Malcolm Brogdon scored eight of his 19 points during a decisive second-half run and No. 12 Virginia clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament by beating No. 4 Syracuse, 75-56, Saturday.
Akil Mitchell added 12 points and nine rebounds and Mike Tobey and Justin Anderson scored 11 each for the Cavaliers (25-5, 16-1 ACC), who won their only outright ACC regular season title 33 years ago when Ralph Sampson was a sophomore. The victory was their 13th in a row and the final buzzer brought hundreds streaming onto the court.
Tyler Ennis and C.J. Fair scored 13 each for the Orange (26-3, 13-3), who lost for the third time in four games. Syracuse played much of the game without ailing Jerami Grant because of a sore back.
As they have so often this season, Virginia took command with a second-half spree fed in part by its defense, and in part by a celebrating sell-out crowd, many of whom stood throughout the second half.
Brogdon broke a 42-all tie with two free throws, and then hit a jumper from the foul line. After a turnover by the Orange, London Perrantes hit a deep 3-pointer that gave the Cavaliers a 49-42 lead.
Illinois 53, No. 18 Michigan St. 46: Illinois is on a roll thanks in large part to its stifling defense.
Fighting Illini coach John Groce, though, is not ready to celebrate.
Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading Illinois to a 53-46 win over No. 18 Michigan State.
The Fighting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) have held four consecutive opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time since the 1947-48 season, according to STATS LLC.
Xavier 75, No. 9 Creighton 69:With the best game of his career, Justin Martin helped Xavier get the better of a much-anticipated rematch.
Martin had 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds on Saturday, and Xavier led most of the way during a 75-69 victory over No. 9 Creighton in front of the largest crowd in the 14-year history of the Musketeers’ arena.
No 2 Wichita St. 68,Missouri St. 45: Wichita State will carry its pursuit of perfection into the Missouri Valley tournament.
Cleanthony Early scored 19 points, Ron Baker added 13 and the second-ranked Shockers rolled to a 68-45 victory over Missouri State on Saturday, easily putting away a team that had given them fits this season.
Relying on the same stubborn defense that carried it on last year’s improbable March run, Wichita State (31-0, 18-0) became the first team since Saint Joseph’s in 2004 to enter its league tournament unbeaten.
No. 1 Florida 79, LSU 61: Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, and top-ranked Florida used a season-high 13 3-pointers to extend its school-record winning streak to 21 games.
Florida (27-2, 16-0 Southeastern Conference) scored the first eight points, opened up a double-digit lead with consecutive 3-pointers from DeVon Walker and Finney-Smith and put the game away early in the second half with a flurry of points in the paint.
No. 21 Memphis 72, No. 7 Louisville 66: Chris Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Tigers swept the season series from the Cardinals.
No. 21 Memphis (22-7, 11-5 American Athletic Conference) trailed 65-57 with 4:45 left when Michael Dixon Jr. scored six straight, jumpstarting the Tigers who scored 15 of the final 16 points.
No. 7 Louisville (24-5, 13-3) went cold after taking its biggest lead. The Cardinals didn’t score again until Chris Jones hit a free throw with 40.3 seconds to go.
Connecticut 51, No. 11 Cincinnati 45: Shabazz Napier scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead UConn.
The Huskies (23-6, 11-5 American Athletic Conference) won despite going without a field goal for the game’s final 7½ minutes.
But they held Cincinnati (24-5, 13-3) to just 13 baskets on 48 shots.
No. 19 North Carolina 60, Virginia Tech 56: James Michael McAdoo scored 15 points to lead No. 19 North Carolina to its 11th straight victory.
McAdoo hit 6 of 9 from the floor for the Tar Heels (22-7, 12-4), who started Atlantic Coast Conference play 1-4 and have not lost since. The Tar Heels haven’t won this many games in a row since opening the 2008-09 season with 13 straight victories.
McAdoo scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, including 10 after the Hokies had cut the Tar Heel lead to 42-40 on a basket by Jarell Eddie with 8:54 left in the game. North Carolina answered with seven straight points, with McAdoo scoring the last two points on a basket with 6:57 left to make it 49-40.
Leslie McDonald added 14 points and J.P. Tokoto finished with 12 for North Carolina.
Eddie led Virginia Tech (9-19, 2-14 ACC) with 18 points.
No. 23 SMU 70, UCF 55
Markus Kennedy scored 18 points, Nic Moore had 11 of his 13 in the second half and SMU took another step toward its first NCAA tournament berth in 21 years.
The Mustangs (23-6, 12-4 American Athletic) improved to 15-0 at home, with the last nine coming at newly renovated Moody Coliseum, going into their final home game Wednesday night against seventh-ranked Louisville. The Cardinals lost to No. 21 Memphis 72-66 on Saturday.
Moore, who also had game highs with six assists and four steals, had consecutive 3-pointers for a 45-27 lead with 13:53 remaining, pumping his arms wildly as he stomped up the court with a loud roar from the sixth sellout crowd since Moody reopened in January.
Isaiah Sykes had 18 points to lead UCF (11-16, 3-13).
OKLAHOMA 77, No. 24 TEXAS 65
Isaiah Cousins scored a career-high 24 points and Oklahoma gained ground in the race for second place in the Big 12.
Buddy Hield hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Oklahoma (21-8, 10-6), which entered the game in a four-way battle with Texas (21-8, 10-6), Kansas State and Iowa State behind Kansas.
After Saturday, all four teams will have two games remaining.
Oklahoma committed a season-low seven turnovers while completing a regular-season sweep of the Longhorns. The Sooners have won three of the last four games in the series after Texas had won 12 of the previous 15.
Cameron Ridley had his eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds for Texas, which has lost three of its last four games after winning nine of its previous 10, all in league play.