Gonzaga Leads a Quarter to the Dance 3/12/13
UNDATED - Top-ranked Gonzaga already was a lock to make the NCAA tournament before taking on St. Mary's in the West Coast Conference title game. The Bulldogs likely solidified a No. 1 seed in the tournament by downing the Gaels 65-51.
Kelly Olynyk had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Zags, who shot 52 percent in securing an NCAA berth for the 15th consecutive season. Elias Harris added 19 points for the Bulldogs, who had a 42-18 in the paint en route to their 14th consecutive victory.
Davidson, Western Kentucky, James Madison and Iona also earned automatic berths in the NCAA men's basketball tournament by winning their conference finals.
Davidson won the Southern Conference championship for the second straight year with a wire-to-wire 74-55 win over College of Charleston. De'Mon Brooks had 24 points and eight rebounds, while teammate JP Kuhlman added 14 points for the Wildcats.
Western Kentucky earned its second straight Sun Belt Conference championship as George Fant had 17 points and 13 rebounds in a 65-63 victory over Florida International. The Hilltoppers trailed by eight in the first half before reaching the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in six seasons.
A.J. Davis poured in 26 points and James Madison rode an early 23-1 spurt to a 70-57 win over Northeastern in the Colonial Athletic Association title game. Rayshawn Goins added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the third-seeded Dukes, who are headed to the NCAA tourney for the first time since 1994.
Iona was a 60-57 winner over Manhattan in the MAAC (mak) title game. Tre Bowman finished with 20 points and Lamont Jones added 14 for the Gaels, who made the NCAA tourney as an at-large bid last season.