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Kentucky edges Alabama to reach SEC title game

Kentucky edges Alabama to reach SEC title game”

It was the fourth Big 12 tournament championship for Iowa State and the third in four years.

NEW YORK - Josh Hart had 29 points and six rebounds as second-ranked Villanova captured its second Big East tournament championship in three years with a 74-60 victory over Creighton on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Tide outrebounded the Wildcats, 33-28, and led in bench points (22-9), second-chance points (15-12), points off turnovers (15-12) and points in the paint (46-24), but it was not enough to overcome the Kentucky. The Wildcats defeated Arkansas 78-63 in the SEC championship in 2015.

"Give credit to Arkansas", Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew said following just his team's second loss in the last nine games.

"I knew I had to get up and execute for the team", Monk said of the early practice.

On the season, Kentucky basketball is averaging 86.1 points, 40.3 rebounds and 15.7 assists per game. For his efforts, Fox was named the SEC Tournament MVP. After scoring just eight points in his past two games - shooting 3-of-17 in the process - Monk made a decision to get some extra, early-morning work inside Bridgestone Arena, home to the 2017 SEC tournament.

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Kentucky's Malik Monk, the SEC's freshman of the year, scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half on 4-of-8 shooting, and De'Aaron Fox did his work in the second half with 19 of his team-high 28 points.

Although Georgia mounted a brief rally, Kentucky managed to keep its lead - a 32-25 advantage at the break - despite playing without Fox and Monk in the final nine minutes of the first half.

ABOUT VANDERBILT (19-14): The Commodores are one of the SEC's best 3-point shooting teams, and they knocked down 11 from behind the arc against the Gators.

Led by Hawkins, the Wildcats got 21 points from the reserves.

"We're worrying about what we're doing", Arkansas' Jalen Barford said. "Mychal, Derek and Dom have never played better". "They were talking [more] about Vandy and even Ole Miss after we beat them".

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Willis, Hawkins and Mulder drained Kentucky's three shots from long range in the first half and Mulder's buzzer-beating trey to end the half proved to be a dagger for Arkansas.

Adebayo paced United Kingdom with 10 points, Hawkins had nine.

Kingsley was ejected after the foul, in which he hit Fox in the face while attempting to block a shot. "Every time he steps up, we own the paint, and that's what we need tomorrow".

"Sometimes the temperament gets out of hand", he said.

Although tensions were high in the closing minutes, the Wildcats remained calm and collected.

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Arkansas and Seton Hall have squared off just once in history. "That's what we did". Dusty Hannahs is leading the squad with 14.6 points per game while Daryl Macon is putting up 13.3 points per contest.



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