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College basketball: No. 1 Florida wins 25th straight

Published March 16, 2014 4:39 pm

Top 25 • Virginia, Duke to meet in ACC championship Sunday.
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Atlanta • Patric Young scored 16 points and No. 1 Florida turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, rallying for a 56-49 victory over Tennessee in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament Saturday.

Florida (31-2) extended its school-record winning streak to 25 in a row after trailing by 10 in t he first half. The Gators were down 35-28 at the break, but they wore down the Volunteers (21-12) over the final 20 minutes. After shooting 54 percent in the opening period, Tennessee made just 5 of 20 shots and turned the ball over 11 times, leaving its fate in the hands of the NCAA selection committee.

Florida's Scottie Wilbekin added 14 points and Casey Prather had 12.

Jordan McRae led Tennessee with 15 points, while Jarnell Stokes had 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Gators, improving to 20-0 against SEC opponents, will face Kentucky in the championship game Sunday, after the Wildcats beat Georgia 70-58 in the other semifinal.

No. 6 Virginia 51, Pittsburgh 48 • In Greensboro, N.C., Anthony Gill hit two free throws with 8.5 seconds left to help Virginia hold off Pittsburgh in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Gill was shooting 63 percent from the line for the Cavaliers (27-6) but calmly made both free throws after James Robinson's hanging layup had brought the Panthers to within 49-48.

Pitt had a chance to tie with 4 seconds left, but Justin Anderson tipped Robinson's 3-pointer to Gill with 0.5 seconds left. Joe Harris scored 12 points to lead the Cavaliers, who shot 47 percent against the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-9) to earn their first trip to the final since 1994.

The Cavaliers earned their first outright regular-season title since 1981 and only their second No. 1 seed.

No. 7 Duke 75, N.C. State 67 • In Greensboro, N.C., Jabari Parker scored 20 points and Duke advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship.

Rasheed Sulaimon added 16 points for the third-seeded Blue Devils (26-7) while Rodney Hood had 14 points and keyed the defense against ACC player of the year T.J. Warren. —

Automatic NCAA qualifiers

Albany (N.Y.) • East Conference

American • Patriot League

Coastal Carolina • Big South Conference

Delaware • Colonial Athletic Association

Eastern Kentucky • Ohio Valley Conference

Gonzaga • West Coast Conference

Harvard • Ivy League

Iowa State • Big 12

Louisville • American Athletic Conference

Manhattan • Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Mercer • Atlantic Sun Conference

Milwaukee • Horizon League

Mount St. Mary's • Northeast Conference

New Mexico • Mountain West

New Mexico State • WAC

North Carolina Central • Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

North Dakota State • Summit League

Providence • Big East Conference

Texas Southern • Southwestern Athletic Conference

Tulsa • Conference USA

UCLA • Pac-12

Weber State • Big Sky

Western Michigan • Mid-American Conference

Wichita State • Missouri Valley Conference

Wofford • Southern Conference —

Saturday's scores

No. 1 Florida 56, Tennessee 49

UCLA 75, No. 4 Arizona 71

No. 5 Louisville 71, No. 21 UConn 61

No. 6 Virginia 51, Pittsburgh 48

No. 7 Duke 75, N.C. State 67

No. 8 Michigan 72, No. 24 Ohio St. 69

• No. 20 New Mexico 64,No. 8 San Diego State 58

• No. 22 Michigan State 83,No. 12 Wisconsin 75

Providence 65, No. 14 Creighton 58

No. 16 Iowa State 74, Baylor 65

No. 23 VCU 74, George Wash. 55