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UConn's Walker stops at one OT

NEW YORK — Kemba Walker flashed back two years the moment the buzzer sounded at Madison Square Garden.

Connecticut and Syracuse were headed to overtime in the Big East tournament. Again.

This time, there'd be only one.

Walker had 33 points and 12 rebounds in another phenomenal performance Friday night, and the No. 21 Huskies held on after blowing a late lead to beat No. 11 Syracuse 76-71 in the semifinals — two years after their six-OT marathon in Manhattan.

"I didn't want to go into another six overtimes, I know that," Walker said. "I was mad we went to the first overtime. As soon as the first overtime came, I thought about six."

No. 9 seed UConn (25-9) improved to 10-3 in Big East semifinals with its fourth win in four days and faces No. 14 Louisville for its first title since 2004.

Scoop Jardine had 20 points to lead the fourth-seeded Orange (26-7), including two 3-pointers at the end of regulation.

NO. 14 LOUISVILLE 83, NO. 4 NOTRE DAME 77, OT: Preston Knowles, despite playing the final 10 minutes of regulation and overtime with four fouls, scored 20 to lead the third-seeded Cardinals (25-8) to a spot in the final.

Ben Hansbrough, the conference player of the year, struggled through one of his worst games of the season for the Irish (26-6), who had won 12 of 13. The senior guard was 3-of-16 from the field for 16 points.

DAVIS FIRED: Providence fired Keno Davis after three seasons, three days after the Friars lost to Marquette 87-66 in the league tournament. Providence went 15-17 this season despite senior guard Marshon Brooks, who averaged 24.2 points a game.

OFFICIAL RESURFACES: One of the three officials who was cited for two errors and withdrew from the league's tournament as a result called a Big Ten quarterfinal Friday. Earl Walton was one of three officials working Michigan State's win over No. 9 Purdue. Walton, Jim Burr and Tim Higgins missed two calls in the final 1.7 seconds of Wednesday's second-round game in which St. John's beat Rutgers 65-63.

UConn's Walker stops at one OT 03/11/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2011 12:41am]
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