GAINESVILLE, Fla. – With strands of net behind their ears, Florida seniors Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yeguete and Patric Young stopped at midcourt and kissed the floor.
They stood up, started walking toward the locker room and then paused at the edge of the court. With their arms draped around one another, they took the last stride in unison.
Young scored 18 points in his home finale and No. 1 Florida routed 25th-ranked Kentucky 84-65 on Saturday, becoming the first team in Southeastern Conference history to go 18-0 in league play.
This is the way to go out, Young said. You couldn’t have scripted this one any better. What else could you want?
The Gators (29-2, 18-0), who have won 23 straight and 32 in a row at home.
No. 2 WICHITA STATE 67, MISSOURI ST 42: In St. Louis, Cleanthony Early scored 20 points with three 3-pointers and a pair of dunks, and the Shockers improved to 33-0 with little resistance in the Missouri Valley Conference semifinals.
No. 4 DUKE 93, NO. 14 NORTH CAROLINA 81: In Durham, N.C., freshman Jabari Parker had a season-high 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils (24-7, 13-5).
No. 6 VILLANOVA 77, GEORGETOWN 59: In Philadelphia, Darrun Hilliard scored 19 points to lead the Wildcats (28-3, 16-2 Big East) to a dominating victory.
WEST VIRGINIA 92, No. 8 KANSAS 86: In Morgantown, W.Va., Eron Harris scored 28 points, and the Mountaineers (17-14, 9-9 Big 12) withstood 41 points by freshman Andrew Wiggins and a furious comeback to upset the Jayhawks (23-8, 14-4).
No. 11 LOUISVILLE 81, No. 19 UCONN 48: In Louisville, Ky., Montrezl Harrell scored 20 points, Russ Smith recorded a career-high 13 assists and the Cardinals (26-5, 15-3) claimed a share of the American Athletic Conference championship.
No. 13 CREIGHTON 88, PROVIDENCE 73: In Omaha, Neb., Doug McDermott scored a career-high 45 points and became the eighth player in Division I history to go over 3,000 for a career, and the Bluejays (24-6, 14-4 Big East) put away the Friars (20-11, 10-8) quickly.
No. 15 CINCINNATI 70, RUTGERS 66: In Piscataway, N.J., Sean Kilpatrick scored 24 points and the Bearcats (26-5, 15-3) clinched a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season title.
No. 16 IOWA STATE 85, OKLAHOMA STATE 81, OT: In Ames, Iowa, Naz Long forced overtime with a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer, DeAndre Kane scored five of his 27 points in the closing seconds to pace Cyclones (23-7, 11-7 Big 12).
No. 20 MEMPHIS 67, No. 18 SMU 58: In Memphis, Tenn., Joe Jackson scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the Tigers (23-8, 12-6 American Athletic Conference).
Nic Moore, a Warsaw product, led the Mustangs (23-8, 12-6) with 16 points.
No. 23 OKLAHOMA 97, TCU 67: In Fort Worth, Texas, Buddy Hield scored 24 points the Sooners (23-8, 12-6) clinched the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tournament.
ILLINOIS 66, No. 24 IOWA 63: In Iowa City, Iowa, Jon Ekey hit a 3-pointer in the final second to lift the Illini (18-13, 6-12 Big Ten).