NEW YORK – Kyle Guy, Devon Hall and No. 1 Virginia completed one of the most successful seasons in the storied history of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball, beating No. 12 North Carolina 71-63 in the tournament championship game Saturday night to finish 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, and third time overall. With plenty of their fans packing Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Cavaliers beat sixth-seeded North Carolina (25-10) for the second time this season and snapped 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. Ty Jerome had 12 points, six assists and six rebounds 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.
Luke Maye led North Carolina with 20 points.
(2) Villanova 76, Providence 66
NEW YORK – Mikal Bridges scored 25 points and hit two 3-pointers in overtime to lift Villanova over Providence in the Big East Tournament championship game.
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 a No. 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.
The fifth-seeded Friars (21-13) rallied in the second half from yet another double-digit hole and seemed set to pull off one more upset and earn the automatic NCAA berth. Providence erased a 17-point hole in the second half to beat top-seeded Xavier to reach the final. With one stunning rally on its resume, Providence nearly made it two. But the Friars ran out of gas in OT.
(8) Cincinnati 70, Memphis 60
ORLANDO, Fla. – Jarron Cumberland scored 18 points and Gary Clark had 17 points and 12 rebounds to rally Cincinnati past 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 in Sunday’s final.
Jamal Johnson led Memphis with 17 points but didn’t score in the second half, when the Tigers squandered a 13-point lead. Kyvon Davenport had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis (21-13), which is hoping for an invitation to the NIT.
(9) Kansas 81, (18) West Virginia 70
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Devonte Graham piled up 18 points and 13 assists, Silvio De Sousa came up big in place of Udoka Azubuike and Kansas proved its toughness down the stretch to beat West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament title game.
De Sousa had 16 points on 8 of 8 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds, and Malik Newman added 20 points to cap a phenomenal tournament, lifting the Jayhawks (27-7) 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.
Svi Mykhailiuk also had 16 points for the Jayhawks, who scrapped their way through three games in three days without their 7-foot anchor. Azubuike hurt a ligament in his left knee in practice early in the week and spent the weekend on the bench, though he’s expected to return next week.
Daxter Miles Jr. finished with 25 points, and Jevon Carter had 17 points and nine assists for the Mountaineers, who have lost three straight Big 12 Tournament championship games.
(21) Houston 77, (11) Wichita State 74
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rob Gray had a key steal and scored 33 points, including two free throws with 5 seconds remaining, as Houston held off Wichita State in an American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal.
Corey Davis Jr. scored 19 points for the Cougars (26-6), who advanced to play No. 8 Cincinnati in the championship game.
Houston led by as many as nine points in the first half before the lead changed hands or was tied eight times in the final seven minutes.
With the Cougars trailing 74-73, Gray intercepted a pass near midcourt and drove to the basket, handing off to Galen Robinson for a layup with 1:27 remaining. Houston sealed the victory when Robinson intercepted an in-bounds pass with 5 seconds left and a foul by the Shockers sent Gray to the free-throw line.
Landry Shamet led Wichita State (25-7) with 19 points while Shaquille Morris had 12, including 10 in the final seven minutes to keep the game close.
(13) Tennessee 84, Arkansas 66
ST. LOUIS – Jordan Bone scored 19 points to help spark a hot-shooting first half for Tennessee, which beat Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals.
The win is the sixth straight and 13th in the last 15 games for the second-seeded Volunteers (25-7), who will try to win their first SEC Tournament championship in almost 40 years when they face Kentucky on Sunday.
Bone scored 17 of his points in the first half, hitting 7 of 7 from the field and all three of his 3-point attempts. Admiral Schofield added 16 points for Tennessee, while Grant Williams, Kyle Alexander and James Daniel III finished with 12 points apiece.
Daryl Macon scored 19 points to lead the sixth-seeded Razorbacks (23-11), who had won eight of their previous 10 games.
(15) Arizona 76, Southern California 61
LAS VEGAS – Deandre Ayton had 32 points and 18 rebounds in one of the most dominating performances in Pac-12 Tournament history, leading Arizona to its second straight title.
Ayton put on a show along The Strip, bouncing back from a nervous Pac-12 opener with two dominating games.
The Bahamian big man had 32 points and 14 rebounds in a semifinal win over UCLA and knocked the Trojans (23-11) around like bowling pins in the championship game. Ayton made 14 of 20 shots from the floor and all four of his free throws to lead Arizona (27-8) to its ninth Pac-12 title.
Nick Rakocevic led USC with 13 points.
Both teams fought through adversity to reach the title game.
Arizona was twice entangled in a federal investigation into shady recruiting practices. USC was named in the probe as well, leading to sophomore De’Anthony Melton to be ruled ineligible this season.
(25) Rhode Island 80, Saint Joseph’s 87
WASHINGTON – Andre Berry scored 18 points, Fatts Russell made two crucial 3-pointers in the final six minutes and Rhode Island rallied past Saint Joseph’s in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament semifinals.
The Rams (25-6) are the first No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 to reach the conference championship game since Saint Louis in 2013.
Jeff Dowtin added 16 points and 10 assists for Rhode Island, Russell scored 14 points and E.C. Matthews had 11 of his 14 points in the second half for the defending tournament champions.
Shavar Newkirk had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the fourth-seeded Hawks (16-16), who drubbed Rhode Island 78-48 last week. Saint Joseph’s appeared poised to deliver another upset while trying to extend its season, building an 11-point lead early in the second half.
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