American punches ticket to the Big Dance

BOSTON (AP) - Tony Wroblicky scored 15 points, pulled down eight rebounds and blocked two shots as American beat top-seeded Boston 55-36 Wednesday night in the Patriot League championship game, sending the Eagles to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years.

Darius Gardner scored 18 and had four assists for American, which never trailed while claiming its first conference title since winning back-to-back Patriot League championships in 2008 and 2009. Those were also the only NCAA tournament appearances in school history.

The Eagles (20-12) closed the game on an 11-2 run, then celebrated in a team huddle before being overcome by the American fans who swarmed the players.

They had reason to celebrate.

Coming off a 10-20 season, first-year coach Mike Brennan guided the Eagles to the No. 2-seed in the conference tournament and won it with strong shooting and defense.

Maurice Watson Jr. led BU (24-10) with 11 points.


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