The Arizona Wildcats might have just played themselves into a No. 1 seed come NCAA Tournament time, as they outlasted the Oregon Ducks, 83-80, for the Pac-12 Championship. Allonzo Trier had 23 points, including four free throws in the final 17 seconds, giving the seventh-ranked Wildcats the tournament title after they shared the regular season title with the Ducks. Arizona led by as many as 14 in the game while shooting 58 percent overall, as they got payback for the 85-58 loss to Oregon during the regular season. Dillon Brooks had 25 points, while Tyler Dorsey added 23 for the fifth-ranked Ducks, who lost Chris Boucher for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. That news was revealed before the game, as the injury occurred in the semifinal contest against California. The Wildcats could be the favorite for the top seed in the West for the NCAA Tourney after recording consecutive wins over top-5 teams to earn the tournament championship.
Duke Holds Off Notre Dame For ACC Title
The Duke Blue Devils are playing like it's March, putting themselves in good position for March Madness, recording their fourth win in four days, 75-69, over Notre Dame in the ACC Title Game. Jayson Tatum finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, making big plays down the stretch, as the Blue Devils become the first 5-seed to win the tournament. It is their first conference title since 2011, 20th overall, and 14th under Coach K. They came back on a couple of top-10 teams this week, rallying from double-digit deficits against Louisville and North Carolina to move on to Saturday's title contest. Luke Kennard earned Tournament MVP honors after scoring 16 on Saturday. He averaged 22 points and 7.5 rebounds in the four games. Bonzie Colson had 29 points and nine rebounds in the loss for the Irish, who fell to 5-4 against Duke under head coach Mike Brey.
Nova, Iowa State Continue Conference Success
The second-ranked Villanova Wildcats are defending last year's national title, and will do so as Big East Champions once again. Josh Hart had 29 points, leading Nova past Creighton, 74-60, making them the favorites to earn the top seed overall in the NCAA Tournament field. The 31-3 Wildcats have now won the tournament twice in the last three seasons, to go along with four straight regular season titles. Hart becomes the third player to earn tournament MVP honors twice, joining Patrick Ewing and Peyton Siva. Along with Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds, the three seniors have recorded a 128-16 record in their four seasons.
Another team that has had a lot of conference tournament success as of late is No. 23 Iowa State, who recorded their third Big 12 title in four seasons with an 80-74 win over No. 11 West Virginia on Saturday. Monte Morris had 17 points, while Deonte Burton had 16 for the Cyclones, who heads into the NCAA Tournament winners of nine of their past 10 games. Iowa State improves to four-for-four in Big 12 Title game appearances, while also holding the Mountaineers without a conference title since 2010 in the Big East. Jevon Carter led the way with 18 points for WVU, who had three other players finish with 10 points apiece.