LAS VEGAS (AP) — LJ Cryer scored 28 points in a possible March preview to lead No. 5 Baylor to an 80-75 win over eighth-placed UCLA in Sunday’s Continental Tire Main Event consolation game.
The top 10 teams know what it’s like to get deep into the NCAA tournament, with Baylor winning the national championship two seasons ago and UCLA making the Final Four that same year.
That game had postseason intensity with 13 lead changes until the Bears (4-1) finally took the lead 61-53 with an 11-point run midway through the second half. UCLA (3-2) stayed within range but didn’t catch Baylor.
Cryer and Adam Flagler, who scored 22 points, made sure of that.
Just a point higher, Cryer delivered a 3-pointer with 2:50 left. Flagler made two jumps in the last minute, the last with 18 seconds remaining, but he finished 76-71. Each player made two free throws in the last eight seconds.
NO. 1 NORTH CAROLINA 80, JAMES MADISON 64
CHAPEL HILL, NC (AP) — RJ Davis scored 21 points, Armando Bacot had 19 points and 23 rebounds and North Carolina thumped James Madison to go 4-0.
Pete Nance added 11 points and Leaky Black had 12 rebounds as the Tar Heels finished a four-game homestand.
Takal Molson scored 19 points in James Madison’s first game against a top team in almost 32 years. Mezie Offurum had 12 points, Julien Wooden added 11 and Vado Morse finished with 10 for the Dukes (4-1).
North Carolina built a 21-point lead in the first half to take control early before going 45-26 at halftime.
The Dukes, who averaged 105.1 points in four games, didn’t reach the 50-point mark until less than 7 1/2 minutes were in the game.
NO. 16 VIRGINIA 70, NO. 19 Illinois 61
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Reece Beekman and his Virginia Cavaliers capped an emotional week with a late 13-point run to defeat Illinois and win the Continental Tire Main Event.
The Cavaliers (4-0) were 58-56 behind with 3 1/2 minutes to go when they broke away from Illinois (4-1).
Beekman scored 17 points and was the MVP of the tournament. Kihei Clark and Jayden Gardner each had 12 for Virginia.
Jayden Epps had 14 points and Coleman Hawkins had 10 for the Illini.
The game was played exactly a week after Virginia football players Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry were fatally shot after a field trip to a Washington play. Former Virginia football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. faces triple second-degree murder and other charges.
Virginia players wore shirts to honor those killed and crossed their arms in pre-game tribute.
NO. 12. Indiana 86, Miami (Ohio) 56
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Senior All-American center Trayce Jackson-Davis scored nine of 17 points for Indiana, who ended the first half on a 22-6 run and drove to a win over Miami, Ohio, in the Hoosier Classic.
The Hoosiers were clinging to a 21-20 lead with 7:43 remaining when Jackson-Davis dunk an alley-oop. Tamar Bates added another, then Jackson-Davis converted a three-point game.
Indiana (4-0) led 43-26 at halftime, a lead that increased to 34 at times in the second half.
Jackson-Davis finished the 33rd double-double of his career with 16 rebounds. Jalen Hood-Schifino added 12 points for the Hoosiers.
Julian Lewis and Mekhi Lairy each had 12 points for the Redhawks (1-3).
NO. 24 TEXAS A&M 67, LOYOLA CHICAGO 49
CONWAY, SC (AP) — Backup Henry Coleman III scored 13 points and Julius Marble scored 11 points in Texas A&M’s win over Loyola Chicago in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
Tyrece Radford made a layup to break a 9-all tie and the Aggies led the rest of the game. Texas A&M built a 33:22 lead at halftime and extended it to 52:32 on Marble’s layup, leaving 9:53.
Although Texas A&M (3-2) shot 4 to 17 from beyond the 3-point line, it went 18 to 32 inside the arc.
Philip Alston scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Loyola Chicago (2-3).
NO. 25 UCONN 95, DELAWARE STATE 60
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Adama Sanogo scored 26 points to lead UConn over Delaware State.
Donovan Clingan had 16 points and three blocked shots, Jordan Hawkins finished 11 points and nine rebounds, Joe Calcaterra added 11 points, five rebounds and five assists and Alex Karaban scored 10 points for the undefeated UConn (5-0).
Jevin Muniz scored 21 points and Kyle Johnson added 15 for Delaware State (1-4).
The Hornets played without lead scorer Brendon Stone, who averaged 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. Raymond Somerville became the only player from the state of Delaware to start every game that season.
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