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Louisville beats Syracuse for Big East title

Cardinals follow up their regular-season crown with a tournament championship and are hopeful for a No. 1 seeding in the NCAA tournament.

March 15, 2009|Associated Press

Louisville's sweep of its first Big East Conference titles ended Syracuse's overtime run in regulation.

Earl Clark had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the fifth-ranked Cardinals to a 76-66 victory over No. 18 Syracuse on Saturday at New York, giving the regular-season champs their first Big East title.

The conference's first five-day tournament will be remembered as well for the Orange and their run to the final game that included the epic six-overtime win over Connecticut in the quarterfinals and a more mundane one-overtime victory over West Virginia in the semis.

The conference title in their fourth season in the Big East will probably translate into a No. 1 seeding in the NCAA tournament for the Cardinals (28-5).

Big 12

DeMarre Carroll scored 20 points and No. 14 Missouri ended Baylor's surprising run, grinding down the Bears, 73-60, at Oklahoma City to win their first postseason conference title in 16 years.

Matt Lawrence had 13 points and his hot shooting helped the third-seeded Tigers (28-6) pull away early in the second half to spoil what would have been an unprecedented run to the title for Baylor.

Curtis Jerrells scored 16 to lead the ninth-seeded Bears (20-14).

Atlantic Coast

Toney Douglas scored 27 points, including the go-ahead free throws, and No. 22 Florida State held on for a 73-70 victory top-ranked North Carolina in a semifinal game at Atlanta.

The Tar Heels (28-4), who were seeking their third straight ACC title, were without standout guard Ty Lawson.

The Seminoles (25-8) will play No. 9 Duke in today's championship game after the Blue Devils (27-6) defeated Maryland, 67-61 in the other semifinal.

Big Ten

Evan Turner had all 18 of his points in the second half, along with 10 rebounds and five assists to lead Ohio State to an 82-70 upset over No. 7 Michigan State in the semifinals at Indianapolis.

Jon Diebler scored 17 on five-for-10 shooting from three-point range for the Buckeyes (22-9).

Ohio State will play No. 24 Purdue for the championship today. The Boilermakers (24-9) defeated Illinois, 66-56, led by Robbie Hummel's 19 points and 12 rebounds, and JaJuan Johnson's 20 points and three blocks.

Southeastern

Jarvis Varnado scored 19 points and Barry Stewart had 17 to lead surging Mississippi State to a 67-57 win over Louisiana State and into today's conference championship game at Tampa, Fla.

In the other semifinal, Wayne Chism scored a career-high 27 points, Tyler Smith had 23 and Tennessee (21-11) beat Auburn, 94-85.

Elsewhere

No. 4 Memphis made its case to be considered for a No. 1 seeding after dismantling Tulsa, 64-39, in the Conference USA championship game. Tyreke Evans scored 18 points and Robert Dozier had 18 points and 14 rebounds as the Tigers (31-3) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 25. They haven't lost since Dec. 20 to Syracuse. . . . Luke Nevill scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half of a defense-dominated game, and Shaun Green's steal right before the buzzer clinched Utah's 52-50 victory over San Diego State for the Mountain West Conference tournament title at Las Vegas. . . . Gary Wilkinson scored 21 points and Jared Quayle and Tai Wesley each had double-doubles to help Utah State win the Western Athletic Conference tournament championship, 72-62, over Nevada at Reno. . . .

Dionte Christmas scored 29 points and fourth-seeded Temple became the first team to win consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference tournaments in eight years with a 69-64 victory over Duquesne at Atlantic City, N.J. . . . Senior forward Reggie Fuller had 19 points and 10 rebou

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