NEW YORK — James Southerland had a second straight great effort from 3-point range and Michael Carter-Williams scored Syracuse’s last seven points as the 19th-ranked Orange held off No. 17 Pittsburgh 62-59 on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
It was the last meeting between the schools under the Big East banner as they are both leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. The final 1:15 of the game was a great way for the programs to play one last time in the Big East.
Southerland had 20 points as he did in the win over Seton Hall and again almost all the points came from beyond the 3-point arc. He was 6 for 6 on 3s against Pittsburgh, a day after going 6 for 9 from beyond the arc against Seton Hall.
Carter-Williams had 11 points and seven assists for the fifth-seeded Orange (25-8), who will meet top-seeded Georgetown in the semifinals on tonight.
Georgetown 62, Cincinnati 43
NEW YORK — Otto Porter Jr. scored 18 points and No. 5 Georgetown advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals, recovering from a mid-game hiccup to beat Cincinnati.
Markel Starks had 14 points and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera added 13 off the bench, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer that sparked a game-turning run for the top-seeded Hoyas (25-5).
Georgetown, looking to land a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, squandered an early 16-point cushion and fell behind briefly in the second half before clamping down with its trademark defense to pull away.
Cashmere Wright scored 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range to lead the ninth-seeded Bearcats (22-11), but running mate Sean Kilpatrick was off his game. The team’s top scorer at 17 points per game, he managed only four on 2-for-12 shooting and missed all eight of his tries from beyond the arc.
Louisville 75, Villanova 55
NEW YORK — Russ Smith scored 28 points in a bittersweet homecoming, leading No. 4 Louisville into the Big East tournament semifinals with a victory over Villanova only hours after the death of his esteemed high school coach.
Smith and the defending champion Cardinals (27-5) harassed Villanova into 25 turnovers and advanced to play Notre Dame or Marquette in the late game Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Luke Hancock added 12 points off the bench for second-seeded Louisville, which has won eight straight — seven by at least 14 points. Peyton Siva, the tournament MVP last year, scored 10.
JayVaughn Pinkston had 21 points for the seventh-seeded Wildcats (20-13), confident they’ll receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament Sunday thanks to a string of high-profile wins against top-notch opponents this season. Mouphtaou Yarou added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
BIG TEN Illinois 51, Minnesota 49
CHICAGO — Brandon Paul scored 25 points and hit a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to lead Illinois to a victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
Illinois (22-11) led by as much as 12 but was trailing by three when D.J. Richardson nailed a 3 with 47 seconds left to tie it at 49. That basket came after the Illini missed four shots on the possession.
The Gophers (20-12) had a chance to win it, but Austin Hollins stepped on the sideline after catching an inbounds pass with 14 seconds left. Paul then raced up the court and pulled up for the winner as time expired, sending the eighth-seeded Illini to the quarterfinals against top-seeded and third-ranked Indiana.
Nebraska 57, Purdue 55
CHICAGO — Shavon Shields scored 19 points, Brandon Ubel added 16 points and eight rebounds and Nebraska beat Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
The Cornhuskers (15-17) hung on after Purdue’s Terone Johnson missed two shots in the closing seconds and will meet No. 10 Ohio State in the quarterfinals.
They started the second half on a 9-0 run to turn a two-point lead into a 39-28 advantage and withstood a late push by the Boilermakers (15-17) to come away with a surprising victory.
It was 54-53 after Purdue’s D.J. Byrd made a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left. Nebraska’s Ray Gallegos then made the first free throw and missed the second, but the Cornhuskers recovered the ball.
ACC Boston College 84, Georgia Tech 64
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Olivier Hanlan set an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament record for freshmen with 41 points and Boston College beat Georgia Tech in the first round.
The ACC’s rookie of the year had the highest-scoring game in the tournament by any player regardless of class since 1970 and broke the old mark of 40 set two years ago by North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes.
He was 14 of 18, made his final 12 shots and was a one-man show in bringing the eighth-seeded Eagles (16-16) back from an early 15-0 deficit and into a Friday quarterfinal against No. 9 Miami, the tournament’s top seed.
