Gary Clark made the second of two free throws with 4.3 seconds to play to lift Cincinnati over Houston 56-55 in the American Athletic Conference tournament final Sunday at Orlando, Fla.
Clark, who was selected the tournament’s most valuable player, missed the first of the two free throws.
“Setting up the drama,” Clark said with a smile.
The senior forward finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Cougars (25-7) guard Rob Gray committed a turnover with one second to play to clinch it for Cincinnati. Gray scored 17 points.
The Bearcats (30-4) won their first conference tournament title since 2004 when they played in Conference USA.
Senior forward Kyle Washington scored 10 points and junior guard Jacob Evans III had 12 points.
Kentucky 77, Tennessee 72: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 29 points at St. Louis to lead the Wildcats (24-10) to their fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference tournament championship.
It’s the 31st title in tournament history for the Wildcats.
Despite taking a 17-point lead in the first half, the Wildcats couldn’t quite shake off the Volunteers (25-8), who were trying to win their first tournament title since 1979.
Gilgeous-Alexander, a freshman guard, capped his tournament MVP performance by making the clinching free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining in front of 18,974.
Admiral Schofield had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Tennessee.
Davidson 58, Rhode Island 57: Kellan Grady’s 17 points sparked the Wildcats (21-11) to the Atlantic 10 championship at Washington.
Davidson won despite going nearly 13 minutes in the second half without a field goal, an 0-for-11 drought.
The Wildcats haven’t won an NCAA tournament game since the Stephen Curry-led 2008 team defeated Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin before losing to Kansas in the Elite Eight.
E.C. Matthews had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Rams (25-7).
Penn 68, Harvard 65: Darnell Foreman scored 19 points, AJ Brodeur had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the Quakers (24-8) prevailed in the Ivy League tournament final at Philadelphia.
It’s the first NCAA tournament berth for Penn since 2007.
Harvard trimmed Penn’s lead to 66-65 on two Justin Bassey free throws with 14.6 seconds left. But after Ryan Betley made two free throws for Penn, Bassey and Christian Juzang each missed potentially score-tying three-point shots in the final seconds.
Chris Lewis led the Crimson (18-13) with 16 points.
Georgia State 74, Texas Arlington 61: D’Marcus Simonds scored 27 points to help the Panthers (24-10) win the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship at New Orleans.
The Panthers will make their fourth NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2015.
The Mavericks (21-13) shot 29.8% from the field.
Johnny Hamilton had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Mavericks.