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NCAA Basketball Highlights - Kansas ends perfect conference season in tough place

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Kansas' perfect league record - the first in the 6-year history of the Big 12 - came with a bonus. The last of the regular-season wins came over Missouri.

Five of the previous six times the Jayhawks played at Missouri with a Top 5 ranking, they lost. In both 1997 and '98, Missouri handed them their only conference loss.

On Sunday, No. 1 Kansas beat the Tigers 95-92, and Jayhawks coach Roy Williams said the best thing about it was he won't have to answer questions about why he didn't win at Missouri.

``And the second best, and it is in that order, is that it makes us 16-0,'' he said.

Nick Collison had 28 points and seven rebounds and Kirk Hinrich had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Jayhawks (27-2).

``Kansas has obviously had its struggles against Missouri,'' Collison said. ``It was kind of like that test that was waiting at the end. If we were going to go undefeated, we were going to have to win at Missouri, and we got it done.''

In other games involving ranked teams on Sunday, it was No. 2 Maryland 112, Virginia 92; No. 3 Duke 93, North Carolina 68; No. 4 Cincinnati 80, Memphis 75 in overtime; Mississippi 84, No. 6 Alabama 56; No. 7 Gonzaga 87, San Diego 79; and No. 15 Illinois 67, Minnesota 66.

Missouri (20-10, 9-7), which trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half, took a 92-91 lead on a three-point play by Arthur Johnson with 1:57 to go.

Collison scored with 1:36 to go, and Drew Gooden's tip-in with 26 seconds left put the Jayhawks up 95-92.

Missouri had several missed opportunities in the closing minutes, the last a 3-point attempt by Clarence Gilbert with 2 seconds left.

``I won't ever play in front of that crowd again, and that doesn't feel good,'' said Gilbert, who had 27 points in his last home game. ``I tried to give them a win, but it just didn't fall.''

Kansas will enter the Big 12 tournament with a 14-game winning streak, last losing at then-No. 11 UCLA in early January.

``It's a happy locker room,'' Williams said. ``The kids, they never had a goal to be 16-0, but as it came closer down the stretch they were asked about it so often.''

Missouri enters the Big 12 tournament as the sixth seed and will play Iowa State in the first round on Thursday night.

``Our confidence is really high,'' said Missouri's Kareem Rush, who had 22 points. ``We could have easily won this game, but now it's on to preparing for Iowa State.''

No. 2 Maryland 112, Virginia 92

Maryland ended its 47-year stay at Cole Field House in grand fashion, defeating Virginia to finish 15-0 at home and conclude the best regular season in school history.

Juan Dixon scored 23 points, Chris Wilcox had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Lonny Baxter added 18 points for the Terrapins (25-3, 15-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

The ACC champs won their 12th straight and eclipsed the 22-3 regular-season record of the 1974-75 squad.

Chris Williams scored a season-high 28 points, and Travis Watson had 20 for Virginia (17-10, 7-9), which lost its sixth straight on the road and for the ninth time in a row at Cole.

No. 3 Duke 93, North Carolina 68

Jason Williams scored 23 of his 37 points in the first half as the Blue Devils (26-3, 13-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) completed an undefeated (13-0) home season.

Jason Capel matched his career-high with 38 points for the Tar Heels (8-19, 4-12), who are almost guaranteed having the school's first 20-loss season after winning at least 20 for 31 consecutive seasons.

The Blue Devils will be a heavy favorite to hand North Carolina that loss when the two meet in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on Friday night.

No. 4 Cincinnati 80, Memphis 75, OT

Steve Logan, in his final home game, scored 30 points, including a jumper at the buzzer that sent the game into overtime, as the Bearcats (27-3, 14-2) continued their domination of Conference USA. Cincinnati, which scored 10 of its 12 points in overtime on free throws, has won or shared each of the league's seven regular season titles.

Freshman guard Dajuan Wagner had 27 points for Memphis (22-8, 12-4).

Mississippi 84, No. 6 Alabama 56

David Sanders scored a career-high 23 points for the Rebels (20-9, 9-7), who finished the regular season 13-1 at home, including 8-0 in the Southeastern Conference.

Rod Grizzard and Antoine Pettway each had 14 points for the Crimson Tide (24-6, 12-4), who had their second-lowest point total of the season and committed 26 turnovers.

No. 7 Gonzaga 87, San Diego 79

Blake Stepp made a 3-pointer from 25 feet with 51.2 seconds left and finished with 26 points as Gonzaga beat San Diego to reach the West Coast Conference tournament championship game for the fifth straight season.

Gonzaga (28-3) is trying for its fourth straight conference tournament championship.

The second-seeded Zags tied the school record for victories, set by the 1998-99 team that reached the West Regional finals.

The Bulldogs earned their 13th straight victory even though the fifth-seeded Toreros (16-13) led 47-40 at halftime.

No. 15 Illinois 67, Minnesota 66

Frank Williams' layup with 2.9 seconds left capped a 10-0 game-closing run that gave the Fighting Illini (23-7, 11-5) their eighth straight win and a share of the four-way tie for the Big Ten title. Brian Cook had 22 points and Williams added 12 for visiting Illinois, which finished in a tie with Wisconsin, Ohio State and Indiana.

Rick Rickert had 18 points for the Golden Gophers (16-11, 9-7), who led 66-57 with 3:15 to play.
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