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2018 Championship “Week” Update: March 10

Championship Saturday, y’all. All of the drama, all day long.

NCAA Basketball: America East Final-UAlbany vs Vermont Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Well, things certainly got interesting in terms of who is and is not getting a bid to the NCAA tournament yesterday, even though we didn’t have an automatic bid handed out. In terms of major conference teams that don’t need to worry about bids, we lost #1 seeds in the Big East (Xavier), the SEC (Auburn), and the Mountain West (Nevada). Those three are all cleanly in the NCAA tournament according to Bracket Matrix as of 8:30pm Friday, so they’re not going to go into the NIT bid list. However, UC Davis, coming out of the Big West conference, is going to go on the list, as they lost to Cal State Fullerton.

That’s six of the 32 NIT bids officially locked in, with a seventh potentially going to Middle Tennessee State. Bracket Matrix likes the Blue Raiders (First Four Out) more than it likes Marquette (Next Four Out), so when you combine that with Nevada occupying an at-large spot instead of an automatic bid spot, things are looking pretty locked in that Marquette will be headed to the NIT.

Or maybe not. We’ll see what Sunday holds when we get there. In the meantime, there are 14 championship games on today, which means 17 teams earning automatic bids to the Big Dance. We also have semifinals in five leagues, including the Ivy League, which has finally gotten around to gracing us with their presence. Harvard is technically the favorite as the #1 seed, but they tied for the regular season title with Penn.

It’s an early start today, with the America East title game tipping off at 10 am Central time! Get your beverages and snacks in order quickly!

NCAA AUTOMATIC BIDS

Bucknell (Patriot League)
College of Charleston (CAA)
Gonzaga (WCC)
Iona (MAAC)
Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun)
LIU-Brooklyn (NEC)
Loyola-Chicago (Missouri Valley)
Michigan (Big Ten)
Murray State (OVC)
UNC-Greensboro (SoCon)
Radford (Big South)
South Dakota State (Summit League)
Wright State (Horizon League)

NIT AUTOMATIC BIDS

UC Davis (Big West)
Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun)
Middle Tennessee State (C-USA)
Northern Kentucky (Horizon)
UNC-Asheville (Big South)
Rider (MAAC)
Wagner (NEC)


AMERICA EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

10am: #2 UMBC vs #1 Vermont

AAC SEMIFINALS (CBS)

12pm: #1 Cincinnati vs #5 Memphis
2:30pm: #2 Wichita State vs #3 Houston

ATLANTIC 10 SEMIFINALS (CBS Sports Network)

12pm: #1 Rhode Island vs #4 Saint Joseph’s
2:30pm: #2 St. Bonaventure vs #3 Davidson

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN)

7:30pm: #1 Virginia vs #6 North Carolina

BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN)

5pm: #1 Kansas vs #3 West Virginia

BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (Fox)

5:30pm: #2 Villanova vs #5 Providence

BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPNU)

7pm: #1 Montana vs #3 Eastern Washington

BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

11pm: #3 UC Irvine vs #4 Cal State Fullerton

CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP (CBS Sports Network)

7:30pm: #3 Western Kentucky vs #4 Marshall

IVY LEAGUE SEMIFINALS (ESPNU)

11:30am: #1 Harvard vs #4 Cornell
2pm: #2 Penn vs #3 Yale

MAC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

6pm: #1 Buffalo vs #2 Toledo

MEAC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

12pm: #1 Hampton vs #6 North Carolina Central

MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP (CBS)

5pm: #3 New Mexico vs #5 San Diego State

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP (FS1)

9pm: #1 Arizona vs #2 USC

SEC SEMIFINALS (ESPN)

12pm: #4 Kentucky vs #9 Alabama
2:30pm: #2 Tennessee vs #6 Arkansas

SOUTHLAND CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

8pm: #1 Southeastern Louisiana vs #3 Stephen F. Austin

SWAC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

4pm: #1 Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs #3 Texas Southern

SUN BELT SEMIFINALS (WatchESPN)

11:30am: #1 Louisiana-Lafayette vs #4 UT Arlington
2pm: #2 Georgia State vs #3 Georgia Southern

WAC CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPNU)

9pm: #1 New Mexico State vs #3 Grand Canyon