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Last updated: March 02. 2013 11:54PM - 2139 Views
By JOHN MEDEIROS



Miami's Kenny Kadji (35) dunks over Duke defender Ryan Kelly during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Miami's Kenny Kadji (35) dunks over Duke defender Ryan Kelly during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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DURHAM, N.C. — Duke’s Ryan Kelly sure didn’t look like a guy who hadn’t played in two months.


The senior scored a career-high 36 points in his return from a foot injury that had sidelined him since January, helping third-ranked Duke beat fifth-ranked Miami 79-76 on Saturday night.


Kelly knocked down 10 of 14 shots — including 7 of 9 3-pointers— for the Blue Devils (25-4, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who avenged a blowout road loss in January by grinding out a tough win in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Quinn Cook added 15 points as Duke built a 10-point lead with about 2 minutes left then held off a frantic rally by Miami.


Shane Larkin scored 25 points to lead the Hurricanes (23-5, 14-2), who missed two 3s in the final seconds to tie it. Larkin came up short on the first over Kelly. Durand Scott ran down the rebound and fired a pass to the left corner to Rion Brown, whose final 3 clanged off the rim as the horn sounded.


No. 2 Gonzaga 81, Portland 52


SPOKANE, Wash. — Elias Harris had 20 points and nine rebounds as No. 2 Gonzaga beat Portland to stake a claim to its first-ever No. 1 ranking in the Top 25.


Kelly Olynyk added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Gonzaga (29-2, 16-0 West Coast), which had already clinched the West Coast Conference regular season title and the top seed in next weekend’s tournament. Gary Bell Jr. added 14 points.


Gonzaga, winner of 12 consecutive games since a last-second loss at Butler, has escaped the losses that have afflicted other teams at or near the top of the poll in recent weeks. That included a loss by top-ranked Indiana to Minnesota earlier this week that opened the door for the Bulldogs.


Derrick Rodgers scored 10 points for Portland (11-20, 4-12), which has lost 18 straight to Gonzaga dating to 2003.


No. 6 Kansas 91,


West Virginia 65


LAWRENCE, Kan. — Ben McLemore scored a Kansas freshman-record 36 points, and Jeff Withey came within one block of a triple-double.


McLemore, a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, went to the bench with a little more than 5 minutes left after hitting 12 of 15 shots from the field, including 5 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc. He had seven rebounds and four assists.


Withey’s nine blocks ran his Big 12-and Kansas-career record to 281. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Jayhawks (25-4, 13-3 Big 12).


Terry Henderson had 20 points for the Mountaineers (13-16, 6-10).


No. 8 Florida 64,


Alabama 52


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Casey Prather had 10 points and nine rebounds, most of them in the second half, and Florida rallied from an eight-point deficit.


The Gators used a 15-0 run late in the second half — fueled by Prather — to pull away from the Crimson Tide and remain unbeaten at home.


No. 10 Louisville 58,


No. 12 Syracuse 53


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Luke Hancock hit a 3-pointer from the corner to break a tie with 50 seconds left for Louisville, which lost to Syracuse earlier this season.


It was the third straight loss for Syracuse (22-7, 10-6 Big East).


Russ Smith led Louisville with 18 points, Hancock had 12, all on 3s, and Gorgui Dieng finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds.


C.J. Fair had 19 points to lead the Orange, James Southerland added 13 and Michael Carter-Williams 11.


No. 14 New Mexico 53,


Wyoming 42


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Alex Kirk had 15 points and nine rebounds and New Mexico clinched the Mountain West Conference regular season title.


No. 15 Oklahoma State 78, Texas 65


STILLWATER, Okla. — Markel Brown scored 18 points, Le’Bryan Nash added 16 and Oklahoma State corralled Texas star Myck Kabongo.


No. 19 Memphis 76,


Central Florida 67


ORLANDO, Fla. — Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford both scored 19 points and Memphis claimed its eighth Conference USA championship.


VCU 84, No. 20 Butler 52


RICHMOND, Va. — Troy Daniels scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half and VCU’s full-court pressure overwhelmed Butler from the outset.


No. 22 Marquette 72,


No. 21 Notre Dame 64


MILWAUKEE — Jamil Wilson tied his career-high with 19 points and Chris Otule added a season-high 16 on 8-of-8 shooting as Marquette won its 25th consecutive home game.


Jerian Grant scored 21 points and Eric Atkins added 16 for Notre Dame (22-7, 10-6).


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