed added 15 and Kansas held off Kansas State down the stretch for its seventh Big 12 Tournament title.

Kansas (32-2) labored through a physical, defense-dominated first half and used a small spurt midway through the second to beat its in-state rivals for the third time this season. Coming off a sixth straight regular-season title, the Jayhawks will likely be the top No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament when brackets are announced Sunday.

Kansas State (26-7) had never beaten Kansas in six tries at the Big 12 Tournament and had lost 40 of 42 meetings since 1994.

Conference USA

Houston 81, No. 25 UTEP 73: Kelvin Lewis scored 28 points and Houston claimed its first NCAA Tournament berth in 18 years with a victory in the Conference USA Tournament title game that snapped the Miners' 16-game winning streak.

National scoring leader Aubrey Coleman struggled through a 4-for-20 effort for the seventh-seeded Cougars (19-15), but he came up with a critical steal and fast-break layup in the final minute as they won their fourth game in as many days.

The top-seeded Miners (26-6) were riding their longest winning streak since their "Glory Road" run to the national title in 1966.

Randy Culpepper scored 20 points and Derrick Caracter added 18 for UTEP.


Ohio 81, Akron 75 (OT): Freshman D.J. Cooper scored 23 points and made three big plays in overtime as Ohio capped a stunning run through the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland by beating defending champion Akron to earn an NCAA Tourney bid.

The ninth-seeded Bobcats (21-14) became the lowest-seeded team to win the MAC title. Ohio overcame injuries, player suspensions and a rash of close losses to win their first title since 2005.

Pac 10

Washington 79, California 75: Quincy Pondexter scored 18 points, Isaiah Thomas added 16 and Washington rallied from a late deficit to win the Pac-10 Tournament with a thrilling victory over California in Los Angeles.

Venoy Overton hit two free throws with 2.1 seconds left for the third-seeded Huskies (24-9), who emphatically salvaged their inconsistent regular season with seven straight wins.

The Golden Bears (23-10) are likely headed to the NCAAs with their first regular-season league title in a half-century.

After giving up 15 straight points to Cal, the Huskies went back ahead by six with 1:02 to play before hanging on for their second conference tournament title.


No. 4 Duke 77, Miami 74: Kyle Singler scored 27 points to help Duke push ahead in the second half of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinals in Greensboro, N.C.

Jon Scheyer added 16 points, including eight in the go-ahead 15-0 run early in the second half that restored some sense of order in an upset-filled tournament. The top-seeded Blue Devils (28-5) trailed by three at halftime against the league's last-place team before rallying to reach the championship game, where they will defend their title against Georgia Tech.

Freshman Durand Scott had 21 points for the 12th-seeded Hurricanes (20-13), who couldn't follow their upsets of Wake Forest and Virginia Tech with a much bigger one.

Atlantic 10

No. 17 Temple 57, Rhode Island 44: Ryan Brooks scored 16 points and Temple held Rhode Island to its lowest point total in five years in an Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament semifinal in Atlantic City, N.J.

Sophomore guard Juan Fernandez once again ignited the top-seeded Owls (28-5), scoring the first seven points and nine overall in the two-time defending champions' game-opening 15-2 run. The spurt took the air out of Rhode Island (23-9) and left it in a precarious position for the NCAA Tournament heading into Selection Sunday.

The Owls will face Richmond in the final.

Richmond 89, No. 24 Xavier 85 (OT): Kevin Anderson scored 27 points and David Gonzalvez added 26 in the semifinals.

Anderson hit a layup with 3.1 seconds left in regulation to force the second overtime game between the teams in less than two weeks. Third-seeded Richmond (26-7) reached the conference final for the first time since 2002.

Jordan Crawford's 20 points led second-seeded Xavier (24-7), which had an eight-game win streak snapped.

Husker women finally fall

Danielle Adams scored 20 of her 22 points in the second half and 11th-ranked Texas A&M handed No. 3 Nebraska its first loss of the season with an 80-70 upset in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday.

Cal star hurt: California's leading scorer Alexis Gray-Lawson was taken away on a stretcher after landing awkwardly on her head against Sanford in the Pac-10 semifinals. Gray-Lawson was talkative and alert before leaving for the hospital.