Seton Hall captures historic Big East crown
NEW YORK — Isaiah Whitehead scored 26 points, including the deciding three-point play with 18 seconds left, and Seton Hall won the Big East Tournament for the first time in 23 years, beating No. 3 Villanova 69-67 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Whitehead drove on the right side, flipped the ball in and was fouled. His free throw gave the Pirates a 68-67 lead. Villanova had two more chances sandwiched around a free throw by Angel Delgado, but the Pirates held on and beat the top-seeded defending champions.
It was Seton Hall's third tournament title, the others coming in 1991 and 1993.
The third-seeded Pirates (25-8) led for almost the entire game, leading by 14 points in the first half and 11 at halftime.
The Wildcats (30-4) finally started hitting from 3-point range in the second half. They tied the game four times before finally taking their first lead since 3 minutes into the game when Kris Jenkins' 3-pointer gave them a 67-64 lead with 50 seconds to play.
NO. 1 KANSAS 81, NO. 9 WEST VIRGINIA 71: At Kansas City, Mo., Devonte Graham matched a career-high with 27 points, Wayne Selden Jr. added 21 and Kansas overcame a remarkable performance by West Virginia's Devin Williams for a victory over the Mountaineers in the Big 12 Tournament title game.
Perry Ellis added 17 points for the Jayhawks (30-4), who almost certainly locked up the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament by winning their 10th Big 12 Tournament championship.
Kansas trailed the Mountaineers (26-8) at the break before taking control behind Graham, their sophomore guard. He hit five 3-pointers, was 10 of 10 from the foul line and had a career-high four steals, effortlessly dealing with West Virginia's trademark pressure all night.
Williams finished with a career-best 31 points and 10 rebounds, but the junior forward was forced to carry the load by himself.
NO. 2 MICHIGAN STATE 64, NO. 18 MARYLAND 61: At Indianapolis, Denzel Valentine had 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds to lead Michigan State past Maryland in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal.
The league's player of the year sealed it with two free throws with 0.8 seconds to go, and Melo Trimble's desperation heave from 55 feet away didn't get past midcourt.
Michigan State (28-5) has won 12 of 13 and will face No. 13 Purdue in today's title game.
NO. 7 NORTH CAROLINA 61, NO. 4 VIRGINIA 57: At Washington, No. 7 North Carolina held No. 4 Virginia without a field goal for more than 8 minutes in the second half, and Joel Berry II scored 19 points Saturday night, giving the Tar Heel their first ACC Tournament title since 2008.
Since then, coach Roy Williams had led UNC to four finals and lost each one.
Marcus Paige added 13 points for North Carolina (28-6), which won its 18th league championship.
NO. 13 PURDUE 76, MICHIGAN 59: At Indianapolis, A.J. Hammons had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Purdue beat Michigan to advance to the Big Ten Tournament championship.
Hammons made 11 of 17 shots, mostly from inside. Vince Edwards added 13 points, and Isaac Haas finished with 11.
Purdue (26-7) is seeking its first Big Ten Tournament title since 2009.
NO. 16 KENTUCKY 93, GEORGIA 80: At Nashville, Tenn., Jamal Murray scored 26 points, Tyler Ulis added 25 and both keyed a late 11-3 run that helped Kentucky put away Georgia in a semifinal of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Isaiah Briscoe's putback with 8:16 left put the Wildcats up 68-67 and Murray followed with two free throws. After Houston Kessler's jumper got Georgia within one, Ulis scored five points while Murray made a layup during the critical run that pushed second-seeded Kentucky ahead to stay and into today's championship.
NO. 17 TEXAS A&M 71, LSU 38: At Nashville, Tenn., Tonny Trocha-Morales scored 13 points and No. 17 Texas A&M trounced LSU and freshman star Ben Simmons to reach the Aggies' first conference tournament championship game since 1994.
The Aggies (26-7) will play for the Southeastern Conference Tournament title today after sharing the regular-season crown with No. 16 Kentucky. They will face the Wildcats in the title game.