Davidson is Going Dancing; Wildcats Win the 2018 #A10MBB Championship
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Still looking for its first victory in the NCAA Tournament since a guy by the name of Stephen Curry led the way, Davidson is goin' dancin' as the Atlantic 10 champion after beating 25th-ranked Rhode Island in the conference final 58-57 Sunday behind Kellan Grady's 17 points.
Davidson won despite going nearly 13 minutes in the second half without making a field goal, a 0-for-11 drought that somehow did not prevent it from celebrating at game's end. The Wildcats haven't been to the NCAAs since 2015 -- and haven't won a March Madness game since the Curry-led 2008 squad pulled off victories over Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin before bowing out against Kansas in the Elite Eight.
Peyton Aldridge, the A-10 Co-Player of the Year and the Championship's Most Outstanding Player, added 13 points and seven rebounds Sunday for third-seeded Davidson, which was playing in its first A-10 championship final since joining the league in 2014.
E.C. Matthews led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds for Rhode Island, which was trying to win a second consecutive conference tournament title.
When Matthews sank a 3-pointer with a little more than 3 1/2 minutes left, it closed an 11-point run that put Rhode Island ahead 56-52. That coincided with Davidson's long stretch without a bucket.
Grady ended that gap by hitting a baseline floater to give Davidson the lead at 58-57 with 74 seconds to go -- and neither team would score again.
Joining Aldridge on the All-Championship team was Grady, Rhode Island's Jeff Dowtin, St. Bonaventure's Matt Mobley, and VCU's Justin Tillman.