Alabama rolls to SEC championship
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Brandon Miller scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as fourth-ranked Alabama smothered No. 18 Texas A&AM 82-63 on Sunday for the Crimson Tide’s second Southeastern Conference Tournament championship in three seasons.
The Crimson Tide also capped their second SEC double dip in three seasons after picking up their regular-season trophy before Friday’s quarterfinals. The Tide (29-5) extended the program record for wins while adding its eighth tournament title in its 15th appearance; both are second only to Kentucky in the SEC.
Miller, the tournament MVP and AP All-SEC player and newcomer of the year, posted his ninth double-double of the season. Jahvon Quinerly, who was 0-of-9 shooting with one point in the semifinal, made his first three 3s and scored 13 of his 22 points in the first half. Charles Bediako had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
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The second-seeded Aggies (25-9) dropped to 0-3 in the tournament finale, losing for a second straight year. Dexter Dennis led Texas A&M with 14 points, Wade Taylor IV had 13 and Tyrece Radford 12.
Alabama snapped a five-game skid to Texas A&M, which included a 67-61 loss in College Station on March 4 in the regular season.
MEMPHIS 75, HOUSTON 65: Kendric Davis scored 31 points, including 14 in a big run before halftime, and Memphis held on to beat short-handed No. 1 Houston in the American Athletic Conference tournament championship game in Fort Worth, Texas.
DeAndre Williams had 16 points and 13 rebounds for coach Penny Hardaway and the Tigers (26-8), who got the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid. They are going to March Madness for the second year in a row.
Houston (31-3) played without AAC player of the year Marcus Sasser, who strained his groin in the first half of Saturday’s semifinal game. The senior guard’s status will remain a question mark for the Cougars, who entered their final AAC game already a sure bet for their first No. 1 NCAA seed since 1983 during the Phi Slama Jama era.
The Cougars, who are moving to the Big 12 next season, beat Memphis 71-53 in last year’s AAC tournament championship game, and won both regular-season matchups this season.
PURDUE 67, PENN ST. 65: Zach Edey scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and No. 5 Purdue hung on to beat Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament championship game in Chicago.
The Boilermakers (29-5) led by as much as 17 in the second half, only to have the lead shrink to one in the closing seconds. They came away with their second title to go with one in 2009.
Penn State (22-13) made things interesting in the final minute. Purdue led 66-60 when Myles Dread nailed a 3 with 16 seconds remaining. Evan Mahaffey then stole Brandon Newman’s inbound pass and fed Camren Wynter for a layup that made it a one-point game with six seconds remaining.
Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer then made a free throw before missing the second. Penn State’s Andrew Funk got the rebound, but after a timeout, Wynter got called for traveling just before the final buzzer.
VCU 68, DAYTON 56: Jalen DeLoach had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and top-seeded VCU beat second-seeded Dayton to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the first time in eight years.
Ace Baldwin added 16 points and seven assists, sending the Rams (27-7) to the NCAA Tournament with a nine-game winning streak and a title that has often alluded them during an otherwise impressive run of consistency.
VCU had played in the A-10 final six times from 2013-21, winning just once in 2015 when it beat Dayton.
DaRon Holmes II tried to carry the Flyers (22-12) to their first A-10 title since 2003 and first NCAA bid in six years. Holmes had 28 points and 16 rebounds, but didn’t get enough help in the second half. The 6-foot-10 sophomore was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, averaging 22 points in three games at Barclays Center.
PRINCETON 74, YALE 65: Tosan Evbuomwan scored 21 points, Caden Pierce added a double-double and host Princeton beat Yale to win the Ivy League Tournament and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
No. 2 seed Princeton’s victory ends top-seeded Yale’s three-year run as league champion. The Tigers will be making their 26th appearance in the Big Dance and their first since 2017. Yale beat Princeton 66-64 in last season’s championship game.
Evbuomwan sank 8 of 14 shots from the floor with a 3-pointer for the Tigers (21-8). He added five rebounds and four assists. Pierce, the Ivy League’s freshman of year, finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. It was his seventh double-double of the season. Matt Allocco pitched in with 15 points and seven boards, while Ryan Langborg had 14 points and four assists.
Sophomore Bez Mbeng paced the Bulldogs (21-8) with 18 points and six rebounds. Matt Knowling, who led the Ivy with a shooting percentage of 63%, scored 14 off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting. August Mahoney hit three 3-pointers and scored 13.
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