Isaiah Whitehead scored 26 points, including the deciding three-point play with 18 seconds left, and Seton Hall won the Big East Conference tournament for the first time in 23 years, beating No. 3 Villanova, 69-67, on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Whitehead drove on the right side, flipped the ball in and was fouled. His free throw gave the Pirates a 68-67 lead. Villanova had two more chances sandwiched around a free throw by Angel Delgado, but the Pirates held on and beat the top-seeded defending champions.
It was Seton Hall’s third tournament title, the others coming in 1991 and 1993.
The third-seeded Pirates (25-8) led for almost the entire game, leading by 14 points in the first half and 11 at halftime.
The Wildcats (30-4) finally started hitting from three-point range in the second half. They tied the score four times before finally taking their first lead since three minutes into the game when Kris Jenkins’ three-pointer gave them a 67-64 lead with 50 seconds to play.
No. 1 Kansas 81, No. 9 West Virginia 71: Devonte Graham matched a career-high with 27 points, Wayne Selden Jr. added 21 and the top-ranked Jayhawks overcame a remarkable performance by Devin Williams for a victory over the ninth-ranked Mountaineers in the Big 12 tournament title game in Kansas City Mo.
Perry Ellis added 17 points for the Jayhawks (30-4), who almost certainly locked up the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament by winning their 10th Big 12 tournament championship.
Kansas trailed the Mountaineers (26-8) at the break before taking control behind Graham, their sophomore guard. He hit five 3-pointers, was 10 of 10 from the foul line and had a career-high four steals, effortlessly dealing with West Virginia’s trademark pressure all night.
Williams finished with a career-best 31 points and 10 rebounds, but the junior forward was forced to carry the load by himself. Jevon Carter was held to four points after scoring 26 in a semifinal win over No. 6 Oklahoma, and leading scorer Jaysean Paige managed only six points while committing four turnovers.
No. 17 Texas A&M 71, Louisiana State 38: Tonny Trocha-Morales scored 13 points and the Aggies trounced Louisiana State and freshman star Ben Simmons to reach their first conference tournament championship game since 1994.
The Aggies (26-7) will play for the Southeastern Conference tournament title on Sunday after sharing the regular-season crown with No. 16 Kentucky. They will face either the Wildcats or Georgia, which played later Saturday.
Texas A&M hadn’t reached a conference tourney championship since losing to Texas 22 years ago in the Southwest Conference. Now, after its eighth consecutive victory, it is one win away from adding its first tournament title since 1987.
The Aggies announced a new five-year deal with Coach Billy Kennedy before tipoff, and then they proved he deserved it by routing the last team to beat them back on Feb. 13.
Jalen Jones added 12 points and Admon Gilder had 10. The Aggies not only held LSU to a season low in both points and made field goals (13) but also the fewest points scored by a team in any major conference this season, according to STATS LLC.
Simmons finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for fourth-seeded LSU (19-14).
No. 16 Kentucky 93, Georgia 80: Jamal Murray scored 26 points, Tyler Ulis added 25 and both keyed a late 11-3 run that helped the Wildcats put away the Bulldogs in the other SEC semifinal.
Isaiah Briscoe’s putback with 8:16 left put the Wildcats up 68-67 and Murray followed with two free throws. After Houston Kessler’s jumper got Georgia within one, Ulis scored five points while Murray made a layup during the critical run that pushed second-seeded Kentucky ahead to stay and into Sunday’s championship against top-seeded Texas A&M.
Briscoe, who had 12 points, was also important down the stretch by making a jumper and feeding the ball to Marcus Lee for a dunk as Kentucky (25-8) had to work hard to make its third straight SEC final.
Yante Maten had 20 points, J.J. Frazier 19 and Kenny Gaines 16 for sixth-seeded Georgia (19-13), which led most of the game before faltering down the stretch.
No. 2 Michigan State 64, No. 18 Maryland 61: Denzel Valentine had 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds to lead the Spartans to victory in a Big Ten tournament semifinal in Indianapolis.
The league’s player of the year sealed it with two free throws with 0.8 seconds to go, and Melo Trimble’s desperation heave from 55 feet away didn’t get past midcourt.
Michigan State (28-5) has won 12 of 13 and will face No. 13 Purdue in Sunday’s title game.
Robert Carter Jr. had 18 points and eight rebounds to lead Maryland. Trimble finished with 11 points.
No. 13 Purdue 76, Michigan 59: A.J. Hammons had 27 points and 11 rebounds to help the Boilermakers to advance to the Big Ten tournament championship game in Indianapolis.
Next up for Purdue (26-7) is the winner of the second semifinal between Michigan State and Maryland. The Boilermakers are seeking their first Big Ten tournament title since 2009.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had 15 points to lead Michigan (22-12), which was playing its third game in three days.
Hampton 81, South Carolina State 69: Reginald Johnson Jr. had 21 points and eight assists for the top-seeded Pirates, who won a second consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament.
Brian Darden scored 22 points, Jervon Pressley 14 and Quinton Chievous 13 for Hampton (20-10), which outscored the Bulldogs, 14-2, over the final four minutes to win the MEAC tournament championship for the sixth time.
Eric Eaves scored 25 to lead South Carolina State (19-14), which was seeking its first NCAA tournament berth since 2003.
St. Joseph’s 82, Dayton 79: Isaiah Miles had 26 points and nine rebounds to lead the fourth-seeded Hawks to the upset of the top-seed Flyers in the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals in New York.
St. Joseph’s (26-7) advances to the Atlantic 10 tournament finals for the second time in three years and will face the winner of Virginia Commonwealth and Davidson on Sunday.
Aaron Brown added 16 points and Papa Ndao had 14 for the Hawks on a day when A-10 regular-season player of the year DeAndre Bembry was held to nine.
DyShawn Pierre scored 22 points for Flyers (25-7) and Schoochie Smith added 14.
Virginia Commonwealth 76, Davidson 54: Mo Alie-Cox scored 13 points, including a rim-shaking slam off a lob from JeQuan Lewis, and the defending champion Rams ran out to an emphatic victory to reach the Atlantic 10 tournament championship game for the fourth consecutive season.
Brian Sullivan scored 15 points for sixth-seeded Davidson (20-12), which beat St. Bonaventure in overtime late Friday night.
Middle Tennessee 55, Old Dominion 53: Reggie Upshaw made two free throws with 2.9 seconds left to lift Middle Tennessee to the victory in the Conference USA tournament championship game in Birmingham, Ala.
The Blue Raiders (24-9) earned their first NCAA tournament berth since 2013 in a defensive struggle that was markedly different from their 99-90 semifinal shootout with Marshall.
Giddy Potts led Middle Tennessee with 14 points and made four of five three-pointers before fouling out. Darnell Harris scored 10 points and Upshaw, the tournament MVP, had nine.
Trey Freeman led Old Dominion (22-13) with 17 points, but was only seven-of-23 shooting. Aaron Bacote added 15 points.
Stony Brook 80, Vermont 74: Jameel Warney scored 43 points to help the Seawolves reach the NCAA tournament for the first time by coming from behind to win the America East tournament championship game at Stony Brook, N.Y.
Top-seeded Stony Brook (26-6) had reached this point four times in the last five seasons, including the last two years, and lost each time — each defeat seemingly more excruciating than the last. Last season, a three-pointer with just seconds left by Albany kept the Seawolves out of the NCAA tournament.
The Seawolves were down 15 points in the second half, but Warney’s unstoppable inside game was too much for the Catamounts (21-13).
Carson Puriefoy contributed 23 points and some big free throws down the stretch for Stony Brook. Trae Bell-Haynes led Vermont with 17 points.