Top-seeded Alabama held off 3-seed LSU, 80-79, to win the SEC Championship on Sunday in Nashville, taking the lead on a driving layup with 21 seconds left and then holding off the Tigers with one final defensive stand.
It was a thrilling game, with twists and turns and lead changes all the way to the very end.
Trendon Watford, who was terrific with a game-high 30 points and eight rebounds, gave LSU a 79-78 lead on an acrobatic baseline drive as he was fouled with 28 seconds remaining. But he missed the ensuing free throw, setting the stage for Jones to drive the length of the court for what turned out to be the game-winning basket.
LSU had four field-goal attempts in the final 21 seconds, but two were blocked and the other two misfired.
As usual, Jones was all over the court for the Crimson Tide. He finished with another stat-stuffing line of 13 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and four blocks.
Jaden Shackelford led the Tide in scoring with 21 points, while Jahvon Quinerly and Keon Ellis added 14 points each.
Watford scored 17 of his 30 points for LSU in the second half after Alabama held a slim 40-37 halftime advantage. The Tigers also received major contributions from Ja'Vonte Smart with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Freshman sensation Cameron Thomas added 18 points for LSU, which fell to 18-9.
Alabama, the sixth-ranked team in the nation, had cruised to the SEC regular-season title with a 16-2 conference record. Now the Tide has the SEC Tournament title secured to go along with it as they improved to 24-6 overall heading into the NCAA tournament.