#2 Connecticut 93, #8 Marquette 82
A.J. Price scored 38 points to lead the Huskies to a Big East win that left them alone atop the conference.
The premiere game of the evening matched the #2 Connecticut Huskies at the #8 Marquette Golden Eagles with nothing short of the Big East lead on the line. With Pitt having faltered Tuesday night at Providence, the Huskies came into the game tied with Louisville at 13-2, with Marquette a half game back at 12-2.
The Huskies established a lead in the closing minutes of the first half, taking a 43-37 lead into the break, but Marquette, comfortable on their home court, kept closing. When Wesley Matthews hit a pair of free throws at 7:53 in the second half, the Golden Eagles retook the lead, 60-59.
From there, the two teams exchanged leads back and forth, with UConn eventually grabbing a 8-point edge on a pair of Stanley Robinson three-point plays with 4:32 left in the game. Marquette cut the lead to five, but could get no closer.
Robinson scored 19 points, half of Price's total. Price was sensational, hitting 13-20 from the field, including 8-12 on 3's and a perfect 4-4 from the line.
Jerel McNeal scored 26 to lead Marquette.
At 26-2 and 14-2 in the conference, the Huskies host Notre Dame on Saturday and then get a week off before closing out the regular season in a rematch at Pitt. Winning both would give UConn the title, as they have a win over Louisville already in hand.
South Carolina 77, Kentucky 59
South Carolina punched their NCAA dance ticket on Wednesday night with a serious thumping of SEC East rival Kentucky, establishing an instant lead and hitting from everywhere on the floor in a 77-59 win.
Dominique Archie and Devan Downey led the onslaught. Archie had a perfect first half, going 5-for-5 with 2 3-pointers for 12 points. Downey tallied 10 in the opening period. Eight different Gamecocks scored, as they established a 46-28 lead at the half.
Archie scored just one more point in the second half, but Downey totaled 21 for the game, offsetting Patrick Patterson's 28 for the Wildcats.
South Carolina emerged with a one-game lead in the division, at 9-4, with Kentucky and Florida a game back at 8-5. The Gamecocks are 20-6 overall.