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
NCAA Tournament Automatic Bids
Bradley (Missouri Valley)
East Tennessee State (Southern)
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.