Jacksonville Sports Day

Top 25 Roundup: Kentucky Back in SEC title game

NASHVILLE — Kentucky goes in search of its 30th SEC tournament title on Sunday after a 79-74 victory over Alabama in the semifinal round Saturday at Bridgestone Arena.

No. 1 seed Kentucky (28-5) will face No. 3 seed Arkansas in the championship game.
Freshman guard De’Aaron Fox scored 28 points, 14 in the final seven minutes, to lead the win. Freshman guard

Malik Monk added 20 points, 13 coming in the first half.

Freshman guard Dazon Ingram paced Alabama (19-14) with 17 points. After the Crimson Tide cut the deficit to 58-57 with 6:49 left, Fox scored 11 of Kentucky’s next 13 points to push the Wildcats back on top 71-63 with 1:33 to play.

No. 12 SMU 70, Central Florida 59
HARTFORD, Conn. — After blowing a 24-point lead and giving up 56 second half points Friday before holding off East Carolina, No. 12 SMU looked more like itself on Saturday.

Sterling Brown led three players in double figures with 22 points as the top-seeded Mustangs pulled away from fourth-seeded Central Florida in the second half in the American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals at XL Center.

Semi Ojeleye, the AAC Player of the Year, added 17 points for SMU (29-4), which will meet either Connecticut or No. 15 Cincinnati Sunday for the tournament title and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Shake Milton kicked in four 3-pointers and 16 points for the Mustangs, who earned their 15th straight win and 25th victory in 26 games.

No. 24 Wisconsin 76, Wisconsin 48
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senior forward Nigel Hayes had 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists and sophomore forward Ethan Happ added 16 points and eight rebounds as No. 24 Wisconsin advanced to the Big Ten Conference tournament title game with a drubbing of upstart Northwestern.

The No. 2 seed Badgers will play in the championship contest against No. 8 seed Michigan (23-11), which won its third game in three days with an 84-77 decision over Minnesota.

Wisconsin (25-8), which lost earlier this season to Northwestern, will play for the title for the third time in five years.
Zak Showalter added 10 points for the Badgers and Bronson Koenig, who struggled in his last outing against the Wildcats, had eight.

Scottie Lindsey paced Northwestern (23-11) with 16 points but it was a long day for the Wildcats and their purple-clad fans, who will watch Selection Sunday to see where they are headed for their first-ever NCAA appearance

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