NCAA Conference Tournaments 2014: Predictions, Results for Sunday's Top Games

Bleacher Report College Basketball StaffFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2014

NCAA Conference Tournaments 2014: Predictions, Results for Sunday's Top Games

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    What a week it's been.

    Conference championships bring out the best (or worst) in teams, and this week showed plenty of both as schools fought for automatic bids, jockeyed for seeding and tried to keep themselves off the NCAA-tournament bubble.

    The final bids were handed out Sunday, with the ACC, Atlantic 10, Big Ten and SEC champions crowned just before Sunday evening's announcement of the 68-team field. Here's a look at how the day's big-tournament finals turned out.

ACC Tournament

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    (1) Virginia 72, (3) Duke 63

    The Cavaliers continued their storybook season, following up a regular-season title with their first ACC tournament championship since 1976.

    Virginia (28-6) also avenged one of its two league losses, holding Duke to 38.1 percent shooting and forcing Blue Devils star Jabari Parker to take 24 shots to score 23 points.

    Rodney Hood's layup with 6:08 left tied the game at 53, but the Cavs then took control with a 6-0 run and then pulled away late as Duke (26-8) missed layups and couldn't stop Virginia.

    The Cavs got 23 points form Malcolm Brogdon, while Akil Mitchell had seven points and 15 rebounds.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

Atlantic 10 Tournament

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    Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

    (4) St. Joseph's 65, (2) VCU 61

    St. Joseph's survived the havoc en route to winning its first Atlantic 10 title since 1997.

    The Hawks (24-9) used 19 points from Langston Galloway and a defensive pressure normally found from VCU to lock up their first NCAA tournament bid since 2008.

    St. Joe's led 28-24 at the half, but the game stayed tight for most of the second half until Galloway's three-pointer with 2:30 left gave his team a 57-54 lead. It was the start of a 7-0 run that sealed the deal as the Rams (26-8) couldn't catch up.

    VCU, which shot only 36.9 percent, was led by Rob Brandenberg's 18 points and 15 from Treveon Graham. 

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

Big Ten Tournament

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    Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

    (3) Michigan State 69, (1) Michigan 55

    The Spartans put together one of their most complete efforts of the season, leading from the outset and never looking back in downing rival Michigan for the Big Ten tournament title Sunday in Indianapolis.

    Michigan State (26-8) led, 38-29, at halftime and kept the lead around double digits throughout the second half, limiting Michigan star Nik Stauskas to just 4-of-14 from the field and the Wolverines (25-8) as a whole to 31.5-percent shooting.

    Adreian Payne led MSU with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Branden Dawson and Gary Harris each had 15 points. Michigan got 17 from Stauskas and 11 from Derrick Walton Jr.

    The victory avenged a pair of regular-season losses to the Wolverines.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

SEC Tournament

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    Rob Foldy/Getty Images

    (1) Florida 61, (2) Kentucky 60

    The Gators faced their toughest test in weeks, nearly blowing a 15-point lead before holding off Kentucky to win the SEC tournament title Sunday in Atlanta for their 26th consecutive victory.

    Kentucky (24-10) trailed, 52-37, with less than 12 minutes remaining before going on a 16-2 run over a five-minute span to turn what looked like a runaway into a tight finish. Florida (32-2) never trailed, but after James Young hit a three-pointer to pull Kentucky within one, 61-60, the Gators missed a pair of one-and-one free throws to keep the game in doubt.

    Kentucky had two chances to win, but missed two field goals on its first possession, while in the final seconds, the Wildcats failed to get off a shot.

    Aaron Harrison had 16 points to lead Kentucky, while Florida had 14 apiece from Michael Frazier II and Patric Young.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen