College basketball: Villanova take Big East over Providence
Mikal Bridges scored 25 points and made two three-pointers in overtime to lift No. 2 Villanova to a 76-66 victory over Providence in the Big East Tournament championship game Saturday night at New York.
The Wildcats (30-4) won their second straight Big East Tournament and third in four years (losing in the 2016 final). They put the bow on a fantastic season that should have them earn aNo. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Villanova had rolled to a pair of dominant victories in the tourney and held off a pesky Providence team that played its third straight overtime game.
No. 1 Virginia 71, No. 12 North Carolina 63: Kyle Guy, Devon Hall and the Cavaliers completed one of the most successful seasons in the history of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball, going 20-1 against league competition.
The top-seeded Cavaliers (31-2) set a school record for victories and won the ACC tournament for the second time in five seasons under coach Tony Bennett, ending a seven-game losing streak to the Tar Heels in ACC tournament play.
Guy, the tournament MVP, scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half and Hall added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists for Virginia, which will certainly enter the NCAA tournament as the top overall seed.
Not bad for a bunch that started the season unranked and was picked to finish sixth in the ACC.
No. 9 Kansas 81, No. 18 West Virginia 70: Devonte Graham piled up 18 points and 13 assists, Silvio De Sousa came up big in place of Udoka Azubuike and the Jayhawks (27-7) proved their toughness in winning the Big 12 tournament title.
De Sousa had 16 points on eight-of-eight shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds, and Malik Newman added 20 points to cap a great tournament, lifting the Jayhawks to their 11th tournament title and a likely No. 1 seed when the NCAA tournament bracket is revealed Sunday. It was the second time in three years they’ve beaten West Virginia (24-10) in the title game.
San Diego State 82, New Mexico 75: Troy Kell scored 28 points to lead the Aztecs (22-10) to the Mountain West Conference championship and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. San Diego State will ride a nine-game win streak into the tournament, its longest since winning 11 in a row during the 2015 season.
Jon Elmore scored 20 of his 27 points after halftime, including 11 in a row in a span of just over two minutes, and Marshall is going to its first NCAA tournament since 1987 after a 67-66 win over Western Kentucky in the Conference USA championship game. ... Wes Clark scored 26 points, Nick Perkins added 16, includinga big three-pointer, andBuffalo won its thirdMid-American Conference championship — and the league’s automatic NCAA bid — in four years by beating Toledo 76-66. ... Jairus Lyles made a long three-pointer with less than a second left, lifting Maryland Baltimore County over top-seeded Vermont 65-62 inthe America East championship game. Second-seeded UMBC (24-10) had lost 23 straight times to the Catamounts over the last 10 years, but rallied to earn its first NCAA tournament trip since 2008. ... Zach Lofton scored 23 points as New Mexico State defeated Grand Canyon 72-58 for the Western Athletic Conference title.
AAC: Jarron Cumberland scored 18 points and Gary Clark had 17 points and 12 rebounds to rally No. 8 Cincinnati to a 70-60 victory over Memphis in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament. Kyle Washington added 11 for the Bearcats (29-4), who advanced to meet No. 21 Houston. Rob Gray had a key steal and scored 33 points, including two free throws with five seconds remaining, as the Cougars held off No. 11 Wichita State 77-74. Corey Davis Jr. added 19 points for Houston.
A-10: Andre Berry scored 18 points, Fatts Russell made two crucial three-pointers in the final six minutes and No. 25 Rhode Island rallied past St. Joseph’s 90-87 in the Atlantic 10 Conference semifinals. The Rams (25-6) are the first No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 toreach the conference title game since St. Louis in 2013. They will face Davidson (20-11), which defeated St. Bonaventure 82-70.
SEC: Jordan Bone scored 19 points to help spark a hot-shooting first half for No. 13 Tennessee in an 84-66 win over Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference semifinals. The win is the sixth straight and 13th in the last 15 games for the Volunteers (25-7), who will try to win their first SEC tournament championship in almost 40 years when theyface Kentucky on Sunday. Wenyen Gabriel shot seven for seven on three-pointers and matched his career high with 23 points, sending the fourth-seeded Wildcats (23-10) past Collin Sexton and Alabama 86-63.
Teams that have clinched tournament berths:
Lipscomb, Atlantic Sun
Maryland Balt. County, American East
Virginia, Atlantic Coast
Kansas, Big 12
Villanova, Big East
Montana, Big Sky
Radford, Big South
Michigan, Big Ten
Charleston, Colonial Athletic
Marshall, Conference USA
Wright State, Horizon
North Carolina Central, Mid-Eastern Athletic
Iona, Metro Atlantic
Loyola (Chicago), Missouri Valley
San Diego State, Mountain West
LIU Brooklyn, Northeast
Murray State, Ohio Valley
NC Greensboro, Southern
Stephen F. Austin, Southland
Texas Southern, Southwest Athletic
South Dakota State, Summit
New Mexico State, Western Athletic
Gonzaga, West Coast
Connecticut, American Athletic
Maine, American East
George Washington, Atlantic 10
Louisville, Atlantic Coast
Baylor, Big 12
DePaul, Big East
Northern Colorado, Big Sky
Ohio State, Big Ten
Cal State Northridge, Big West
Elon, Colonial Athletic
Western Kentucky, Conference USA
Green Bay, Horizon
Quinnipiac, Metro Athletic
Central Michigan, Mid-American
North Carolina A&T, Mid-Eastern Athletic
Boise State, Mountain West
Belmont, Ohio Valley
South Carolina, SEC
Grambling, Southwest Athletic
South Dakota State, Summit
Gonzaga, West Coast
Seattle, Western Athletic
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