Kentucky tops Vols,
wins 4th straight
ST. LOUIS (AP) — John Calipari kept telling anyone who would listen that this group of Kentucky freshmen just needed a little more time than most to figure things out.
That faith was shaken when the Wildcats lost four straight games last month. But they delivered on their coach's optimism on Sunday.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 29 points, and Kentucky beat No. 13 Tennessee 77-72 for its fourth straight Southeastern Conference Tournament championship.
It's the 31st title in tournament history for the Wildcats, whose No. 4 seed in the event was the lowest in Calipari's nine seasons at the school. The Wildcats (24-10) were one defeat away last month from what would have been the longest losing streak in the Calipari era, but they have won seven of eight since — including their first in three tries this season against the No. 2 seed Volunteers.
The Claflin Panthers used solid pitching performances from Dillon Parker and Cleveland Westbrook en route to sweeping Saint Augustine's University, 4-2 and 11-2, on Saturday at Mirmow Field.
The wins snapped a five-game Claflin losing streak and improved the Panthers' worksheet to 4-17.
SAU fell to 8-13 on the season.
In game one, Dillon Parker pitched five scoreless innings in going the distance. The win was Parker’s first of the season in four decisions. He lost the shutout in the sixth, when the Falcons scored two unearned runs. Parker finished the game allowing five hits with four strikeouts.
Brain Freeman took the loss for SAU.
Claflin was led by Clyde Parker, 2-for-3 with an RBI. Darrell Langston, Jalen Sprull and Eric McElveen had a hit and an RBI each.
Carson Davis led SAU at the plate with two hits.
In the second game, Westbrook tossed a complete game and Langston belted a pair of home runs in leading Claflin to the 11-2 victory.
Westbrook pitched a five-hitter and fanned seven Falcons.
Amilcan Yanez took the loss for SAU.
Langston finished the game with four hits, three runs scored and four RBI for the Panthers.
Grayland Fowler also enjoyed a productive day at the plate for Claflin, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs.
Davis had two hits for the Falcons.
Claflin will return to action on Tuesday for a midweek contest at Coker College at 2 p.m.
Wilson named EspnW
Player of the Year
COLUMBIA – South Carolina senior forward A’ja Wilson was named espnW Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, the organization announced Sunday on its website.
Wilson, who was picked as espnW's preseason player of the year, this past week was named USA TODAY Sports player of the year.
The league’s first three-time SEC Player of the Year, Wilson has been a presence on the national stage every year of her Gamecock career. A four-time All-American and SEC First-Team selection – the first in South Carolina history – she has turned in her most dominant stats in her final campaign for the Garnet and Black.
CofC to face Auburn
in NCAA regional
The College of Charleston men’s basketball team will make its fifth all-time appearance in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship as the 68-team field was announced on Selection Sunday.
As the regular season and tournament champion out of the Colonial Athletic Association, the No. 13-seeded Cougars (26-7) will face No. 4-seeded Auburn (25-7) in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Region on Friday, March 16 at 7:27 p.m. the Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl in San Diego, California, televised on TruTV.
“We are excited and happy to be in the NCAA Tournament,” College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant said. “We are battle tested. We have experience, size, depth and toughness. We’ve been able to win on the road and on neutral courts this season. We are built to win.
"I think this team has some destiny in them. We just need to come up with a good game plan and try to put our best foot forward.”
The Tigers, who received an at-large bid out of the Southeastern Conference, lead 3-0 in the all-time series with the Cougars and both schools last faced each other in the 2012 ESPN Charleston Classic (L, 51-55) at TD Arena.
The winner will face either No. 5 Clemson (23-9) or No. 12 New Mexico State (28-5) in the second round. Kansas (27-7) is the top seed in the Midwest Region.
The Cougars are 1-4 all-time in NCAA Tournament games and previously earned an at-large berth in 1994 (TAAC) and automatic berths in 1997 (TAAC), 1998 (TAAC) and 1999 (Southern Conference).