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The Panthers and Syracuse will meet for the Big East tournament crown.


Published: Sat, March 11, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


The Panthers and Syracuse will meet for the Big East tournament crown.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh reached the Big East tournament championship game for the fifth time in six years and continued the conference's run of postseason upsets.
The sixth-seeded Panthers beat No. 2 Villanova 68-54 Friday in the semifinals, and will meet ninth-seeded Syracuse for the title.
Pittsburgh (24-6) and Syracuse both won three games to get to the championship game, just the fourth and fifth times that has happened in tournament history. None of the previous three, including West Virginia last season, won the title. One of them will this year.
No. 3 Duke 80, Miami 76
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- J.J. Redick snapped out of a shooting slump in time to give No. 3 Duke another Atlantic Coast Conference tournament victory.
The second-leading scorer in Division I had 25 points and made a clutch jumper in the final minute, Shelden Williams had his sixth straight double-double.
Williams finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while DeMarcus Nelson also scored 14 points for top-seeded Duke (28-3).
No. 5 Memphis 68, Houston 54
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shawne Williams scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds to pace Memphis in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament.
Williams, the conference freshman of the year, went 6-of-13 and missed one of his 10 free throws for the top-seeded Tigers (29-3).
No. 8 Texas 77, Texas Tech 70
DALLAS -- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and disrupting countless possessions, sending Texas into the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament and sealing Bob Knight's first losing season since 1970-71.
The Longhorns (26-5) appeared headed to their third rout of the Red Raiders (15-17) this season, but Knight's team rallied for a brief lead and were tied with 8:29 left. Texas went back ahead by 11, then Tech -- led by Jarrius Jackson's 28 points -- got within four twice in the final minute.
No. 10 North Carolina 79, Virginia 67
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Reyshawn Terry had 24 points, freshman Tyler Hansbrough added 17 and North Carolina overcame a sluggish start in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
David Noel finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds as the Tar Heels (22-6) won their eighth straight in workmanlike fashion.
South Carolina 79, No. 14 Tennessee 71
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tre Kelley scored 25 points and South Carolina advanced to the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals.
The East division champ Vols (21-7) dropped to 0-3 as the East's No. 1 seed and haven't gone past the second round since 1991.
No. 17 LSU 92, Vanderbilt 73
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Glen Davis Davis matched his career-high of 28 points and finished with 13 rebounds to lead LSU in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinals.
The Tigers (23-7) reached the tournament semifinals for the fifth time in seven years despite the absence of Tyrus Thomas, the SEC's top freshman who sat out with a sprained left ankle.
No. 17 Kansas 63, Oklahoma State 62
DALLAS -- Sasha Kaun scored 16 points and Mario Chalmers added 15, including a pair of free throws with 19.8 seconds left, helping Kansas in an ugly Big 12 tournament quarterfinal game.
Although the Jayhawks (22-8) won for the 13th time in 14 games, they were far from smooth. For instance, their defense forced the Cowboys (17-15) to miss seven shots and have seven turnovers over an 8-minute stretch in the second half, yet Kansas only scored nine points during it all.
No. 20 Iowa 67, Minnesota 57
INDIANAPOLIS -- Jeff Horner scored 26 points to lead Iowa in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
Horner's six 3-pointers tied a tournament record. He also had six assists, six rebounds and five steals.
Vincent Grier led Minnesota (15-14) with 29 points, the eighth-highest total in tournament history. He set a tournament record with 13 field goals. Greg Brunner scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Iowa (23-8).
Syracuse 58, No. 23 Georgetown 57
NEW YORK -- Gerry McNamara came through again in the clutch.
In what's becoming a familiar sight at the Big East tournament, the Syracuse star guard hit another big 3-pointer to get the Orange (22-11) within one with 52 seconds left, assisted on Eric Devendorf's go-ahead basket and caused a turnover with 1.5 seconds left in the victory.
McNamara, who finished with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Syracuse became the fourth team to win three games and advance to the Big East championship. No team has won four to win the tournament. West Virginia won three to reach the final last year before losing to Syracuse. Pittsburgh (2001) and Connecticut (2000) were the others to win three games and get to the final.
No. 24 UAB 63, UTEP 60
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Squeaky Johnson scored 12 points and added six assists to lead UAB in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament.
The second-seeded Blazers (24-5) will face No. 5 Memphis in Saturday's championship game.
Wake Forest 82, No. 25 N.C. State 71
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Eric Williams scored 20 points to lead Wake Forest in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals, giving the Demon Deacons their second upset of the Wolfpack in a week.
Senior Chris Ellis added a career-best 15 points for 12th-seeded Wake Forest (17-15), which reached the semifinals for the first time in three years and will face No. 3 Duke on Saturday.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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