Image via Duke Athletics
With the college basketball conference championship games coming to a close, We recap the winners from the top five, “Power 5,” conferences below.
#3 Duke defeated #4 Florida State 73-63 to win the ACC championship, their 21st in school history, and their second in three years.
Duke’s star freshmen led the Blue Devils, with all four scoring in double digits. Zion Williamson led them with 21, Tre Jones added another 18, RJ Barrett had 17 of his own, while Cam Reddish finished with 11. Mfiondu Kabengele led the Seminoles with 14 points of his own.
Duke is and has been, in many people’s eyes, the best team in the country. They are headed into the national tournament with an ACC title, and more importantly, it seems their best player, Zion Williamson, is at 100%.
#1 Michigan State closed out a close 65-60 victory over #3 Michigan to secure their third Big Ten championship in six years.
Matt McQuaid led the Spartans with 27 points while teammate Cassius Winston added 14 points and 11 assists. The Wolverines had three players score in double-digits with Ignas Brazdeikis leading all of them with 19.
In a well-fought game that came down to the wire, the Spartans pulled it out and are headed to the national tournament as a probable number one seed.
#5 Iowa State beat #3 Kansas 78-66, becoming the lowest seed to ever win the Big 12 tournament. It was also Iowa State’s fourth time winning the tournament in the last six years, last time being 2017.
Lindell Wigginton led the Cyclones in scoring with 17, along with 6 rebounds, while Michael Jacobson added 14, and Marial Shayok added another 15. Dedric Lawson led the way and poured in 18 for the Jayhawks.
The Cyclones dominated. Leading in almost every major statistical category, with the Jayhawks only leading in rebounding, Iowa State will see themselves in the dance once again.
#6 Oregon dominated #1 Washington, winning 68-48 and securing the Pac-12 championship. This is Oregon’s first conference championship since 2016 and they earned it.
Payton Pritchard led the Ducks in scoring with 20, while teammates Louis King and Paul White dropped 15 and 14, respectively. The Huskies had zero players score in double digits with Jaylen Nowell leading them with 8.
After losing their superstar freshman, Bol Bol, to a season-ending injury earlier in the season, and finishing in sixth place in the uncharacteristically weak Pac-12 conference, the Ducks now see themselves in the dance once again, just two years removed from a final four appearance.
#5 Auburn upset #3 Tennessee 84-64 to win the SEC championship for the first time in over 30 years, and also ending Kentucky’s four year run at it.
Bryce Brown led the Tigers with 19 points, with teammate Chuma Okeke dropping a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Lamonte Turner dropped 24 points in the loss for the Volunteers.
The Volunteers were gunning for a number one seed in the national tournament, and most likely would’ve secured it if it wasn’t for Auburn’s upset. They still could but it will now come down to the committee as the conference championships come to a close.