College basketball: Duke, Iowa State, Villanova win conference tournament titles

Jayson Tatum, Bonzie Colson
Duke forward Jayson Tatum battles against Notre Dame forward Bonzie Colson for a rebound during the ACC title game Saturday night.
(Al Bello / Getty Images)

Jayson Tatum took over in the final two minutes, making key plays on both ends of the floor, and No. 14 Duke became the first team to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with four wins in four days by rallying to beat No. 22 Notre Dame 75-69 on Saturday night.

The freshman forward finished a spectacular week in Brooklyn with 19 points and eight rebounds for the fifth-seeded Blue Devils (27-8). Duke won its first ACC Tournament championship since 2011 and its 20th overall, most in league history.

Bonzie Colson was a beast for third-seeded Notre Dame (25-9) with 29 points and nine rebounds.

The Blue Devils came from double digits down in the second half to beat both No. 10 Louisville and No. 6 North Carolina to get to the finals at Barclays Center and then came from eight back with 11:35 left to beat the Irish.


BIG 12

No. 23 Iowa State 80, No. 11 West Virginia 74: Monte Morris scored 17 points, Deonte Burton and Matt Thomas helped him deal with the Mountaineers’ attacking defense, and the Cyclones won their third Big 12 Conference tournament title in four years.

Burton had 16 points and Thomas finished with 12 for the fourth-seeded Cyclones (23-10), who will enter the NCAAtournament as one of the nation’s hottest teams. They’ve won nine of their last 10 games.

Iowa State has never lost in four appearances in the Big 12 title game, while the Mountaineers (26-8) remain without a conference tournament title of any kind since winning the Big East in 2010. Jevon Carter had 18 points for West Virginia.



No. 2 Villanova 74, Creighton 60: Josh Hart scored 29 points and the Wildcats (31-3) won the conference tournament tile to probably lock up the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Hart, the conference player of the year, became just the third player to win the tournament MVP award twice, joining Patrick Ewing of Georgetown and Peyton Siva of Louisville.


Nevada 79, Colorado State 71: Jordan Caroline had 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Wolfpack earned their first NCAA tournament berth in 11 years. Top-seeded Nevada (28-6) claimed the conference’s tournament title and automatic bid for their first trip to the NCAAs since winning the 2006 Western Athletic tournament.

After squandering a 16-point lead and allowing the Rams to tie the score midway through the second half, Nevada used an 11-3 run during a five-minute stretch to build another cushion while No. 2-seeded Colorado State (23-11) missed eight consecutive shots.


Middle Tennessee 83, Marshall 72: Giddy Potts matched his season high with 30 points to lead the Blue Raiders (30-4) to their second consecutiveConference USA tournament title. Potts scored seven straight points to help Middle Tennesse pull away with a late 15-5 run in Birmingham, Ala. CJ Burks led the Thundering Herd (20-15) with 16 points. Stevie Browning finished a strong tournament with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists.



Michigan 84, Minnesota 77: Derrick Walton Jr. had 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds to carry the eighth-seeded Wolverines into the conference title game. Walton had a hand in 18 consecutive Michigan points down the stretch, grabbing the rebound of a Minnesota miss that helped seal it.

Michigan (23-11) has defeated Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota since their plane skidded off the runway earlier in the week and delayed their arrival in D.C. and will face No. 24 Wisconsin or Northwester in the final Sunday. Nate Mason led the Golden Gophers (24-9) with 23 points.

No. 24 Wisconsin 86, Northwestern 48: The Badgers harassed and hounded the weary the Wildcats in victory that thrust Wisconsin into the conferenc echampionship game for the third time in five years. Nigel Hayes scored 18 points and Ethan Happ added 16 for the second-seeded Badgers (25-8), who had lost five of their last six entering the tournament.

Northwestern (23-11) was playing for the second time in less than 24 hours, and it showed. Coming off wins over Rutgers and No. 3-seeded Maryland, the Wildcats missed 20 of 27 shots in the first half, had only one assist and trailed 38-21.


No. 8 Kentucky 79, Alabama 74: De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 28 points, including seven straight down the stretch, and Malik Monk added 20 to lift the Wildcats to a win in the tournament semifinal in Nashville, Tenn. Bam Adebayo had 10 points and nine rebounds to send top-seeded Kentucky (28-5) to Sunday’s championship game against Arkansas on Sunday.

Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox drives down the lane against Alabama forward Jimmie Taylor during the first half Saturday.
Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox drives down the lane against Alabama forward Jimmie Taylor during the first half Saturday.
(Wade Payne / Associated Press)

Dazon Ingram had 17 points for No. 5 seed Alabama (19-14), which outrebounded Kentucky 33-28, but couldn’t get the basket when needed to overcome the Wildcats.

Arkansas 76, Vanderbilt 62: Moses Kingsley had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead the third-seeded Razorbacks (25-8) to their third straight victory. Arkansas advances to its seventh tournament title game, where it will face Kentucky for the second time in three years.

