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Louisville topples No. 1 to close arena

Louisville senior Edgar Sosa gets carried off by fans after helping close Freedom Hall with a 78-68 win over No. 1 Syracuse.

Associated Press

Louisville senior Edgar Sosa gets carried off by fans after helping close Freedom Hall with a 78-68 win over No. 1 Syracuse.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A reserve guard Louisville coach Rick Pitino considers so bashful, he sounds shy even when he yells, made sure to send venerable Freedom Hall out with one more memorable game.

Kyle Kuric scored all of his career-high 22 in the second half, and the Cardinals stunned No. 1 Syracuse 78-68 Saturday before a record 20,135 at the 54-year-old venue. It was the final game there before Louisville moves into a downtown arena.

"It's an unbelievable moment," Kuric said. "It's what every kid dreams of."

Kuric might have assured Louisville (20-11, 11-7 Big East) a return trip to the NCAA Tournament by sweeping the regular-season series from the Orange (28-3, 15-3), whose only other loss came against No. 17 Pittsburgh.

"These seniors have never gone to an NIT," Pitino said. "And now they never will."

Although Syracuse led by eight late in the first half, Kuric was a one-man wrecking crew in the second. He made 9 of 11 shots, including four 3-pointers, to make for another happy ending at Freedom Hall.

"There have been 54 years of great basketball, and for us to come out and beat the No. 1 team is a great going-away present for all our fans," senior Edgar Sosa said.

NO. 2 KANSAS 77, MISSOURI 56: Marcus Morris shook off a scary collision with a scorer's table to notch 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the visiting Jayhawks (29-2, 15-1 Big 12) had two 20-4 runs.

NO. 4 DUKE 82, UNC 50: Kyle Singler had 19 of his 25 points in the first half for the Blue Devils (26-5, 13-3), who earned their most lopsided home win over their fiercest rival and wrapped up the top seed in the ACC tournament.

IOWA ST. 85, NO. 5 KANSAS ST. 82, OT: Diante Garrett had five points in overtime for the Cyclones, who snapped a 21-game losing streak to ranked teams. Iowa State hadn't beaten the Wildcats (24-6, 11-5) in Manhattan since 2001.

NO. 7 PURDUE 64, PENN ST. 60: JaJuan Johnson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the visiting Boilermakers (26-4, 14-4), who clinched a share of their first Big Ten title in 14 years.

NO. 10 W. VA. 68, NO. 9 VILLANOVA 66, OT: Da'Sean Butler had 21 points and hit the decisive basket with 5.8 seconds left in overtime to lead the visiting Mountaineers (24-6, 13-5 Big East) past the Wildcats (24-6, 13-5).

NO. 12 BUTLER 68, WIS.-MILWAUKEE 59: Matt Howard and Ronald Nored combined for all 10 points in a decisive run that led the Bulldogs (27-4) in the Horizon League tournament semifinals in Indianapolis.

S.C. 77, NO. 13 VANDY 73: Devan Downey hit a 3-pointer with 1:48 left to break a tie at 69, and the visiting Gamecocks upset the Commodores (23-7, 12-4 SEC).

NO. 14 BYU 107, TCU 77: Jonathan Tavernari had 23 points for the visiting Cougars (28-4, 13-3 Mountain West), who recovered from an early 14-point deficit.

NO. 16 TENN. 75, MISS. ST. 59: J.P. Prince had 16 points for the visiting Volunteers (23-7, 11-5 SEC), who held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first 6:10.

NO. 17 PITT 83, RUTGERS 54: Gilbert Brown had 19 points and the host Panthers (24-7, 13-5) took control early with a 19-2 run en route to clinching the No. 2 seed in the Big East tournament.

NO. 19 G'TOWN 74, CINCINNATI 47: Six days after being taken to the hospital and diagnosed with diabetes, Austin Freeman had 24 points to help the host Hoyas (20-9, 10-8) clinch a first-round bye in the Big East tournament.

NO. 20 TEMPLE 70, GW 57: Micheal Eric had 18 points to help the host Owls (26-5, 14-2) win a share of the Atlantic 10 title and earn the top seed in the conference tournament.

NO. 21 BAYLOR 92, TEXAS 77: LaceDarius Dunn had 30 points, Quincy Acy had 10 dunks among his 24 points and the host Bears (24-6, 11-5) clinched a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament.

NO. 22 MARYLAND 74, UVA 68: Greivis Vasquez had 23 points, and the visiting Terrapins (23-7, 13-3) capitalized on a late technical foul on Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett to clinch a tie for the ACC regular-season title.

NO. 23 TEXAS A&M 69, OKLA. 54: Khris Middleton had 15 points for the visiting Aggies (22-8, 11-5 Big 12), who outscored the Sooners 38-16 in the paint.

NO. 24 UTEP 52, UAB 50: Derrick Caracter had the final six points for the host Miners (24-5, 15-1 C-USA), including a winning dunk with one second left.

NO. 25 XAVIER 93, ST. BONAVENTURE 72: Jordan Crawford had 22 points, and the host Musketeers (23-7, 14-2) won a share of their fourth straight Atlantic 10 regular-season title.

Conference finals

ATLANTIC SUN: Justin Tubbs had 18 points off the bench, and No. 5 seed East Tennessee State (20-14) beat Mercer 72-66 in Macon, Ga.

BIG SOUTH: No. 3 seed Winthrop (19-13) used its smothering defense to beat top-seeded Coastal Carolina 64-53 in Conway, S.C.

OHIO VALLEY: Isaiah Canaan came off the bench to score 16, and top-seeded Murray State (30-4) beat Morehead State 62-51 in Nashville.

SSC tournament

ROLLINS 72, ECKERD 65: Nick Wolf had 23 of his 27 points in the second half to help the second-seeded Tars erase a 15-point deficit and knock out the third-seeded Tritons (19-9) in the Sunshine State Conference tournament semifinals in Fort Lauderdale. Rollins faces No. 5 seed Barry, a 79-61 winner over top seed Florida Southern, in the final at 1 p.m. today.

State

UCF 66, RICE 59: Taylor Young had 14 points, and A.J. Rompza's 3-pointer with 1:09 left gave the visiting Golden Knights (14-16, 6-10 C-USA) the lead for good.

Louisville topples No. 1 to close arena 03/06/10 [Last modified: Sunday, March 7, 2010 12:19am]

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