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Your Championship “Week” Update: Wednesday, March 11, 2020

OH BOY NOW WE’RE COOKING

Colgate v American
Jordan Burns and Colgate are trying to get back to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Congrats to [deep breath] Gonzaga, Hofstra, North Dakota State, Northern Kentucky, and Robert Morris on locking up their automatic bids to the NCAA tournament last night! That’s four #1 seeds getting in, and in the fifth case, the top seed was already knocked out in the semifinals. No changes to the NIT autobid list for today.

SPEAKING OF TODAY, holy crap there’s a lot of basketball. Per KenPom, there are 34 basketball games scheduled for today. Only one is a championship game. That’s in the Patriot League, where top seeded Colgate is looking to get back to the NCAA tourney for the second consecutive season and just the fourth time in program history. They’ll have to get past #3 seed Boston University, but the Raiders do get the advantage of playing on their home court in upstate New York.

Elsewhere, we get the first day of the [deep breath] Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big East, Big Sky, Big Ten, Conference USA, Pac-12, SEC, and Southland conference tournaments. Now, some of those are merely having a couple of games played in first round action, so they have nighttime doubleheaders. The real heroes of the day are in the Atlantic 10, ACC, and Big Sky conferences, as they are providing us with DAYTIME BASKETBALL~! today. Tomorrow will be a very big day for DAYTIME BASKETBALL~!, so just embrace the ability to get through your day with Clemson vs Miami.

I want to give a special shoutout to Conference USA here. Sure, they could be helping us with some DAYTIME BASKETBALL~! today, and they’re not. However, they are making up for it with a bit of ingenuity that allows them to play their men’s and women’s tournaments at the same time at the same facility. They’re hosting the event at The Star in Frisco, Texas, which is also the practice facility for the Dallas Cowboys. CUSA is smartly setting up TWO COURTS on the football field and then playing TWO GAMES AT ONCE with start times staggered by 30 minutes to allow attendees to just turn their head and watch a game that might be more exciting than one on the other end of the building. You can see the layout of the building in a picture from this article from the Chicago Tribune in 2018. It’s super creative and I love it.

NIT Automatic Bids

Northern Iowa (MVC)
Radford (Big South)
Wright State (Horizon League)

NCAA Tournament Automatic Bids

Belmont (OVC)
Bradley (Missouri Valley)
East Tennessee State (Southern)
Gonzaga (WCC)
Hofstra (CAA)
Liberty (ASun)
North Dakota State (Summit League)
Northern Kentucky (Horizon League)
Robert Morris (NEC)
Utah State (Mountain West)
Winthrop (Big South)

Here’s your very very long schedule for the day, with all times Central, as always.

ATLANTIC 10 FIRST ROUND (ESPN+)

12pm: #12 George Mason vs #13 Saint Joseph’s
2:30pm: #11 George Washington vs #14 Fordham

ACC SECOND ROUND

11am: #8 Clemson vs #9 Miami (ESPN)
1:30pm: #5 NC State vs #13 Pittsburgh (ESPN)
6pm: #7 Notre Dame vs #10 Boston College (ESPN2)
8:30pm: #6 Syracuse vs #14 North Carolina (ESPN2)

BIG 12 FIRST ROUND (ESPNU)

6pm: #8 Oklahoma State vs #9 Iowa State
8:30pm: #7 TCU vs #10 Kansas State

BIG EAST FIRST ROUND (FS1)

6pm: #8 Georgetown vs #9 St. John’s
8:30pm: #7 Xavier vs #10 DePaul

BIG SKY FIRST ROUND (Pluto.tv)

10:30am: #8 Weber State vs #9 Sacramento State
1pm: #7 Southern Utah vs #10 Idaho
3:30pm: #6 Northern Arizona vs #11 Idaho State

BIG TEN FIRST ROUND (Big Ten Network)

5pm: #12 Minnesota vs #13 Northwestern
7:30pm: #11 Indiana vs #14 Nebraska

CONFERENCE USA FIRST ROUND (ESPN+)

6pm: #8 Old Dominion vs #9 Florida Atlantic
6:30pm: #5 FIU vs #12 Rice
8:30pm: #7 UAB vs #10 UT San Antonio
9pm: #6 Marshall vs #11 UTEP

MAAC QUARTERFINALS (WatchESPN)

6pm: #1 Siena vs #9 Manhattan
8:30pm: #2 Saint Peter’s vs #7 Iona

MEAC QUARTERFINALS (FloHoops)

5pm: #1 North Carolina Central vs #8 Delaware State
7:30pm: #2 North Carolina A&T vs #10 Howard

PAC-12 FIRST ROUND (lol, Pac-12 Network)

2pm: #8 Oregon State vs #9 Utah
4:30pm: #5 Arizona vs #12 Washington
8pm: #7 Stanford vs #10 California
10:30pm: #6 Colorado vs #11 Washington State

PATRIOT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP (CBS Sports Network)

6:30pm: #1 Colgate vs #3 Boston University

SEC FIRST ROUND (SEC Network)

6pm: #12 Ole Miss vs #13 Georgia
8:30pm: #11 Arkansas vs #14 Vanderbilt

SOUTHLAND FIRST ROUND (ESPN+)

5pm: #5 Northwestern State vs #8 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
7:30pm: #6 Lamar vs #7 McNeese State

SUN BELT QUARTERFINALS (ESPN+)

6pm: #5 Georgia Southern at #4 Georgia State
7pm: #6 Appalachian State at #3 Texas State