It’s time for Selection Sunday, following the conclusion of the conference tournaments in the ACC (North Carolina wins), Big 12 (Kansas), Big East (Seton Hall !!!) and the Pac-12 (Oregon). In the SEC it’s Kentucky vs Texas A&M in the final, while Michigan State will play Purdue for the Big Ten Conference tournament title.
ACC Tournament Final
#1 North Carolina 61 #2 Virginia 57: The Tar Heels win the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2008 and complete the league-tournament double as well for the first time in 8 years, proving maybe for the final time how seriously they should be taken heading into the NCAA Tournament. In a game that was more to the style of how the Cavaliers like to play, it was UNC defense in the second half, holding Virginia without a field goal for over 8 minutes in the second half, that won the game. Joel Berry with 19 points led the Tar Heels, who also got 13 from Marcus Paige and 12 from Brice Johnson.
Big 12 Tournament Final
#1 Kansas 81 #2 West Virginia 71: Another conference with the expected 1-2 finish, as the Jayhawks continue their dominance over everyone in the Big 12. It’s their first conference tournament win since 2013 and their first league-tournament double since then. West Virginia struggled in the start of the second half, and couldn’t keep up with the escaping Jayhawks, led by 27 points from Devonte Graham, getting 21 from Wayne Selden Jr. and 17 from Perry Ellis.
Big East Tournament Final
#3 Seton Hall 69 #1 Villanova 67: A stunning upset that puts the Pirates in the tournament for the first time since 2006. Isaiah Whitehead scored 26 points, including the 3-point play that won the game for Seton Hall, capping off their best season since the P.J. Carlesimo days, hoping it also translates into a Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight, while casting a little bit of doubt on how far the Wildcats can go in the NCAA Tournament.
Big Ten Tournament Semifinals
Setting up Purdue vs Michigan State: It’s a #2 (MSU) vs #4 (Boilermakers) final in the Big Ten as Purdue beat Michigan 76-59 while Michigan State edged Maryland 64-61. Both teams were going to be in the NCAA Tournament as is, but it’s a chance for both teams to break a conference tournament drought: Tom Izzo hasn’t won it since 2014 (jk on the drought thing), while Purdue have won it just once, in 2009.
Pac-12 Tournament Final
#1 Oregon 88 #2 Utah 57: A huge win for the Ducks, winning the conference tournament for the first time in three years and doing the double for the first time in program history, while walking all over Utah. Oregon his 11 3’s (making 50% of them), led by Tyler Dorsey with 23 points to what is turning out to be an excellent freshman season, while Dillon Brooks led the long range barrage, scoring 18 points.
SEC Tournament Semifinals
Setting up Kentucky vs Texas A&M: A #1 vs #2 final, as the Aggies ruined the dreams of LSU, Ben Simmons and ESPN, who immediately turned their back on the freshman they’ve been overhyping all season long. Simmons had 10 points while Texas A&M humiliated LSU with a 71-38 victory, led by Colombian born Tonny Trocha-Morelos, scoring 13 points in 13 minutes. Kentucky found themselves in a usual spot, carried by their Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray backcourt, combining to score 51 points as they pulled away from the Bulldogs in the final minutes after trailing for most of the game.