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 American is headed back to the NCAA tournament a year after receiving the first bid in school history.
The Eagles played suffocating defense to beat Holy Cross 73-57 Friday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd on its campus that included Washington mayor Adrian Fenty.
Tournament MVP Garrison Carr scored 24 points, launching momentum-swinging 3-pointers whenever his team needed them, but there was little doubt the Eagles (24-7) won because they didn't give conference rookie of the year R.J. Evans and the rest of the Crusaders room to breathe.
American earned its first NCAA Division I berth last year and lost to Tennessee as a No. 15 seed.
In Memphis, Tenn., the fourth-ranked Tigers - who could very well wind up facing American in the first round if the seeds fall right - just kept on winning.
Memphis extended its nation-leading win streak to 24, eliminating Houston from the Conference USA tournament.
rth straight conference tournament title.
The Tigers bested Duke's 133 wins from 1998-2001, a run that culminated in a national championship. Whether the Tigers accomplish that or not, they've already made their mark.
``I think 40 years from now, they'll still be the winningest players in the history of college basketball,'' coach John Calipari said.
Top-ranked North Carolina avoided an upset and progressed toward a top NCAA seed by holding off Virginia Tech 79-76 in the ACC tournament at the Georgia Dome. Florida State had to do the same against Georgia Tech, needing a 64-62 win to advance to a semifinal against the Tar Heels.
No. 20 LSU bumped off Kentucky 67-58 in the SEC tournament in Tampa, Fla., jeopardizing the Wildcats' 17-year streak of NCAA appearances.
Their former coach, Tubby Smith, might be headed for the NIT, too. His Minnesota team lost to No. 7 Michigan State 64-56 at the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis, leaving the Golden Gophers (22-10) waiting to see if they'll be good for their first visit to the NCAAs since 2005.
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