Sunday , Mar , 11 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Close finishes highlight Championship Saturday

New York, NY (Sports Network) – A few incredible finishes highlighted
Championship Saturday as 11 postseason conference tournaments came to a close,
leading up to Selection Sunday.

However, the finals involving the major conferences proved to be blowouts.

Jeff Green capped his incredible week with a 21-point performance, and ninth-
ranked Georgetown used a suffocating defense to pound No. 13 Pittsburgh,
65-42, for the Big East Tournament title. Green, who was named the
tournament’s MVP, ended 6-of-12 from the field and 8-of-10 from the foul line
for the top-seeded Hoyas (26-6), who won the championship for the first time
since 1989. Roy Hibbert contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds for Georgetown,
which picked up the automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament.

Bryce Taylor couldn’t miss all day, going a perfect 11-of-11 from the field —
including 7-of-7 from three-point range — for a career-high 32 points, as
16th-ranked Oregon blasted Southern California, 81-57, to capture the Pac-10
Tournament championship. Taylor, who also made all three of his free throw
attempts, set the tournament record for field goal percentage in a game and
was named the tourney MVP. Tajuan Porter scored 16 points and grabbed six
rebounds and Aaron Brooks had 15 points and seven boards for the Ducks (26-7),
who lost three straight and five of six in February before ripping off six
straight wins en route to the tournament title.

Antonio Anderson and Chris Douglas-Roberts each scored 17 points, as fifth-
ranked Memphis captured the Conference USA Tournament title with a 71-59
victory over Houston at FedEx Forum. Willie Kemp chipped in 10 points and Joey
Dorsey contributed nine with 13 rebounds for the Tigers (30-3), who won the
conference tournament championship for the second straight year and will enter
the NCAA Tournament next week with 22-game winning streak — the longest in
the nation.

There were a pair of great finishes, including one on a bank shot. Doug Penno
banked in the game-winning three- pointer with under a second left, leading
the fourth-seeded Miami-Ohio RedHawks past the second-seeded Akron Zips,
53-52, for the Mid- American Conference Tournament title at Quicken Loans
Arena. The RedHawks (18-14) earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
This was Miami’s 11th appearance in the MAC Tournament championship game and
its first since 2001.

Brian Greene scored on an alley-oop at the buzzer off an inbounds pass, as
Florida A&M claimed the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament
championship with a 58-56 win over Delaware State.

Jamar Wilson scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Albany
Great Danes to their second straight America East championship, 60-59, over
the top-seeded Vermont Catamounts. Jason Siggers added 14 points for the
second-seeded Great Danes (23-9), who will advance to the NCAA Tournament for
the second straight year. Albany also beat Vermont in last year’s AEC title
game and avenged two regular-season losses to the Catamounts.

Carl Elliott poured in 17 points and cleared six boards, and George Washington
beat Rhode Island, 78-69, to capture the Atlantic-10 Tournament Championship
at Boardwalk Hall. Dokun Akingbade scored 15 points and had nine rebounds for
the third-seeded Colonials (23-8), who earned an automatic bid to the NCAA
Tournament. Maureece Rice added 12 points and Regis Koundjia finished with 11
for George Washington.

Michael Umeh scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead 25th-ranked
UNLV to it first Mountain West Conference Tournament title in seven years with
a 78-70 win over 23rd-ranked Brigham Young at the Thomas & Mack Center. Wink
Adams added 15 points for the second-seeded Rebels (28-6), who last won the
MWC tourney title in 2000. Kevin Kruger had 10 points and Gaston Essengue also
had 10 points and registered seven rebounds for UNLV, which heads into the
NCAA Tournament on a seven-game winning streak.

Trey Johnson poured in 33 points as Jackson State defeated Mississippi Valley
State, 81-71, in the SWAC Tournament Championship game. Grant Maxey added 12
points and 10 boards for the second-seeded Tigers (21-13), who won their fifth
SWAC Tournament title and first since 2000 to again pick up the automatic bid
to the NCAA Tournament.

Justin Hawkins poured in 20 points as New Mexico State edged Utah State,
72-70, to win the Western Athletic Conference Tournament title at Pan American
Center. Elijah Ingram added 18 points and dished out five assists for New
Mexico State (25-8), which earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Trey Johnson poured in 33 points as Jackson State defeated Mississippi Valley
State, 81-71, in the SWAC Tournament Championship game.

The final five championship games are set for Sunday, with Arkansas playing
Florida in the SEC final, North Carolina State battling North Carolina for the
ACC championship, Texas facing Kansas in the Big 12 title game, Wisconsin
going against Ohio State in the Big Ten, and Northwestern State taking on
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the Southland Conference.