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Maryland KO's Duke

Blue Devils' string of ACC titles ends

So many terrific Maryland teams never won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Leave it to the unlikeliest bunch of Terrapins to finally end a 20-year drought.

Maryland capped an improbable run through the tournament yesterday by beating No. 5 Duke, 95-87, in overtime in Greensboro, N.C., ending the top-seeded Blue Devils' run at five straight championships.

It was the first ACC tournament title for the sixth-seeded Terrapins (19-11) since 1984. Maryland had been to just one final since, in 2000 when the Blue Devils were in the early stages of their tournament dominance.

Duke (27-5) came into the tournament looking for its record sixth consecutive title and 15th overall.

Instead, the Blue Devils took their first ACC postseason loss since 1998 -- snapping a streak of 17 wins.

Maryland had tournament MVP John Gilchrist to thank for that.

The sophomore guard put together a terrific three-game stretch to help the Terps beat the Nos. 3, 2, and 1 seeds.

Gilchrist made the winning free throw in a quarterfinal win over No. 15 Wake Forest, he scored a career-high 30 points in a semifinal win over North Carolina State, and capped it with 26 points against Duke on 10-of-20 shooting.

Southeastern -- Chuck Hayes scored 23 points and eighth-ranked Kentucky romped to another conference tournament title, beating Florida, 89-73, in Atlanta. Kentucky (26-4) dismantled the Gators (20-10) for the second time in a week, following up a 20-point win at Rupp Arena to close the regular season.

The 25 tournament titles are more than the other schools in the conference combined, to go along with 42 regular-season championships. Contrast that with Florida, which fell to 0-4 in SEC tournament finals. The Gators are one of just two current members who have never won the tourney.

Big 12 -- Seventh-ranked Oklahoma State continued its combination of tenacious defense and athleticism to beat No. 11 Texas, 65-49, in Dallas and win their first Big 12 tournament title. Tony Allen scored 21 points and led a defense that held the Longhorns without a field goal for nearly 14 of the final 15 minutes, turning a 3-point game into a rout.

Texas (23-7) was down 16 points in the opening minutes, but chipped away to get within 42-39 with 14:48 left on a 3-point play by Jason Klotz. The Longhorns had hit 3-pointers on their two previous possessions.Oklahoma State (27-3) responded by turning up the defense. The Longhorns didn't make another field goal until a putback by James Thomas with 57 seconds left got them within 63-47.

Big Ten -- Devin Harris scored 29 points and Wisconsin held Illinois to a season-low 32.7 percent shooting to win its first tournament title, 70-53, in Indianapolis. Harris was 10 of 16 from the field and scored the No. 10 Badgers' first 11 points of the second half to help snap the 12th-ranked Illini's 12-game winning streak.

Mike Wilkinson added 11 points and eight rebounds for Wisconsin (24-6), which led by as many as 21 points in the second half.

Patriot -- Jose Olivero hit a leaning jumper with 3.9 seconds remaining as Lehigh earned an NCAA Tournament bid with a 59-57 victory over American in the title game in Bethlehem, Pa. Tournament MVP Austen Rowland had 14 points and Jason Mgebroff added 13 for the Mountain Hawks (20-10), who won the tournament for the first time.

Division 2 Northeast Regional -- Forward Jason Noel pumped in 17 points to go with 11 rebounds as Bryant (23-9) advanced to Tuesday's final with a 64-60 victory over New York Tech in Lowell . . . Elad Inbar erupted for 25 points to power host UMass-Lowell into the final, 67-61, over Southern New Hampshire.

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