Arkansas simply smothered Vanderbilt (19-15), especially in the paint where the Razorbacks had a 46-16 scoring edge. Jaylen Barford led Arkansas with 18 points. Dusty Hannahs added 16 and Daryl Macon 15. The Commodores got 12 points apiece from Riley LaChance and Joe Toye.


No. 12 Southern Methodist 70, Central Florida 59: Sterling Brown scored 22 points as the Mustangs advance to the American Athletic title game in Hartford, Conn. Semi Ojeleye added 17 points, and Shake Milton had 14 of his 16 points in the second half for the Mustangs (29-4). They are back in the championship game after missing last year’s tournament because of NCAA sanctions. B.J. Taylor had 20 points and Nick Banyard added 16 for the Knights (21-11), who had won six in a row.

No. 15 Cincinnati 81, Connecticut 71: Gary Clark scored 24 points to lead the Bearcats to the win. Jacob Evans added 21 points and Troy Caupain had 19 for Cincinnati (29-4), which will be seeking first American Athletic tournament title on Sunday against No. 12 SMU. Jalen Adams scored 20 points and Christian Vital had 19 for the Huskies (16-17), who had their first losing campaign in 30 years.


Rhode Island 84, Davidson 60: E.C. Matthews scored 19 points, making all four of his three-point attempts, as the fourth-seeded Rams (23-9) cruised into the championship game. The Wildcats (17-15), who knocked off top-seeded Dayton in the quarterfinals, were led by Jack Gibbs, who scored 17 points, moving to third on the Davidson career scoring list with 2,036.

Virginia Commonwealth 87, Richmond 77: JeQuan Lewis scored 18 points, including a three-pointer with 25 seconds left to force overtime, and VCU (21-7) advanced to the title game for the seventh consecutive season. In overtime, the Rams quickly took control, scoring the first six points during an 11-2 run. Mo Alie-Cox had five points in the breakaway run and Samir Doughty had four. Richmond (20-12) got a career-high 26 points from De’Monte Buckingham.


Vermont 56, Albany 53: Payton Henson scored 17 points, Anthony Lamb had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Catamounts (29-5) won their sixth conference tournament title with the win over the Great Danes (21-13). It will be Vermont’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2012.


North Dakota 93, Weber State 89: Quinton Hooker scored 28 points and the Fighting Hawks earned their first NCAA tournament bid. Top-seeded North Dakota (22-10) rallied with a 20-9 run to force overtime after falling behind 72-61 with 7:26 left. Jeremy Senglin led the third-seeded Wildcats (19-13) with 26 points. Kyndahl Hill added 21 points and 12 rebounds.


North Carolina Central 67, Norfolk State 59: Patrick Cole scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Dajuan Graf added 17 points and the Eagles earned their second trip to the NCAA tournament in four years. Rashaun Madison made three three-pointers and scored 12 points for top-seeded NCCU (25-8). Zaynah Robinson had 18 points, six rebounds and four assists for No. 2-seeded Norfolk State (17-16), which was seeking its second MEAC tournament title.


Kent State 70, Akron 65: Jaylin Walker scored 30 points, Jimmy Hall added 19 and the sixth-seeded Golden Flashes (22-13) earned its first NCAA tournament berth since 2008 by knocking off the MAC’s top three seeds — Buffalo, Ohio and Akron — to win their sixth conference title. They barely advanced to Cleveland, needing overtime to edge 11th-seeded Central Michigan in the opening round. Isaiah Johnson scored 24 as the top-seeded Zips (26-8).


New Orleans 68, Texas A&M Corpus Christi 65: Tevin Broyles had 15 points, including five in overtime, and the Privateers won conference championship game to advance to their first NCAA tournament since 1996. Erik Thomas had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Christavious Gill and Michael Zeno scored 10 apiece for New Orleans (20-11), which earned its first 20-win season since 1996-97. Rashawn Thomas had 22 points and seven rebounds, Cole Martinez added 15 points and Joseph Kilgore scored 13 for Corpus Christi (20-11), still looking for its second NCAA tournament appearance.


Texas Southern 53, Alcorn State 50: Kevin Scott had 15 points and 12 rebounds as the top-seeded Tigers won the conference tournament title for the third time in the last four years. Marvin Jones added 14 points on six-of-seven shooting and Demontrae Jefferson had 13 points for Texas Southern (24-11). Reginal Johnson led Alcorn State (18-14) with 16 points.


New Mexico State 70, Cal State Bakersfield 60: The Aggies overcame a 13-point deficit in the second half to win the Western Athletic Conference tournament title for the fifth time in the last six years. New Mexico State used a 21-2 run in the second half after Bakersfield, the WAC regular-season champion, took a 39-26 lead. But New Mexico State (22-9) went on a three-point binge, getting long-distance baskets from Ian Baker and Chancellor Ellis to pull the Aggies into a 41-41 tie. Ellis’ three-pointer with 9:11 left put New Mexico State ahead for good. Eli Chuha led New Mexico State with 16 points, and Baker had 15.


Illinois fired Coach John Groce has been fired after the team finished 18-14 this season and ninth in the Big Ten. Assistant Jamall Walker has been appointed interim coach while the school searchers for a successor. Groce was 95-75 overall and 37-53 in Big Ten play in his five seasons.

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