Markus Kennedy scored 14 of his 15 points in the first half and No. 20 SMU held off UConn 62-54 on Sunday to win the American Athletic Conference Tournament title.
Yanick Moreira and Nic Moore added 11 points each for the Mustangs (27-6), who won the league's regular-season title.
Rodney Purvis had a career-high 29 points for UConn (20-14), the defending national champion which fell a game short of its quest to win four games in four days and earn an NCAA Tournament berth.
Ryan Boatright, who had been averaging 17 points in the tournament finished with seven and fouled out with 45 seconds left.
SMU led by 17 points early in the second half, then survived a UConn rally that cut the lead to five with 3:22 left.
The Huskies likely will become the sixth team to miss the NCAAs after winning the title the previous year since the field expanded to 64 in 1985.
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