No. 2 Villanova wins Big East tourney, 74-60 over Creighton
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 12, 2017 11:17 AM
Villanova poses for photographs with the tournament trophy after a championship NCAA college basketball game against Creighton in the finals of the Big East men's tournament Saturday, March 11, 2017, in New York. Villanova won 74-60. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NEW YORK (AP) — Josh Hart scored 29 points as No. 2 Villanova beat Creighton 74-60 on Saturday to win the Big East Tournament and probably lock up the No. 1 overall 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.
It was the third Big East Tournament crown for Villanova, the others coming in 1995 and 2015. The defending national champions have won four consecutive Big East regular-season titles.
The top-seeded Wildcats (31-3) forced 17 turnovers that led to 21 points. And with Hart leading the way, they made every big shot they needed.
Jalen Brunson added 17 points for Villanova. Kris Jenkins, whose 3-pointer won the national championship game last year, had 14.
Cole Huff and Marcus Foster each scored 13 points to lead sixth-seeded Creighton (25-9).
No. 7 ARIZONA 83, No. 5 OREGON 80
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Allonzo Trier scored 23 points and hit four free throws in the final 17 seconds, helping Arizona outlast Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game.
Arizona (30-4) lost a lopsided game at Oregon earlier this season on a barrage of 3-pointers by the Ducks. The second-seeded Wildcats were better defensively while building a 14-point lead and shot 58 percent to hold off Oregon's second-half charge.
Next up for Arizona: A possible No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Top-seeded Oregon (29-5) got bad news before tipoff, learning senior forward Chris Boucher is out for the season with a torn ACL sustained in the semifinals against California.
Dillon Brooks carried Oregon through its early struggles and finished with 25 points. Tyler Dorsey added 23.
No. 8 KENTUCKY 79, ALABAMA 74
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — De'Aaron Fox scored a career-high 28 points, including seven straight down the stretch, and Malik Monk added 20 to lift Kentucky past Alabama in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals.
Bam Adebayo had 10 points and nine rebounds to send top-seeded Kentucky (28-5) to Sunday's championship game against Arkansas.
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.
No. 23 IOWA STATE 80, No. 11 WEST VIRGINIA 74
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — Monte Morris scored 17 points while Deonte Burton and Matt Thomas helped him deal with West Virginia's attacking defense as Iowa State beat the Mountaineers for its third Big 12 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 NCAA Tournament as one of the nation's hottest teams. They've won nine of their last 10 games, with their only loss during that stretch coming a week ago in Morgantown.
They avenged that defeat in a big way at the Sprint Center.
Iowa State has never lost in four appearances in the Big 12 title game, while the second-seeded 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, which will no doubt rue its 8-for-17 shooting from the foul line.
No. 12 SMU 70, UCF 59
HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) — Sterling Brown scored 22 points as SMU beat UCF in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.
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. The Mustangs won the title in 2015. This time, they will face No. 15 Cincinnati for the crown.
SMU has won 15 straight games and 25 of its last 26 after a 4-3 start to the season.
B.J. Taylor had 20 points and Nick Banyard 16 for the Knights (21-11). They had won six in a row.
No. 14 DUKE 75, No. 22 NOTRE DAME 69
NEW YORK (AP) — Jayson Tatum took over in the final three minutes, making key plays on both ends of the floor, asd Duke became the first team to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with four wins in four days by rallying past Notre Dame.
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 defeat the Irish.
No. 15 CINCINNATI 81, CONNECTICUT 71
HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) — Gary Clark scored 25 points to lead Cincinnati over UConn in the American Athletic Conference semifinals.
Jacob Evans added 21 points and Troy Caupain had 18 for the Bearcats (29-4), who will be seeking their first AAC title Sunday against SMU.
Jalen Adams scored 20 points and Christian Vital had 18 for UConn. The Huskies finished 16-17, their first losing season in 30 years.
It was a typically chippy game between the teams, whose rivalry dates to the old Big East. They combined for 56 fouls, 32 committed by UConn.
Cincinnati was 38 of 46 from the foul line. UConn made 20 of its 25 free throw attempts.
No. 24 WISCONSIN 76, NORTHWESTERN 48
WASHINGTON (AP) — Wisconsin revved up the defense against weary Northwestern and got the desired result, a victory that earned the Badgers a berth in the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the third time in five years.
Nigel Hayes scored 18 points and Ethan Happ added 16 for the second-seeded Badgers. They never trailed in their third straight victory — second in the tournament — following a run of five losses in six games.
Wisconsin (25-8) will vie for its fourth Big Ten title Sunday against No. 8 seed Michigan, which will be playing its fourth game in four days. It will be the seventh championship game appearance for the Badgers, trailing only the eight by Ohio State.
Northwestern (23-11) was playing for the second time in less than 24 hours and its third game in three days, and it showed. Coming off wins over Rutgers and No. 3 seed Maryland, the Wildcats missed 20 of 27 shots in the first half, had only one assist and trailed 38-21.