Conference championship Saturday scores, highlights: Houston, UNC stumble in title games

Selection Sunday is nearly upon us and bids are at stake as conference championships play out.

Before the Madness begins, a jam-packed slate of Saturday action delivered as teams punched their tickets to the Dance.

With 13 conference final games and NCAA tourney implications abound, there's plenty to monitor. Wisconsin won a thriller over Purdue to advance to the Big Ten final. No. 2 UConn outlasted No. 10 Marquette in the Big East tourney final, making a case for itself to be the No. 1 overall seed. No. 7 Iowa State delivered perhaps the most shocking result of the day, blasting No. 1 Houston 69-41 in the Big 12 title game.

Here's the full schedule of conference tournament finals today:

America East: Vermont 66, UMass Lowell 61
MEAC: Howard 70, Delaware State 67
Big 12: Iowa State 69, Houston 41
Mountain West: New Mexico 68, SDSU 61
Big East: UConn 73, Marquette 57
MAAC: Saint Peter's 68, Fairfield 63
MAC: Akron 62, Kent State 61
ACC: NC State 84, UNC 76
Conference USA: Western Kentucky 78, UTEP 71
Pac-12: Oregon 75, Colorado 68
Big West: Long Beach State 74, UC Davis 70
SWAC: Grambling State 75, Texas Southern 66

  • Final: Grambling State 75, Texas Southern 66

    Grambling State earns its first NCAA tournament berth in program history by winning the SWAC tournament!

  • Final: Long Beach State 74, UC Davis 70

    The Beach wins the Big West title and earns the autobid, which is especially interesting because Long Beach head coach Dan Monson was told he's out as coach after this season. Not don

  • Final: Oregon 75, Colorado 68

    Oregon is NCAA tournament bound! Ducks pull off an unlikely Pac-12 tournament title to likely steal a bid.

    N'Faly Dante was the hero for the Ducks, scoring 25 on 12 of 12 (!!!) shooting, along with 9 rebounds, 3 steals and a block.

  • N'Faly Dante has 23 points to lead Oregon. None bigger than these two so far:

  • Back and forth the Ducks and Buffs go. Oregon leads 66-62 with 2:42 to play. Can the Ducks close it out? A lot on the line in Vegas.

  • Pac-12 final has been a tight one all game. Oregon is bubble team and may need this win to reach the Big Dance.

  • Final: NC State 84, UNC 76

    The Wolfpack win after an extended finish to the game. DJ Horne is the hero with 29 points, but DJ Burns made a name for himself tonight. The big fella finishes with 20 points and 7 assists.

  • UNC had an opening to cut it to four points just now, but multiple 3-pointers missed the mark. Just 91 seconds left in this one.

  • With just a few minutes left, NC State has extended its lead to double digits. The Wolfpack are looking very much like bid thieves here.

  • The Wolfpack are holding it down in Washington D.C.

  • Halftime: Oregon 33, Colorado 30

    Back-and-forth game so far for the Pac-12 title. Ducks finished the first half on a nice run to take the lead.

  • We're under 10 minutes left in the ACC title game and the Wolfpack is still in front by five.

  • Final: Saint Peter's 68, Fairfield 63

    The Peacocks punch their NCAA tourney ticket with a win in the MAAC final.

  • Final: Akron 62, Ken State 61

    Brutal ending in the MAC final for Kent State, which took a 1-point lead with 6 seconds left, then Julius Rollins made a huge mental error by fouling Akron. Zips hit both free throws to win it.

    Akron is headed to the NCAA tournament, while Kent State has to be sick about falling just short.

  • Meanwhile, the Buffs are stringing together a nice little bit of offense.

  • The Wolfpack is right back at it in the second half, getting to the rim at will. They're shooting over 60 percent from the field in the game.

  • Halftime: UNC 40, NC State 39

  • The Tar Heels battled their way back and tied it up with a few minutes before halftime. But NC State's DJ Burns Jr. pulled up from deep with his 1st career 3-pointer to give the Wolfpack the lead again.

  • NC State off to a scorching start in the ACC title game, leading UNC 14-4 at the first media timeout.

