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NCAA top 25: Kentucky wraps up a share of 44th SEC championship

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Patrick Patterson had a season-high 23 points and No. 2 Kentucky avenged its only loss this season with an 82-61 victory over South Carolina on Thursday night.

The Wildcats (27-1, 12-1) need just one more victory or a Vanderbilt loss to clinch at least a share of their 44th Southeastern Conference championship.

Like its last meeting with Kentucky a month ago, South Carolina (14-13, 5-8) proved a pesky opponent until near the end. However, Kentucky had too much offensive firepower, and its defense gave up 26 points to the SEC's leading scorer, Devan Downey, but little else.

South Carolina never led, and every time it started to chip away, the Wildcats had an answer and it was usually from Patterson, who scored the first points of the game on a 3-pointer and didn't slow down.

Kentucky had a 15-point lead early in the second half, but twice Patterson responded when the Gamecocks cut it to six — first with a dunk, then a three-point play. South Carolina got no closer.

NO. 17 WISCONSIN 78, INDIANA 46: At Bloomington, Ind., Trevon Hughes scored 17 points and Wisconsin rolled to one of its most impressive wins of the season. The Badgers (21-7, 11-5 Big Ten) shot 54 percent from the field and had five players score in double figures in their sixth straight win over Indiana. Keaton Nankivil scored 14 points, and Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor each had 13. Jason Bohannon, who had led the Badgers in scoring in five of the previous six games, had 11 points. Derek Elston had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Hoosiers (9-18, 3-12), who lost their ninth straight game and were swept by Wisconsin for the third straight season.

NO. 5 DUKE 70, TULSA 52: At Durham, N.C., Nolan Smith had 18 points, Kyle Singler added 17 and No. 5 Duke pulled away to beat Tulsa. Jon Scheyer finished with 15 points for the Blue Devils (24-4), who used a big run early in the second half to break open a surprisingly tight game and extend their decade-long nonconference winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium to 77.

Jerome Jordan had 12 points to lead the Golden Hurricane (19-9), who lost their fourth straight and finished with a season-low point total.

Leading scorer Ben Uzoh, who entered on a streak of three straight 20-point games, finished with eight on 3-of-15 shooting.

Brian Zoubek, a 7-foot-1 senior who has emerged lately as one of Duke's most valuable players, had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

NO. 16 VANDERBILT 96, GEORGIA 94 (OT): At Nashville, Tenn., Jermaine Beal scored a career-high 28 points and Vanderbilt overcame a five-point deficit in the final 33 seconds of regulation. A.J. Ogilvy's tap-in with 15 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 77. Georgia's Travis Leslie then missed two chances to win the game. The Commodores (21-6, 10-3 Southeastern Conference) took a six-point lead in overtime with 28 seconds to go. Georgia (12-14, 4-9) had a chance to tie at the end, but Leslie's toss of Chris Barnes' intentionally missed free throw fell short as the buzzer sounded.

Ogilvy had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Vanderbilt, which was playing for the first time since its 58-56 home loss to No. 2 Kentucky. Ogilvy missed a runner in the lane at the buzzer that would have tied that game.

Leslie had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Trey Thompkins had 21 points.