Virginia Tech leaves itself some work to do in the ACC tourney
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By Mark Schlabach
By Jason McCallum
AP Photo/Mike Groll
Jason Thompson has quietly scored 2,001 career points at Rider.
On Tap For Monday• CAA: No. 5 William & Mary vs. No. 3 George Mason, 7 ET (ESPN)
• MAAC: No. 1 Siena vs. No. 2 Rider, 7 ET (ESPN2)
• WCC: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 3 San Diego, 9 ET (ESPN)
• SoCon: No. 1 Davidson vs. No. 7 Elon, 9 ET (ESPN2)
All games are conference championships. For the full schedule, click here. All games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Full Court also are on ESPN360.com.
Sunday's Top 25 Scores• No. 4 Tennessee 89, South Carolina 56
• No. 9 Texas 62, Oklahoma State 57
• No. 14 Connecticut 96, Cincinnati 51
• No. 15 Purdue 72, Michigan 58
• Penn State 68, No. 17 Indiana 64
• Ohio State 63, No. 18 Michigan State 54
• No. 21 Drake 79, Illinois State 49
• No. 23 Gonzaga 52, Santa Clara 48 For all scores, click here.
Texas earns top seed in Big 12 tourney
MAAC Title GameBy Andy Glockner
ESPN.com ALBANY, N.Y. -- Persistent Siena needed only one basket from Johnny-on-the-spot forward Josh Duell, while short-handed Rider needed every bucket it could get from star big man Jason Thompson. Both teams got just what they needed Sunday night, which is why the MAAC's top two seeds will meet in the title game here Monday. Against Loyola (Md.), a team that had beaten Siena four straight times over the past two seasons, the Saints found a way back from a 17-point hole through an unusual source -- their defense. Down by 10 at the break, Siena spent the whole second half slowly squeezing the life out of the Greyhounds' offense. Despite 17 second-half points from Siena guard Kenny Hasbrouck, the Saints couldn't snatch the lead until just 19.9 seconds remained. That's when Duell, a former Vermont Catamount who transferred home to play for the team he cheered as a kid, made a tough layup while being fouled for his only points of the game, capping a game-ending 8-0 run and giving Siena a 65-63 win. "Any time you grow up watching a team and end up wanting to play for them and then getting to play for them, you want to help out in any way possible," Duell said. "Fortunately for me, I've been able to do that a couple times this year where I've gotten to make big shots." For Rider's Thompson, one basket is a typical possession's worth of production. He managed to average 20 and 10 for the second straight season, all the while deferring to other teammates at times to help the development of the youthful core of Broncs around him. That was not part of the plan on Sunday against a game Marist squad, though. Not with Rider missing two starters, including Jason's brother, Ryan, the team's second leading scorer, who is out for the tournament with a concussion. "I just called him aside [earlier in the day] and said, 'This is going to take an extraordinary effort tonight,' being undermanned like we were," said Rider coach Tommy Dempsey. Trailing by seven at the half, the Broncs repeatedly went inside and the league Player of the Year delivered 19 second-half points on his way to a 32-point, 18-rebound effort that fueled a 76-71 victory. There's no rest for the weary, though. The Broncs have less than 24 hours to get ready for the host Saints, whose up-tempo style could make Rider's lack of bodies a significant problem. "I have a lot of concerns that we can rally and perform this way [again]," Dempsey said. "I think it took a lot out of us tonight, emotionally, physically, and it will be very challenging."
Rider survives against Marist in MAAC
Champ WeekDrake, in routing Illinois State 79-49, won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1971. Former walk-on Adam Emmenecker, the Valley's Player of the Year, took home the tourney's Most Valuable Player honors. To read about Emmenecker's remarkable play, read Adam Rittenberg's column.
Here are some other key conference tournament scores from Sunday:America East:
Hartford 59, Boston University 52
William & Mary 56, VCU 54
George Mason 53, UNC Wilmington 41
Siena 65, Loyola (Md.) 63
Rider 76, Marist 71
Davidson 82, UNC Greensboro 52
Elon 75, Charleston 61
South Alabama 81, New Orleans 77
Western Kentucky 84, North Texas 70
San Diego 75, Saint Mary's 69 (2OT)
To see all of ESPN.com's Champ Week coverage, click here.