Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pitt on Comeback Trail; Florida is History; 'Huskers in the Mix

More Conference Tournament Results

Pittsburgh 76 Louisville 69 OT
Sam Young misfired on all four of his 3-point attempts, but he was 8-14 from inside the arc, scoring 21 points to lead the Panthers past Louisville in a critical second-round Big East tournament game.

Pittsburgh, which suffered through a three-straight losing streak in the midst of their Big East regular season schedule, has righted itself and should be sailing towards an NCAA bid. Pitt finished an undistinguished 10-8 in conference play, but have reached the semifinals of the Big East tourney with a pair of wins. On Friday, they will face Marquette in a semifinal contest.

Elsewhere around the nation's conference tournaments, Nebraska beat back Missouri, 61-56, keeping their hopes alive in the Big 12. Georgia Tech eliminated Virginia from the ACC tourney, 94-76 and Alabama ensured that there will be a new NCAA champion this season by knocking reigning champion Florida out of the SEC tournament in the first round by an 80-69 tally.

The Gators finished the regular season at 8-8 in the conference and are 21-11 overall, which is probably not good enough to make the final cut to 65 for the NCAAs.

UCLA 88 California 66
UCLA ended Cal's dreams of post-season glory and moved to the next round of the PAC-10 tourney. Darren Collison led the Bruins with 19 points, including 5-of-7 threes. Josh Shipp had 18 and freshman Kevin Love scored 11 as the Bruins shot 53% from the field. UCLA faces cross town rival USC - a 59-55 winner over Arizona State - in one of the semifinal games Friday.

Washington St. 75 Oregon 70
This was a tough matchup for the Ducks and it may have cost them any chance at consideration for an NCAA bid. The Cougars roared to a 42-27 lead at the half and turned back repeated challenges by Oregon to advance to Friday's semifinals to face the winner of the Stanford-Arizona game later tonight.

The Ducks pulled to within four points on Tajuan Porter's three-pointer with under 90 seconds remaining, but were forced to foul down the stretch and could draw no closer. It was the third time this season the Cougars dunked the Ducks.

Marquette 89 Notre Dame 79
Jerel McNeal just kept firing, but when he was forced to sit with three fouls midway through the second half, teammate Dominic James took over, scoring seven straight points for the Golden Eagles, putting Marquette ahead for good. McNeal, who had nearly single-handedly kept Marquette in the game most of the night, finished with a game high 28 points on 9-16 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Marquette will play Pittsburgh in one of Friday's semifinal games.

Boston College 71 Maryland 68
Count the Terrapins out of the ACC and the NCAA tournament. The troubled Terrapins collapsed in the second half of their first-round game with Boston College, surrendering any chance of consideration by the NCCA tournament committee for an at-large bid.

Maryland finished the ACC season 8-8 and was on the bubble heading into the conference tourney, but losing to last-place (4-12) BC was the last straw. The loss was the third straight for Maryland and their sixth in their last eight outings.

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