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2018 Championship “Week” Update: March 2

Things are starting to get crazy, and I don’t just mean the ascendancy of Rutgers.

NCAA Basketball: Champions Classic-Duke vs Michigan State Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another Rutgers win in The Rutgers Invitational.

Last night, in the second round of The Rutgers Invitational, the Scarlet Knights knocked off Indiana, 76-69. That advances them to the quarterfinal round today, which is exactly two rounds further than one would expect the team that finished DFL in the league to make it. Again, I am 100% in favor of Rutgers winning The Rutgers Invitational, because it would be the absolute best possible finish to one of the worst Big Ten seasons in recent history. They play Purdue today, and as much as I like the Boilermakers who have been cheering for Marquette to do well this season, I have to admit I want to see the Scarlet Knights pull this off.

Other than the Scarlet Knights, we had a few narrow upsets on the books yesterday. #5 Liberty beat #4 Campbell in the Atlantic Sun quarterfinals, #9 Wisconsin beat #8 Maryland in The Rutgers Invitational, #9 Saint Peter’s dumped #8 Monmouth over in the MAAC, #9 Northern Iowa slipped past #8 Evansville in the Missouri Valley, and then things really got wild (well, wild adjacent) over the Patriot League. #3 Navy and #4 Lehigh are both out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, falling to #6 Holy Cross and #5 Boston University respectively.

We haven’t seen any #1 seeds fall yet, though, so the NCAA tournament picture continues to take shape as expected.

The most bananas thing from yesterday wasn’t actually in a conference tournament. Louisville managed to lose a game where they were up by four with 0.9 seconds left. Hell, they lost a game where they were up by one with 0.9 seconds left and were inbounding the ball. Check it out.

This video actually omits part of the insanity, namely Virginia committing a lane violation on the third free throw, thus giving Louisville the ball out of bounds, but that explains why the inbounder had to stay stationary.

On one hand: HA HA, LOUISVILLE LOST. On the other hand: GROSS, VIRGINIA GOT GIFTED A MIRACLE VICTORY. Not a lot of winners there.

Today, we get the continuation of the Big South, the Rutgers Invitational, the MAAC, the MVC, and the OVC tournaments. The Ohio Valley tournament is perhaps the most interesting one, as the top two seeds in the field finally play a game. Joining the fray for the first time today is the Horizon League, the SoCon, and the West Coast Conference.

If you’re looking for Daytime Basketball, you’re going to want to point your attention towards The Rutgers Invitational and Arch Madness down in the Missouri Valley Conference. Both leagues have four games going on today, and they have staggered start times, too, which is nice.

Here’s your listings for today. All times Central.

BIG SOUTH SEMIFINALS (WatchESPN)

5pm: #2 Radford vs #3 Winthrop
7:30pm: #1 UNC-Asheville vs #5 Liberty

THE RUTGERS INVITATIONAL QUARTERFINALS (Big Ten Network)

11am: #1 Michigan State vs #9 Wisconsin
1:30pm: #4 Nebraska vs #5 Michigan
5:30pm: #2 Ohio State vs #7 Penn State
8pm: #3 Purdue vs #14 Rutgers

HORIZON LEAGUE FIRST ROUND (WatchESPN)

4:30pm: #7 Green Bay vs #10 Detroit-Mercy
7pm: #8 Cleveland State vs #9 Youngstown State

MAAC QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

6pm: #1 Rider vs #9 Saint Peter’s
8:30pm: #2 Canisius vs #7 Quinnipiac

MISSOURI VALLEY QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN & Fox Sports Go)

12pm: #1 Loyola-Chicago vs #9 Northern Iowa
2:30pm: #4 Drake vs #5 Bradley
6pm: #2 Southern Illinois vs #7 Missouri State
8:30pm: #3 Illinois State vs #6 Indiana State

OHIO VALLEY SEMIFINALS (ESPNU)

7pm: #1 Murray State vs #4 Jacksonville State
9pm: #2 Belmont vs #3 Austin Peay

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND (WatchESPN)

4pm: #8 The Citadel Bulldogs vs #9 VMI Keydets
6:30pm: #7 Samford Bulldogs vs #10 Chattanooga Mocs

WEST COAST CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND (TheW.tv)

8pm: #8 Loyola Marymount vs #9 Portland
10:30pm: #7 Santa Clara vs #10 Pepperdine