Five more teams took their tickets to the Big Dance and the respective conference tournament titles that came with it on Monday night. Gonzaga fulfilled the prophecy, Western Kentucky came out of nowhere for the second straight season, James Madison knocked off the top seed and a number of others made their way to the NCAA Tournament. It’s Late Night Snacks.
Game of the Night
No. 1 Gonzaga 65, St. Mary’s 51 – The Bulldogs made it a clean sweep of the Gaels this season. Kelly Olynyk owned the paint and Matthew Dellavedova was limited offensively by the stout perimeter defense of Kevin Pangos and David Stockton. Gonzaga shot 52.1-percent overall and held St. Mary’s to 35.7-percent shooting.
Games of Note
Western Kentucky 65, Florida International 63 – Ray Harper does it again. The Hilltoppers came out of nowhere last season with a losing record to win the Sun Belt Conference, and this year they got their 20th win and won their second straight Sun Belt title as a six seed, holding off the Golden Panthers down the stretch.
James Madison 70, Northeastern 57 – A.J. Davis scored a game-high 26 points to help the Dukes get past the Huskies for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994 with the CAA Tournament championship.
Iona 60, Manhattan 57 – The Jaspers were looking for a Cinderella story of their own with a 14-17 record, but a big game from Tre Bowman and 14 points from Lamont ‘Momo’ Jones were enough to push the Gaels past Manhattan in the MAAC title game.
Davidson 74, Charleston 55 – It’s a tale we’ve learned to live by. It’s a risk to bet against Bob McKillop and the Wildcats. Four starters finished in double-figures, led by 24 points from De’Mon Brooks, who briefly left the game with an injury.
Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga – The WCC Player of the Year finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs in the WCC title game win over St. Mary’s.
George Fant, Western Kentucky – The homegrown product from Bowling Green finished with a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds in the Hilltoppers win.
Tre Bowman, Iona – The biggest sixth man performance of the night came from Bowman, who scored 20 points to go with five rebounds and three steals off the bench in the MAAC title game for the Gaels.
A.J. Davis, James Madison – Davis was the clutch performer for the Dukes with 26 points in their win over Northeastern.
Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary’s – The former WCC Player of the Year keeps struggling against the Zags. He finished with two points on 1-for-8 shooting. He averages 16.2 per game.
Quincy Ford, Northeastern – The Huskies sophomore forward averages 12.8 points per game and was held scoreless in Northeastern’s loss to James Madison.
Stuffing the Stat Sheet
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State – I’ve been waiting to put him here. In the victory over Fort Wayne in the first round of the Summit League Tournament, the do-it-all senior had 18 points, 12 assists and five rebounds in 40 minutes.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten