FSU upends No. 1 Duke

Florida State's Al Thornton, left, gets past Duke's Greg Paulus for a dunk. Thornton's 26 points helped the Seminoles upend No. 1 Duke, 79-74, Wednesday night in Tallahassee, Fla.

? Alexander Johnson wasn’t around for the finish of Florida State’s one-point overtime loss to Duke earlier this season.

Wednesday night, most of the Duke players weren’t near the court when the Seminoles beat the top-ranked Blue Devils, 79-74.

Florida State fans prematurely stormed the court with 1.7 seconds left to play, but that only delayed the final buzzer that signaled the Seminoles’ second victory over No. 1 Duke in three years.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzweski had his team – except the five in the game – taken to the locker room before Al Thornton took the final free throws although 1.7 seconds remained on the clock. He said he feared for his players’ safety.

“I would think that security is not ready for that type of thing,” Krzyzewski said. “We weren’t going to win the basketball game, the game was basically over, so why put those kids in harm’s way?”

He said that saying anything more about it would be misinterpreted.

“It’s an unfortunate situation and let the powers-to-be handle it … in front of everybody, though, not behind closed doors,” he said.

J.J. Redick was 10-for-28 from the field and had 30 points for Duke (27-2, 14-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), while Shelden Williams had 20 points.

Johnson, who broke the game’s final tie Wednesday, said he wasn’t thinking about what happened when Florida State (18-8, 8-7) played at Duke on Feb. 4. In that game, he was sent to the bench with his fifth foul, a technical, in the second half.

The ACC later determined the technical against Johnson, called after he was bumped by Williams, who also got a technical, was a mistake and suspended the three-man officiating crew for one game.

“I just played ball because I didn’t want to think about that,” Alexander said. “I kind of let that stay in the past, never looked back at it.”

Johnson said he was afraid that if he did dwell on the last game, he would have gotten too physical.

“I would have got some cheap fouls trying to aggressive against Shelden Williams so I kind of relaxed and let my game come to me,” said Johnson, who finished with 22 points.

It was Williams who was in foul trouble Wednesday night. He fouled out with 27 seconds left.

The loss ended the run at an unbeaten ACC season for Duke (27-2, 14-1), which finishes the regular season Saturday night at home against North Carolina.

No. 2 Connecticut 66, South Florida 53

Tampa, Fla. – Josh Boone scored 17 points, and Denham Brown added 16, helping Connecticut overcome cold shooting to hold off South Florida for coach Jim Calhoun’s 729th career win.

No. 4 Villanova 65, St. John’s 52

Villanova, Pa. – Randy Foye and Allan Ray put on one final show for the home crowd.

Foye scored 14 straight points for Villanova and finished with 21, and Ray shook off a sprained knee to score 15.

No. 7 George Washington 89, St. Bonaventure 78

Olean, N.Y. – Danilo Pinnock and Maureece Rice teamed to key a 13-point run that helped George Washington extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games.

The Colonials (25-1, 15-0 Atlantic 10) needed to overcome a resilient Bonnies team which led by as many six points midway through the second half and didn’t relinquish the lead until there was 6:31 left.

No. 9 Ohio State 56, Northwestern 53

Evanston, Ill. – Terence Dials scored 18 points, and Ron Lewis drove for a layup in the closing seconds to help Ohio State clinch at least a share of the Big Ten championship.

Kentucky 80, No. 11 Tennessee 78

Knoxville, Tenn. – Randolph Morris scored 22 points, and Rajon Rondo added 16, and Kentucky held on.

The Wildcats avenged the Volunteers’ win in Lexington last month that snapped an eight-game losing streak in the series.

No. 13 North Carolina 99, Virginia 54

Chapel Hill, N.C. – David Noel had 19 of his career-high 26 points in the first half of the final home game of his career. Reyshawn Terry added 17 points, and North Carolina rolled past Virginia.

The Tar Heels clinched a tie for second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

No. 17 Florida 77, Georgia 66

Gainesville, Fla. – Joakim Noah had a career-high 37 points and 11 rebounds to help Florida snap a three-game losing streak.

No. 23 Iowa 65, Penn State 38

Iowa City, Iowa – Mike Henderson scored 16 points, and Erek Hansen added 15 to help Iowa snap a two-game losing streak. Iowa took control midway through the first half and led by double digits the rest of the way. The Hawkeyes clinched a first-round bye for the Big Ten tournament.