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Tar Heels hold off rival Blue Devils, 79-70
College Basketball

North Carolina’s Coby White reacts following a play against Duke during the second half in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, March 9, 2019. North Carolina won 79-70. (Gerry Broome/AP)

North Carolina’s Coby White reacts following a play against Duke during the second half in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, March 9, 2019. North Carolina won 79-70. (Gerry Broome/AP)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Freshman Coby White scored 21 points and third-ranked North Carolina hung on to beat fourth-ranked Duke 79-70 on Saturday for a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship with No. 2 Virginia.

Senior Kenny Williams scored a season-high 18 points for the Tar Heels (26-5, 16-2). They led by 15 with about 6½ minutes left but had to hold off a rally from their fiercest rival — who played yet again without injured freshman star Zion Williamson. Duke lost starting big man Marques Bolden early in this one, too.

The Tar Heels bumbled their way to the finish after building their big lead, letting the Blue Devils (26-5, 14-4) get as close as 75-70 on RJ Barrett’s 3-pointer with 2:19 left. Ultimately UNC held on, earning its first regular-season sweep of the Blue Devils since 2009. Barrett scored 26 points for Duke.

NO. 2 VIRGINIA 83, LOUISVILLE 68

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Ty Jerome scored 24 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 5:34 remaining, and Virginia held off Louisville 73-68 on Saturday to wrap up the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

Virginia (28-2, 16-2) tied North Carolina for the regular-season title, but got the top seed by virtue of its victory at UNC on Feb. 11.

Kyle Guy added 13 points and Jay Huff also made huge contributions at both ends to help Virginia win its eighth in a row.

Jordan Nwora scored 19 points for the Cardinals (19-12, 10-8).

AUBURN 84, NO. 5 TENNESSEE 80

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Jared Harper made four straight free throws over the final 31 seconds to help Auburn beat Tennessee in its regular-season finale.

Chuma Okeke led Auburn (22-9, 11-7 Southeastern Conference) with 22 points.

Grant Williams had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Vols (27-4, 15-3). They could have clinched at least a share of the SEC regular-season title with a victory but now need No. 10 LSU to lose to Vanderbilt.

NO. 6 KENTUCKY 66, FLORIDA 57

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Tyler Herro scored 16 points and led a big second-half run that helped Kentucky overcome Florida.

The Wildcats (26-5, 15-3 Southeastern Conference) went back and forth with the Gators (17-14, 9-9) early in the second half and trailed 40-39 with 13:46 remaining. Herro had six points during a 15-2 spree, hitting a couple of shots in the lane and adding two free throws, to give Kentucky a 54-42 advantage. The Wildcats capped the seven-minute burst by scoring 10 straight points.

PJ Washington added 15 points for Kentucky. Kevarrius Hayes had 19 points for Florida.

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Michigan coach John Beilein talks with guard Jordan Poole during the first half against Michigan State, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in East Lansing, Mich. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

NO, 9 MICHIGAN STATE 75, NO. 7 MICHIGAN 63

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Cassius Winston started slow and finished strong, scoring 23 points to help Michigan State beat Michigan.

The Spartans (25-6, 16-4) earned a share of the Big Ten title and top seeding in the conference tournament.

The Wolverines (26-5, 15-5) will be seeded third in Chicago after falling to third place behind their rivals and No. 11 Purdue.

Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman scored 17 points and blocked five shots.

NO. 8 TEXAS TECH 80, IOWA STATE 73

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Jarrett Culver scored a career-high 31 points, Davide Moretti added 20 and Texas Tech beat Iowa State to wrap a share of its first Big 12 regular-season title.

Texas Tech tied Kansas State for the title.

Matt Mooney added 13 points for the Red Raiders (26-5, 14-4 Big 12), winners of nine straight heading into the postseason. Their last league crown came in the defunct Southwestern Conference in 1996.

Lindell Wigginton and Marial Shayok each scored 17 points for the Cyclones (20-11, 9-9).

NO. 10 LSU 80, VANDERBILT 59

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Tremont Waters had 14 points and eight assists and LSU won the Southeastern Conference regular-season title with a victory over Vanderbilt in the Tigers’ first game without suspended head coach Will Wade.

Darius Days scored a season-high 15 points and Marshall Graves had a season-high 12 — all on 3-pointers — for LSU (26-5, 16-2).

The game came a day after Wade’s indefinite suspension in the wake of published excerpts of a wire-tapped phone call between the coach and a man convicted last year in federal court of funneling illegal payments to the families of college basketball recruits.

