It’s time to wrap up the regular season and hand out three more automatic bids. For a more traditional look at the schedule, visit MattSarzSports.com.
At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a lineup broken down by telecast window with the tournament info in bold to the left of the game. Instead of ordering these specifically by tip time, however, I’ve grouped them by importance.
Reminders of the different groupings:
- Quad 1 (home games): Visitor is ranked 1-30
- Quad 1 (away games): Host is ranked 1-75
- Quad 2 (home games): Visitor is ranked 31-75
- Quad 2 (away games): Host is ranked 76-135
- Quad 3 (home games): Visitor is ranked 76-160
- Quad 3 (away games): Host is ranked 136-240
- Quad 4 (home games): Visitor is ranked 161-353
- Quad 4 (away games): Host is ranked 241-353
All NET numbers are from the NCAA’s website and reflect games played through Saturday, March 9. Records reflect games played through that same date. All times are Eastern.
Top 30 at Top 75 (2 Games)
Quad 1 for both the host and visitor (1/1)
Houston defeated Cincinnati 65-58 back on February 10th at the Fertitta Center. Today’s task will be a little taller, particularly with the Bearcats coming off a Thursday loss at UCF Knights. While the Cougars have already wrapped up a share of the American regular-season title and the top seed in Memphis, they’ll have to win today to keep the Bearcats from taking a share of the crown.
In Columbus, Ohio State could use a win for its shaky profile, which hasn’t been helped by the Buckeyes’ recent 2-5 run. As for the Badgers, a win would clinch the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and the quarterfinal bye that goes along with it.
31-75 at Top 75 (1 Game)
Quad 1 for the visitor only; Quad 2 for the host (1/2)
Iowa has seen its seeding slip thanks to a three-game skid. But it won’t be easy to break it in Lincoln, as struggling Nebraska is still difficult to defeat at home.
76-160 at Top 75 (6 Games)
Quad 1 for the visitor only; Quad 3 for the host (1/3)
Even though a win over Rutgers wouldn’t impress the Committee much, a fourth straight victory for Indiana would give them some decent momentum heading into the Big Ten Tournament.
Big South Championship
Mike Jones’ Highlanders are looking to reach their second straight NCAA Tournament, while Tim Craft’s Bulldogs are aiming for their first-ever bid. On Friday, Gardner-Webb stunned top-seeded Campbell Fighting Camels, 79-74, to give Radford the responsibility for hosting. Note that the second-seeded squad won the pair’s lone meeting of the season, 75-58, at home.
Both of Saturday’s Arch Madness semifinals went down to the wire. First, Bradley eliminated the top-seeded defending champs from Loyola Chicago, 53-51. Then, UNI won its rubber match with second-seeded Drake, 60-58. Another series decider is on tap for this afternoon in St. Louis, as the Panthers and Braves split their meetings, with each road team being victorious.
Northern Iowa last reached the field of 68 in 2016, while Bradley last qualified in 2006, as a 13th-seeded at-large selection.
The game of the day might very well be set for Allen Arena in Nashville, where Lipscomb will attempt to do what archrival Belmont could not last night. But it won’t be easy for the Bisons, as Liberty won by a 74-66 score when the teams last met in the Music City back on February 13th. Casey Alexander’s team, meanwhile, won by 20 in Lynchburg.
Lipscomb is aiming for its second-ever bid, in as many seasons, while Liberty last reached the field in 2013, when the Flames represented the Big South.
CBSSN will air both games.
This afternoon’s winners meet on Wednesday in the higher-seeded team’s arena. Colgate split its season series with Navy, though the Raiders recorded a 93-71 home victory on February 23rd. As for Bucknell and Lehigh, the Bison swept the season series, last taking down the MountainHawks by 12 on February 11th.
ESPN+ ($) will stream both games. Select Nexstar-owned stations will air both games.
Much is at stake in Asheville, as the top four seeds all advanced to this evening’s semifinals. Bubble fans nationwide want Wofford to keep winning, while the winner of the second semifinal between UNCG and Furman will see its theoretical shot at an at-large remain intact with a win.
Naturally, Wofford swept ETSU this season, while the 2 vs. 3 game will resolve a good, old fashioned home split.
There will be no such bubble drama in Albany, but Iona will need to win a virtual road game against Siena to keep its hopes for a fourth-straight NCAA bid alive. While the pair split their season series, the Gaels won in the Times-Union Center on February 13th, 57-52. As for the late game, Canisius is aiming for a third win over Monmouth this season.
CAA.tv will stream all four games.
No. 8 James Madison Dukes (14-18, 6-12) vs. No. 1 Hofstra Pride (25-6, 15-3), 12 p.m.
No. 5 Delaware Fighting Blue Hens (16-15, 8-10) vs. No. 4 William & Mary Tribe (14-16, 10-8), approx. 2:30 p.m.
