Late Night Snacks: No. 3 Villanova, No. 5 Arizona and No. 11 Notre Dame among conference tournament winners

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 13 Iowa State 70, No. 9 Kansas 66

Despite trailing by as much as 17 Iowa State found a way to once again come back, as they worked out the kinks offensively to win their second consecutive Big 12 tournament title. Georges Niang scored 19 points and Abdel Nader added an important 13 off the bench for Iowa State.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 11 Notre Dame 90, No. 19 North Carolina 82

Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish went on a 22-2 run in the second half as they beat the Tar Heels to earn their first ACC title in their second year in the conference. Jerian Grant 24 points and dished out ten assists, and Pat Connaughton scored 20 points as all five starters reached double figures. Marcus Paige scored 24 points and Brice Johnson added 20 for North Carolina.

2. No. 3 Villanova 69, Xavier 52

Villanova used a balanced effort to take care of the Musketeers in the Big East title game, and sixth man Josh Hart won Most Outstanding Player honors for the tournament. Hart shot 21-for-29 from the field in New York, and he’s just one of the many options that makes Jay Wright’s team one that is capable of winning the national title.

3. Wyoming 45, San Diego State 43

The fears of bubble teams across the country have been realized, as the Cowboys completed their run through the Mountain West tournament. It wasn’t a pretty game offensively, but both teams made life difficult on each other with some solid defense. Josh Adams, who won tournament MVP honors, hit a three with one minute remaining that gave Wyoming the lead for good.

4. No. 5 Arizona 80, Oregon 52

It’s safe to say that Arizona is not a good matchup for Oregon (or a lot of other teams for that matter). The Wildcats rolled to their first Pac-12 tournament title since 2002, and in three meetings with the Ducks they’ve won by a combined margin of eight points. Brandon Ashley led the way offensively with 20 points, making six of his eight shots from the field.

STARRED

1. Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter

The junior helped lead the Panthers back to the Sun Belt title game as he had 32 points and eight steals in a win over Louisiana Lafayette. Hunter was 11-for-22 from the field and also added five rebounds on the afternoon.

2. Stephen F. Austin’s Thomas Walkup

Walkup accounted for 24 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals in the Lumberjacks’ Southland title win over Sam Houston State.

3. Montana’s Martin Bruenig

The Grizzlies fell short of their goal of winning the Big Sky, but Bruenig tallied 23 points and 17 rebounds in a four-point loss to Eastern Washington.

STRUGGLED

1. Purdue’s second half

After a solid first half from AJ Hammons, the Boilers were up five at the half and looked like they were in position for a potential upset. Then Wisconsin blew the doors off in the second half once Hammons picked up his fourth foul and Purdue never recovered. Purdue was outscored 41-16 in the second half.

2. Auburn’s K.T. Harrell

The senior guard will end his season with a 1-for-12 performance from the field and was 0-for-6 from the 3-point line. To his credit, Harrell wad 11-for-12 from the free-throw line, but Kentucky held Harrell in check and Auburn didn’t really stand a chance without him.

2. Rhode Island’s ball control

The Rams committed 21 turnovers, which were converted into 22 points by Dayton in the Flyers’ 56-52 win in the Atlantic 10 semifinal matchup.

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS

  • America East final: Peter Hooley hit a three-pointer with 1.6 seconds remaining gave Albany a one-point win over Stony Brook. It’s been a difficult season for Hooley, whose mother passed away from cancer earlier this year.
  • American semis: No. 20 SMU will play for the conference tournament title, as they took care of Temple 69-56. The Mustangs’ opponent: UConn, which received big shots down the stretch from Ryan Boatright, Daniel Hamilton and Rodney Purvis to beat Tulsa 47-42.
  • Atlantic 10 semis: The two teams picked to finish atop the conference standings before the season began will meet for the title on Sunday. VCU avenged a blowout loss at No. 24 Davidson with a 93-73 win over the Wildcats, and Dayton held off Rhode Island 56-52 in the other semifinal.
  • Big Sky final: Eastern Washington erased a nine-point second half deficit to win at Montana 69-65. Tyler Harvey scored 18 points and Drew Brandon added 16 for the Eagles, who are a team that can pull an upset next week.
  • Big Ten semis: No. 6 Wisconsin and Michigan State will meet in Sunday’s title game, as the Badgers turned a five-point halftime deficit into a 71-51 win over Purdue. The Spartans advanced with a 62-58 win over No. 8 Maryland.
  • Big West final: UC Irvine clinched its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, as they beat Hawaii 67-58 in Anaheim. Luke Nelson led three starters in double figures with 17 points, and the Anteaters have the ability to cause trouble for an opponent.
  • Conference USA final: UAB will make its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011, as they beat Middle Tennessee 73-60 in Birmingham.
  • Ivy League playoff: A Steve Moundou-Missi jumper with just over seven seconds remaining gave Harvard a 53-51 win over Yale at The Palestra. Javier Duren’s runner in the final seconds rolled off the rim, and the Crimson will make their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance as a result.
  • Mid-American final: In his second year at the helm Bobby Hurley has led Buffalo to the NCAA tournament as the Bulls beat Central Michigan 89-84 in Cleveland.
  • SEC semis: No. 1 Kentucky made short work of Auburn, racing out to a 15-4 lead and winning 91-67. The Wildcats will play No. 21 Arkansas in Sunday’s title game, as the Razorbacks limited Georgia to 32.7 percent shooting in their 60-49 victory.
  • Southland final: Brad Underwood’s Lumberjacks are back. Stephen F. Austin will make its second consecutive NCAA tournament, as they beat rival Sam Houston State 83-70. Thomas Walkup led four players in double figures with 24 points, and Jared Johnson contributed 17 points and five rebounds off the bench.
  • SWAC final: Texas Southern, which clinched the automatic bid last night, came back to beat Southern 62-58. Mike Davis’ team could be dangerous next week.
  • Sun Belt semis: Georgia State, which finished one win short of the NCAA tournament last season, is back in the title game after beating Louisiana 83-79. Georgia Southern will be their opponent, as the Eagles beat ULM 44-43 in the second game of the day.
  • WAC final: New Mexico State is headed to the NCAA tournament for a fourth straight year, as they beat Seattle 80-61 in Las Vegas. Remi Barry scored 21 points and Chili Nephawe added 18 points and ten rebounds. Also of note was senior guard Daniel Mullings, who accounted for eight points, seven assists and six steals while limiting Isiah Umpig to 13 points on 2-for-7 shooting (8-for-8 FT).