Kentucky falls; Florida next with NCAA in doubt

ATHENS, Ga. — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 24 points and 10 rebounds, leading Georgia to a 72-62 victory Thursday night that dealt another big blow to Kentucky's NCAA hopes.

The Wildcats (20-10, 11-6 SEC) took a second straight road loss and head into Saturday's regular-season finale against No. 11 Florida in dire need of a quality win.

After Georgia (15-15, 9-8) pushed out to a double-digit lead, Kentucky ripped off a 7-0 spurt. But Georgia went on a run that restored a 58-47 lead.

"I'm mad right now," said Archie Goodwin, who led Kentucky with 20 points. "There's no way we should lose to Georgia."

The Wildcats shot 23-of-62 from the field (37.1 percent), 6-of-26 on 3-pointers, and 10-of-18 from the line.

"I am so disappointed in the job I've done with this team," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "I've never had a team not cohesive at this time of year. Every one of my teams was cohesive. Every one of them had a will to win more than how they were playing. Every one of them had a fight. Well, if this team doesn't have that, that's on me. What in the heck did I do?"

No. 10 Michigan St. 58, No. 22 Wis. 43: Keith Appling scored 14 of his 19 in the second half as the host Spartans (23-7, 12-5 Big Ten) moved into a three-way tie for second in the league with Michigan and Ohio State. Indiana has a one-game lead and can claim the title with a win Sunday at Michigan. If the Wolverines win, they earn a piece of the title and give the Spartans and Buckeyes a shot at a four-way tie. Michigan State hosts Northwestern, and Ohio State hosts Illinois.

Colorado 76, No. 19 Oregon 53: Xavier Johnson scored a career-high 22 and the host Buffaloes dropped the Ducks (23-7, 12-5 Pac-12) into a first-place tie with UCLA in the conference. Oregon gains at least a share of its first league title since 2002 and the No. 1 seed for the conference tourney with a win Saturday at Utah.

Akron: Point guard Alex Abreu was suspended indefinitely after he was charged with possession and trafficking of marijuana, both third-degree felonies.

Mississippi State: Leading scorer Jalen Steele, a junior guard, is out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee.

Women: Miami wins opener in ACC tournament, FSU next

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Shawnice Wilson scored 17 and No. 5 seed Miami pulled away to beat No. 12 Virginia Tech 45-39 in the first round of the ACC tournament. The Hurricanes (21-9) play No. 4 FSU (21-8) at 11 a.m. today on Fox Sports Net. The Hokies (10-20) had 17 turnovers.

In other ACC action, Kerri Shields had 16 points and four 3-pointers to help Boston College upset Virginia 66-57. The Eagles (12-18) became the second No. 11 seed to win an ACC tournament game. The sixth-seeded Cavaliers (16-14) rallied from a 13-point deficit before falling.

SEC tournament

UF ADVANCES TO FACE VOLS: Jaterra Bonds scored 17, hitting a jumper with 51 seconds remaining that gave Florida the lead, and the Gators overcame an 11-point deficit to open the SEC tournament with a 64-59 victory over Arkansas in Duluth, Ga. No. 9 seed Florida (18-13) faces Tennessee, the top seed, at noon today on Sun Sports. UF lost to Tennessee 78-75 in OT in January in Gainesville. The Gators are 3-45 all time against the Vols, 0-8 in the SEC tournament. Dominique Wilson led the No. 8 Razorbacks (18-12) with 14 points.

In other SEC action, No. 17-ranked South Carolina (24-6), the fifth seed, beat 13th-seeded Alabama 77-35. The Tide's total was a tournament record low. No. 22 LSU (20-10), the sixth seed, beat 11th-seeded Auburn 65-62 for its seventh straight win.

Sunshine State tournament

Tampa 52, Eckerd 46: The No. 6 seed Spartans (19-8) held off a late rally by the No. 3 Tritons (14-12) in Kissimmee. Illyssa Vivo, who joined UT teammate Moriah Hodge on the all-conference team Thursday, helped shut down SSC freshman of the year Annie Armstrong (scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting). All-SSC selection Krystal Charles scored 20 for Eckerd. Tampa faces Saint Leo in a semifinal at 2:30 Saturday, matching Spartans coach Tom Jessee against his wife, Nikki.

Saint Leo 68, Lynn 50: The No. 7 seed Lions (13-14) upset the No. 2 seed Fighting Knights (18-9). SSC newcomer of the year Teresa Manigrasso led Saint Leo with 15 points.

Kentucky falls; Florida next with NCAA in doubt 03/07/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 8, 2013 12:01am]

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