Kentucky wins SEC Tournament championship

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ATLANTA --- Brandon Knight scored 17 points, Darius Miller hit two crucial 3-pointers and No. 15 Kentucky cruised to another Southeastern Conference Tournament title, routing regular-season champion Florida 70-54 on Sunday.

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Kentucky's Darius Miller (front) had 15 points and was named SEC Tournament MVP.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Kentucky's Darius Miller (front) had 15 points and was named SEC Tournament MVP.

The 12th-ranked Gators (26-7) had a miserable day shooting, especially guards Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker. They combined to go 7 of 26 from the field, their woes epitomized in the closing minutes when they put up back-to-back airballs trying desperately to bring Florida back.

Kentucky (25-8) streaked into the NCAAs with its sixth consecutive win, second SEC Tournament crown in a row and 27th title overall -- more than every other school combined.

Miller, who was named tournament MVP, hit 6 of 8 shots, grabbed six rebounds and finished with 15 points.

"I've said all along Darius Miller had the ability and the skill to be the best player in this league," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "This week, obviously, he was. I'm very proud of him."

ACC TOURNAMENT

NO. 5 DUKE 75, NO. 6 NORTH CAROLINA 58

In Greensboro, N.C., Nolan Smith had 20 points and 10 assists and Duke ended North Carolina's run of big comebacks at the conference tournament.

Kyle Singler added 11 points for the Blue Devils (30-4), who led the entire way for a record 19th tournament title. In the first meeting between the fierce rivals in the finals in a decade, second-seeded Duke led by 18 points in the first half and never let the top-seeded Tar Heels (26-7) build any momentum for a third consecutive tournament escape.

North Carolina had rallied from 19 down in the final 10 minutes to beat Miami on a last-play layup in the quarterfinals, then rallied from 14 down to force overtime and beat Clemson in the semifinals. This time, however, the Tar Heels got no closer than nine after halftime as the veteran Blue Devils maintained firm control from the tip.

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT

NO. 1 OHIO STATE 71, PENN STATE 60

In Indianapolis, Jared Sullinger had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Ohio State defeated Penn State 71-60 in the conference final.

Sullinger, the tournament's most outstanding player, averaged 16.3 points and 14 rebounds in the tournament to help the top-seeded Buckeyes (32-2) repeat as champions.

Talor Battle scored 24 points and Jeff Brooks added 19 for Penn State (19-14), which reached the final for the first time.

ATLANTIC 10 TOURNAMENT

RICHMOND 67, DAYTON 54

In Atlantic City, N.J., Kevin Anderson capped a tournament MVP performance with 23 points and Richmond finished the job this season, winning its first conference title.

Justin Harper added 18 points as the third-seeded Spiders (27-7) won their seventh game in a row and earned consecutive NCAA Tournament berths for the first time in school history.

The Flyers (22-13) not only missed out on the NCAA Tournament but will begin their quest of an NIT championship repeat Tuesday on the road against College of Charleston.

WOMEN

HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNAMENT

NO. 13 WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY 74, BUTLER 63

In Green Bay, Wis., Adrian Ritchie scored 18 points to lead five teammates in double figures and help Wisconsin-Green Bay earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Phoenix's (32-1) defense once again led the way early on, holding Butler to 28 percent shooting and forcing 12 first-half turnovers to take a 40-19 lead at the break.

Brittany Bowen scored 24 of her 34 points in the second half and second-seeded Butler (20-13) battled back to trim its deficit from 26 to 11, but Green Bay held on for its league record 10th tournament championship.


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