No. 24 Wisconsin 86, Northwestern 48: The Badgers harassed and hounded the weary the Wildcats in victory that thrust Wisconsin into the conferenc echampionship game for the third time in five years. Nigel Hayes scored 18 points and Ethan Happ added 16 for the second-seeded Badgers (25-8), who had lost five of their last six entering the tournament.
Northwestern (23-11) was playing for the second time in less than 24 hours, and it showed. Coming off wins over Rutgers and No. 3-seeded Maryland, the Wildcats missed 20 of 27 shots in the first half, had only one assist and trailed 38-21.
No. 8 Kentucky 79, Alabama 74: De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 28 points, including seven straight down the stretch, and Malik Monk added 20 to lift the Wildcats to a win in the tournament semifinal in Nashville, Tenn. Bam Adebayo had 10 points and nine rebounds to send top-seeded Kentucky (28-5) to Sunday’s championship game against Arkansas on Sunday.
Dazon Ingram had 17 points for No. 5 seed Alabama (19-14), which outrebounded Kentucky 33-28, but couldn’t get the basket when needed to overcome the Wildcats.
Arkansas 76, Vanderbilt 62: Moses Kingsley had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead the third-seeded Razorbacks (25-8) to their third straight victory. Arkansas advances to its seventh tournament title game, where it will face Kentucky for the second time in three years.
Arkansas simply smothered Vanderbilt (19-15), especially in the paint where the Razorbacks had a 46-16 scoring edge. Jaylen Barford led Arkansas with 18 points. Dusty Hannahs added 16 and Daryl Macon 15. The Commodores got 12 points apiece from Riley LaChance and Joe Toye.
No. 12 Southern Methodist 70, Central Florida 59: Sterling Brown scored 22 points as the Mustangs advance to the American Athletic title game in Hartford, Conn. Semi Ojeleye added 17 points, and Shake Milton had 14 of his 16 points in the second half for the Mustangs (29-4). They are back in the championship game after missing last year’s tournament because of NCAA sanctions. B.J. Taylor had 20 points and Nick Banyard added 16 for the Knights (21-11), who had won six in a row.
No. 15 Cincinnati 81, Connecticut 71: Gary Clark scored 24 points to lead the Bearcats to the win. Jacob Evans added 21 points and Troy Caupain had 19 for Cincinnati (29-4), which will be seeking first American Athletic tournament title on Sunday against No. 12 SMU. Jalen Adams scored 20 points and Christian Vital had 19 for the Huskies (16-17), who had their first losing campaign in 30 years.
Rhode Island 84, Davidson 60: E.C. Matthews scored 19 points, making all four of his three-point attempts, as the fourth-seeded Rams (23-9) cruised into the championship game. The Wildcats (17-15), who knocked off top-seeded Dayton in the quarterfinals, were led by Jack Gibbs, who scored 17 points, moving to third on the Davidson career scoring list with 2,036.
Virginia Commonwealth 87, Richmond 77: JeQuan Lewis scored 18 points, including a three-pointer with 25 seconds left to force overtime, and VCU (21-7) advanced to the title game for the seventh consecutive season. In overtime, the Rams quickly took control, scoring the first six points during an 11-2 run. Mo Alie-Cox had five points in the breakaway run and Samir Doughty had four. Richmond (20-12) got a career-high 26 points from De’Monte Buckingham.
Vermont 56, Albany 53: Payton Henson scored 17 points, Anthony Lamb had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Catamounts (29-5) won their sixth conference tournament title with the win over the Great Danes (21-13). It will be Vermont’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2012.
North Dakota 93, Weber State 89: Quinton Hooker scored 28 points and the Fighting Hawks earned their first NCAA tournament bid. Top-seeded North Dakota (22-10) rallied with a 20-9 run to force overtime after falling behind 72-61 with 7:26 left. Jeremy Senglin led the third-seeded Wildcats (19-13) with 26 points. Kyndahl Hill added 21 points and 12 rebounds.
North Carolina Central 67, Norfolk State 59: Patrick Cole scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Dajuan Graf added 17 points and the Eagles earned their second trip to the NCAA tournament in four years. Rashaun Madison made three three-pointers and scored 12 points for top-seeded NCCU (25-8). Zaynah Robinson had 18 points, six rebounds and four assists for No. 2-seeded Norfolk State (17-16), which was seeking its second MEAC tournament title.
College basketball: Duke, Iowa State, Villanova win conference tournament titles – Los Angeles Times