MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Shabazz Napier hit a free throw with 11.1 seconds left as No. 21 Connecticut held off 13th-ranked Cincinnati 58-56 Friday night to advance to the American Athletic Conference tournament final.
The Huskies (26-7) were barred from last year’s tournament in the Big East, and now they are back in their first tournament final since 2011 when they won the national championship. They will play another former Big East team for the inaugural American tournament title Saturday in No. 5 Louisville, a 94-65 winner over Houston.
Cincinnati (27-6) lost to UConn for the second straight time and missed out on its second tournament final in three years.
The Bearcats had the ball and a final chance with Napier defending Sean Kilpatrick, but the Cincinnati senior missed a layup with 3 seconds left. Cincinnati couldn’t get another shot off before the buzzer.
Napier finished with 15 points.