ATLANTA (AP) -Tyler Hansbrough scored 28 points and made a disputed defensive stop in the final seconds as No. 1 North Carolina avoided an upset at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, holding off Virginia Tech 79-76 on Friday.
The Tar Heels, playing without injured ACC player of the year Ty Lawson, got all they could handle from the Hokies.
But Hansbrough scored the go-ahead basket with 36.1 seconds left - the 12th lead change of the second half - and then he tied up J.T. Thompson in the lane for a jump ball that gave North Carolina (28-3) possession with 5.2 seconds to go. Coach Seth Greenberg of Virginia Tech (18-14) threw his jacket in disgust, believing Thompson was fouled.
Hansbrough was fouled on the inbounds, made two free throws and A.D. Vassallo, who scored 26 points to lead Virginia Tech, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.
No. 4 Memphis 74, Houston 49
Houston in the Conference USA tournament semifinals.
The Tigers (30-3) had been tied with Duke for wins in a four-year span coming in and now have 134 wins over the past four seasons. Memphis has won 60 straight league games, second to Kentucky's 64 straight Southeastern Conference wins between 1945 and 1950.
Memphis will play either UAB or Tulsa in Saturday's championship, looking to pair a fourth straight C-USA tournament title with the Tigers' regular-season titles.
Houston (21-11) was playing its third game in three days, and had its worst scoring game of the season.
No. 7 Michigan State 64, Minnesota 56
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Chris Allen led three Spartans in double figures with 17 points, and Michigan State kept its hopes for a No. 1 seed alive with a victory over scrappy Minnesota in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament.
It was Michigan State's sixth straight win, and ninth in its last 10 games.
But if the Spartans (26-5) were trying to impress the NCAA selection committee, well, there's always that game Saturday against Ohio State. The Spartans shot less than 48 percent and had 16 turnovers, and they were threatening to end with one of their lowest point totals of the season until Minnesota was forced to foul down the stretch.
ent.
No. 20 LSU 67, Kentucky 58
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Marcus Thornton scored 21 points and LSU beat Kentucky to advance to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament and most likely end the Wildcats' streak of NCAA appearances at 17.
Thornton, the SEC player of the year, keyed a 10-2 spurt to enable the Tigers (26-6) to open a 14-point, second-half lead and nearly outscored Kentucky's high-scoring tandem of Jodie Meeks and Patrick Patterson by himself.
Kentucky (20-13) entered the tournament feeling it had to win it all to extend its string of consecutive NCAA appearances. The Wildcats last missed the NCAA tournament in 1991 and hasn't played in the NIT since 1979.
Patterson led Kentucky with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Meeks had a season-low eight points on 3-for-9 shooting.
No. 22 Florida State 64, Georgia Tech 62
ATLANTA (AP) - Derwin Kitchen scored the go-ahead layup with 7.7 seconds left as Florida State beat Georgia Tech to deny the Yellow Jackets a second straight ACC tournament upset.
Florida State (24-8) ended a streak of 11 straight losses in the quarterfinals while advancing to the semifinals for the first time since 1992, its first year in the league. Toney Douglas had 25 points for the Seminoles, who face North Carolina in Saturday's first semifinal.
Lewis Clinch scored 25 points for Georgia Tech (12-19), which beat No. 17 Clemson on Thursday.
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