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Top 25 roundup: Iowa State rallies past Kansas for Big 12 title

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Iowa State stormed back from a big second-half deficit to defeat Kansas 70-66 in the Big 12 Tournament championship game on Saturday at the Sprint Center.

The Cyclones hit 5 of 6 free throws in the final 48 seconds to open a five-point lead before Jayhawks forward Brannen Greene made a 3-point shot with six seconds left to cut the deficit to two points. But Iowa State guard Naz Long sealed it with two free throws with 2.9 seconds left.

Iowa State (25-8), which trailed 40-23 early in the second half, was led by forward Georges Niang, the tournament’s most outstanding player, with 19 points. Guard Wayne Selden scored 25 points for Kansas (26-8).

The Cyclones won the tournament title for the second consecutive year.

Kentucky 91, Auburn 67

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Top-ranked Kentucky entered Saturday’s Southeastern Conference Tournament game with a 38-2 all-time record in semifinal games. Win No. 39 could not have come much easier against 13th-seeded Auburn as the Wildcats advanced into Sunday’s championship game against Arkansas.

Kentucky (33-0), which had blown out to a 26-point halftime lead during a regular season meeting with Auburn on Feb. 21, wasted little time getting started, racing out to a 15-4 lead.

Forward Willie Cauley-Stein led Kentucky with 18 points, hitting 7 of 9 shots from the field.

Auburn was without forward Jordan Granger, who was suspended for fighting during the LSU game on Friday night, and forward Cinmeon Bowers, who was suspended for possible rules violations. Guard Antoine Mason topped the Tigers with 23 points.

Arkansas 60, Georgia 49

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The SEC Tournament held true to form as No. 2-seeded Arkansas defeated No. 3-seeded Georgia in the semifinals.

The No. 21 Razorbacks advanced to meet No. 1 Kentucky on Sunday.

Arkansas (26-7) won the game, but it was hardly in its “Fastest 40” fashion of an up-tempo, high-scoring affair. The Razorbacks were held 19 points below their season scoring average.

Most telling of all was that forward Bobby Portis, the SEC player of the year, was held scoreless until 15:06 remained in the game. He finished with four points, hitting only 1 of 14 shots from the field goals and 2 of 3 free throws.

Junior guard Michael Qualls picked up the slack with 15 points, despite hitting only 5 of 13 shots. Junior guard Anthlon Bell added 10 points.

Georgia (21-11) got 13 points each from forward Marcus Thornton and forward Cameron Forte.

Wisconsin 71, Purdue 51

CHICAGO — Top-seeded Wisconsin used a dominating second half performance en route to a Big Ten tournament semifinal victory over Purdue at the United Center.

Guard Bronson Koenig led a balanced attack with 19 points as the No. 6 Badgers (30-3) rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to earn a spot in Sunday’s Big Ten championship game against Michigan State.

Forwards Nigel Hayes and Sam Dekker each had 15 points as Wisconsin reached the title game for the sixth time.

Center A.J. Hammons scored 10 points to lead fourth-seeded Purdue (21-12).

Michigan State 62, Maryland 58

CHICAGO — Third-seeded Michigan State, led by 20 points from guard Travis Trice and 17 points and eight rebounds from guard Branden Dawson, rallied from a 16-point first half deficit to beat second-seeded and No. 8 Maryland to advance to the Big Ten tournament championship game for the fifth time.

Michigan State (23-10) will face Wisconsin in the title game.

Maryland, which entered the Big Ten tournament with an outside shot of attaining a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, dropped to 27-6.

Michigan State forward Gavin Schilling broke a 48-all tie with a free throw with 4:20 remaining, then jammed a pass from guard Denzel Valentine home with 3:45 left for a 51-48 lead. Following a basket by Maryland forward Dez Wells, the Spartans scored the next six points, Valentine collecting the last of his seven assists on Dawson’s rousing dunk. The Spartans led by seven after a free-throw by guard Lourawls Nairn Jr., and were never threatened thereafter.

Guard Melo Trimble led Maryland with 22 points, but hit just two of his last 11 shots.

SMU 69, Temple 56

HARTFORD, Conn. — Southern Methodist used some stellar defense on Temple to advance to

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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