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Wisconsin Has Big Ten All to Itself

March 06, 2003|From Associated Press

Devin Harris had two free throws coming with four-tenths of a second left. One would give Wisconsin the Big Ten Conference title outright.

He missed the first.

"No doubt in my mind, the second one was going in," said Harris, who calmly swished that one to give the 24th-ranked Badgers a 60-59 victory over No. 14 Illinois at Madison, Wis. Wednesday night and their first outright conference title since 1947.

Wisconsin improved to 22-6 overall and 12-4 in the conference. Illinois fell to 20-6 and 10-5.

After a timeout, Brian Cook of the Illini caught Sean Harrington's long inbounds pass but couldn't get off a shot in time, then couldn't avoid the wave of students rushing from the stands to celebrate the Badgers' first consecutive conference crowns since 1923-24.

Harris was fouled by Dee Brown as he drove to the basket with under a second left.

"I'm still kind of mad I didn't get the shot off," said Harris, who figured the game was headed for overtime at that moment. "I'm just glad they called the foul. I wasn't expecting a foul call."

After his first free throw rattled in and out, Harris stepped back as the crowd groaned, then composed himself and made the second.

No. 2 Kentucky 106, Vanderbilt 44 -- Erik Daniels scored a career-high 20 points, freshman Kelenna Azubuike had a season-high 16 and the Wildcats (25-3, 15-0) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 19 games with a Southeastern Conference victory over the Commodores (10-16, 3-12) at Lexington, Ky.

No. 7 Pittsburgh 86, Seton Hall 54 -- Julius Page scored 16 points to lead the Panthers (22-4, 12-3), who wrapped up a 16-0 home season and clinched a bye in the Big East tournament with a victory over the Pirates (16-10, 10-5). Seton Hall had its winning streak end at nine.

No. 9 Wake Forest 75, North Carolina 60 -- Josh Howard had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Demon Deacons (22-4, 12-3), who clinched at least a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference title with a victory over the Tar Heels (15-14, 5-10) at Winston-Salem, N.C.

No. 11 Xavier 88, Saint Joseph's 80 -- David West scored 10 of his 25 points in overtime, and Dedrick Finn also had seven in the extra period to lead the Musketeers (23-4, 14-1) over the Hawks (21-5, 11-4) in an Atlantic 10 game at Philadelphia. Xavier has won 14 in a row.

DePaul 79, No. 15 Louisville 76 -- Drake Diener made a three-pointer with 19 seconds left in overtime and the Blue Demons (15-11, 7-8) defeated the Cardinals (20-6, 10-5) in a Conference USA game at Rosemont, Ill. DePaul forced overtime when Sam Hoskin made two free throws after time expired in regulation.

Louisville center Marvin Stone, who sat out one game as the NCAA studied whether he accepted benefits from a former AAU coach and concluded he didn't, had four points and six rebounds in his return.

Colorado 68, No. 20 Oklahoma State 56 -- David Harrison had 14 points and 16 rebounds and the Buffaloes (18-10, 8-7) defeated the Cowboys (20-8, 9-6) at Boulder, Colo., in a Big 12 game to set a school record with their 11th straight home win.

Tennessee 59, No. 23 Mississippi State 49 -- Ron Slay scored 17 points at Knoxville, Tenn., to help the Volunteers (16-10, 8-7) end a losing streak at four with an SEC victory over the Bulldogs (18-8, 8-7).


Stacy Stephens scored 28 points and No. 5 Texas (22-5, 15-1) clinched at least a share of its first Big 12 regular-season title with a 78-66 victory over Oklahoma (18-11, 9-7) at Austin, Texas. ... Melody Bongiorno's 22 points led Chapman (16-9) to a 70-46 victory over La Verne (17-8) in a first-round NCAA Division III playoff game at Chapman.

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