Courtney Ramey lifts No. 8 Arizona over No. 2 UCLA for Pac-12 title San Diego State beats Utah State for Mountain West title Wichita State fires Isaac Brown after 3 seasons Roach helps No. 21 Duke beat No. 13 Virginia for ACC title No. 7 Texas rolls past No. 3 Kansas 76-56 for Big 12 title No. 6 Marquette routs Xavier 65-51 to win 1st Big East title
LAS VEGAS. Courtney Ramey had missed all four of his previous three-point attempts when the ball was back in his hands at the most critical moment.
Ramey rocked the defender and then calmly pounded one from the top of the key with 16.7 seconds left to put Arizona ahead. The eighth-seeded Wildcats held off this by defeating No. 2 UCLA 61-59 in the Pac-12 championship game.
“I kept telling myself there was going to be the next shot,” Ramey said. “My job was to make a play.”
The Wildcats (28-6) solidified their lead in the fight for second place in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA (29-5) is still looking to take first place in the West and return to Las Vegas in two weeks for regional competition.
This was the second year in a row that Arizona had beaten UCLA in the Pac-12 title game.
Arizona second-year coach Tommy Lloyd can’t lose in Las Vegas. He’s 9-0 in the city, 8-0 at the T-Mobile Arena and 6-0 at the Pac-12 tournament.
“It was a knockdown, a puff, and I felt like it was going to happen,” Lloyd said. “Great respect for the UCLA program. Obviously they have a lot of injuries right now, but they are resilient and I knew they would be.”
Ramey’s three-pointer gave the Wildcats a 60–58 lead. The clutch hit came after teammate Azuolas Tubelis missed a three-pointer that was saved by Pelle Larsson, who passed the ball to Rami.
UCLA guard Tiger Campbell was fouled with 6.8 seconds to go and made the first free throw but missed the second. Tubelis hit one of two free throws with 5.8 seconds left, and UCLA’s Dylan Andrews missed 3 shots to secure the win for Arizona.
“A wide throw to win the game,” said UCLA coach Mick Cronin. “Tiger is kicking himself for missing a free throw, but that has nothing to do with some of our big fouls and defensive breakdowns. These are manageable. I will take Tiger on the line and put my career on the line while Tiger is on the line.”
Tubelis, the most outstanding player of the tournament, had 19 points and 14 rebounds for second-place Arizona. Umar Ballo scored 13 points and Larsson 11.
Amari Bailey led UCLA with 19 points. Campbell scored 16 points and Jaime Jacques Jr. had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bruins knew they weren’t going to have defenseman Jaylen Clark (shin) or Adem Bona (shoulder) and their troubles only got worse when two of Bona’s stand-ins got into trouble.
Mac Etienne and Kenneth Nwuba each had four fouls in the second half, forcing Cronin to play at least one of them. Etienne fouled with 9:35 left and Nwuba 4:27 left, meaning the Bruins had to play with a smaller lineup for the rest of the game.
Arizona wasn’t exactly healthy either. Point guard Kerr Kriisa played with a stubborn shoulder during the tournament.
According to UCLA radio host Josh Levin, an Arizona fan yelled at Cronin’s father, Hep, after the game. When the reporter told Cronin afterwards, he immediately left the post-match press conference. Athletic director Martin Jarmond quickly followed suit.
Arizona: The Wildcats entered the game just 10 three-pointers behind the school record set in the 2010–11 season. But long-range strikes against the Bruins did not come across to them to the end. Arizona went 6 of 20 from beyond the arc.
UCLA: Clark and Bona’s health issue. Cronin did not provide any information other than to say before the Pac-12 tournament that Clarke would not play. UCLA has been the class Pac-12 this season, but the absence of those players has been quite noticeable, especially against Arizona.
Arizona: He will most likely be the #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
UCLA: Almost certainly the #1 or #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
LAS VEGAS. Matt Bradley scored 16 points and Jadon LeDi added 13 points to lead No. 20 San Diego State to a 62-57 victory over Utah State in the Mountain West Tournament championship game.
The Aztecs (27-6) claimed their seventh tournament title and second place in three years. It also marked their conference-record 15th title game appearance.
San Diego State confirmed the conference’s bid for the NCAA Tournament, though no one doubted the Aztecs would be selected. What seeds the state of San Diego receives remains to be seen.
Utah State (26-8) is also in contention for the tournament when the selection is announced.
