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Originally published Monday, March 7, 2011 at 9:47 PM

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Texas Tech fires coach Pat Knight after three seasons

Pat Knight sat in the Texas Tech locker room and lauded his bosses for the way they let him go after three disappointing seasons. It was, after all...

LUBBOCK, Texas — Pat Knight sat in the Texas Tech locker room and lauded his bosses for the way they let him go after three disappointing seasons.

It was, after all, different from the way his famous father was ousted at Indiana more than a decade ago.

"It's not an ugly situation," Knight said. "I mean, we left on good terms. I'm glad it ended like that, especially after being part of the deal at Indiana. That was tough. But this is different. It's business."

Texas Tech fired Knight on Monday, ending a disappointing tenure for a coach who failed to lead the Red Raiders to the NCAA tournament after taking over for his father in February 2008. He will coach the Red Raiders at this week's Big 12 tournament and then step down.

Knight (50-60) said he was glad his dismissal came before the tournament because of all the potentially negative media chatter about a pending firing.

"It's not just negative toward us. It's negative to the university," Knight said. "It's not good, even for the guy that's following ... that's why I just told them, when they told me, 'You're not going to get another year,' let's just get it out there now. It worked out for the best."

Tournament games

• Jeron Belin scored 17 points and St. Peter's beat Iona 62-57 to secure the school's first NCAA tournament berth in 16 years and win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in Bridgeport, Conn.

• Frank Hassell scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Old Dominion withstood a furious rally by Virginia Commonwealth and defended its Colonial Athletic Association tournament title with a 70-65 victory in Richmond, Va.

• Cameron Rundles scored 21 points, sending Wofford (21-12) to a second straight NCAA tournament berth with a 77-67 victory over College of Charleston in the Southern Conference tournament championship in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Women's games

• Maya Moore scored 22 points and Kelly Faris had 19 to lead top-ranked Connecticut to a 75-51 win over Rutgers in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.

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UConn (31-1) has won 19 straight games since losing to Stanford on Dec. 30 to snap the Huskies' record 90-game winning streak. It will be the 21st time in the past 23 seasons that they are in the championship game.

The Huskies will play second-seeded DePaul or third seed Notre Dame in the championship game Tuesday night. UConn is trying to win its fourth straight Big East tournament championship and 17th overall. It was the Huskies' 80th consecutive victory at home and 68th straight conference win.

• Ta'Shia Phillips scored 26 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:31 to play, and No. 5 Xavier pulled away in the closing minutes for a 67-60 win over Dayton in the Atlantic 10 tournament title game.

• Erica Allenspach scored 21 points and No. 19 Marist (30-2) clinched an NCAA tournament bid for the sixth straight season with a 63-45 victory over Loyola (Md.) in Bridgeport, Conn.

• Paige Anderson made a three-pointer with 18 seconds left, and Samford won the Southern Conference tournament championship and earned the Bulldogs' first NCAA tournament berth by edging Appalachian State 55-54.

Notes

• Kansas' Bill Self, whose remarkable run of seven consecutive Big 12 championships has astounded his rivals and probably spoiled his fans, is the Associated Press Big 12 coach of the year.

• Purdue's JaJuan Johnson was voted Big Ten Player of the Year and the Boilermakers' Matt Painter was honored as Coach of the Year after their team finished second in the Big Ten despite losing star Robbie Hummel to injury.

• Duke guard Nolan Smith wasthe only unanimous selection to the all-Atlantic Coast Conference team.

Pat Kennedy resigned as Towson's men's coach after a 4-26 season.

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