ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Conference Player of the Year Andrew Nicholson had 26 points,14 rebounds and eight blocked shots and St. Bonaventure won its first Atlantic 10 title by holding off Xavier 67-56 on Sunday.
Da' Quan Cook and Charlon Kloff added nine points apiece for the fourth-seeded Bonnies (20-11), who will be returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000.
This is a rebirth for St. Bonaventure, whose program was embarrassed in 2003 for using an illegal player and then allowing its players to boycott the final two regular season games after the conference suspended the player.
As the clock wound down, players hugged on the court and coach Mark Schmidt walked the bench and high-fived players.
Tu Holloway had 17 points and Mark Lyons added 16 for third-seeded Xavier (21-12).