College basketball: Virginia clinches first in ACC

Virginia players celebrated Saturday during their 75-56 victory over Syracuse.
Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports
Virginia players celebrated Saturday during their 75-56 victory over Syracuse.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 8 of his 19 points during a decisive second-half run and Virginia clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament by beating fourth-ranked Syracuse, 75-56, on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.

‘‘Super exciting,’’ the redshirt sophomore said of watching the final seconds tick off the clock with students poised to charge the court. ‘‘You could do nothing but smile at that point when you beat a good team like that and you’re having success like we’re having. It’s surreal when you think about it.’’

Akil Mitchell added 12 points for the No. 12 Cavaliers (25-5, 16-1), who won their only outright ACC regular-season title 33 years ago, when Ralph Sampson was a sophomore. The victory was also their 13th in a row.


Tyler Ennis and C.J. Fair scored 13 each for the Orange (26-3, 13-3), who lost for the third time in four games.

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Virginia took command with a second-half spree fed in part by its defense.

Brogdon broke a 42-all tie with two free throws, and then hit a jumper from the foul line. After a turnover by the Orange, London Perrantes hit a deep 3-pointer that gave the Cavaliers a 49-42 lead.

Rakeem Christmas’s dunk after a Syracuse timeout quieted the crowd, but only for a minute because Justin Anderson made a 3-pointer from the right side, Brogdon followed an Orange miss with a jumper, and then followed another miss with a jumper. The lead swelled to 56-45 with 5:15 left and fans sensed that the Cavaliers had put the game away.

Wichita State 68, Missouri State 45 — Cleanthony Early scored 19 points and the second-ranked Shockers rolled over the visiting Bears to finish the regular season 31-0 (18-0 Missouri Valley) and become the first team since Saint Joseph’s in 2004 to enter its conference tournament unbeaten.


‘‘There was a moment before the season, looking at the schedule, saying, ‘Man, I don’t think we’ll lose any of these games,’ ’’ said guard Fred VanVleet. ‘‘But we still have more games to play. And we won’t celebrate how we should until we play our last, final game.’’

Florida 79, LSU 61 — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, and the top-ranked Gators (27-2, 16-0 Southeastern) used a season-high 13 3-pointers to overwhelm the visiting Tigers (17-11, 8-8 ) and extend their school-record winning streak to 21 games and home winning streak to 31 games.

Oklahoma State 72, Kansas 65 — Marcus Smart scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half to help the host Cowboys (19-10, 7-9 Big 12) overcome a 10-point deficit and defeat the fifth-ranked Jayhawks.

Andrew Wiggins scored 15 points for Kansas (22-7, 13-3).

Memphis 72, Louisville 66 — Chris Crawford nailed a 3-pointer with 1:36 left and the No. 21 Tigers held off the No. 7 Cardinals (24-5, 13-3 American Athletic) in Memphis.


Memphis (22-7, 11-5) trailed, 65-57, with 4:45 left when Michael Dixon Jr. scored 6 straight to jump-start the Tigers, who scored 15 of the final 16 points.

Xavier 75, Creighton 69 — Justin Martin had 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, leading the host Musketeers (20-9, 10-6 Big East) to an upset of the No. 9 Bluejays (23-5, 13-3).

VCU 67, Saint Louis 56 — Treveon Graham had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Virginia Commonwealth (22-7, 10-4 Atlantic 10) handed the No. 10 Billikens (25-4, 12-2) their second straight loss after their 19-game win streak.

UConn 51, Cincinnati 45 — The Huskies didn’t score a basket over the final 7½ minutes against the No. 11 Bearcats (24-5, 13-3 American Athletic) but still pulled out a home win.

Shabazz Napier had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Connecticut (23-6, 11-5), which scored its fewest points in a win in 12 years.

San Diego State 82, Fresno State 67 — Xavier Thames scored 22 points as the No. 13 Aztecs (25-3, 14-2 Mountain West) raced past the host Bulldogs (15-15, 8-9).

Kansas State 80, Iowa State 73 — Shane Southwell had 13 points, leading the Wildcats past the No. 15 Cyclones. Kansas State (19-9, 10-6 Big 12) has won 15 straight at home, its longest home streak since the 1981-82 season.

Melvin Ejim had 30 points and 16 rebounds to pace Iowa State (22-6, 10-6).

Michigan 66, Minnesota 56 — Nik Stauskas scored 21 points as the No. 16 Wolverines (21-7, 13-3) clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title with a victory over the visiting Golden Gophers (18-12, 7-10).

South Carolina 72, Kentucky 67 — Brenton Williams had 24 points as the Gamecocks (11-18, 4-12 Southeastern) beat the No. 17 Wildcats (21-8, 11-5).

Illinois 53, Michigan State 46 — Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading the visiting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) to an upset of the No. 18 Spartans (22-7, 11-5).

North Carolina 60, Virginia Tech 56 — James Michael McAdoo scored 15 points to lead the No. 19 Tar Heels (22-7, 12-4 Atlantic Coast) past the host Hokies (9-19, 2-14) for their 11th straight victory.

SMU 70, Central Florida 55 — Markus Kennedy scored 18 points and the No. 23 Mustangs (23-6, 12-4 American Athletic) beat the Knights (11-16, 3-13) to improve to 15-0 at home.

Oklahoma 77, Texas 65 — Isaiah Cousins recorded a career-high 24 points as the host Sooners (21-8, 10-6) edged the No. 24 Longhorns (21-8, 10-6).


UConn 72, Rutgers 35 — Breanna Stewart and Bria Hartley each scored 20 points to help the top-ranked Huskies rout the No. 24 Scarlet Knights (21-7, 12-5) in Storrs, Conn.

The win gave Connecticut (30-0, 17-0) at least a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season title.

Connecticut’s Stefanie Dolson added 6 points and 10 rebounds, becoming the fifth player in program history to amass 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Louisville 75, Cincinnati 51 — Tia Gibbs scored 17 points as the third-ranked Cardinals (28-2, 16-1 American Athletic) pulled away from the Bearcats (12-16, 5-12) in Cincinnati.

Stanford 84, Washington 64 — Chiney Ogwumike had 37 points and 13 rebounds to power the No. 5 Cardinal (28-2, 17-1 Pac-12) at home.