Conference tournament roundup: Miami tops UNC for first tourney title
Greensboro, N.C. • Jim Larranaga snipped the final strand of net hanging from the rim, then faced his players and cheering fans to twirl it in the air before draping it around his neck.
There's no mistaking Miami for just a football school anymore. Not after Larranaga guided the once-struggling Hurricanes to the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference with a team that looks like it can make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
Shane Larkin scored eight of his career-high 28 points in the final 2Â½ minutes to help No. 9 Miami pull away and beat North Carolina 87-77 in Sunday's ACC Tournament final.
Trey McKinney Jones added a career-high 20 points for the top-seeded Hurricanes (27-6), including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 6:27 left that started Miami's final push toward its first tournament title.
Mississippi 66, No. 13 Florida 63 • At Nashville, Tenn., the Mississippi Rebels now have two very big items on their rÃ©sumÃ© that nobody can take away.
Murphy Holloway scored 23 points and ex-Utah Ute Marshall Henderson had 21 as the Rebels gave coach Andy Kennedy his first NCAA Tournament berth by upsetting 13th-ranked Florida for the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship.
The Rebels (26-8) have won seven of eight, grabbing their first tournament title since 1981 and their second ever. Even though they thought reaching this game for the first time since 2001 probably clinched their seventh NCAA bid in Kennedy's seventh season as coach, the Rebels wanted the SEC championship too.
Big Ten Tournament
No. 10 Ohio State 50, No. 22 Wisconsin 43 • At Chicago, Ohio State is the champion of the Big Ten tournament again.
Deshaun Thomas scored 17 points and the Buckeyes used their stout defense to beat Wisconsin for their conference-best fifth tournament title.
Thomas was 6 for 19 from the field, but made some big free throws down the stretch as Ohio State (26-7) won the championship for the third time in the last four years. Aaron Craft had nine points and six rebounds, and LaQuinton Ross delivered a couple of huge plays.
Traevon Jackson scored 10 points for the Badgers (23-11), who shot 38.3 percent from the field. None of his teammates reached double figures, with Sam Dekker next up at eight points.
Atlantic 10 Tournament
No. 16 Saint Louis 62, No. 25 VCU 56 • At New York, Saint Louis interim coach Jim Crews won't say the Billikens won this championship for the late Rick Majerus. Some things are bigger than basketball, and Crews' respect for Majerus is one of them.
Still, he sees his predecessor's imprints on all the little things his veteran players did right in beating VCU in the Atlantic 10 title game. Their hard-nosed style that left the Rams in foul trouble. Their disciplined defense. Their poise when momentum and a hostile crowd went against them.
Saint Louis (27-6) won just its second conference tournament title in school history, beating the Rams (26-8).