Marcus Georges-Hunt had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the ninth-seeded Yellow Jackets (16-15), who have lost five of seven and now are likely left to hope for an invitation to the NIT.
N.C. State 80, Virgina Tech 63
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Richard Howell scored 22 points with 12 rebounds while Lorenzo Brown led the defensive effort on league player of the year Erick Green to help North Carolina State beat Virginia Tech.
C.J. Leslie scored 15 points for the fifth-seeded Wolfpack (23-9), who shot 52.8 percent (28 of 53) and took control with an 11-0 second-half run. N.C. State led by 17 points after that spurt and never let the 12th-seeded Hokies (13-19) get the margin under double figures again.
Brown had nine points, 12 assists and seven rebounds, but did his best work as a nagging defense presence against Green — the nation’s leading scorer at 25.4 points per game. Green finished with 15 on 5-for-19 shooting for one more frustrating ACC tournament performance in the senior’s final game.
BIG 12 Iowa State 73, Oklahoma 66
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Melvin Ejim had a double-double and Will Clyburn fueled a 12-0 second-half run, helping Iowa State survive an uncharacteristic 3-point drought to beat Oklahoma and end a seven-year losing streak in the Big 12 tournament.
The Cyclones, who led the country and set a school record with 309 3-pointers, missed 11 of their first 12 from behind the arc and fell 14 points behind. But they found the range in the second half and hit six 3-pointers while chalking up their first conference tournament win since 2005.
Kansas State 66, Texas 49
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rodney McGruder scored 24 points and sparked an 11-0 run in the second half, lifting No. 11 Kansas State past Texas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
An all-conference senior who ranks in the top 10 in 14 of Kansas State’s career categories, McGruder also had a team-leading seven rebounds as the second-seeded Wildcats (26-6) whipped the Longhorns for the third time this year.
Julien Lewis scored 13 points and Jonathan Holmes had 10 for Texas (16-17), which trailed almost the entire game.
The Wildcats held a 43-36 lead midway through the second half when McGruder’s one-handed floater ignited the run that put the game out of reach. A moment later, the 6-4 senior stole the ball at midcourt, drew a foul and then connected on a 3-pointer over the Longhorns’ zone defense. D.J. Johnson followed with a dunk and McGruder added a pair of 3-pointers.
Kansas 91, Texas Tech 63
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ben McLemore scored 24 points to lead No. 7 Kansas to a 91-63 rout of Texas Tech, setting up an intriguing date with Iowa State in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.
The regular-season co-champion, Kansas was pushed by Texas Tech in their meeting in Lubbock earlier this season, but used a big run early in the second half to put this one away early.
The Jayhawks (27-5) shot 66 percent from the field (31 of 47), the best mark by any team in a Big 12 tournament game, in advancing to face the Cyclones on Friday night. Kansas needed overtime to beat them in both of their regular-season games.
Dejan Kravic scored 20 points, Dusty Hannahs added 15 and Jordan Tolbert had 13 for the Red Raiders (11-20),
ATLANTIC 10 Charlotte 68, Richmond 63
NEW YORK — Pierria Henry hit eight free throws in the final five seconds of a wild start to the Atlantic 10 tournament, and Charlotte stunned Richmond.
The Spiders, who led by 63-60 with 4.7 seconds to go, were called for three technical fouls as the 49ers took the lead from the foul line with the clock stopped.
It all started when Richmond chose to foul Charlotte to prevent the 49ers from attempting a tying 3-pointer. After Henry made the front end of a one-and-one, the Spiders’ Derrick Williams was called for a technical while fighting for the rebound.
Saint Joseph’s 58, Xavier 57
NEW YORK — Langston Galloway hit two free throws with 1.4 seconds left to lead Saint Joseph’s past Xavier in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
The Musketeers had a great chance at the buzzer, when Justin Martin’s full-court pass ricocheted off the backboard and straight into the hands of Isaiah Philmore. But Philmore missed the easy layup, the ball bouncing off the rim as he fell to the court in dismay.
