KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Something about the Big 12 Tournament brings out the best in Iowa State.
The fifth-seeded Cyclones raced to a big early lead against No. 17 Kansas, then leaned on some balanced scoring and enough stops down the stretch to beat the Jayhawks 78-66 on Saturday night and remain unbeaten in five championship game appearances.
Lindell Wigginton had 17 points, Marial Shayok had 15 and Michael Jacobson 14 for the Cyclones (23-11). They became the lowest-seeded team ever to win the conference tournament and improved to 2-0 against Kansas (25-9) in the finals.
Dedric Lawson had 18 points and Devon Dotson added 17 for the third-seeded Jayhawks, whose last chance to win some hardware will be the NCAA Tournament. Their run of 14 consecutive regular-season crowns ended last weekend, and they failed to defend their Big 12 Tournament title.
Meanwhile, the Cyclones made a tremendous about-face during their stay in Kansas City. They arrived having lost five of their last six regular-season games, and looked rudderless in losses to Texas and lowly West Virginia. But beginning with a blowout of Baylor and continuing with a quarterfinal win over regular-season champ Kansas State, the Cyclones found their stride.
NO. 8 TENNESSEE 82, NO. 4 KENTUCKY 78
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lamonte’ Turner hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 30 seconds left and Tennessee rallied to beat Kentucky in a Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinal thriller.
Tennessee (29-4) trailed by eight with less than three minutes left before rallying to move a step closer to its first SEC Tournament title since 1979. The third-seeded Volunteers will face No. 22 Auburn (25-9) on Sunday.
Tennessee had an 11-2 run to take a 75-74 lead on a Grant Williams 3-pointer from in front of the Vols’ bench with 1:31 left. Kentucky (27-6) went back ahead with 1:06 left on PJ Washington’s putback.
Admiral Schofield missed a 3-pointer on Tennessee’s next possession, but Williams got the rebound and called a timeout with 38.5 seconds left. The Vols worked the ball to Turner for the 3-pointer from behind the top of the key.
Washington missed a shot from right around the basket and then missed a putback attempt in the last 15 seconds left. Tennessee’s Jordan Bone got the rebound, was fouled and made two free throws to put Tennessee ahead 80-76 with 10.9 seconds left. Ashton Hagans made a driving layup to cut the lead to 80-78 with four seconds remaining, but Bone sank two more free throws with 2.4 seconds left.
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Schofield scored 21 points, Williams had 20 and Bone added 18 for Tennessee. Washington scored 16 points for Kentucky.
NO. 6 MICHIGAN STATE 67, NO. 19 WISCONSIN 55
CHICAGO (AP) — Cassius Winston scored 21 points and Kenny Goins keyed Michigan State’s fast start, helping the Spartans beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten semifinals.
Seeking their sixth Big Ten tourney title, the Spartans (27-6) will face No. 10 Michigan in the final.
Winston, the Big Ten Player of the Year, went 9 for 17 from the field and had six assists.
Goins, Aaron Henry and Xavier Tillman led a dominant rebounding effort to help Michigan State beat Wisconsin (23-10) for the seventh straight time. Goins had 13 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots, and Henry had a career-high 11 rebounds. Ethan Happ had 20 points, six rebounds and four blocks for Wisconsin.
NO. 10 MICHIGAN 76, MINNESOTA 49
CHICAGO (AP) — Isaiah Livers scored a career-high 21 points and Michigan closed in on a record third straight Big Ten Tournament championship.
Zavier Simpson added 15 points and nine assists to help Michigan (28-5) win its 10th straight Big Ten Tournament game — the conference’s longest streak.
Amir Coffey had 14 points for Minnesota (21-13).
NO. 11 HOUTSON 61, MEMPHIS 58
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Corey Davis Jr. scored 17 points and Houston weathered a late Memphis rally in the American Athletic Conference semifinals.
Top-seeded Houston will face No. 24 Cincinnati in the title game.
Jeremiah Martin led Memphis (21-13). On Memphis’ final possession, Tyler Harris missed a 3-pointer, then attempted a final one that was blocked by Fabian White as time expired.
NO. 18 BUFFALO 87, BOWLING GREEN 73
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jeremy Harris scored 31 points, C.J. Massinburg added 17 and Buffalo won its fourth Mid-American Conference title in five years.
Harris went 13 of 20 and was named the tournament’s MVP. Jayvon Graves also added 17 points for the Bulls (31-3), who had to play the final four minutes without center Nick Perkins after he fouled out when he was called for a technical.
Justin Turner and Daeqwon Plowden led Bowling Green (22-12) with 16 points apiece.
NO. 22 AUBURN 65, FLORIDA 62
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jared Harper hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left and Auburn held off Florida to reach the Southeastern Conference championship game for the first time since 2000.
Harper finished with 20 points, and Bryce Brown scored all 11 of his points in the second half for the Tigers (25-9). Kevarrius Hayes and Jalen Hudson each had 16 points for Florida.
NO. 24 CINCINNATI 66, WICHITA STATE 63
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Nysier Brooks scored 13 points and Cane Broome hit the go-ahead layup with 23.5 seconds left to lift Cincinnati past Wichita State in the American Athletic Conference semifinals.
Tre Scott added 12 points and eight rebounds for Cincinnati (27-6). Jarron Cumberland, the conference player of the year was limited to 11 points on 3-of-16 shooting. Markis McDuffie had 18 for the Shockers (19-14).
NO. 25 VILLANOVA 74, SETON HALL 72
NEW YORK (AP) — Villanova became the first team to win three consecutive Big East Tournaments, beating Seton Hall behind seniors Eric Paschall and Phil Booth and key contributions from freshman Saddiq Bey.
Seton Hall star Myles Powell, guarded closely by Booth, missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds that could have won it. Booth was called for traveling as he tried to corral the rebound, however, and the Pirates got one more chance with 0.4 seconds left. Anthony Nelson’s long inbounds pass bounced off the backboard and was slapped away by the Wildcats (25-9).
Paschall had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Booth scored 16 points and was selected most outstanding player of the tournament. Bey had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Powell scored 25 points for the Pirates (20-13).
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