Big East’s Louisville Advances to NCAA Tournament, Kansas Wins

Montrezl Harrell scored 20 points to rally the University of Louisville to a 78-61 victory over Syracuse University for the Big East Conference title and a berth in the national men’s college basketball tournament.

Louisville, down by 16 points in the second half, recovered last night to win its second straight Big East championship.

“When I got on the floor, I just wanted to help the guys with a big lift,” Harrell told reporters. “I was going all over the place, trying to get rebounds, either offense or defense. I just came out hard and played my heart out.”

The 68 teams and their seedings for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament that starts March 19 will be announced today. The NCAA championship game is April 8 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

In conference championship games yesterday, it was Oregon 78, California at Los Angeles 69 in the Pacific 12; Albany 53, Vermont 49 in the America East; Kansas 70, Kansas State 54 in the Big 12; Montana 67, Weber State 64 in Big Sky; and Memphis 91, Southern Mississippi 79 in Conference USA. Chicago State beat Houston Baptist 75-60 for the Great West title although the winner doesn’t get an automatic berth in the tournament.

In other title matches, it was Akron 65, Ohio 46 in the Mid-American; North Carolina A&T 57, Morgan State 54 in the Mid- Eastern Athletic; New Mexico 63, Nevada-Las Vegas 56 in Mountain West; Northwestern State 68, Stephen F. Austin 66 in Southland; Southern 45, Prairie View A&M 44 in Southwestern Athletic; New Mexico State 64, Texas-Arlington 55 in Western Athletic; and Pacific 64, California-Irvine 55 in Big West.

In today’s championship rounds, it is Virginia Commonwealth against Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10; Miami and North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast; Wisconsin and Ohio State in the Big Ten; and Florida and Mississippi in the Southeastern.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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