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2018 Championship “Week” Update: March 3

We’ve already lost a regular season champ, but we get our first NCAA bid handed out today.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Murray State v Marquette Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rutgers has disappointed us again.

The Scarlet Knights reached the quarterfinals of The Rutgers Invitational but fell short of an upset of Purdue, thus depriving us of the joy of seeing Rutgers completely ruin the Big Ten’s season by winning the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

We had our first regular season champion fall on Friday, as Rider lost to Saint Peter’s in the MAAC quarterfinals. They pick up the first automatic bid to the NIT, leaving that bracket with just 31 spots available. The MAAC got super wide open as #2 Canisius lost as well, leaving #3 Niagara as the current favorite to take the crown by seed, but I think we’re all expecting #4 Iona to end up in the NCAA tournament now.

Today, we get the first NCAA tournament bid decided, with the Ohio Valley crowning their champion. It’ll either be Murray State or Belmont, with the Racers heading to the NIT if they were to fall short tonight.

There’s a ton of other action across the board, which is kind of surprising given the amount of TV coverage granted to the high major conferences finishing up the regular season. Things really get going tomorrow with the title games, though, so the schedules are what they are.

By the way, the Big East women’s tournament gets started tonight. Keep an eye on the Butler/Providence game at 4pm today, as the winner there will face #1 seeded Marquette tomorrow at noon.

NIT AUTOMATIC BIDS

Rider (MAAC)

AMERICA EAST QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

12pm: #7 UMass-Lowell at #2 UMBC
3pm: #6 New Hampshire at #3 Hartford
6pm: #8 Maine at #1 Vermont
6pm: #5 Stony Brook at #4 Albany

THE RUTGERS INVITATIONAL SEMIFINALS (CBS)

1pm: #1 Michigan State vs #5 Michigan
3:30pm: #3 Purdue vs #7 Penn State

CAA FIRST ROUND (CAA.tv)

3pm: #8 Drexel vs #9 James Madison
5:30pm: #7 Delaware vs #10 Elon

HORIZON LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

4:30pm: #2 Wright State vs #7 Green Bay
7pm: #1 Northern Kentucky vs #8 Cleveland State

MAAC QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

6pm: #3 Niagara vs #6 Fairfield
8:30pm: #4 Iona vs #5 Manhattan

MISSOURI VALLEY SEMIFINALS (CBS Sports Network)

2:30pm: #1 Loyola-Chicago vs #5 Bradley
5pm: #2 Southern Illinois vs #3 Illinois State

NEC SEMIFINALS (WatchESPN)

11am: #6 Fairleigh Dickinson at #4 LIU Brooklyn
1pm: #7 Robert Morris at #1 Wagner

OHIO VALLEY CHAMPIONSHIP (ESPN2)

7pm: #1 Murray State vs #2 Belmont

SOCON QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

11am: #1 UNC Greensboro vs #8 The Citadel
1:30pm: #4 Mercer vs #5 Wofford
5pm: #2 East Tennessee State vs #10 Chattanooga
7:30pm: #3 Furman vs #6 Western Carolina

SUMMIT LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

6pm: #1 South Dakota State vs #8 Western Illinois
8:30pm: #2 South Dakota vs #7 Nebraska-Omaha

WCC QUARTERFINALS

3pm: #3 BYU vs #6 San Diego (TheW.tv)
5:30pm: #4 San Francisco vs #5 Pacific (TheW.tv)
9pm: #1 Gonzaga vs #8 Loyola Marymount (ESPN2)
11:30pm: #2 Saint Mary’s vs #10 Pepperdine (ESPN2)