Duke holds on to beat NC

The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Zion Williamson had the go-ahead tip-in on his own miss with 30.3 seconds left and fifth-ranked Duke held off third-ranked North Carolina 74-73 on Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals.

Williamson had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Blue Devils (28-5) survived a fight with their fierce rival in a classic that went down to the final play. Ultimately Duke hung on, but needed a final stop. After RJ Barrett missed two free throws with 12.4 seconds left, UNC pushed downcourt for Coby White to get a contested long jumper.

The shot rattled around the rim and out as Nassir Little crashed the glass for a desperate tip attempt, sending Duke’s bench into celebration and leaving a disappointed White crouching at midcourt.

Cameron Johnson had 23 points for the Tar Heels (27-6). They shot 40 percent and led by four in the final three minutes but couldn’t hold on.

Elsewhere:

NO. 12 FLORIDA STATE 69, NO. 2 VIRGINIA 59: David Nichols scored 14 points and No. 12 Florida State knocked off No. 2 Virginia to advance to Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. Phil Cofer had 11 points and 7-foot-3 center Christ Koumadje added nine points and nine rebounds. The Seminoles (27-6) will play either No. 5 Duke tonight. De’Andre Hunter had 13 points for Virginia (29-3). The Cavaliers had their nine-game winning streak snapped with their first loss to a team other than Duke.

No. 10 Michigan 74, Iowa 53: Zavier Simpson sparked Michigan’s balanced attack with 10 points on perfect shooting and 11 assists, and the Wolverines picked apart Iowa for a victory in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan made 10 3-pointers placed five players in double figures, bouncing back nicely from Saturday’s disappointing loss to rival Michigan State. Ignas Brazdeikis had 15 points, and Jon Teske had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Michigan will play Minnesota in the semifinals today. The Wolverines finished with 24 assists and seven turnovers. Isaiah Livers scored 13 points and Jordan Poole finished with 11.

NO. 8 TENNESSEE 83, MISSISSIPPI STATE 76: Admiral Schofield scored 20 points and No. 8 Tennessee defeated Mississippi State in a Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinal. The third-seeded Volunteers (28-4) advanced to a semifinal with No. 4 Kentucky (27-5), the second seed in this tournament. Tennessee lost 86-69 at Kentucky on Feb. 16 to end a school-record 19-game winning streak but trounced the Wildcats 71-52 at home two weeks later. This semifinal pairing represents a rematch of last year’s SEC Tournament championship game, which Kentucky won 77-72 to capture its fourth straight title.

NO. 4 KENTUCKY 73, ALABAMA 55: Tyler Herro scored 20 points and Kentucky started its bid for a fifth straight Southeastern Conference Tournament title, beating Alabama in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats (27-5) improved to 17-2 against Alabama in the tournament, and got a measure of revenge for opening SEC play with a 77-75 road loss to the Crimson Tide back on Jan. 5. Kentucky will play either No. 8 Tennessee in the semifinals.

NO. 6 MICHIGAN STATE 77, OHIO STATE 70: Cassius Winston scored 18 points, Foster Loyer provided a lift off the bench with a career-high 14 points and Michigan State gave Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo his 600th career victory, beating Ohio State in the Big Ten quarterfinals. Seeking a sixth conference tournament title, the Spartans (26-6) pulled away in the second half for their third victory over the Buckeyes (19-14) this season. They will face No. 19 Wisconsin in the semifinals today.

No. 17 Kansas 88, West Virginia 74: Dedric Lawson poured in 24 points, Quentin Grimes added 18 before leaving late with cramps and No. 17 Kansas roared away from West Virginia for a win in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals. Devon Dotson added 13 points and Marcus Garrett had 11 for the third-seeded and reigning champion Jayhawks (25-8). They advanced to play No. 5 seed Iowa State for the title Saturday night. The 10th-seeded Mountaineers finished at 14-20.

FLORIDA 76, NO. 9 LSU 73: Andrew Nembhard hit a 3-pointer with a second left and Florida overcame a 13-point deficit in the second half to upset LSU in the Southeastern Conference quarterfinals. Eighth-seeded Florida (19-14) will play No. 22 Auburn in the semifinals today. LSU (26-6) had won five straight without coach Will Wade, who remains suspended indefinitely despite asking Thursday to rejoin the Tigers for the postseason. LSU quickly squashed that idea with a statement noting Wade will remain suspended until he speaks to school officials about the reports of an FBI wiretap that led to his suspension.

