Top-ranked Ohio State beats Wisconsin for Big Ten crown

Associated Press • Mar 12, 2007 at 5:42 AM

CHICAGO - Ohio State won the Big Ten tournament. Now the No. 1 Buckeyes can focus on the big prize.

Mike Conley scored 18 points, Ron Lewis added 17, and the Buckeyes beat No. 3 Wisconsin 66-49 Sunday to win their second tournament title.

The Buckeyes then learned they have the top seed in the South Region and will face Central Connecticut State on Thursday. Wisconsin got the second seed in the Midwest and a matchup with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday.

Greg Oden finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks after playing just six minutes in the first half against the Badgers, but Conley and Lewis did enough to lift Ohio State (30-3) to its 17th straight victory.

Big Ten Player of the Year Alando Tucker missed his first six shots for Wisconsin and finished with 10 points, going 4-for-13 from the field. The Badgers (29-5) never found their stroke, going 21-for-57 overall and 4-for-23 on 3-pointers. They also committed 17 turnovers.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Sherron Collins scored 20 points and Kansas rallied after trailing by 22 in the first half to beat Texas in overtime and claim its second straight Big 12 title.

Texas' Kevin Durant, the Big 12 Player of the Year, matched his career high with 37 points but took only two shots in overtime and did not score.

Julian Wright and Brandon Rush each added 19 points for Kansas (30-4), and Mario Chalmers - who hit the tying 3-pointer to force overtime - scored 17 in helping the Jayhawks win their fifth Big 12 tournament title.

The Jayhawks enter the NCAA tournament on a season-best 11-game winning streak and as a No. 1 seed in the West. They open Friday against the winner of the play-in game between Florida A&M and Niagara.

A.J. Abrams added 19 points for Texas (24-9). The Longhorns were seeded fourth in the East Region and will face No. 13 New Mexico State on Friday.

ATLANTA - Florida finished off three routs in three days, beating Arkansas to claim its third straight Southeastern Conference tournament championship and a No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region.

It was another devastating team effort by Florida (29-5), which lost three of its last five regular-season games but showed no weaknesses at the Georgia Dome. The Gators ripped through their opponents with an average winning margin of 19.7 points.

Al Horford scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Joakim Noah had 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Gators, who face 16th-seeded Jackson State on Friday.

Michael Washington led the Razorbacks (21-13) with 17 and Sonny Weems added 15 points. Arkansas was seeded 12th in the East regional and faces No. 5 Southern Cal on Thursday.

TAMPA, Fla. - North Carolina used its depth to end eight years of frustration in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, beating North Carolina State for its first league title since 1998.

Brandan Wright and Wayne Ellington scored 16 apiece for the Tar Heels (28-6), Tyler Hansbrough went 11-for-11 from the foul line to finish with 15 points, and Reyshawn Terry and Ty Lawson added 13 each.

In winning their 16th ACC tournament title, tying Duke for the most in conference, the Tar Heels nailed down the top seed in the East Region and will play No. 16 Eastern Kentucky on Thursday.

Brandon Costner led N.C. State with 28 points. Courtney Fells had 18 and Gavin Grant finished with 10. The Wolfpack needed to win the championship to get into the NCAAs.

HOUSTON - Chris Daniels scored 19 points and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi held off Northwestern State for the Southland Conference championship and its first berth in the NCAA tournament.

Josh Washington had 16 points for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (26-6) and Josh Ervin added 14. The Islanders received a 15th seed in the Midwest Region, where they will face second-seeded Wisconsin on Friday.

Trey Gilder led the Demons (17-15) with 25 points and Jermaine Spencer had 13.

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Nicole Soulis scored 21 points and Amanda Popp added 18 to help Wisconsin-Green Bay cruise by Butler in the Horizon League championship.

The Phoenix (28-3) won their 25th straight game and made the NCAA tournament for the eighth time in 10 seasons.

Soulis scored 16 of her points in the decisive first half and was named the tournament's most valuable player. Kayla Groh added 11 points and Erin Templin 10 in helping Wisconsin-Green Bay to a season-high point total.

Jackie Closser had 23 points, including a tournament-tying seven 3-pointers, for Butler (16-15), which played in the league championship for the first time since 1997-98. Candace Jones added 13 points for the Bulldogs, who have lost 22 straight to the Phoenix.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Kelsey Keizer hit a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left in overtime and Drake beat Creighton for the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title.

Eighth-seeded Drake (14-18) became the second team this season to make the NCAA tournament with a losing record. Holy Cross (15-17) won the Patriot League.

Sara Cain scored a career-high 24 points to lead Creighton (13-19).

NEWARK, Del. - T.J. Jordan scored 17 points and Tiffany Green added 16 to help Old Dominion beat James Madison and capture its 16th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association championship.

The top-seeded Monarchs (24-8) will make the program's 24th appearance in the NCAA tournament. The second-seeded Dukes (27-5) lost in the CAA finals for the second straight year.

VESTAL, N.Y. - Carlee Cassidy scored 14 points to help seventh-seeded UMBC (16-16) stun top-seeded Hartford in the America East championship and earn its first trip to the NCAAs.

Morgan Hatten hit the last basket for the Retrievers (16-16), a 3-pointer that gave UMBC a 48-39 lead with just over 6 minutes remaining. Amanda Robinson added 10 points for UMBC. Two-time defending champion Hartford (24-8) rallied to 48-46 and had a chance to win, but Courtney Gomez's 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Danielle Hood led the Hawks with 17 points. Diana Delva added 11 points and 16 rebounds.

Recommended for You