KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Something about the Big 12 Tournament brings out the best in Iowa State.
The fifth-seeded Cyclones raced to a big early lead against No. 17 Kansas, then leaned on some balanced scoring and enough stops down the stretch to beat the Jayhawks 78-66 on Saturday night and remain unbeaten in five championship game appearances.
Lindell Wigginton had 17 points, Marial Shayok had 15 and Michael Jacobson 14 for the Cyclones (23-11). They became the lowest-seeded team ever to win the conference tournament and improved to 2-0 against Kansas (25-9) in the finals.
Dedric Lawson had 18 points and Devon Dotson added 17 for the third-seeded Jayhawks, whose last chance to win some hardware will be the NCAA Tournament. Their run of 14 consecutive regular-season crowns ended last weekend, and they failed to defend their Big 12 Tournament title.
Meanwhile, the Cyclones made a tremendous about-face during their stay in Kansas City. They arrived having lost five of their last six regular-season games, and looked rudderless in losses to Texas and lowly West Virginia. But beginning with a blowout of Baylor and continuing with a quarterfinal win over regular-season champ Kansas State, the Cyclones found their stride.
No. 10 Michigan 76, Minnesota 49
CHICAGO — Isaiah Livers scored a career-high 21 points and Michigan closed in on a record third straight Big Ten Tournament championship.
Zavier Simpson added 15 points and nine assists to help Michigan (28-5) win its 10th straight Big Ten Tournament game — the conference’s longest streak.
Amir Coffey had 14 points for Minnesota (21-13).
No. 8 Tennessee 82,
No. 4 Kentucky 78
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Lamonte’ Turner hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 30 seconds left and Tennessee rallied to beat Kentucky in a Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinal thriller.
Tennessee (29-4) trailed by eight with less than three minutes left before rallying to move a step closer to its first SEC Tournament title since 1979. The third-seeded Volunteers will face No. 22 Auburn (25-9) on Sunday.
Tennessee had an 11-2 run to take a 75-74 lead on a Grant Williams 3-pointer from in front of the Vols’ bench with 1:31 left. Kentucky (27-6) went back ahead with 1:06 left on PJ Washington’s putback.
No. 22 Auburn 65,
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jared Harper hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left and Auburn held off Florida to reach the Southeastern Conference championship game for the first time since 2000.
Harper finished with 20 points, and Bryce Brown scored all 11 of his points in the second half for the Tigers (25-9). Kevarrius Hayes and Jalen Hudson each had 16 points for Florida.