Chris Lofton scored 21 points, and Tennessee pulled away from No. 5 Florida in the first half and held on for an 86-76 victory last night in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Gators (25-5, 12-3 Southeastern Conference) continued a troubling trend for the defending national champions, who have lost three of four after a 17-game winning streak. Their chances for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament are slipping away after easily wrapping up the SEC regular season title last week.
But this was the Volunteers' night.
With Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt dressing as a cheerleader and singing "Rocky Top" and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning watching his alma mater, Tennessee (21-9, 9-6) finished the season 16-0 at home.
The Vols dominated Florida until the Gators started making a run late in the second half.
Tennessee had a 17-0 run in the first half and were ahead by 19 points at halftime and as many as 27 in the second half.
· PITTSBURGH 80, WEST VIRGINIA 66:Aaron Gray and Levon Kendall wore down the Mountaineers with their inside scoring and rebounding, and the 12th-ranked Panthers remained in contention for the Big East regular season title behind a dominating second half in Pittsburgh.
Gray, hampered by a badly sprained ankle for 10 days and not much of a factor in a 61-53 loss at now-No. 9 Georgetown on Saturday, keyed a 9-0 run at the start of the second half that reversed a three-point halftime deficit and made it 38-32.
West Virginia pulled within 54-51 with about eight minutes remaining, but Mike Cook hit a three-pointer and two free throws and Fields made another off-balance three while nearly falling out of bounds during another 9-0 run that gave Pitt (25-5, 12-3 in Big East) its first double-digit lead.
The Mountaineers (20-8, 8-7) dropped their fourth in six games.
· BYU 62, AIR FORCE 58:Austin Ainge scored 14 points and Keena Young added 12 -- including eight straight in a pivotal second-half run -- as the Cougars beat the No. 25 Falcons to ensure BYU at least a share of the Mountain West Conference title.
The Cougars also ended the Falcons' 30-game winning streak at Clune Arena. The Falcons had won 54 of their previous 55 home games.
Brigham Young (22-7, 12-3) now has the longest home-winning streak in the nation at 30 games and can clinch the league title outright with a win Saturday at home against Utah.
Air Force (23-7, 10-6) lost its third straight.