Thursday, March 23

NCAA Top Moments: Spiders, Vols nab conference crowns

Selection Sunday is here, but there is still work to be done to finalize the field for the men’s NCAA Tournament.

After the ACC, Big 12, Big East and Pac-12 were among 15 conferences to crown their champions on Saturday, there were five left to do the same on Sunday.

The Ivy League tipped things off with a battle between Yale and Princeton, with the Bulldogs winning a thriller to secure a tournament bid.

The SEC and Atlantic 10 championship games then joined the fray, with Tennessee taking down Texas A&M and Richmond stunning Davidson in their respective matchups.

Those games were followed by the AAC and Big Ten title games to decide the final automatic bids for the NCAA Tournament.

Here are the top moments from Sunday’s slate:

Big Ten tournament final

The two best offenses in the Big Ten began at a frenetic pace in Indianapolis, as Iowa took a 26-18 lead midway through the first half. The Murray brothers combined for 12 points in the first half, including a record-setting 3-ball from Keegan.

Back-to-back for Tony Perkins! The guard has been a revelation ever since entering the starting lineup in February, and he slithered to the rim for an acrobatic finish to put Iowa back up seven.

Big shot from Jaden Ivey! The future lottery pick was the first player to enter double-figures with a nifty finish through contact and a 3-ball at the end of the half to pull Purdue within three. It was a 35-32 Hawkeyes lead at the break.

College basketball’s biggest player dominated out of the locker room! Zach Edey had four quick points and a double-double on the game to put Purdue back in front.

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The Hawkeyes have been a great offensive team of late, but they got it done on defense this time, forcing three-straight turnovers to spark a 6-0 run and open up a 51-47 lead.

Payton Sandfort helped the Hawkeyes find their stroke from 3. Coming off the bench, he stroked a pair of 3-balls to pull Iowa ahead by six. 

AAC tournament final

Fabian White was on fire early for Houston. White had 14 points in as many minutes, including the Cougars’ first 3 of the game, to give UH a 31-22 lead with five minutes left in the first.

The Cougars were up big through 20. UH finished the half on an 8-2 run to close the half up 12, including a tough and-one finish from Josh Carlton

Jalen Duren led the Tigers back within six! The star freshman threw down a pair of powerful slams, including an alley-oop that brought the score to 47-41 at the 11-minute mark.

SEC tournament final

Josiah-Jordan James was doing it on both ends early! James poked away the steal and converted through contact for an and-one. Six points for JJJ early and the Vols led 12-0 through four minutes. 

Tennessee stopped a quick 6-0 spurt from the Aggies with a Kennedy Chandler three. It was 19-10 Vols at the under-eight timeout

The Aggies kept it close through 20! After trailing by as many at 12, a pair of free throws drew A&M within seven late in the half. It was 29-20 Vols to start the second half.

Bubble teams beware! A big shot from Tyrece Radford cut the Volunteer lead down to five early in the second half.

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Danger zone for the Aggies! Santiago Vescovi’s fourth 3-ball of the game extends the Tennessee lead to 15 with 14 minutes to go.

No sweat for the Vols! Tennessee cruised to a 65-50 victory and an SEC championship behind a team-high 17 points from Vescovi and stifling team defense. Texas A&M will now wait anxiously in hopes to hear its name called during Selection Sunday.

A-10 tournament final

The Davidson bigs did it beyond the arc and in the paint! Sam Mennenga stroked a catch-and-shoot 3 and Luka Brajkovic went up and under to bring the Wildcats within three against Richmond after an early deficit. 

The itsy-bitsy bid stealer! 5-foot-9 guard Jacob Gilyard had eight early points to lead the Richmond Spiders to a 22-16 edge through 15 minutes of action.

Davidson roaring back out in front! Another 3-ball from Mennenga capped off an 8-0 run for the Wildcats to put them up by two. A free throw from Richmond halved the deficit, but Davidson led 26-25 at the half. 

Wildcats back out in front! Richmond opened the second half on a 9-2 run to open up a six-point lead, but Michael Jones hit back-to-back buckets to give Davidson a 41-39 lead with 12 minutes to go. 

The biggest lead of the game for Davidson! Mennenga hit his third 3 of the game to put the Wildcats up 49-42 in the final 10 minutes.

Davidson by six late! A six-minute field-goal drought for the Spiders allowed Davidson to rebuild its lead, and a Brajkovic slam capped off the run.

Back to back and-ones for Tyler Burton! The Richmond star converted back-to-back tough finishes that pulled the Spiders within two late. 

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The Spiders did it! Richmond ended the game on a 10-2 run and survived a last-second prayer from the corner to secure its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2011. Davidson is expected to qualify as an at-large, sitting as a nine-seed in FOX Sports bracket forecaster Mike DeCourcy’s latest prediction.

Ivy League tournament final

Yale was taking advantage of the new Ivy League tournament, as the 2-seed Bulldogs found the range early with two 3s and playing stellar defense down low. Yale led 14-7 through seven minutes of action.

It was a block party in Massachusetts! Yale had three early rejections, and the Bulldogs’ own offensive dominance down low, giving them a 10-point lead. It was 24-14 Bulldogs with 7:11 left in the first half. 

Old-school and new-school for Princeton! Tosan Evbuomwan converted the and-one and Drew Friberg drained a 3 to claw the Tigers back within four. 

This time Yale converted at the buzzer! Jalen Gabbidon connected from mid-range as the shot clock expired, capping a quick 4-0 run to put Yale up 32-25 at the half. 

Yale survives! Princeton embarked on a miracle 9-2 run to cut the deficit to two, but a late turnover from Tigers guard Jaelin Llewellyn secured Yale’s automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament!

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