|Baylor, Oklahoma State break open the Big 12|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 12 March 2009 17:19|
The Bears bumped off 11th-ranked Kansas 71-64 in one quarterfinal and the Cowboys bounced No. 6 Oklahoma, leaving the conference wide open after losing its top two seeds.
Meanwhile, Arizona's nation-leading streak of NCAA tournament appearances may have come quietly to an end. The Wildcats were beaten 68-56 in the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles by 23rd-ranked Arizona State.
Arizona has appeared in 24 straight NCAA tournaments, the longest active streak and second-longest behind the 27-year streak by North Carolina from 1975-2001. The Wildcats couldn't join in the upsets on Thursday.
Georgia Tech, the last-place team in the ACC, rose up to beat No. 17 Clemson in the opening round, led by Lewis Clinch's career-high 32 points.
Clinch made five 3-pointers to carry the Yellow Jackets (12-18) in Atlanta, who went 2-14 in the ACC during the regular season - including a pair of losses to the Tigers. He capped his performance with a pair of clinching free throws, eclipsing his career high of 30 points against Miami just eight days earlier.
ginia reached the Big East semifinals by beating No. 2 Pittsburgh, hurting the Panthers' chances at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with a 74-60 win.
Memphis, also a candidate for a top seed, nearly coughed it up, too. The fourth-ranked Tigers hung on for a sloppy 51-41 win over Tulane.
It was hard to top Baylor for a stunner, though.
LaceDarius Dunn hit six 3-pointers and scored 24 points to lead a late surge as Baylor rallied after blowing a 17-point lead to stun Kansas 71-64.
The three-time defending champion Jayhawks (25-7) led by five before Dunn fueled a decisive 12-0 run for the Bears (19-13).
Kansas became only the second top-seeded team to lose its opening game at the Big 12 tournament. Baylor was also responsible for the other upset, beating Iowa State in 2001.
For Oklahoma State, James Anderson hit two free throws with 2.3 seconds left and Oklahoma State won 71-70 in front of a divided Oklahoma City crowd.
Byron Eaton had 16 points and seven assists for Oklahoma State (22-10), which snapped a five-game losing streak against Oklahoma (27-5) and all but clinched an NCAA tournament berth.
Blake Griffin had 17 points and 19 rebounds for Oklahoma, but was whistled for fouling Anderson as several players tussled for a rebound after a missed shot by Eaton in the final seconds.
After Anderson's free throws, Griffin caught a long pass from Taylor Griffin, but missed a well-guarded 3-point attempt. Tony Crocker missed a follow shot.
The clock didn't start until after Griffin's shot, and officials used television replays to determine that time had expired