one week to selection sunday
Wildcats don '31-0' T-shirts after win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Trey Lyles scored 14 points, Karl-Anthony Towns added 13 with nine rebounds and No. 1 Kentucky pulled away from Florida 67-50 on Saturday to cap the storied program's first 31-0 regular season.
A blue-clad sellout crowd cheered loudly as the final seconds wound down on the eight-time NCAA champions' milestone achievement. Players soon donned blue T-shirts with "31-0" in white and the phrase "not done yet."
Kentucky is the first men's basketball team from a major conference to go undefeated in the regular season since Indiana in 1976, and it has a realistic chance to match those Hoosiers in much more rarefied company by becoming just the eighth team to remain perfect through the national title game.
Villanova playing like a No. 1 seed
PHILADELPHIA – Villanova thinks it has clearly made a dominant case as a bona fide national championship contender.
"I think we're playing as well as anybody in the country," Wildcats coach Jay Wright said. "I think we can beat anybody in the country."
Daniel Ochefu had 21 points and nine rebounds, Jay Vaughn Pinkston scored 18 points and No. 4 Villanova rolled past St. John's 105-68.
The Wildcats (29-2, 16-2) now have the most regular-season wins in team history and head to New York as the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament. The Wildcats have won 12 consecutive Big East games for the first time in program history.
The Wildcats had five players score in double figures.
No. 2 Virginia falls to Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Mangok Mathiang hadn't attempted a shot all game. In fact, he had only made one field goal since Jan. 31. He wasn't Louisville's first option, second, or even third.
"Mangok was the 64th option," Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said.
Yet Mathiang's jumper near the top of the key found nothing but net with 2.7 seconds remaining, lifting No. 16 Louisville to a 59-57 win over No. 2 Virginia.
The win clinched fourth place in the ACC for the Cardinals (24-7, 12-6), earning them a spot in the quarterfinals to start the conference tournament.
Virginia (28-2, 16-2) had won nine in a row and had been perfect on the road record.
"We wanted to get this double-bye," Pitino said.
Belmont punches its ticket with upset
NASHVILLE – Taylor Barnette hit an off-balance three-pointer with 3.2 seconds left, and Belmont upset No. 25 Murray State 88-87 to win the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship and clinch its seventh NCAA tournament berth.
The Bruins (22-10) improved to 7-1 in conference tournament finals — all in the past decade.
"This one's special because I didn't expect our team to be able to do it frankly," coach Rick Byrd said. "I didn't think it wasn't possible. We're just so young."
The Racers (27-5) couldn't add a perfect run through the tournament to the first undefeated league record in the program's history. Murray State's 25-game winning streak had been second only to Kentucky.