Vanderbilt (9-22, 0-18) became the first team to go winless in the SEC since former league member Georgia Tech in 1954, and the first to do so with an 18-game conference schedule.

NO. 11 PURDUE 70, NORTHWESTERN 57

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Carsen Edwards scored 21 points and Purdue clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship.

The Boilermakers (23-8, 16-4) secured the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament in Chicago and a share of their second regular-season title in three years. They came in tied with Michigan State and Michigan, who played each other Saturday night.

A.J. Turner scored 14 points for the last-place Wildcats (13-18, 4-16). Vic Law had 13 before getting carried off the court with an apparent leg injury in the second half.

No. 13 Kansas 78, Baylor 70

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Dedric Lawson scored 23 points, including 11 of 12 from the free-throw line, to help No. 13 Kansas beat Baylor 78-70 Saturday and stay undefeated at home.

The performance came hours after Lawson was announced on the ballot for the John R. Wooden Award that goes to the nation’s outstanding college basketball player.

Yet on senior day in Allen Fieldhouse, a trio of Kansas freshmen impressed. Devon Dotson, McCormack and Quentin Grimes had 15, 12 and nine points, respectively. Kansas (23-8, 12-6 Big 12) fielded no seniors for the first time since 2007. The Jayhawks’ lone senior Lagerald Vick left the team earlier this season for personal reasons.

Jared Butler led the way for Baylor (19-12, 10-8), scoring a career-high 31 points in 36 minutes. The freshman entered averaging 9.6 points.

NO. 14 FLORIDA STATE 65, WAKE FOREST 57

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Trent Forrest scored 11 points and Florida State reeled off 18 straight points in the second half.

The Seminoles (25-6, 13-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won 12 of their last 13 games.

Brandon Childress scored 13 points for the Demon Deacons (11-19, 4-14).

GEORGETOWN 86, NO. 16 MARQUETTE 84

MILWAUKEE (AP) — James Akinjo scored 25 points, Mac McClung added 23 and Georgetown beat Marquette, the Golden Eagles’ fourth straight loss to close the regular season.

Jamorko Pickett and Jessie Govan each added 10 points for the Hoyas (18-13, 9-9 Big East)

Markus Howard led Marquette (23-8, 12-6) with 28 points, and Joey Hauser added 16. The Golden Eagles missed a chance to tie Villanova for the conference title.

NO. 18 KANSAS STATE 68, OKLAHOMA 53

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kamau Stokes scored 19 points and Kansas State eat Oklahoma for a share of the Big 12 regular-season title.

Barry Brown added 15 points, Dean Wade had 11 and the Wildcats (24-7, 14-4) finished atop the conference for the second time in 42 years. Kansas State shared the title with Texas Tech.

Kristian Doolittle scored 14 points for the Sooners (19-12, 7-11).

NO. 22 WOFFORD 99, VMI 72

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Nathan Hoover scored 17 points and Wofford extended its school-record winning streak to 18 games, beating VMI in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Tournament.

Fletcher Magee, the Southern Conference Player of the Year, was limited to 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting for Wofford (27-4).

Wofford will face ETSU in semifinals.

Bubba Parham led the Keydets (11-21) with 22 points.

SETON HALL 79, NO. 23 VILLANOVA 75

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Myles Powell scored 20 points, Myles Cale added 19 and Seton Hall upset Villanova, three days after knocking off No. 16 Marquette to revive its chances of getting into the NCAA Tournament.

Seton Hall (18-12, 9-9), picked to finish eighth in the 10-team conference in the preseason poll, has exceeded all expectations playing with lone senior Michael Nzei. Jared Rhoden had a career-high 15 points.

Villanova (22-9, 13-5) came into the game needing a win to clinch its fifth outright title in six years. Despite the loss, the Wildcats won the crown and the No. 1 seed in next week’s tournament when Georgetown beat Marquette.

Collin Gillespie had 22 points for Villanova.

TEMPLE 67, NO. 25 CENTRAL FLORIDA 62

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Shizz Alston Jr. scored 21 points, Justyn Hamilton tied a career high with 13 and Temple beat Central Florida.

Quinton Rose broke a 52-all tie with a highlight-reel slam over Dayon Griffin with 4:12 remaining. Rose scored nine of his 11 points in the second half for the Owls (23-8, 13-5 American Athletic Conference).

Aubrey Dawkins led UCF (23-7, 13-5) with a career-high 36 points.

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