Men's Basketball

College basketball highlights: March 10

Louisville's Peyton Siva (3) defended Notre Dame's Jerian Grant during the first half in the Big East Tournament semifinals on Friday night. Louisville won 64-50. The Cardinals will play Cincinnati in the finals Saturday.
Louisville's Peyton Siva (3) defended Notre Dame's Jerian Grant during the first half in the Big East Tournament semifinals on Friday night. Louisville won 64-50. The Cardinals will play Cincinnati in the finals Saturday. AP

Sean Kilpatrick sparked Cincinnati's early three-point barrage and scored 18 points as the Bearcats held on for a 71-68 victory over No. 2 Syracuse on Friday night in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament.

The fourth-seeded Bearcats (24-9) will meet Louisville in Saturday night's championship game at Madison Square Garden.

To get there, they ended the 11-game winning streak of the top-seeded Orange (31-2). They did it with an incredible shooting performance over the opening 14 minutes of the game when they took a 17-point lead, and then by holding on as Syracuse was able to get within one point in the final seconds.

This was Cincinnati's seventh win over a ranked team this season, the most in the country.

"It's a huge win for our program," Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin said.

The loss shouldn't hurt the Orange's chances of being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but it did keep them from getting a chance to play for a sixth Big East title and first since 2006.

Louisville in finals

Louisville 64, No. 23 Notre Dame 50: Peyton Siva played another near-flawless floor game, Gorgui Dieng scored 16 points and Louisville dominated Notre Dame to reach the Big East Tournament championship game for the third time in four years.

The Cardinals held the Fighting Irish without a field goal for the final 12½ minutes in the first half and advanced to play Cincinnati on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Seventh-seeded Louisville (25-9), looking for its second tournament title since joining the league for the 2005-06 season, denied Notre Dame again in its quest to make the championship game for the first time. The third-seeded Fighting Irish (22-11) fell to 0-5 in the semifinal round — all under Coach Mike Brey.

Friday's highlights

No. 12 Baylor 81, No. 3 Kansas 72: Baylor sharpshooter Brady Heslip hit a pair of three-pointers to keep Kansas at bay, and Perry Jones III finished with 18 points as the Bears beat the Jayhawks to reach the Big 12 Tournament title game.

Quincy Miller added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Pierre Jackson had 11 points and seven assists for the Bears (27-6), who will play No. 5 Missouri or Texas for the championship.

Baylor lost to the Tigers in its only previous Big 12 title game. Tyshawn Taylor had 20 points for Kansas (26-6), which used a big second-half charge to briefly take the lead. But the Bears hung tough down the stretch, and Heslip's two three-pointers — one with 2:03 remaining, the other with 1:12 left — allowed them to hang on.

No team from Texas has ever won the Big 12 Tournament.

Thomas Robinson finished with 15 points and nine rebounds for Kansas.

No. 4 North Carolina 85, Maryland 69: North Carolina forward John Henson was reduced to the role of cheerleader after injuring his left wrist Friday in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Henson, the ACC's defensive player of the year, played only 7 minutes, getting injured on a hard foul by Maryland's Ashton Pankey while driving to the basket early in the first half. The Tar Heels (28-4) got by just fine without Henson, romping to a victory over Maryland (17-15) in Atlanta.

While nothing appeared to be broken, Henson is expected to be re-evaluated and it's not known whether he will be able to play when the fourth-ranked Tar Heels face North Carolina State in the semifinals Saturday.

No. 6 Duke 60, Virginia Tech 56: Tyler Thornton scored a career-high 13 points, Austin Rivers hustled for a clinching three-point play and Duke (27-5) survived an ugly performance against cold-shooting Virginia Tech (16-17) in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Seeking their fourth straight tournament title, the Blue Devils advanced to the semifinals against either No. 17 Florida State or Miami.

No. 8 Michigan State 92, Iowa 75: Draymond Green had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead Michigan State over Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals in Indianapolis. The top-seeded Spartans (25-7), who shot 58 percent from the field, will play No. 14 Wisconsin on Saturday.

Michigan State played its first game without forward Branden Dawson, a freshman who tore a left knee ligament in the regular-season finale against Ohio State.

Josh Oglesby scored 20 points for Iowa (17-16).

No. 10 Michigan 73, Minnesota 69 (OT): Trey Burke scored seven of his career-high 30 points in overtime, and Michigan (24-8) used a late flurry of three-pointers to rally for a victory over Minnesota (19-14) in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Next up for the second-seeded Wolverines is a rematch with either surging Purdue or archrival Ohio State in Saturday's semifinals. The difference for Michigan was a stretch of five straight three-pointers. The first three allowed Michigan to rally from a 54-45 deficit in the final 4:37 of regulation to tie it at 56. Coach Tubby Smith was denied his 100th victory since taking the Minnesota job in 2007.

No. 14 Wisconsin 79, No. 15 Indiana 71: Hours after Indiana learned it had lost point guard Verdell Jones to a season-ending knee injury, the Hoosiers played as though they were deflated. Indiana (25-8) allowed seldom-used guard Rob Wilson to score a career-high 30 points and lead Wisconsin (24-8) to a win in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.

Three Indiana players — Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls and Cody Zeller — each scored 17 points. The loss ended the Hoosiers' five-game winning streak.

Around the nation

Illinois: Illinois fired Bruce Weber on Friday, letting go of a fiery coach whose first three years with the Illini included a run to the national championship game before a long slide the past six years ended with a 17-15 mark this season. "This is a bottom line business. We all know it," Weber said. "It's the reality of the coaching profession. But I leave here with no regrets."

Nebraska: Coach Doc Sad-ler was fired on Friday after the team he expected to be his best in his six years at the school posted the program'slowest win total since 2003. In their first season in the Big Ten, the Cornhuskers finished 12-18 after losing 79-61 to Purdue in the first round of the league tournament. They tied with Penn State for last place in the conference with a 4-14 record.

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