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Colleges

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Associated Press
Colorado fans rush the court in celebration of a win against No. 6 Kansas. Askia Booker’s 30-foot shot gave the Buffaloes their ninth straight win.
Men’s Top 25

Buffs’ buzzer-beater shocks No. 6 Kansas

– Maybe Askia Booker walked. Maybe he didn’t.

At Kansas, the debate about a last-second loss to Colorado in December will be long forgotten by March.

Then again, if the Jayhawks don’t pick things up a bit, they may not be playing too long in March.

“We’re not playing very good,” Kansas coach Bill Self said after the sixth-ranked Jayhawks fell 75-72 to Colorado thanks to Booker’s 30-foot game-winner at the buzzer.

“We’re not playing good at all. The pieces just aren’t quite fitting yet and we’re trying to find ourselves.”

Instead, it’s the Buffs (9-1) who are finding themselves – winners of nine straight – while Kansas (6-2) is looking for answers after its second loss in the past eight days and its first to Colorado since 2003.

“I’m concerned because we’re not playing very good,” Self said. “I’m not concerned because I know it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Kansas overcame a deficit of nine midway through the second half, then another six-point deficit over the final 1:44 – a comeback capped when Perry Ellis hit a shot to tie it at 72 with 4 seconds left.

But after a timeout, Buffs forward Xavier Johnson squeezed an inbounds pass to Booker, who dribbled just past the back foot of the massive Buffs logo at center court, took two long steps and launched the shot from 30 feet.

Nothing but net.

“I’m not sure I ever thought that would happen,” Booker said.

The Jayhawks weren’t sure it should have counted.

“I thought he traveled, but you know that Euro move,” Self said. “We let him catch it. That’s a little frustrating.”

After the game-winner, the fans stormed onto the court and gang-tackled Booker, a junior who is trying to lead the Buffs to three straight appearances in the NCAA tournament for the first time in history.

“It’s hard for me to put this win in historical perspective,” CU coach Tad Boyle said, who played for Kansas in the ’80s. “But for where this program is in the evolution stage, this is kind of a hump game.”

No. 2 ARIZONA 63, UNLV 58: In Tucson, Ariz., T.J. McConnell had 13 points, six assists and seven rebounds, making critical plays down the stretch, and the Wildcats (9-0) escaped the Rebels’ (3-4) upset bid.

The Wildcats have a shot at moving to the top of the rankings after No. 1 Michigan State lost to North Carolina.

No. 4 SYRACUSE 93, BINGHAMTON 65: In Syracuse, N.Y., Trevor Cooney and C.J. Fair each scored 17 points and the Orange (9-0) hit the Bearcats (2-7) with a long-range barrage and ran its nonconference home winning streak to 48 games.

Jerami Grant had 14 points for Syracuse, Dajuan Coleman had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman Ron Patterson added a season-high 10 points.

No. 7 LOUISVILLE 113, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 74: In Louisville, Montrezl Harrell scored 20 points and the Cardinals (8-1) used good shooting to blow out the Ragin’ Cajuns (6-3).

Harrell led six Cardinals in double figures as Chris Jones added 19 points, Russ Smith 16, Wayne Blackshear 15, Terry Rozier 11 and Luke Hancock 10 to reach 1,000 in his career.

No. 11 WICHITA STATE 71, ORAL ROBERTS 58: In Wichita, Kan., Cleanthony Early scored 16 points, Chadrick Lufile had 14 and the Shockers (9-0) rallied from yet another halftime deficit.

No. 14 VILLANOVA 98, SAINT JOSEPH’S 68: In Philadelphia, James Bell had 25 points and 14 rebounds and JayVaughn Pinkston scored 27 points as the Wildcats (9-0) dominated the second half to thump their city rival.

Ramon Galloway led the Hawks (4-4) with 18 points and DeAndre Bembry had 17.

No. 16 MEMPHIS 96, NORTHWESTERN STATE 76: In Memphis, Tenn., Shaq Goodwin scored a career-high 21 points the Tigers (6-1) shot 54 percent for the game.

No. 17 IOWA STATE 91, NORTHERN IOWA 82, OT: In Des Moines, Iowa, Melvin Eim scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half and overtime, and the Cyclones (7-0) rallied from 18 down against the rival Panthers (3-5).

Nate Buss had 23 points and Wes Washpun scored 18 with eight assists for Northern Iowa.

MISSOURI 80, No. 18 UCLA 71: In Columbia, Mo., Jabari Brown scored 22 points and Jordan Clarkson added 21 to help the Tigers (9-0) upset the Bruins (8-1).

The win extended Missouri’s NCAA-best, home-court winning streak to 24 games and the Tigers’ run of 79 consecutive wins against nonconference opponents at Mizzou Arena.

No. 21 UMASS 105, BRIGHAM YOUNG 96: In Springfield, Mass., Chaz Williams had career highs of 32 points and 15 assists, and Sampson Carter scored 20 for the Minutemen (8-0).

Tyler Haws scored 25 points for the Cougars (7-3), which had won two in a row.

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