Sophomore guard Sandro Carissimo scored a career-high 18 points, forced a second overtime with a last-second basket, then snapped one final tie by making a floater with 11.4 seconds left, lifting Vermont past host Hartford Sunday night, 77-73, and into the championship game of the America East Conference tournament.
The Catamounts (22-11) will play at Stony Brook on Saturday for the conference title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Dallis Joyner’s tip-in at the buzzer lifted Stony Brook past Albany (N.Y.), 57-55.
Carissimo scored 6 of his 18 points after regulation for Vermont, which is in the America East championship game for the seventh time in the past 10 years. Freshman Four McGlynn added 16 points, with Matt Glass scoring 15 and Luke Apfeld 13. Apfeld’s two free throws with 3.4 seconds left - after Carissimo’s go-ahead basket and a miss by Hartford (9-22) - iced the game for the Catamounts.
In the first game, Joyner, who finished with 14 points for the top-seeded Seawolves (22-8), swooped in for the putback on Dave Coley’s jumper as the clock expired. Officials reviewed the play after the buzzer sounded, but the final bucket was upheld.
CAA semifinals - Bradford Burgess scored 20 points and Virginia Commonwealth burst out to a 32-4 lead, then had to hang on against a furious rally by George Mason, moving into Monday night’s championship with a 74-64 victory in Richmond, Va. Troy Daniels added 17 points and Rob Brandenberg 14 for VCU (27-6), which had the huge lead after just nine minutes . . . Frantz Massenat scored 20 points, Damion Lee had 17, and top-seeded Drexel (27-5) won its 18th consecutive game, beating Old Dominion, 68-51. The Dragons are in their first CAA final since 2003.
MAAC semifinals - Rakim Sanders, a senior transfer from Boston College, scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Fairfield over top-seeded Iona, 85-75, in Springfield. The fourth-seeded Stags (19-13) shot 59.6 percent from the field and went on a 16-1 run midway through the second half . . . Erik Etherly scored 21 points to lead second-seeded Loyola (Md.) over Siena, 70-60, and into Monday’s tournament championship game for the first time since 1994.
Missouri Valley final - Doug McDermott had 33 points and Antoine Young scored 8 of his 14 in overtime as No. 25 Creighton survived an upset bid, beating Illinois State, 83-79, in St. Louis and earning its first NCAA bid since 2007. The Bluejays (28-5) were 3-0 against fourth-seeded Illinois State (20-13).
Northeast semifinals - Julian Boyd scored 21 points and Long Island sank just enough free throws down the stretch to beat Quinnipiac, 78-75, in New York. Boyd’s basket put the top-seeded Blackbirds (24-8) ahead for good, 71-69, with 3:38 to play. James Johnson finished with 17 for Quinnipiac (18-13) . . . Velton Jones scored 25 points, going 14 of 16 from the foul line, to lead Robert Morris over Wagner, 71-64. The third-seeded Colonials (24-9) will be trying for what would be a league-best eighth NEC tournament championship on Wednesday.
Kentucky 74, Florida 59 - Freshman Anthony Davis had 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks, Terrence Jones added 19 points, and the top-ranked Wildcats capped a perfect season in league play by beating the No. 16 Gators (22-9, 10-6 SEC) in Gainesville, Fla.
Kentucky (30-1, 16-0) extended its winning streak to 22 games and became just the third team since Alabama in 1956 to go unbeaten in SEC play. The other two? Kentucky. The powerhouse program accomplished the feat in 1996 and 2003.
Ohio State 72, Michigan State 70 - William Buford made a high-arcing jumper from the top of the key with one second left, lifting the No. 10 Buckeyes to a road win over the No. 5 Spartans, forging a three-way tie for the Big Ten title.
Ohio State (25-6, 13-5) earned a share of their third straight conference championship and forced Michigan State (24-7, 13-5) to settle for having a piece of it along with No. 13 Michigan.
Michigan 71, Penn St. 65 - Trey Burke scored 19 points and the No. 13 Wolverines earned a share of the Big Ten title by beating the host Nittany Lions (12-19, 4-14). Evan Smotrycz added 17 points for Michigan (23-8, 13-5).
Wisconsin 70, Illinois 56 - Jordan Taylor scored 16 points in his final home game, helping the No. 14 Badgers (23-8, 12-6 Big Ten) beat the Illini (17-14, 6-12).
Indiana 85, Purdue 74 - Christian Watford scored 19 points and Will Sheehey added 16, leading the No. 18 Hoosiers (24-7, 11-7 Big Ten) over the visiting Boilermakers (20-11, 10-8).
NCAA Division 2 - Franklin Pierce (21-7), the host team of the East Regional, earned the top seed and a game Saturday against No. 8 Philadelphia (19-9) in Worcester. The Assumption gym will also be home to games pitting No. 2 seed Stonehill (21-8) against No. 7 District of Columbia (22-5), and No. 4 UMass-Lowell (19-10) vs. No. 5 Bloomfield (24-7).
ACC final - Georgia Tech came up empty on a series of late possessions and tournament MVP Alyssa Thomas scored 29 points to lead No. 6 Maryland to a 68-65 victory in Greensboro, N.C.
Tyaunna Marshall scored 18 of her 25 points in the second half and Sasha Goodlett added 20 points for the fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets (24-8).
Big East quarterfinals - Devereaux Peters had 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks to lead No. 3 Notre Dame to a 69-54 win over DePaul in Hartford . . . Taylor Palmer scored all 11 of her points in the second half to help West Virginia beat No. 12 Georgetown, 39-32. The teams set the tournament record for fewest combined points in a game . . . Shenneika Smith scored 24 points and No. 18 St. John’s beat No. 20 Louisville in overtime, 68-61 . . . Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 15 of her 17 points in the first half and fourth-ranked Connecticut (27-4) beat No. 23 Rutgers in another low-scoring game, 49-34.
SEC final - Glory Johnson had 20 points and Shekinna Stricklen added 16 as No. 13 Tennessee beat visiting LSU, 70-58, to win the tournament for the third straight season.
The Lady Volunteers (24-8) had a frustrating SEC season by their standards, but Johnson and Stricklen and their fellow seniors pulled together. LSU (22-10) had upset regular-season champion Kentucky to reach its ninth championship game.
Stanford 86, California 61 - Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 22 points as the No. 2 Cardinal (28-1, 18-0 Pac-12) capped their third straight unbeaten conference season by beating the host Bears (22-8, 13-5).
Northeast-10 final - Bentley was relentless at the defensive end from the opening tap, converting five turnovers in the first three minutes into a 10-0 cushion en route to a convincing 79-52 victory over Southern Connecticut to repeat as conference champions.
The sixth-ranked Falcons (27-3), who have won 15 of their last 16 games, will host the Division 2 Northeast Regional tournament this weekend, shooting for their second straight trip to the Elite 8.
Lauren Battista (20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals in 29 minutes) was named most outstanding player for the second straight year, but junior guard Courtney Finn (16 points) was superb at both ends of the court.
On Friday, Bentley, the region’s top seed, will meet No. 8 District of Columbia (21-6), while No. 2 Southern Connecticut (24-5) will play No. 7 C.W. Post (21-9). Franklin Pierce (19-9), which is making its fifth straight trip to the Division 2 tournament, got the fifth seed and a game against Northeast-10 foe Pace (20-8).