Galloway finished with 14 points for the 10th-seeded Hawks (18-12, 8-8), who face second-seeded VCU in Friday’s quarterfinals at the Barclays Center.
Travis Taylor led seventh-seeded Xavier (17-14, 9-7) with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Butler 73, Dayton 67
NEW YORK — Rotnei Clarke scored 21 points, and Butler advanced at the Atlantic 10 tournament with a 73-67 first-round victory over Dayton.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs will need to win four games in four days if they want a conference tourney title in their first — and perhaps last — season in the A-10.
Clarke shot 6 of 12 from behind the 3-point arc and added five assists. Fellow senior Andrew Smith had 18 points and six rebounds.
Butler was 10 for 24 on 3-point tries, while the Flyers attempted just four. Josh Benson had 18 points to lead 12th-seeeded Dayton (17-14, 7-9).
CONFERENCE USA Southern Miss 81, UAB 66
TULSA, Okla. — Neil Watson scored 23 points and Dwayne Davis scored 20 to lead second-seeded Southern Mississippi to a victory over UAB in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament.
The Golden Eagles (24-8) will play the winner of the UTEP-Houston game in Friday’s semifinals.
Watson and Davis had five assists apiece, and both went 7 for 11 from the field with Davis making four 3-pointers and Watson three.
Memphis 81, Tulane 68
TULSA, Okla. — Chris Crawford set career-highs with 24 points and six 3-pointers, Adonis Thomas scored 17 points and No. 20 Memphis beat Tulane in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament.
The top-seeded Tigers (28-4) took control by scoring the final 14 points of the first half, with Crawford hitting a pair of 3-pointers and then soaring for a right-handed dunk on a fast break to finish it off and make it 44-27. D.J. Stephens also had a two-handed slam and a putback during the big burst.
Josh Davis had 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead eighth-seeded Tulane (19-14), which could never get closer than 10 in the second half.
Memphis, trying to win its seventh Conference USA tournament in eight years, won its 22nd straight game in the series between the two teams.
UTEP 80, Houston 69
TULSA, Okla. — Julian Washburn led six UTEP players in double figures with 20 points and the Miners defeated Houston in the Conference USA tournament quarterfinals.
UTEP (18-13), the No. 3 seed, will play second-seeded Southern Mississippi, an 81-66 winner over UAB, in Friday’s first semifinal.
Jacques Streeter had 13 points and 12 assists for the Miners. Konner Tucker scored 12 points, McKenzie Moore scored 11 — all in the second half — and Cedrick Lang and C.J. Cooper had 10 points apiece.
SEC Tennessee 69, Mississippi 53
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jordan McRae scored 17 points Thursday as fifth-seeded Tennessee defeated No. 13 seed Mississippi State in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Tennessee (20-11) won for the ninth time in its last 10 games to advance to a Friday quarterfinal against No. 4 seed Alabama (20-11) in a matchup of NCAA tournament bubble teams. Tennessee and Alabama split their regular-season matchups, with the home team winning each time.
LSU 68, Georgia 63
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Shavon Coleman scored 24 points, and the LSU Tigers held off Georgia to give first-year coach Johnny Jones a win in his Southeastern Conference tournament debut.
LSU, which started league play by losing its first four games, now has won three of four. The Tigers (19-11) will play No. 13 Florida in the quarterfinals Friday.
Georgia (15-17) has lost two straight. The Bulldogs trailed by as much as 23 before whittling away LSU’s lead. They used a 12-3 run to pull within 66-63 with 28.5 seconds left. Andre Stringer hit two free throws to finish off the win after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit off the rim from 25 feet away.
PAC 12 UCLA 80, Arizona St. 75
LAS VEGAS — Shabazz Muhammad scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, Travis Wear hit a jumper with 11 seconds left and No. 21 UCLA rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Arizona State in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
Wearing new uniforms with sleeves and camouflage-patterned shorts that looked like pajamas, the top-seeded Bruins (24-8) played like they were barely awake well into the second half.
UCLA rallied behind Muhammad, who scored 10 points during a 17-4 second-half run.