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College Basketball Roundup

Vanderbilt shocks No. 1 Kentucky, wins SEC

Associated Press / March 12, 2012
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Jeffery Taylor scored 18 points and Vanderbilt rallied to beat No. 1 Kentucky, 71-64, in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game Sunday in New Orleans, ending the Wildcats’ 24-game winning streak.

John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli both had 17 points for Vanderbilt (24-10), which was playing in its first SEC tournament final since 1951, the year of its only other championship. The Commodores pushed ahead in the final minutes.

Kentucky (32-2) didn’t score a field goal over the final 8:04 and shot just 35.9 percent from the field (23 of 64).

Darius Miller scored 16 points in a surprise start for Kentucky while Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis both added 12.

Kentucky coach John Calipari has repeatedly told anyone who will listen that he doesn’t care about conference tournaments, viewing them as a nuisance before the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky is 18-1 against SEC opponents.

ACC final - Tournament MVP Michael Snaer scored 18 points and 17th-ranked Florida State used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat No. 4 North Carolina, 85-82, in Atlanta for its first ACC championship. Florida State (24-9), which joined the ACC in 1991, proved its 33-point blowout of the Tar Heels during the regular season was no fluke. But this one went to the wire, as North Carolina (29-5) nearly came all the way back from a 16-point deficit in the first half. P.J. Hairston missed a tying 3 at the buzzer. It was the first time since Maryland’s title in 2004 that a team outside the state of North Carolina won the tournament. The Tar Heels played their second straight game without ACC defensive player of the year John Henson (left wrist).

Atlantic 10 final - In Atlantic City, conference player of the year Andrew Nicholson had 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 blocks and St. Bonaventure (20-11) won its first A-10 title by holding off Xavier, 67-56.

Big Ten final - Brandon Wood scored a season-high 21 points to help No. 8 Michigan State defeat No. 7 Ohio State, 68-64, in Indianapolis. The Spartans (27-7) claimed their first tournament title since 2000 in a dramatic game that featured 16 lead changes. Jared Sullinger scored 18 points for the Buckeyes (27-7), who were denied a third straight title. Wood only started because Branden Dawson tore a left knee ligament in the regular-season finale against Ohio State.

Div. 2 second round - Stonehill advanced to the East Regional championship with a 68-58 win over Adelphi in Worcester. Brian Hamor led the Skyhawks (23-8) with 21 points . . . Franklin Pierce (22-8) got a game-high 22 points from Ellis Cooper, but lost to Bloomfield, 69-60.

Women

Big South final - At High Point, N.C., Devon Brown had 24 points and 14 rebounds, and Liberty pulled away late to beat High Point, 81-73. The Flames (24-8) used a late 22-9 run to win their 14th league title in 16 years and return to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence.

Colonial final - Elena Delle Donne had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 7 Delaware used a strong second half to beat Drexel, 59-43, in Upper Marlboro, Md., to claim its first CAA title. Delaware (30-1) brings a school-record 20-game win streak to the NCAA Tournament.

Horizon final - Julie Wojta scored 29 points and No. 10 Wisconsin-Green Bay avenged its only loss of the season, beating visiting Detroit, 66-53. Freshman guard Megan Lukan scored a career-high 20 points for Green Bay (30-1).

MVC final - Carli Tritz scored 8 of her 19 points in Creighton’s 14-2 late run in a 53-38 victory over Drake in St. Charles, Mo.

NEC final - Ericka Norman scored 18 points and Sacred Heart beat Monmouth, 58-48, in Fairfield, Conn., to clinch its second NCAA Tournament bid in the past four seasons.

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