SEC Men's Basketball in the NCAA Tournament - March 17 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Men's Basketball in the NCAA Tournament - March 17

    Kentucky 87, Iowa State 71
    Wisconsin 60, Vanderbilt 57

    Teague's 24 leads Kentucky over Iowa State

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Freshman Marquis Teague is taking Kentucky to the South Regional semifinals in Atlanta.

    And maybe a lot farther than that.

    Teague scored a career-high 24 points and top seed Kentucky put together another complete performance with a dominating second-half run in an 87-71 victory over Iowa State in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night.

    Freshman Anthony Davis had 15 points and 12 rebounds, senior Darius Miller added 19 points and Doron Lamb finished with 16. The Wildcats (34-2) used a 20-2 burst to break away from a tie and will next face fourth-seeded Indiana on Friday.

    The Wildcats have plenty of weapons and Teague's role as point guard has been one of the hardest. He's had to learn under coach John Calipari and acknowledged earlier this year he worried so much about it he has had sleepless nights.

    No more.

    Now he and his teammates will get another crack at the Hoosiers, who beat Kentucky on a last-second shot in December when the young `Cats committed a defensive lapse that cost them on the final play.

    Among the players who've improved the most since then is Teague, often overshadowed and compared to Calipari's former point guards at Kentucky and Memphis, including John Wall, Brandon Knight, Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans.

    Royce White, who almost transferred to Kentucky, scored 23 points and had nine rebounds before fouling out with 4:32 left for Iowa State (23-11), which beat defending national champion Connecticut on Thursday night.

    But the Cyclones couldn't contend with Kentucky's overwhelming offense and smothering defense after rallying from a 12-point halftime deficit to tie at 42-all with 16:23 left.

    Teague and Kentucky turned up the pressure with their big burst.

    Terrence Jones hit a basket, Miller added another and Jones flipped an alley-oop to Davis. After two free throws by Scott Christopherson, the Wildcats ran off 16 straight points that made it 62-42.

    Jones finished with eight points and 11 rebounds as Kentucky led by as many as 24 with 6:27 left while shooting 55.4 percent from the field on the night.

    Chris Allen scored 16 points and Christopherson finished with 15 for the Cyclones, who went 3 of 22 from 3-point range.

    In this tournament, Kentucky has remained the mark of consistency and made the most of its two games in its own state, just 75 miles from campus. Seemingly every member of Big Blue Nation attended, including actress Ashley Judd, who was stationed just behind the bench with Calipari's family.

    Teague and the rest of the Wildcats made sure the show was worth it.

    Wisconsin holds off Vanderbilt 60-57

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Badgers are riding the nation's stingiest defense back to the round of 16.

    The Badgers held the Southeastern Conference's two leading scorers in check Saturday night and Ryan Evans grabbed a crucial rebound with 2.1 seconds left to help Wisconsin fend off Vanderbilt 60-57 in the NCAA tournament.

    John Jenkins (20.1) and Jeffery Taylor (16.3) were held to 13 and 9 points, respectively. Trailing 59-57, the Commodores had a chance for the win, but Jenkins' 3-pointer was long and Evans grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 2.1 seconds left.

    He sank the first free throw but after a Vandy timeout, he missed the second and the Commodores called another timeout with 1.3 seconds left to set up the full-court play for a chance to send this third-round East Regional matchup.

    Jared Berggren got his right hand on Lance Goulbourne's overhand heave and as the ball deflected high, he started celebrating Wisconsin's fifth trip to the regional semifinals under coach Bo Ryan as the horn sounded.

    The Badgers lost to Butler 61-54 in the round of 16 last season.

    The fourth-seeded Badgers (26-9) were led by Jordan Taylor's 14 points and also got 12 from Berggren, 11 from Evans and reserve Ben Brust and 10 from Mike Bruesewitz.

    The Badgers grabbed two critical offensive rebounds in the final minute. First, Berggren rebounded a miss by Evans with 46 seconds to go and then Josh Gasser grabbed the board with 16.3 seconds left. But he missed the front end of a 1-and-1, giving Jenkins the chance in the closing seconds to send fifth-seeded Vandy (25-11) to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2007.

    After losing to lower seeds in their three previous trips to the NCAA tournament in 2008, `10 and `11, the Commodores held off Harvard 79-70 in their opener Thursday, but their senior-laden lineup was stifled by the Badgers, who led the nation in defense, allowing just 52.8 points coming into the game.

    Vandy didn't take its first lead until the first minute of the second half, on Jeffery Taylor's first basket of the night.

    The Badgers came right back with seven straight points, but this game stayed close throughout, befitting a 4-5 matchup of such experienced, disciplined teams.

    Brust's layup and 3-pointer from the right corner gave the Badgers their biggest lead at 53-44 with 6:33 remaining. Suddenly, however, the Badgers had trouble with Vandy's 2-3 zone. They couldn't penetrate and kept taking long 3-pointers with the shot clock winding down.

    The Commodores capitalized to the tune of a 13-3 run, taking a 57-56 lead on Festus Ezili's layup with 2:25 remaining.

    Jordan Taylor restored Wisconsin's lead with a contested 3-pointer from the top of the circle and the Badgers turned to defense to improve to 4-0 at The Pit. They also won twice here in 2000, advancing to the Final Four.

    Ezili led the Commodores with 14 points but he didn't start and the Badgers capitalized.

    Evans started out just like he did in the Badgers' NCAA opener, when he sank his first four baskets and scored nine straight points to give Wisconsin a 14-5 lead on its way to a 25-point blowout of Montana.

    This time, he hit a jumper, a 3-pointer and a bank shot from the paint before the Commodores knew what hit them, then added a free throw that gave the Badgers a quick 10-2 lead.

    Ezili was an onlooker as Commodores coach Kevin Stallings started Steve Tchiengang instead. Ezili entered the game at the 16:50 mark with Vandy trailing 7-2.

    Unlike the Grizzlies 48 hours earlier, Vandy settled down and settled in to keep the Badgers from running away with this one. Although they didn't lead in the first 20 minutes, the Commodores pulled to 32-31 at the break on Brad Tinsley's NBA-long 3-pointer at the buzzer following a timeout with 3.6 seconds left.

    Neither team got many second-chance points because both teams had just three offensive rebounds in the first half. The bigger issue for Vanderbilt was Jeffery Taylor's goose egg in the first half, when he also had just one rebound.

    He promptly gave the Commodores their first lead when he swished a short jumper 23 seconds into the second half, but the Badgers responded with seven straight points, including a 3-pointer by Jordan Taylor following a steal by Bruesewitz.