Members of the Vanderbilt team celebrate their 71-64 win over Kentucky in the championship game of the 2012 Southeastern Conference tournament at the New Orleans Arena on Sunday.
associated press Enlarge
NEW ORLEANS — Jeffery Taylor scored 18 points and Vanderbilt rallied to beat No. 1 Kentucky 71-64 in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game Sunday, ending the Wildcats’ 24-game winning streak.
John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli both had 17 points for Vanderbilt (24-10), which last won the SEC tournament in 1951.
Kentucky (32-2) didn’t score a field goal over the final 8:04 and shot just 35.9 percent from the field (23 of 64).
Darius Miller scored 16 points for Kentucky while Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis both added 12.
After a dunk by Miller with 8:04 left, the Wildcats missed 14 consecutive shots from the field to lose for the first time since Dec. 10.
It also spoiled the Wildcats’ perfect season against competition from the SEC.
Kentucky is 18-1 against SEC opponents.
Vanderbilt has won four of five games heading into the NCAA tournament.
No. 17 Florida State 85, No. 4 North Carolina 82
ATLANTA — Tournament MVP Michael Snaer scored 18 points and Florida State used a barrage of 3-pointers to win the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship for the first time since joining the conference in 1991.
Florida State (24-9) beat the Tar Heels by 33 points during the regular season.
North Carolina (29-5) nearly came all the way back from a 16-point deficit in the first half. P.J. Hairston missed a tying 3 at the buzzer.
It was the first time since Maryland’s title in 2004 that a team outside the state of North Carolina won the tournament.
Florida State hit 11 of 22 from 3-point range, while North Carolina went 5 of 20 from beyond the arc, including Kendall Marshall’s potential game-winning shot with five seconds to go.
Harrison Barnes led North Carolina with 23 points, while Tyler Zeller had 19 points and 12 rebounds.
St. Bonaventure 67, Xavier 56
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Conference player of the year Andrew Nicholson had 26 points,14 rebounds, and eight blocked shots and St. Bonaventure won its first Atlantic 10 title by holding off Xavier 67-56 on Sunday.
Da’ Quan Cook and Charlon Kloff added nine points apiece for the fourth-seeded Bonnies (20-11), who will be returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000.
This is a rebirth for St. Bonaventure, whose program was embarrassed in 2003 for using an illegal player and allowed its players to boycott the final two regular season games after the conference suspended the player.
As the clock wound down, players hugged on the court and coach Mark Schmidt walked the bench and high-fived players.
Tu Holloway had 17 points and Mark Lyons added 16 for third-seeded Xavier (21-12).