GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried said his team had a “golden” opportunity to help its NCAA tournament chances. The Wolfpack didn’t squander it, instead sending Jim Boeheim and No. 11 Syracuse to a quick exit from their first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
T.J. Warren scored 28 points while Ralston Turner banked in the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:28 left to help N.C. State upset the Orange 66-63 in Friday’s quarterfinals, continuing both the Wolfpack’s push for the NCAAs and the Orange’s downward late-season trend.
Now N.C. State has won four straight heading into Saturday’s semifinals against No. 7 Duke, marking the third time in three seasons that N.C. State has reached Saturday at the ACC tournament under Gottfried.
NO. 1 FLORIDA 72, MISSOURI 49
ATLANTA — Scottie Wilbekin scored 15 points and No. 1 Florida remained unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference, using one of its customary spurts to rout Missouri in the quarterfinals of the league tournament.
The game was tied 29-29 at halftime, and the Tigers were still in the game with about 10 minutes to go. That’s when Wilbekin and the Gators (30-2) suddenly took control.
After Will Yeguete laid one in off a nifty pass from Kasey Hill, Florida pressed the inbounds pass, Wilbekin came up with a steal, then got free in the corner for a 3-pointer. Missouri missed at the other end, Patric Young connected on a short hook and just like that, the Gators had stretched a two-point lead to 45-36.
They blew it open from there, sinking one 3-pointer after another to win in a breeze.
NO. 4 ARIZONA 63, COLORADO 43
LAS VEGAS — Nick Johnson scored 16 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 12 and Arizona ran away from tired Colorado in a dominating second half of their Pac-12 tournament semifinal.
Unlike its last win over Colorado, Arizona (30-3) started slow, allowing the Buffaloes to keep it close at halftime.
Arizona shot 60 percent in the second half and held Colorado (23-11) to 5-of-22 shooting in the final 20 minutes to earn a spot Saturday’s championship game against UCLA or Stanford.
NO. 5 LOUISVILLE 94, HOUSTON 65
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Russ Smith scored a career-high 42 points and Louisville cruised to victory over Houston in the semifinals of the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament.
Smith shot 14 for 22 from the field and 5 for 7 from 3-point range. His final points came on a three-point play where he hit a reverse layup and converted the ensuing free throw.
NO. 6 VIRGINIA 64, FLORIDA STATE 51
Joe Harris matched a season high with 20 points, and No. 6 Virginia pulled away in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinal.
Anthony Gill added 16 points for the top-seeded Cavaliers (26-6).
They shot 48 percent, forced 15 turnovers and earned their third double-digit victory over the Seminoles this season while reaching the semifinals for the first time since 1995.
NO. 7 DUKE 63, CLEMSON 62
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Rodney Hood hit two free throws with 3.8 seconds left to lift Duke past Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinals.
ACC rookie of the year Jabari Parker scored 18 points and Hood had 17 for the third-seeded Blue Devils (25-7).
They blew a 13-point lead with 12 minutes left before regrouping just in time to avoid joining No. 15 North Carolina and No. 11 Syracuse as ACC quarterfinal losers.
NO. 8 MICHIGAN 64, ILLINOIS 63
INDIANAPOLIS — Jordan Morgan scored on a layup with 7.9 seconds left to send No. 8 Michigan to the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.
The Illini had a chance to win on Tracy Abrams’ shot, but it bounced off the front of the rim as the final buzzer sounded.
Michigan (24-7), the regular season champion, advances to Saturday’s semifinals with its seventh straight win.
NO. 8 SAN DIEGO STATE 59, UNLV 51
LAS VEGAS — Dwayne Polee II had 18 points and six rebounds to lead San Diego State over UNLV in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.
San Diego State used a 19-9 run out of the break to open up a 48-33 lead with 8:13 left in the game.
NO. 16 IOWA STATE 94, NO. 10 KANSAS 83
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Georges Niang scored 25 points before leaving with a bloody gash to his forehead in the closing minutes, and Iowa State held on to beat Kansas and reach its first Big 12 tournament title game since 2000.
DeAndre Kane had five 3-pointers and scored 20 points, and Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim added 19 points for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (25-8).
NO. 12 WISCONSIN 83, MINNESOTA 57
INDIANAPOLIS — Ben Brust scored a career-high 29 points and Frank Kaminsky had 12 rebounds to lead Wisconsin over Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
The second-seeded Badgers (26-6) have won nine of 10.
NO. 21 UCONN 58, NO. 13 CINCINNATI 56
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shabazz Napier hit a free throw with 11.1 seconds left and Connecticut held off Cincinnati to advance to the American Athletic Conference tournament final.
NO. 14 CREIGHTON 86, XAVIER 78
NEW YORK — Doug McDermott scored 32 points and second-seeded Creighton beat Xavier to advance to the Big East tournament championship game in its first year in the conference.
The Bluejays looked to be on their way to an easy semifinal win but Xavier used a 20-6 run to get within 77-72 with 1:23 to play. Creighton was able to seal the game by going 9 for 10 from the free throw line over the final 1:16.
PITTSBURGH 80, No. 15 NORTH CAROLINA 75
Talib Zanna had 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to help Pittsburgh beat No. 15 North Carolina 80-75 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals Friday.
James Robinson also scored a career-best 19 points for the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-8), who used a dominating start to build a huge lead before having to hold off a late rally by the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (23-9).
ST. BONAVENTURE 71, NO. 18 SAINT LOUIS 68
NEW YORK — Jordan Gathers hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and St. Bonaventure stunned No. 18 Saint Louis in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
The ninth-seeded Bonnies (18-14) came into the tourney on a four-game losing streak before beating La Salle on Thursday. They trailed the top-seeded Billikens by 10 points at halftime but rallied behind a swarming defense and clutch 3-point shooting.
No. 20 NEW MEXICO 70, BOISE STATE 67
LAS VEGAS — Cameron Bairstow had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 20 New Mexico to a 70-67 victory over Boise State in the Mountain West Conference tournament semifinals Friday night.
The Lobos (26-8) advance to Saturday’s championship game against San Diego State, a team they split with during the regular season.
NO. 22 MICHIGAN STATE 67, NORTHWESTERN 51
INDIANAPOLIS — Branden Dawson had 16 points and Gary Harris added 13 points to lead Michigan State over Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals Friday night.
The third-seeded Spartans (24-7), who lost 3 of 4 games heading into the contest, will face No. 12 Wisconsin in one semifinal on Saturday.
NO. 23 VCU 71, RICHMOND 53
NEW YORK — Defensive ace Briante Weber scored 18 points in 18 minutes, and VCU routed crosstown rival Richmond in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
NO. 24 OHIO STATE 71, NEBRASKA 67
INDIANAPOLIS — LaQuinton Ross had 26 points and 13 rebounds and No. 24 Ohio State rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit in the quarterfinals.
The victory sends No. 5 seed Ohio State (25-8) into a semifinal matchup with No. 1 seed Michigan on Saturday.
By wire sources