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Kansas closes case for No. 1 NCAA seed

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Say this for the Kansas State Wildcats: They have brought out the best in the Kansas Jayhawks.

But no matter what the Wildcats bring, No. 1 Kansas has been better. Three times.

Kansas took the latest showdown 72-64 on Saturday, winning the Big 12 tournament for the fourth time in five seasons.

The Jayhawks beat their state rival for the third time this season and are not only a sure No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament, they're likely to be No. 1 overall.

"There's a lot of things you can expect just on paper," KU center Cole Aldrich said, "but going out and actually doing it is a lot tougher."

Marcus Morris had 18 points and Tyrel Reed added 15 for top seed Kansas. No. 9 Kansas State (26-7), the second seed, missed its first 12 attempts.

Pac 10: Huskies win

LOS ANGELES — Quincy Pondexter scored 18 and Isaiah Thomas added 16 as Washington, the third seed, rallied from a late deficit to beat top seed California 79-75 in the final.

Venoy Overton hit two free throws with 2.1 seconds left for the Huskies (24-9), who salvaged their up-and-down season with seven straight wins.

The Golden Bears (23-10) also are almost certainly headed to the NCAA Tournament after earning their first regular-season league title in half a century.

Other finals

MOUNTAIN WEST: Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and a career-best 21 rebounds and hit all eight of his free throws in the final two minutes as fourth seed San Diego State (25-8) fended off third seed UNLV 55-45 in Las Vegas.

CONFERENCE USA: Kelvin Lewis scored 28 and made six 3-pointers, a league title game record, as No. 7 seed Houston beat No. 25 UTEP 81-73 in Tulsa, Okla., for its first NCAA bid in 18 years. Tom Penders, 64, becomes the eighth coach to take four schools to the tournament. The Cougars (19-15) ended a 16-game winning streak for the top seed Miners (26-6).

BIG WEST: Orlando Johnson had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists to lead top seed UC Santa Barbara (20-9) past Long Beach State 69-64 in Anaheim, Calif., for its first NCAA berth since 2002.

SOUTHWESTERN: Tavaris Washington led with 14 points as No. 2 seed Arkansas-Pine Bluff (17-15) earned its first NCAA berth by beating Texas Southern 50-38 in Bossier City, La.

MID-AMERICAN: Freshman D.J. Cooper scored 23 as No. 9 seed Ohio capped a stunning run, beating defending champion Akron 81-75 in overtime. The Bobcats (21-14) are the lowest seed to win the MAC title.

AMERICA EAST: Four days after Evan Fjeld's mother died of cancer, the forward scored nine for host and second seed Vermont (25-9), which defeated Boston University 83-70 for its first NCAA bid since 2005.

MID-EASTERN: Top seed Morgan State (27-9) won its second straight league title, beating South Carolina State 68-61 in Winston-Salem, N.C., behind 18 points and 10 rebounds by tournament MVP Kevin Thompson.

SOUTHLAND: Top seed Sam Houston State (25-7) earned its second NCAA Tournament berth and first since 2003, never trailing in defeating Stephen F. Austin 64-48 in Katy, Texas.


ATLANTIC 10: Top seed Temple held Rhode Island to its lowest output in five years, winning 57-44 in Atlantic City, N.J. The No. 17 Owls (28-5) face third seed Richmond (26-7) in today's final. Kevin Anderson scored 27 including a tying layup with 3.1 seconds left in regulation as the Spiders defeated No. 24 Xavier (24-7), the second seed, 89-85 in overtime.


Automatic berths

Schools that have clinched automatic berths in the NCAA Tournament:

Ark.-Pine Bluff SWAC

Butler Horizon

Cal-Santa Barbara Big West

Cornell Ivy

East Tenn. St. Atlantic Sun

Houston Conference USA

Kansas Big 12

Lehigh Patriot

Montana Big Sky

Morgan St. Mid-Eastern

Murray St. Ohio Valley

N. IowaMissouri Valley

North Texas Sun Belt

Oakland (Mich.) Summit

Old Dominion Colonial

Ohio Mid American

Robert Morris Northeast

Saint Mary's West Coast

Sam Houston St. Southland

San Diego St. Mtn. West

Siena Metro Atlantic

Vermont America East

Washington Pac 10

West Virginia Big East

Winthrop Big South

Wofford Southern

Kansas closes case for No. 1 NCAA seed 03/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 13, 2010 11:21pm]
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