Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Kentucky remains perfect, Virginia and Duke both lose

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IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 24 Davidson 67, La Salle 66

While the Wildcats won the Atlantic 10 regular season title and are nationally ranked, in some circles Bob McKillop’s team wasn’t seen as a lock to go to the NCAA tournament. That’s what makes Tyler Kalinoski’s layup as time expired so big, as Davidson will take on VCU in the Atlantic 10 semis on Saturday. The Wildcats trailed by as much as 18 before coming back in the second half, making eight three-pointers while La Salle didn’t score over the final 4:45.

2. No. 1 Kentucky 64, Florida 49

The top-ranked Wildcats are now 32-0, as they held Florida without a point for more than five minutes in the second half in Nashville. Aaron Harrison and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 13 points apiece to lead the way offensively for Kentucky, which outscored Florida by ten from the foul line in the second half. The Gators trailed by just four at the half, but they didn’t have enough to take down the Wildcats.

3. No. 19 North Carolina 71, No. 3 Virginia 67

Freshman forward Justin Jackson dropped 22 points off 8-of-10 shooting, lifting the Tar Heels into the ACC Tournament title game. This gives UNC two wins over top-15 in as many days as it will get a crack at Notre Dame or Duke on Saturday. Virginia had its struggles offensively, and Friday night’s outcome may have cost the Cavaliers a No. 1 seed.

4. No. 11 Notre Dame 74, Duke 64

The Fighting Irish defeat Duke for the second time this year, potentially knocking the Blue Devils off the top line. Notre Dame.

5. No. 4 Villanova 63, Providence 61

Villanova holds on to its hopes of being a No. 1 seed. But with the events down in Greensboro, could the Wildcats be in line for the top seed in the East Region?

STARRED

1. Purdue’s A.J. Hammons

23 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in the Boilermakers’ win over Penn State.

2. Justin Jackson, North Carolina

The freshman has scored in double figures in each of the last eight games, going for a career-high 22 points off 8-of-10 (4-of-5) shooting.

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State: The Sparty wing flirted with a triple-double, putting forth a 23-point, eight-rebound, seven-assist performance against Ohio State.

STRUGGLED

1. Florida’s Dorian Finney-Smith

Scored four points on 2-for-10 shooting in the Gators’ loss to No. 1 Kentucky.

2. Ryan Spangler:

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS

  • ACC semis: Two teams who entered with No. 1 seed aspirations in next week’s NCAA tournament both went down. Virginia’s offense sputtered against North Carolina and Notre Dame took down Duke for the second time this season.
  • American quarters: No. 20 SMU survived an afternoon in which East Carolina hit 13 three-pointers, beating the Pirates 74-68. They’ll take on Temple in Saturday’s semifinals, as the Owls beat Memphis 80-76. The Temple duo of Will Cummings and Obi Enechionyia held off Memphis in the last minute. Tulsa’s hops of a bid remain alive with a 59-51 victory over Houston. And like every March it seems, a UConn guard hit a clutch shot.
  • Atlantic 10 quarters: No. 24 Davidson beat La Salle as time expired, and VCU avenged its two defeats to Richmond with a 70-67 win over the Spiders. Rhode Island is still a potential bid stealer, advancing to the semis after a win over George Washington. Dayton held off Dion Wright and St. Bonaventure.
  • Big East: The Big East Co-Players of the Year each scored in the final moments. Kris Dunn tied the score with a layup for Providence. Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono was fouled on the ensuing possession, sinking the decisive free throws. Villanova will play Xavier, which survived a second half comeback.
  • Big Ten quarters: No. 6 Wisconsin took a little while to get going but they managed to take care of Michigan 71-60 with Sam Dekker leading a balanced effort with 17 points. Also advancing was Purdue, which held off Penn State 64-59. Indiana came up short against No. 8 Maryland and are bound to have a stressful Sunday. Michigan State capped off the quarterfinals with a 76-67 win over Ohio State.
  • Big Sky semis: Tyler Harvey and Eastern Washington are still in contention for an NCAA tournament berth. The Eagles will take on Montana, which advanced with a last-second win (a must-watch video).
  • Big West semis: Top-seeded UC Davis was upset by Hawaii, 65-58. Alan Williams missed a final second floater  in regulation for UC Santa Barbara. He re-aggravated his shoulder early in overtime and UC Irvine took advantage of his absence in route to a 72-63 win.
  • Big 12 semis: Kansas, the regular season champ, will take on Iowa State in Saturday’s final. Scroll up to see how Iowa State got past Oklahoma.
  • Conference USA semis: Kermit Davis’ Middle Tennessee squad has now won three games in three days, as they beat UTEP 53-50 with DeVante Jones scoring 17 points off the bench. UAB upset top-seeded Louisiana Tech 72-62, in overtime.
  • MAC: Central Michigan (75-66 win over Toledo) and Buffalo (68-59 win over Akron) will meet in the MAC final.
  • MEAC semis: North Carolina Central lost a conference game for the first time in 37 tries in a 63-57 loss to Delaware. The Eagles will not be back in the field of 68. Delaware State will take on 15-17 Hampton.
  • Mountain West semis: Larry Nance and the Cowboys are eyeing a bid as Wyoming knocked off top-ranked Boise State, 71-66.
  • Pac-12 semis: Arizona held off UCLA, 70-64 while Joe Young sunk a game-winner in the final second to send Oregon to the title game.
  • SEC quarters: In addition to Kentucky, Auburn continued its surprising run with a 73-70 overtime win over LSU. KT Harrell’s three-pointer with four tenths of a second remaining in regulation forced overtime. Bobby Portis went for 26 points and 11 boards in Arkansas’ 80-72 over Tennessee.
  • Sun Belt second round: Louisiana Lafayette advances to face top-seeded Georgia State. Louisiana Monroe gets Georgia Southern in the conference semifinals.
  • SWAC semifinals: Texas Southern punched its ticket for the Big Dance with a win over Prairie View A&M. Southern beat Alabama State 68-66 in the first semifinal of the day. Southern is ineligible for postseason play, meaning regardless of outcome, Mike Davis will led his program into the field of 68.
  • WAC: New Mexico State is one step close to a fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance.