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2017 Championship “Week” Update: March 5

The Horizon League has gone totally haywire.

NCAA Basketball: Winthrop at Alabama
Keon Johnson (#5) and Bjorn Broman (#13) are trying to get the Winthrop Eagles into the NCAA tournament.
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday was totally insane.

First, Saint Francis (PA) did this to poor Wagner in the NEC semifinals:

That’s an underrated win for Marquette, since they beat the Red Flash back in December. That jumped St. Francis up nine spots in the ol’ RPI, and while #253 is nothing to write home about, any kind of a boost for the Golden Eagles (waaaaay down there at #55) is welcome.

Then Penn hit this shot and got this stop to beat Harvard and fight their way into the Ivy League semifinals:

Then Youngstown State did this to Oakland, excuse me, TOP SEEDED OAKLAND in the Horizon League QUARTERFINALS:

THEN Milwaukee dropped Valparaiso in the other HL quarterfinal game yesterday, so now the Horizon has neither of their top two seeds. Oops.

Congrats go out to Jacksonville State, the tournament champions in the Ohio Valley conference and the first team officially into the NCAA tournament. We’ll get three more bids handed out today, in chronological order: Big South, Missouri Valley, and Atlantic Sun. All three #1 seeds are in the title games there, but it’s the Missouri Valley that presents the most interesting question once the game is over.

As of last night, Bracket Matrix has Wichita State as a #9 seed while appearing in 115 of 119 brackets, while Illinois State is the very last at-large team in the field, and they’re only appearing in 87 of 119 projections. I feel like it’s safe to say that if the MVC wants to be a two-bid league, it’s actually best for Illinois State to win today. Even if that happens, it’s still not a guarantee that the Shockers will get into the tournament.

There’s a ton of semifinal and quarterfinal action elsewhere, and there’s even a few regular season games on TV in the AAC and the Big Ten as well. Not for nothing, but there is a very real chance that Minnesota wins in the Kohl Center today, giving Wisconsin six losses in their last seven games. That will be very funny.

Oh, and there’s also Marquette women’s basketball playing Georgetown in the Big East quarterfinals. That’s at 2:30pm Central on FS2, and it is at the McGuire Center if you’re in town looking for something to do.

NCAA Automatic Bids: Jacksonville State (OVC)

NIT Automatic Bids: Belmont (OVC), Oakland (Horizon League)

All times Central

ATLANTIC SUN CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN)

2pm: #3 North Florida at #1 Florida Gulf Coast

BIG SOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN)

12pm: #7 Campbell vs #1 Winthrop

CAA SEMIFINALS (CAA.tv)

1pm: #1 UNC Wilmington vs #4 William & Mary
3:30pm: #2 College of Charleston vs #3 Towson

HORIZON LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

4pm: #3 Green Bay vs #6 Illinois-Chicago
6:30pm: #4 Northern Kentucky vs #5 Wright State

MAAC SEMIFINALS (WatchESPN)

3:30pm: #1 Monmouth vs #4 Siena
6pm: #2 Saint Peter’s vs #3 Iona

MISSOURI VALLEY CHAMPIONSHIP (CBS)

1pm: #1 Illinois State vs #2 Wichita State

PATRIOT LEAGUE SEMIFINALS (CBS Sports Network)

11am: #3 Lehigh at #2 Boston University
1pm: #4 Navy at #1 Bucknell

SOCON SEMIFINALS (WatchESPN)

4pm: #1 UNC Greensboro vs #5 Wofford
6:30pm: #3 East Tennessee State vs #7 Samford

SUMMIT LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

6pm: #4 South Dakota State vs #5 Denver
8:30pm: #3 Nebraska-Omaha vs #6 Fort Wayne

ELSEWHERE IN THE COUNTRY

11am: #18 Cincinnati at Connecticut, CBS
12pm: Penn State at Iowa, Big Ten Network
1pm: Temple at South Florida, ESPNU

3pm: East Carolina vs Houston, CBS Sports Network
3pm: Tulsa at Tulane, ESPNU
3:30pm: #16 Purdue vs Northwestern, CBS

5pm: Minnesota at #22 Wisconsin, Big Ten Network
7pm: Michigan at Nebraska, Big Ten Network