No. 11 Louisville 87,
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Preston Knowles had 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his final home game to lead No. 11 Louisville to an 87-60 victory over reeling Providence on Wednesday night.
Kyle Kuric had 25 points and Chris Smith added 12 for Louisville (23-7, 12-5), which clinched one of the top four spots in next week’s Big East tournament and a double-bye into the quarterfinals.
Vincent Council led the Friars (14-16, 3-14) with 20 points but the Cardinals held Providence star Marshon Brooks in check. The Big East’s leading scorer lit Louisville up for 27 points in an upset win on Jan. 22, but finished with 12 points — 13 below his average — on 3-of-12 shooting in the rematch. Providence has lost seven straight.
The Cardinals shot 47 percent and outscored the Friars 27-11 in second-chance points.
The Cardinals, picked to finish eighth in the Big East in the coaches’ preseason poll, capped a perfect conference home record.
No. 13 North Carolina 72,
Florida St. 70
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Freshman Harrison Barnes’ 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3 seconds to play gave North Carolina the win.
John Henson had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Barnes added 18 points for the Tar Heels (23-6, 13-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their sixth straight game overall and their fifth in a row on Florida State’s court.
North Carolina took the lead midway through the second half and was up 67-60 on Kendall Marshall’s 3-pointer with 3:59 left. Florida State rallied to take a 70-69 lead with 18 seconds left on two free throws by Derwin Kitchen, who led the Seminoles (20-9, 10-5) with 13 points.
Florida State turned the ball over before getting off a final shot after Barnes’ game-winner.
The Tar Heels can clinch the top seed in next week’s ACC tournament win a win over No. 4 Duke on Saturday.
Michael Snaer added 11 points for the Seminoles, who were without top scorer Chris Singleton (broken right foot) for the fourth straight game.
North Carolina shot 47.3 percent for the game and had a 39-28 rebound advantage.
West Virginia 65,
No. 16 Connecticut 56
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Kevin Jones scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and West Virginia used a late run to beat Connecticut.
Jones had 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double. Joe Mazzulla led the Mountaineers (19-10, 10-7 Big East) with 18 points, three after halftime.
Kemba Walker led Connecticut (21-8, 9-8) with 22 points on 8-of-23 shooting. Shabazz Napier added 18.
Napier’s jumper with 2:49 remaining broke a 5-minute scoring drought and brought the Huskies within 56-53, but West Virginia scored the next nine points, with Truck Bryant making seven free throws over the final 1:19.
West Virginia moved into a three-way tie for sixth place in the Big East entering the conference’s final weekend. Connecticut lost for the third time in four games and dropped into a three-way tie for ninth.
No. 23 Xavier 68,
CINCINNATI — Senior guard Dante Jackson scored 18 points and Xavier tied a league record by clinching at least a share of its fifth straight Atlantic 10 regular-season title.
During its 16 seasons in the A-10, Xavier (23-6, 14-1) has won outright or shared nine regular-season titles and four tournament championships. The victory on Wednesday secured the top seed in the conference tournament.
Jamel McLean had 11 points and 13 rebounds as Xavier completed its fifth straight undefeated A-10 season at home. The Musketeers have won a league-record 40 consecutive home games.
Derrio Green and Chris Braswell had 14 points each for Charlotte (10-19, 2-13), which gave the Musketeers their only league loss.
The five straight titles ties the league record with Massachusetts, which finished with the best record in the A-10 from 1992-96.