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2017 Championship “Week” Update: March 11

FINALLY we get back to the business of handing out automatic bids to the NCAA tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Championship-TCU vs Iowa State
Iowa State’s mascot is a little weird looking.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

WOO 15 CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES TODAY~!

The America East kicks things off at 10 am, the MEAC follows that up at noon, then after a short break, things go totally bananas starting with the Big East title game starting at 4:30pm.

In terms of “things that benefit Marquette,” you should be cheering for Creighton over Villanova, Michigan over Minnesota, VCU over Richmond, Middle Tennessee over Marshall, and Kentucky over Alabama. Technically, you should cheer for Wisconsin over Northwestern, but between Chris Collins being Steve Wojciechowski’s former co-worker and the Badgers being 10 pounds of jerk in a five pound bag, I can’t actually recommend that.

I’m not 100% sure that Marquette fans should be cheering for Vanderbilt against Arkansas. The Golden Eagles opened up the season with a win over the Commodores, so if they continue to win, it can only improve their RPI, which is already up to #33. On the other hand, Vandy was below Marquette on Bracket Matrix’s seed list yesterday at noon..... but that was before VU knocked off Florida yesterday. Are Marquette’s at-large chances better off with the Commodores taking an L here? I dunno.

I also don’t know which way to cheer in the A-10 semifinals. Rhode Island is the last team in the field in Bracket Matrix’s update yesterday afternoon, so you’d think it would help if the Rams lose, but they’re playing Davidson and the Wildcats are firmly on an “auto-bid or bust” track. A win over Rhody would clearly move them one step closer towards trimming the at-large field, but they’d do it at URI’s expense and still need to get past VCU or Richmond tomorrow anyway. Maybe cheer for Davidson and VCU today, then cheer for VCU tomorrow?

Last thing! Today has a bit of a historic feel to it, as for the first time in conference history, the Ivy League will play a conference tournament game. We’ve gotten one game playoffs in the Ivy before to break a tie for first place and thus decide their auto-bid, but they have opted for a four team playoff starting this season.

UPDATE: We have an official ruling on the SWAC! Texas Southern is automatically in after winning their semifinal game yesterday because they’re facing Alcorn State and the Braves are not eligible for the NCAA tournament due to APR issues.

NCAA Automatic Bids: Bucknell (Patriot League), East Tennessee State (SoCon), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), Gonzaga (WCC), Iona (MAAC), Jacksonville State (OVC), Mount St. Mary’s (NEC), UNC Wilmington (CAA), Northern Kentucky (Horizon League), South Dakota State (Summit League), Texas Southern (SWAC), Wichita State (MVC), Winthrop (Big South)

NIT Automatic Bids: Belmont (OVC), Illinois State (MVC), Oakland (Horizon League), Monmouth (MAAC), UNC Greensboro (SoCon), South Dakota (Summit League)

All times Central

AMERICA EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

10am: #1 Vermont vs #3 Albany

AAC SEMIFINALS (ESPN2)

2pm: #1 SMU vs #4 UCF
4:30pm: #2 Cincinnati vs #6 Connecticut

ATLANTIC 10 SEMIFINALS (CBS Sports Network)

12pm: #4 Rhode Island vs #9 Davidson
2:30pm: #2 VCU vs #3 Richmond

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN)

8pm: #3 Notre Dame vs #5 Duke

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN)

5pm: #2 West Virginia vs #4 Iowa State

BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (Fox)

4:30pm: #1 Villanova vs #6 Creighton

BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPNU)

7:30pm: #1 North Dakota vs #3 Weber State

BIG TEN SEMIFINALS (CBS)

1pm: #4 Minnesota vs #8 Michigan
2:30pm: #2 Wisconsin vs #6 Northwestern

BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

10:30pm: #1 UC Irvine vs #2 UC Davis

CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP (CBS Sports Network)

7pm: #1 Middle Tennessee vs #6 Marshall

IVY LEAGUE SEMIFINALS (ESPNU)

12:30pm: #1 Princeton vs #4 Penn
3pm: #2 Harvard vs #3 Yale

MAC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

6:30pm: #1 Akron vs #6 Kent State

MEAC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

12pm: #1 North Carolina Central vs #2 Norfolk State

MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP (CBS)

5pm: #1 Nevada vs #2 Colorado State

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN)

10pm: #1 Oregon State vs #2 Arizona

SEC SEMIFINALS (ESPN)

12pm: #1 Kentucky vs #5 Alabama
2:30pm: #3 Arkansas vs #7 Vanderbilt

SOUTHLAND CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

8:30pm: #1 New Orleans vs #2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

SWAC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPNU)

5:30pm: #1 Texas Southern vs #2 Alcorn State

SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP (WatchESPN)

11:30am: #1 Texas-Arlington vs #4 Texas State
2pm: #2 Georgia State vs #6 Troy

WAC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPNU)

10pm: #1 Cal State Bakersfield vs #2 New Mexico State