NASHVILLE — Kentucky and Texas A&M split two games that will be talked about for a long time, with the Wildcats getting a measure of revenge in Sunday’s SEC tournament championship game.
Led by point guard Tyler Ulis (30 points and five assists), Kentucky escaped overtime with an 82-77 victory for its second straight conference tournament title. The Aggies had earned the tournament’s No. 1 seed by defeating the No. 2 Wildcats in overtime in College Station on Feb. 20.
The title game was tied, 75-75, with little more than a minute remaining when Kentucky forward Derek Willis drained the go-ahead 3-pointer. A&M’s Danuel House (32 points) couldn’t connect on his own 3-point attempt to tie, and Wildcats star Jamal Murray finished off the Aggies with a step-back jumper from beyond the arc with 15 seconds left.
MVP: Ulis. The sophomore guard made his final case for the Wooden Award, scoring 30 points (10-for-17 shooting) plus five assists and three rebounds. He was named tournament MVP.
Starting lineup: Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Alex Poythress and Skal Labissiere
Off the bench: Marcus Lee, Isaac Humphries, Derek Willis, Charles Matthews and Dominique Hawkins
Cleaning up the glass: Texas A&M led, 38-34, at halftime … Murray was unable to reach 20 points for the first time in 13 games … He made a 3-pointer on the Wildcats’ first possession of the second half, then shot an arrow at the Kentucky bench. EJ Floreal, Jonny David and Mychal Mulder proceeded to mime a football field-goal attempt … Texas A&M still has not won a conference tournament title since 1987, when the Aggies were in the Southwest Conference.
Previous game: Kentucky gets scare from UGA but advances
What’s next: CBS’ Selection Sunday special airs at 5:30 p.m. ET, and the NCAA tournament begins Thursday.