Conference tournament wrap: 3/6/09

Cornell became the first squad to punch its dance ticket last night by clinching an outright Ivy League title. Friday also saw a great day of quarterfinal action in the Valley, as well as the first toppling of a No. 1 seed this postseason.

Three titles are on the line Saturday, but first, let's look at the best of the day that was.

Game of the Night

2) Creighton 63, 7) Wichita State 62 (Missouri Valley)

All four quarterfinal tilts in the Valley were entertaining, but second-seeded Creighton and No. 7 Wichita State provided the game of the '09 postseason thus far.

After trailing by as many as 22 in the second half, Wichita State took a one-point lead after Toure' Murray buried a three-pointer with nine seconds to play. Creighton failed to convert on the other end, but a Shocker player dropped the rebound and the ball went our-of-bounds and back to the Bluejays with 1.9 to play. Naturally, MVC Player of the Year Booker Woodfox got the ball in his hands and buried a jumper (see the video here) to beat the buzzer and keep Creighton's Missouri Valley - and probably NCAA Tournament - title hopes alive.

"I'm excited we won but I'm extremely disappointed with what happened in that last 10 minutes," Creighton coach Dana Altman said. "By the time I got to the locker room, I was very upset. I didn't let them off the hook.

"I got after them. If we're going to win a championship, we're going to have to play better basketball than that."

Woodfox missed all five shots he attempted in the first half, but scored 17 in the second.

Creighton (26-6) moves on to face Illinois State in Saturday's semifinals.

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Upset of the Night

4) Morehead State 62, 1) Tennessee-Martin 55 (Ohio Valley)

Lester...no exclamation point.

Two-time OVC PLayer of the Year Lester Hudson scored 34 of UT-Martin's 55 points and snatched 10 of its 27 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to get the top-seeded Skyhawks into the conference title game for the first time.

I am more upset for No. 5 (Hudson) than anybody else," said UTM coach Bret Campbell. "He came to play, and he didn't get any help.

"Lester makes his teammates better, but his teammates didn't allow that to happen. After everything he has done for this program, we couldn't let him dance. It is disappointing that the country won't see him in the NCAA's field of (65)."

Morehead State was led by Kenneth Faried's monster 22-point, 17-rebound performance.

As a result of their regular season title, Tennessee-Martin has earned an automatic bid to the NIT.

Player of the Night

Lester Hudson (Tennessee-Martin/Ohio Valley)

Martin earns the honor for the second time this week after dropping 34 and 10 in his final collegiate game.

Honor Roll

Kenneth Faried (Morehead State/Ohio Valley)

Scored 22 points and snatched 17 rebounds in his team's semifinal upset of NO .1 UT-Martin.

Courtney Pigram (East Tennessee State/Atlantic Sun)

Scored a game-high 30 points as ETSU knocked off three-time defending champion Belmont in the A-Sun semis.

Ryan Wittman (Cornell/Ivy League)

Led Cornell with 25 points as the Big Red clinched their second consecutive Ivy League championship.

Shy Ely (Evansville/Missouri Valley)

Kept the Purple Aces in their quarterfinal loss to Illinois State by scoring 29 points.

Dior Lowhorn (San Francisco/West Coast)

Scored a career-high 32 points for the Dons in a losing effort.

Full Results

Ohio Valley (Semifinals)

4) Morehead State 62, 1) Tennessee-Martin 55
2) Austin Peay 67, 3) Murray State 50

Atlantic Sun (Semifinals)

1) Jacksonville 88, 4) Lipscomb 72
2) East Tennessee State 88, 3) Belmont 74

Horizon League (Quarterfinals)

3) Cleveland State 67, 7) Illinois-Chicago 64
4) Wright State 80, 5) Milwaukee 70

Missouri Valley (Quarterfinals)

1) Northern Iowa 73, 9) Indiana State 69
2) Creighton 63, 7) Wichita State 62
3) Illinois State 78, 6) Evansville 68
4) Bradley 67, 5) Southern Illinois 55

America East (First Round)

9) Hartford 65, 8) Maine 56

Colonial Athletic Association (First Round)

5) Hofstra 79, 12) UNC-Wilmington 66
11) Towson 73, 6) Drexel 62
7) James Madison 70, 10) William & Mary 48
8) Georgia State 54, 9) Delaware 41

Metro Atlantic Athletic (First Round)

10) Marist 43, 7) Iona 40
9) Canisius 74, 8) Loyola 68

Southern (First Round)

3N) Samford 57, 6S) Furman 52
3S) Charleston 69, 6N) UNC-Greensboro 56
4N) Appalachian State 86, 5S) Georgia Southern 75
5N) Elon 62, 4S) Wofford 55

West Coast (First Round)

5) San Diego 62, 8) Loyola Marymount 56
6) Pepperdine 93, 7) San Francisco 85

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