No. 10 UNCW Seahawks (10-22, 5-13) vs. No. 2 Northeastern Huskies (20-10, 14-4), 6 p.m.
No. 6 Drexel Dragons (13-18, 7-11) vs. No. 3 College of Charleston Cougars (23-8, 12-6), approx. 8:30 p.m.
Top-seeded Hofstra might be in for a difficult matchup this afternoon in North Charleston, S.C., as James Madison defeated the Pride by five after overtime in Hempstead on February 23rd. In fact, only second-seeded Northeastern managed to defeat its quarterfinal opponent twice this season.
Summit Quarterfinals, Night Two
Midco SN will air both games. ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.
No. 5 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (11-20, 7-9) vs. No. 4 North Dakota State Bison (15-15, 9-7), 7 p.m.
No. 6 South Dakota Coyotes (13-16, 7-9) vs. No. 3 Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons (17-14, 9-7), approx. 9:30 p.m.
Tonight’s quarterfinal doubleheader is unlikely to match the drama of Saturday’s. First, the eighth-seeded Western Illinois Leathernecks eliminated Mike Daum and the rest of the top-seeded South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 79-76. Then, the second-seeded Omaha Mavericks escaped the No. 7 seed, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks, 81-76. NDSU can defeat ORU for a third time tonight, while the nightcap will settle the season series between Purdue Fort Wayne and South Dakota.
Grouped by quality in each tip window.
Early Afternoon Tips
1/1 No. 7 Houston Cougars (28-2, 15-2) at No. 23 Cincinnati Bearcats (25-5, 14-3), 12 p.m. (CBS)
1/3 No. 97 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (14-15, 7-12) at No. 55 Indiana Hoosiers (16-14, 7-12), 12 p.m. (BTN)
Big South FINAL: No. 4 Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (22-11, 10-6) at No. 2 Radford Highlanders (22-10, 12-4), 1 p.m. (ESPN)
CAA QF: No. 8 James Madison Dukes (14-18, 6-12) vs. No. 1 Hofstra Pride (25-6, 15-3), 12 p.m. (CAA.tv)
Patriot SF: No. 5 Navy Midshipmen (12-18, 7-10) at No. 1 Colgate Raiders (22-10, 13-5), 12 p.m. (CBSSN)
ASUN FINAL: No. 2 Liberty Flames (27-6, 14-2) at No. 1 Lipscomb Bisons (25-6, 14-2), 3 p.m. (ESPN)
MVC FINAL: No. 6 Northern Iowa Panthers (16-17, 9-9) vs. No. 5 Bradley Braves (19-14, 9-9), 2 p.m. (CBS)
1/2 No. 43 Iowa Hawkeyes (21-9, 10-9) at No. 53 Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-15, 5-14), 2 p.m. (BTN)
Patriot SF: No. 3 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (20-10, 12-6) at No. 2 Bucknell Bison (20-11, 13-5), 2 p.m. (CBSSN)
CAA QF: No. 5 Delaware Fighting Blue Hens (16-15, 8-10) vs. No. 4 William & Mary Tribe (14-16, 10-8), approx. 2:30 p.m. (CAA.tv)
Late Afternoon Tips
1/1 No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers (21-9, 13-6) at No. 52 Ohio State Buckeyes (18-12, 8-11), 4:30 p.m. (CBS)
SoCon SF: No. 4 ETSU Buccaneers (24-8, 13-5) vs. No. 1 Wofford Terriers (27-4, 18-0), 4 p.m. (Nexstar/ESPN+ ($))
Early Evening Tips
SoCon SF: No. 3 Furman Paladins (25-6, 13-5) vs. No. 2 UNCG Spartans (27-5, 15-3), approx. 6:30 p.m. (Nexstar/ESPN+ ($))
MAAC SF: No. 5 Siena Saints (17-15, 11-7) vs. No. 1 Iona Gaels (15-15, 12-6), 6 p.m. (ESPN3)
CAA QF: No. 10 UNCW Seahawks (10-22, 5-13) vs. No. 2 Northeastern Huskies (20-10, 14-4), 6 p.m. (CAA.tv)
Summit QF: No. 5 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (11-20, 7-9) vs. No. 4 North Dakota State Bison (15-15, 9-7), 7 p.m. (Midco SN/ESPN+ ($))
Late Evening Tips
MAAC SF: No. 6 Monmouth Hawks (12-21, 10-8) vs. No. 2 Canisius Golden Griffins (15-16, 11-7), approx. 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
CAA QF: No. 6 Drexel Dragons (13-18, 7-11) vs. No. 3 College of Charleston Cougars (23-8, 12-6), approx. 8:30 p.m. (CAA.tv)
Summit QF: No. 6 South Dakota Coyotes (13-16, 7-9) vs. No. 3 Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons (17-14, 9-7), approx. 9:30 p.m. (Midco SN/ESPN+ ($))