This was the fourth time in the past five years that the teams had played each other in the Mountain West Championship. Utah State has won the 2019 and 2020 title games, while San Diego State is back home with the 2021 trophy. Boise State temporarily ended the monopoly last season by defeating the Aztecs 53-52.
Neither team shot well, with San Diego State shooting 33.3% compared to Aggie’s 37.1%.
No San Diego State player scored in double figures except for Lady and Mitchell. For Utah, Stephen Ashworth scored 13 points and Trevin Dorius scored 12.
However, the Aggie were in a hot mood early, leading 12:2 in the first half and leading 26:15 with 6:57 left, but then cooled off. They didn’t manage to score another field goal until 1:43 in the second half, but somehow didn’t fall behind at that stretch.
But the Aztecs got closer and eventually went back and forth with Utah State in the second half. San Diego State nearly ended the game, going up 53-46 with 3:03 left, but the Aggie came back within three points with 48 seconds left and two points with 30.3 seconds left.
San Diego State ended the game on the free throw line with 9 of 10 free throws in the last 43 seconds.
Utah State: The Aggie entered the game fourth nationally with a 3-point percentage of 40.1, but struggled poorly against San Diego State’s long athletic defense. Utah State made just 4 of 24 three-point attempts.
San Diego State: Aztecs come in waves. Nine players participated in the game, and each was on the floor for at least 16 minutes, and eight – at least 19. All nine scored and collected rebounds.
Utah State: Aggie is #18 in the NET so it would be a big surprise if they weren’t selected for the NCAA Tournament.
San Diego State: A potential sixth seed could go through San Diego State, but the Aztecs could also work their way to number five.
Wichita State fired coach Isaac Brown a day after the Shockers were eliminated from the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament and two years after he was named league coach of the year.
Brown was a lead recruiter and chief assistant to former coach Gregg Marshall, who resigned in November 2020 following allegations of verbal and physical abuse of players. Just days before the start of the season, Brown got the job and led Wichita State to the NCAA Tournament.
The Shockers finished Brown’s first season 16–6, which ended with a heartbreaking loss to Drake in their First Four game played in the COVID-19 bubble in the Indianapolis area. His best player, Tyson Etienne, was named AAC Player of the Year.
The 53-year-old has never been a head coach at any level, and in February 2021, then-sporting director Darron Boatwright was given a full-time job and awarded him a five-year contract. But soon the Shockers were mediocre again, going 15-13 last season and 17-15 this season.
Boatright was fired in May and Kevin Saal was hired from Murray State to replace him a month later.
“I want to thank Coach Brown for his contributions,” Saal said in a letter sent to Wichita State fans. “His love for our student athletes and our program is undeniable, and we are grateful for his contributions to the lives of our student athletes.
Saal will be tasked with finding a coach to bring the Shockers back to the top tier of a revamped American Athletic Conference. After this season, the league will lose top positions from Houston, Central Florida, and Cincinnati to the Big 12 and will admit six schools from Conference USA: UAB, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, Texas-San Antonio, Rice, and North Texas.
It works in Saal’s favor that the Shockers are one of the most attractive midfielders in college basketball due to a proud tradition that includes two Final Fours, the last of which took place in 2013.
They play at the Koch Arena, affectionately known as “Decoupling”, and are supported by the Koch family, who have donated millions to support the school and sports department.
GREENSBORO, NC — Jeremy Roach scored 23 points as No. 21 Duke blocked defense to beat No. 13 Virginia 59-49 in Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship, securing the title in John Shayer’s rookie season as successor Hall of Fame. coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Freshman Kyle Filipovsky added 20 points and 10 rebounds to become MVP of the tournament for the fourth-ranked Blue Devils (26-8). It also marked Duke’s ninth straight win, a streak that began with an overtime loss in Virginia in which a league-recognized refereeing error cost the Blue Devils a chance to win on the main roster.
This time, Duke worked his way up to the French horn, building on the defensively focused approach that Shyer has been promoting all season. The Blue Devils held off the second-place Cavaliers (25-7) with a 33% shooting percentage, with Virginia missing both contested and clean looks, making almost as many turnovers (12) as throws (16) .
The Blue Devils were never far behind, leading by as much as 14 points and holding the Cavaliers – playing at a methodical pace and with their own defensive style – working to get an inch closer all night.
Reece Beekman scored 12 points for Virginia, who tied within six off Isaac McNeely’s 3:05 three-pointers and five after Keehei Clark’s layup after the scrimmage with 1:07 left. Finally, Beekman pulled Virginia up to 53-49 on…