Kentucky overwhelms Auburn in semi
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Willie Cauley-Stein scored 18 points, Andrew Harrison added 15 and No. 1 Kentucky routed depleted Auburn 91-67 on Saturday to reach the Southeastern Conference final and improve to a school-record 33-0.
Kentcky broke the school-record winning streak of 32 games set from Dec. 5, 1953, to Jan. 8, 1955. The Wildcats will face Arkansas in the final, seeking their 28th tournament title and first since 2011.
The Wildcats had their way against a short-handed opponent. Auburn forward Jordon Granger was suspended for fighting in Friday's quarterfinal win over LSU, and the school announced just before the tipoff that forward Cinmeon Bowers had been suspended for a potential rules violation.
NO. 11 NOTRE DAME 90, NO. 19 NORTH CAROLINA 82: At Greensboro, N.C., Jerian Grant scored 24 points and Notre Dame took over with a 26-3 second-half run to rally past North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.
Pat Connaughton added 20 points for the third-seeded Irish (29-5). They went from trailing by nine to up double figures with a stunning burst that seized momentum in what amounted to a road game and sent the program to its first title in any league.
NO. 4 VILLANOVA 69, XAVIER 52: At New York, Josh Hart had 15 points in his latest brilliant performance off the bench, and top-seeded Villanova beat Xavier for its second straight Big East title.
Looking to lock up a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs, the Wildcats (32-2) made an impressive statement much to the delight of a pro-Villanova crowd at Madison Square Garden.
NO. 6 WISCONSIN 71, PURDUE 51: At Chicago, Bronson Koenig scored a career-high 19 points and Wisconsin beat Purdue to advance to the Big Ten championship.
The top-seeded Badgers trailed by five points at halftime, then held the Boilermakers to 24 percent shooting after the break in their fifth straight victory. Frank Kaminsky led the strong defensive effort and finished with 12 points and Nigel Hayes had 15.
Wisconsin (30-3) reached 30 wins for the fourth time and can match the school record for victories with a win Sunday against Michigan State.
MICHIGAN STATE 62, NO. 8 MARYLAND 58: At Chicago, Travis Trice scored 20 points, Branden Dawson added 17 points and eight rebounds and Michigan State rallied to beat Maryland in the Big Ten semifinals.
The Spartans (23-10) trailed by 16 in the first half, went on a big run early in the second and took control late. Tom Izzo's team will try to make it two straight titles and three in four years Sunday.
NO. 13 IOWA STATE 70, NO. 9 KANSAS 66: At Kansas City, Mo., Georges Niang scored 19 points, Abdel Nader made the go-ahead foul shots with 48 seconds to go, and Iowa State rallied from a 17-point second-half hole to beat Kansas in the Big 12 championship game.
It was the fifth straight game — including all three in the tournament — that the Cyclones (25-8) rallied from a double-digit deficit, prompting Niang to dub them the "Comeback Kids."
Wayne Selden Jr. had a career-high 25 points for the Jayhawks (26-8).
NO. 20 SMU 69, TEMPLE 56: At Hartford, Conn., Markus Kennedy scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half to help SMU beat temple in the American Athletic Conference semifinals.
Cannen Cunningham and Yanick Moreira each added 11 points for the Mustangs (26-6), the league's regular-season champions. They will face UConn in the final.
NO. 21 ARKANSAS 60, GEORGIA 49: At Nashville, Tenn., Michael Qualls scored 15 points and Arkansas beat Georgia in the Southeastern Conference semifinals.
Bobby Portis scored a season-low four points for Arkansas (26-7).
VCU 93, NO. 24 DAVIDSON 73: At New York, Mo Alie-Cox muscled his way to 18 points inside and Treveon Graham provided the pop from the outside with 18 more, leading VCU past Davidson in the Atlantic 10 semifinals.
The fifth-seeded Rams (25-9) got some payback for a blowout loss at Davidson (24-7) last week, snapping top-seeded Wildcats' 10-game winning streak, with their best performance since losing point guard Briante Weber to a knee injury six weeks ago.
They will play Dayton in the final.