Calhoun returns, lends UConn energy

Jim Calhoun ignored doctor's orders following back surgery and was plenty animated on the sideline Saturday in his triumphant return from a monthlong medical leave.

Shabazz Napier scored 23 points, including a big three-pointer with a minute left, and the Huskies (18-12, 8-10 Big East) went on an 8-1 run after giving up the lead with 2:51 to go in Storrs for a 74-65 win over Pittsburgh in Storrs.

The Huskies kept alive hopes for an at-large bid to defend their NCAA title.

"He was there to be our backbone when they were making runs," Huskies guard Ryan Boatright said. "It was just a whole 'nother vibe with him back on the sidelines."

Calhoun did not speak with the media after the game.

J.J. Moore led Pittsburgh (16-15, 5-13) with 16 points.

North Carolina 88, Duke 70: Tyler Zeller had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes 16 points for the No. 6 Tar Heels (27-4, 14-2 ACC), who coasted after going to halftime with a 24-point lead in Durham. UNC shot 54.5 percent and had a 45-28 rebounding advantage. Mason Plumlee had 17 points, Miles Plumlee 16 points and 11 rebounds and Austin Rivers 15 for the No. 4 Blue Devils (26-5, 13-3).

Syracuse 58, Louisville 49: Brandon Triche scored 18 points, including the first eight of the second half, as host No. 2 Syracuse (30-1, 17-1) limited No. 19 Louisville (22-9, 10-8) to 33.9 percent shooting. The Orange set a conference record for victories.

Marquette 83, Georgetown 69: Jae Crowder had 26 points and 14 rebounds and host No. 8 Marquette (25-6, 14-4 Big East) went 33-for-45 on free throws. Otto Porter and Hollis Thompson scored 19 points each for the No. 11 Hoyas (22-7, 12-6).

DePaul 86, Seton Hall 58: In Rosemont, Ill., Jamee Crockett scored 21 points as host DePaul (12-18, 3-15 Big East) dealt Seton Hall (19-11, 8-10) a blow in its quest for an NCAA bid.

Cincinnati 72, Villanova 68: The Bearcats (22-9, 12-6 Big East) got late threes from Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuon Parker to snap a tie game and send them to their fifth win in six games and a double bye in the conference tournament. Maalik Wayns had 26 points for host Villanova (12-18, 5-13).

West Virginia 50, South Florida 44: Darryl Bryant had 12 of his 16 points in the second half and West Virginia (19-12, 12-6), which shot only 29 percent from the field, scored its last 10 points on free throws in Tampa, Fla. USF (19-12, 12-6) had won six of its previous seven games.

AUTOMATIC BIDS

Murray State 54, Tennessee State 52: Jewuan Long drove the baseline for a layup with 4.4 seconds left, and No. 12 Murray State (30-1) rallied from seven points down in the final 5:28 in the Ohio Valley Conference final in Nashville, Tenn.

Belmont 83, Florida Gulf Coast 69: Trailing by 13 in the first half, the Bruins (27-7) went on a 17-7 first-half run and a 17-5 second-half run in the Atlantic Sun final in Macon, Ga.

UNC Asheville 80, VMI 64: Despite being hindered by a hip pointer, Matt Dickey had 15 points and five steals to spark host UNC Asheville (24-9) to its second straight Big South Conference title.-- AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NCAA basketball videos

Newsday Sports on Facebook

advertisement | advertise on newsday