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National College Basketball Roundup

With Big East title on the line, Butler did it

Associated Press / March 14, 2010

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Da’Sean Butler’s second game-winner in three days gave West Virginia its first Big East championship.

The senior guard, who banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give West Virginia a quarterfinal win, scored in the lane with 4.2 seconds left and the seventh-ranked Mountaineers beat No. 22 Georgetown, 60-58, last night in New York.

Butler, who had 20 points for third-seeded West Virginia (27-6), was selected the tournament MVP.

Chris Wright had 20 points for the eighth-seeded Hoyas (23-10). His length-of-the-court drive to tie the game came up short.

Atlantic 10 semifinals — Ryan Brooks scored 16 points and 17th-ranked Temple held Rhode Island to its lowest point total in five years for a 57-44 victory in Atlantic City. Sophomore guard Juan Fernandez once again ignited the top-seeded Owls (28-5), scoring the first 7 points and 9 overall in the two-time defending champions’ game-opening 15-2 run. The spurt took the air out of the Rams (23-9) and left them in a precarious position for the NCAA Tournament . . . Kevin Anderson scored 27 points, David Gonzalvez added 26, and Richmond (26-7) rallied to defeat No. 24 Xavier, 89-85, in overtime. Anderson hit a layup with 3.1 seconds left in regulation to force the second overtime game between the teams in less than two weeks.

ACC semifinals — Kyle Singler scored 27 points to help fourth-ranked Duke pull ahead in the second half and beat Miami, 77-74, in Greensboro, N.C. Jon Scheyer added 16 points, including 8 in the 15-0 run early in the second half that restored some sense of order in an upset-filled tournament. The top-seeded Blue Devils (28-5) trailed by 3 at halftime against the conference’s last-place team before rallying for a championship game date with Georgia Tech. Freshman Durand Scott had 21 points for the 12th-seeded Hurricanes (20-13) . . . Derrick Favors had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Georgia Tech (22-11) held off North Carolina State, 57-54.

SEC semifinals — In Nashville, DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 15 rebounds, and No. 2 Kentucky beat 15th-ranked Tennessee, 74-45, to advance to the championship game for the first time since 2004. Kentucky (31-2) will face Mississippi State, looking to add a 26th tournament title to the 44th regular-season championship the Wildcats won in coach John Calipari’s first season. Eric Bledsoe had 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range, and John Wall added 14. Scotty Hopson had 11 points for Tennessee (25-8), which snapped a five-game winning streak . . . Barry Stewart scored 14 points and Mississippi State (23-10) advanced to its second consecutive title game with a 62-52 win over No. 20 Vanderbilt.

Big 12 final — In Kansas City, Mo., Marcus Morris had 18 points, Tyrel Reed added 15, and No. 1 Kansas held off No. 9 Kansas State down the stretch for a 72-64 victory and its seventh tournament title. Kansas (32-2) labored through a physical, defense-dominated first half and used a small spurt midway through the second to beat its in-state rival for the third time this season.

Big Ten semifinals — Evan Turner scored 12 of his 31 points after regulation, helping No. 6 Ohio State pull away for an 88-81 double-overtime victory over Illinois in Indianapolis. Turner finished with a triple-double — 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 turnovers. Illinois (19-14) was led by Demetri McCamey, who scored 19 of his 22 points after the first 20 minutes, and Mike Davis with 13 points and 18 rebounds . . . Minnesota held No. 6 Purdue to the worst first half in the Boilermakers’ record book and rolled to a 69-42 victory. Ralph Sampson III scored 13 points for the Golden Gophers (21-12), who reached the final for the first time. Minnesota led, 37-11, at halftime.

Pac-10 final — Quincy Pondexter scored 18 points, Isaiah Thomas added 16, and Washington rallied from a late deficit to win the tournament with a 79-75 victory over California in Los Angeles. Venoy Overton hit two free throws with 2.1 seconds left for the third-seeded Huskies (24-9), who emphatically salvaged their inconsistent regular season with seven straight wins.

Conference USA final — Kelvin Lewis scored 28 points and Houston surged past No. 25 UTEP down the stretch to claim its first NCAA Tournament berth in 18 years with an 81-73 victory, snapping the Miners’ 16-game winning streak.

Big West final — Orlando Johnson had 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 69-64 victory over Long Beach State in Anaheim, Calif., and into the Big Dance for the first time since 2002. James Nunnally added 19 points for the top-seeded Gauchos (20-9).

Western Athletic final — Jahmar Young scored 19 points to help New Mexico State snap top-seeded Utah State’s 17-game winning streak with a 69-63 upset in Reno. Troy Gillenwater added 15 points for the Aggies (22-11), who committed only five turnovers in a physical game.

Mountain West final — Kawhi Leonard scored 16 points, grabbed 21 rebounds, and sank all eight of his free throws in the final two minutes as San Diego State (25-8) fended off UNLV, 55-45, in Las Vegas.

Mid-American final — Freshman D.J. Cooper scored 23 points as Ohio capped a stunning run through the conference tournament by beating defending champion Akron, 81-75, in overtime in Cleveland. The ninth-seeded Bobcats (21-14) became the lowest-seeded team to win the MAC title.

Mid-Eastern Athletic final — Kevin Thompson had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Morgan State (27-9) claimed its second consecutive NCAA tourney berth by beating South Carolina State, 68-61, in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Southland final — Gilberto Clavell scored 21 points to lead Sam Houston State to an easy 64-48 win over Stephen F. Austin in Katy, Texas. The Bearkats (25-7) earned their first NCAA berth since 2003.

Southwestern Athletic final — In Bossier City, La., Arkansas-Pine Bluff (17-15) earned its first NCAA berth by beating Texas Southern, 50-38, behind Tavaris Washington’s 14 points.