Cy­clones han­dle Moun­taineers’ press, claim third Big 12 ti­tle in four sea­sons

The Washington Post Sunday - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL -

Monte Mor­ris scored 17 points, Deonte Bur­ton and Matt Thomas helped him deal with West Vir­ginia’s at­tack­ing de­fense, and No. 23 Iowa State beat the No. 11 Moun­taineers, 80-74, on Satur­day night in Kansas City, Mo., for the Cy­clones’ third Big 12 tour­na­ment ti­tle in four sea­sons.

Bur­ton had 16 points and Thomas fin­ished with 12 for the fourth-seeded Cy­clones (23-10), who will en­ter the NCAA tour­na­ment as one of the na­tion’s hottest teams. They have won nine of their past 10 games.

Iowa State has never lost in four ap­pear­ances in the Big 12 ti­tle game, while the Moun­taineers (26-8) re­main with­out a con­fer­ence tour­na­ment ti­tle of any kind since they won the Big East in 2010.

VER­MONT 56, AL­BANY 53: The Cata­mounts (29-5) held off the Great Danes (21-13) in Burlington, Vt., to cap a per­fect Amer­ica East sea­son with the con­fer­ence tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship.

Ju­nior for­ward Pay­ton Hen­son con­verted a three-point play with 39 sec­onds re­main­ing to pro­pel top-seeded Ver­mont to its 21st con­sec­u­tive win. The Cata­mounts were the first team to go 16-0 in the league’s reg­u­lar sea­son.

N.C. CEN­TRAL 67, NOR­FOLK STATE 59: Pa­trick Cole scored 18 points and grabbed eight re­bounds, Da­juan Graf added 17 points, and the Ea­gles (25-8) beat the Spar­tans (17-16) in Nor­folk to se­cure the Mid-Eastern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence tour­na­ment and se­cure their sec­ond NCAA tour­na­ment berth in four sea­sons.

NE­VADA 79, COLORADO STATE 71: Jor­dan Caro­line had 23 points and 10 re­bounds as the Wolf Pack (28-6) beat the Rams (23-11) in Las Ve­gas to win the Moun­tain West Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship and earn its first NCAA tour­na­ment berth since 2006.

Gian Clavell scored 30 points to lead Colorado State.

MID­DLE TEN­NESSEE STATE 83, MAR­SHALL 72: Giddy Potts matched his sea­son high with 30 points to lead the Blue Raiders (30-4) to their sec­ond straight Con­fer­ence USA cham­pi­onship with a win over the Thun­der­ing Herd (20-15) in Birm­ing­ham, Ala.

KENT STATE 70, AKRON 65: Jaylin Walker scored 30 points, Jimmy Hall added 19, and the sixth-seeded Golden Flashes (22-13) earned their first NCAA tour­na­ment berth since 2008 by beat­ing the ri­val Zips (26-8) in the Mid-Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game in Cleve­land.

Kent State knocked off the tour­na­ment’s top three seeds — Buf­falo, Ohio and Akron — to win its sixth con­fer­ence ti­tle.

NORTH DAKOTA 93, WE­BER STATE 89 (OT): Quin­ton Hooker scored 28 points, and the Fight­ing Hawks (22-10) ral­lied from a late 11-point deficit to beat the Wild­cats (19-13) in the Big Sky cham­pi­onship game in Reno, Nev., and earn their first NCAA tour­na­ment bid.

NEW OR­LEANS 68, TEXAS A&M-COR­PUS CHRISTI 65 (OT): Tevin Broyles had 15 points and Erik Thomas had 14 points and 11 re­bounds to lead the Pri­va­teers (20-11) past the Is­lan­ders (20-11) in the Southland tour­na­ment fi­nal in Katy, Tex.

New Or­leans clinches its first NCAA tour­na­ment berth since 1996.

TEXAS SOUTH­ERN 53, AL­CORN STATE 50: Kevin Scott had 15 points and 12 re­bounds, and the top-seeded Tigers (24-11) beat the Braves (18-14) to win the South­west­ern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence tour­na­ment ti­tle in Hous­ton.

The Tigers won for the third time in four sea­sons. They were al­ready as­sured an NCAA tour­na­ment berth be­cause Al­corn State is in­el­i­gi­ble for post­sea­son play.

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