  • In non-tournament news...

  • Final: UConn 73, Marquette 57

    UConn didn't really need it, but the Huskies fittingly win the Big East tournament title after dominating the conference all season. The defending national champs will head into the NCAA tournament as a 1 seed.

  • Final Iowa State 69, Houston 41

    The Cyclones just blew the lid off the T-Mobile Arena in Kansas City. That wasn't even close as Milan Momcilovic led all scorers with 18 in the blowout.

    (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • Final: New Mexico 68, San Diego State 61

    The Lobos are going dancing! New Mexico came into the week on the bubble. Now it's the Mountain West champ. Ticket punched.

  • UConn starting to pull away from Marquette

  • Chaos in the AAC!

    AAC 11th-seeded Temple survives over 2 seed Florida Atlantic 74-73 to advance to the AAC title game, where it will face UAB.

    No matter who wins that game, it'll be a bid stealer!

  • New Mexico is closing in on the MWC title, leading 65-59 with 1:04 to go.

    Last gasp for San Diego State.

  • The big man is going to work for UConn. Clingan's 15 points lead all scorers in the game.

  • San Diego State has rallied to make it a game at the 8-minute mark. Looks like we're headed for a fun finish in the Mountain West title game.

  • The Cyclones are on a tear now and the lead is up over 20.

  • Halftime: UConn 26, Marquette 24

    Tristen Newton hit a stepback 3 just before the buzzer to give UConn the lead. Donovan Clingan leads the team with 10 points.

  • Points are finally being scored in the Big East final.

  • New Mexico leads San Diego State 36-30 at the half of the Mountain West final.

    Jaelen House leads UNM with 15 points.

  • Halftime: Iowa State 30, Houston 23

    The Cyclones are heading into the break with the lead and it hasn't been too competitive. The Cougars have been ice cold, shooting 9-for-32 from the floor and 2-for-11 from 3.

  • We're nearing halftime and the Cyclones are still in control. Houston just can't find a rhythm offensively.

  • New Mexico off to a hot start in Las Vegas, leading San Diego State 32-20 late in the 1st half.

  • UConn-Marquette is a meat grinder early on. Marquette leads 2-0 after more than 5 minutes of action!

  • The Cyclones took the lead on this 3 and have started to piece together a run here midway through the first half.

  • And now we turn our attention to some conference finals. Houston and Iowa State have tipped off in the Big 12 championship and we've got the Big East title between UConn and Marquette starting in a few minutes.

  • FINAL: Florida 95, Texas A&M 90

    The Gators had five players in double figures as Denzel Aberdeen had 20 and Will Richard had 19. Florida shot 50% from the field and outscored the Aggies 53-40 in the second half.

    Wade Taylor IV finished with 30 points for the second straight game as the Aggies hope they played their way into the NCAA tournament with their SEC tournament performance.

  • Florida looks like it will hang on against Texas A&M. The Gators lead 94-88 with 27 seconds to go.

  • Final: Illinois 98, Nebraska 87

    Led by Terrence Shannon's Big Ten tournament record 40 points, Illinois rallies from 15 down to advance to the Big Ten final, where it'll face Wisconsin.

  • Terrance Shannon putting up historic numbers for the Illini.

  • Illinois is outscoring Nebraska 45-23 in the 2nd half. Just a complete 180 from the first 20 minutes.

  • Florida leads 85-75 at the under-4 timeout following a three by Walter Clayton Jr.. Texas A&M's Wade Taylor IV has been held to three points in the second half after he scored 20 in the first half.

    Clayton was fouled on the the 3-point attempt and will have a free throw to extend the lead over the Aggies to 11. It’s been an incredible second-half performance so far for the Gators as they hope to meet Auburn in the SEC tournament title game on Sunday.

  • Illinois has come all the way back to take the lead with under 8 minutes to play:

  • We've got a good one cooking in Minneapolis:

  • Marquette will have to try to beat UConn in the Big East final tonight without its star player.

  • Terrence Shannon is single-handedly keeping Illinois in this game. Illini still trailing Nebraska 57-52.