national roundup

UNC without Meeks for ACC opener

North Carolina starting forward Kennedy Meeks missed the No. 19 Tar Heels' ACC tournament opener on Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C. Meeks, averaging 12 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, had been battling a fever that had kept him out of recent practices. The Tar Heels (22-10) beat Boston College 81-63.

• BUBBLE WATCHING: Anthony Barber scored a career-high 34 points to help North Carolina State beat Pittsburgh 81-70 in the ACC tournament. The Wolfpack (20-12) reached the 20-win mark for the fourth time in as many seasons under coach Mark Gottfried. Miami (21-11) kept its NCAA tournament hopes alive by beating Virginia Tech 59-49 in the ACC, and Texas (20-12) beat Texas Tech 65-53 in the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

• FIRST FOR TCU: TCU beat Kansas State 67-65 for its first Big 12 tournament victory. The Horned Frogs (18-14) had been one-and-done in their first two trips to the Sprint Center. The Wildcats (15-17) finished the season with a losing record for the first time since 2003.

• STILL PLAYING: Southern California of the Pac-12 and Marquette of the Big East, two teams approaching 20-loss seasons, won their conference tournament openers. Elijah Stewart scored 27 points and hit two free throws with 3.4 seconds left, helping the 12th-seeded Trojans (12-19) rally for a 67-64 win over Arizona State in Las Vegas. Matt Carlino scored 26 points as the ninth-seeded Golden Eagles (13-18) defeated Seton Hall 78-56 in New York. Marquette was 13-for-22 from three-point range, and Carlino was 8-for-12.

• LAFAYETTE GOING DANCING: Fourth-seeded Lafayette (20-12) became the lowest seed to win the Patriot League tournament in its 25-year history, beating American 65-63 in Easton, Pa. Nick Lindner scored 71 points in the three tournament games on 24-for-39 shooting and added 16 assists to earn the tourney MVP honors.


• EARLY AUTOMATIC BID: Top-seeded and 20th-ranked Florida Gulf Coast beat Jacksonville 62-42 in the Atlantic Sun semifinals, clinching an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. FGCU (29-2) will play No. 3 seed Northern Kentucky for the conference championship Sunday, but the Norse are tournament-ineligible this season, which means the Eagles get the bid regardless of the outcome.


• KU'S ELLIS EXPECTED TO PLAY: Kansas forward Perry Ellis participated in practice Wednesday and coach Bill Self expects his leading scorer to be available for the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals. Ellis missed the regular-season finale after spraining his knee. Self also said guard Wayne Selden Jr. would be available after dealing with an ankle injury and forward Brannen Greene would return from a one-game suspension. Forward Cliff Alexander remains out while the NCAA investigates concerns that his family received improper benefits from an NBA agent.

• NEVADA COACH FIRED: Nevada coach David Carter was fired after posting losing records four of the last five seasons.