Conner Frankamp scored 19 points and Markis McDuffie added 16 as No. 21 Wichita State beat Illinois State, 71-51, in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship game Sunday, earning an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
After splitting their regular-season series and sharing the regular-season championship, Wichita State left no doubt as to whom the top team in the MVC was this season.
The Shockers (30-4, 17-1), the No. 2 seed, have won 15 straight games since losing at Illinois State on Jan. 14. The No. 1-seeded Redbirds (27-6, 17-1) had won eight straight games since losing at Wichita State on Feb. 4.
Landry Shamet added 14 points for Wichita State. Paris Lee, the MVC’s player of the year, led Illinois State with 18 points, while MiKyle McIntosh scored 16.
No. 18 Cincinnati 67, at Connecticut 47: Gary Clark had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Bearcats past the short-handed Huskies in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Jarron Cumberland added 15 points and Jacob Evans III had 12 for the Bearcats (27-4, 16-2 American Athletic Conference).
Rodney Purvis scored 15 points for UConn (14-16, 9-9), which lost its fourth in a row. The loss dropped the Huskies into the play-in round of the AAC tournament.
No. 16 Purdue 69, at Northwestern 65: Vincent Edwards scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half and Caleb Swanigan finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds to help the Boilermakers (25-6, 14-4 Big Ten), who clinched the outright regular-season conference title earlier in the week, hold on in the final seconds to fend off the Wildcats (21-10, 10-8) in front of a raucous sellout crowd.
at No. 22 Wisconsin 66, Minnesota 49: Senior guard Bronson Koenig scored 17 points in his final home game, combining with D’Mitrik Trice to give the Wolverines’ offense a second-half boost. Wisconsin (23-8, 12-6 Big Ten) secured the second seed in the conference tournament and got a sorely needed confidence boost to end the regular season after having lost five of their previous six games.
Nate Mason had 17 points for Minnesota (23-8, 11-7). The Golden Gophers had won eight straight. Bryant McIntosh finished with 25 points and six assists for Northwestern. The Wildcats have lost six of nine. Swanigan had his nation-leading 25th double-double.
Florida Gulf Coast 77, North Florida 61: Brandon Goodwin scored 19 points and the Eagles earned their third NCAA tournament trip in the last six seasons by defeating the Ospreys in the Atlantic Sun Conference championship game in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Demetris Morant and Marc-Eddy Norelia each scored 14 for FGCU (26-7), which trailed by six at the half before pulling away. Zach Johnson and Christian Terrell added 10 apiece for FGCU, which tied the program’s Division I-era record for victories in a season.
Dallas Moore, the leading active scorer in Division I, scored 19 points for North Florida (15-19).
Winthrop 76, Campbell 59: The top-seeded Eagles earned their first NCAA tournament berth since 2010 by beating the Fighting Camels in the Big South Conference tournament championship game behind Keon Johnson’s 26 points.
The top-seeded Eagles (26-6) scored on the first possession of the game and never trailed. Winthrop won on its home court in Rock Hill, S.C., and snapped its streak of three straight losses in the conference title game. Winthrop went to the NCAA tournament nine times from 1999-2010. The Eagles’ lone win came in 2007 against Notre Dame.
Chris Clemons, who scored 51 points Thursday for Campbell (17-17) in a quarterfinal win over second-seeded UNC Asheville and got 33 in the semifinals against Radford, had 29.