NO. 11 HOUSTON 84, UCONN 45: Corey Davis Jr. scored 22 points and Houston routed UConn in the American Athletic quarterfinals. Galen Robinson Jr. had 16 points, missing only one of his eight shots, and Nate Hinton added 15 points. The top-seeded Cougars (30-2) will face Memphis in the semifinals. Jalen Adams led UConn (16-17) with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 75, NO. 13 PURDUE 73: Jordan Murphy scored 27 points, Amir Coffey added 21 points and Minnesota beat No. 13 Purdue 75-73 to advance to the Big Ten semifinals. Murphy drove for a go-ahead three-point play and hit two free throws in the closing minutes, and the Gophers (21-12) beat the Boilermakers (23-9) for the second time in 10 days when Carsen Edwards missed a 3 as time expired. Murphy finished three points shy of his season high. He also had eight rebounds. The Gophers will face the Michigan. Matt Haarms scored 16 points for Purdue.

IOWA STATE 63, NO. 15 KANSAS STATE 59: Marial Shayok hit back-to-back 3-pointers right in front of his own bench to give Iowa State the lead in the final minute, and the Cyclones held to beat Kansas State in the Big 12 semifinals. The Cyclones (22-11) trailed 55-52 when Shayok’s first 3-point bounced off the rim, then off the glass and dropped through. Then, after the Wildcats’ Cartier Diarra missed a 3 at the other end, the Cyclones’ senior guard dropped a 3 that gave his team the lead. Iowa State gets Kansas in the finals tonight.

NO. 18 BUFFALO 85, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 81: C.J. Massinburg dropped a spinning layup and made four free throws in the final 32 seconds to help Buffalo advance to the Mid-American Conference title game. The top-seeded Bulls (30-3) will play Bowling Green in the finals for the MAC’s automatic NCAA bid. Massinburg, the MAC Player of the Year and Buffalo’s senior leader, scored 21 points, and Davonta Jordan added 16 for the Bulls, the defending champions trying to win the school’s fourth tourney in five years. Massinburg scored Buffalo’s last nine points.

NO. 19 WISCONSIN 6, NEBRASKA 62: Nate Reuvers and Khalil Iverson each scored 14 points, D’Mitrik Trice hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left and Wisconsin beat pesky Nebraska to advance to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Badgers (23-9) won for the sixth time in seven games despite a shaky performance by Ethan Happ. The 6-foot-10 forward had a season-low four points and committed seven of the team’s 17 turnovers. Glynn Watson Jr. scored 23 points for Nebraska (18-16).

NO. 22 AUBURN 73, SOUTH CAROLINA 64: Jared Harper scored 27 points to help Auburn beat South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference quarterfinals. Auburn (24-9) went 13 of 34 from 3-point range and broke the SEC record for 3-pointer in a season with 368. Bryce Brown had 19 points, and Samir Doughty added 10. Chris Silva led South Carolina with 27 points and 11 rebounds.

NO. 24 CINCINNATI 82, SMU 74: Jarron Cumberland had two late three-point plays and finished with 26 points to help Cincinnati beat SMU in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals. Justin Jenifer and Tre Scott added 17 points, with Jenifer making all six shots — five from 3-point range — for the second-seeded Bearcats. Cincinnati (26-6) will face the Temple in the semifinals.

NO. 25 VILLANOVA 71, XAVIER 67, OT: Phil Booth scored 28 points, Jermaine Samuels hit a trio of critical 3-pointers and Villanova rallied past Xavier in overtime to reach its fifth consecutive Big East championship game. Trying to become the first school in the 40-year history of the Big East to win three straight tournament titles, the top-seeded Wildcats (24-9), will play Seton Hall, which beat Marquette in the other semifinal.

San Diego State 65, No. 14 Nevada 56: Devin Watson had 20 points and five assists and San Diego State held No. 14 Nevada scoreless for nearly seven minutes late in the Aztecs’ victory in the Mountain West Conference semifinals. Jalen McDaniels added 12 points and 10 rebounds for San Diego State (21-12). The Aztecs will play the Fresno State- Utah State winner in the championship tonight. San Diego State also had a home victory over Nevada on Feb. 20. Cody Martin led the top-seeded Wolf Pack (29-4) with 16 points and six rebounds, and Tre’Shawn Thurman had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Nevada forward Jordan Caroline, averaging 17.3 points and 9.6 rebounds, did not play due to an injury.

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