Championship Fortnight Viewing Guide For Saturday, March 9, 2019

Murray State will hope to be celebrating an OVC title tonight, but Belmont stands in the Racers’ way.

This guide covers only today’s conference tournament lineup. If you want a rundown of the most important regular-season finales, head here. 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.

OVC Championship

No. 2 Murray State Racers (26-4, 16-2) vs. No. 1 Belmont Bruins (26-4, 16-2), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

Belmont pulled away from the fourth-seeded Austin Peay Governors, 83-67, to qualify for their second consecutive OVC title tilt. The Bruins will face Murray State for the second consecutive season with revenge on their minds after last season’s blowout 68-51 loss. Rick Byrd’s squad won the pair’s only regular season meeting, 79-66, in Murray, Kentucky back on January 24th. Last night, the second-seeded Racers survived the third-seeded Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 76-74. That was the first win for either Murray or Belmont over Ray Harper’s club this season.

NEC Semifinals

ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

No. 4 Robert Morris Colonials (17-15, 11-7) at No. 2 No. 2 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (18-13, 12-6), 12 p.m.
No. 6 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (16-15, 9-9) at No. 1 St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash (17-13, 12-6), 2 p.m.

A pair of rubber matches are set in the Northeast Conference, with St. Francis having lost to LIU in Loretto, 69-66, two weeks ago, while FDU and RMU both won at home in their series. LIU was the only lower seed to win in the quarterfinals, as the Blackbirds eliminated the third-seeded Sacred Heart Pioneers, 71-62. And with the NEC reseeding its semifinals, Derek Kellogg’s squad has to take on the regular season champs.

MVC Semifinals

CBSSN will air both games.

No. 5 Bradley Braves (18-14, 9-9) vs. No. 1 Loyola Chicago Ramblers (20-12, 12-6), 3:30 p.m.
No. 6 Northern Iowa Panthers (15-17, 9-9) vs. No. 3 (17-15, 10-8) vs. No. 2 Drake Bulldogs (24-8, 12-6), approx. 6 p.m.

While Loyola had little trouble in dispatching the Valparaiso Crusaders, 67-54, Bradley escaped the Missouri State Bears, 61-58, in the Arch Madness 4-vs.-5 matchup. The Ramblers and Braves split their two regular season meetings, with the top seed having won by 13 at Gentile Arena just one week ago. In the evening session, Drake took care of an Illinois State Redbirds squad it went 0-2 against in the regular season, 78-62. Meanwhile, the lower seed also won the second game of the evening doubleheader, as Northern Iowa dispatched the Southern Illinois Salukis, 61-58. The in-state rivals naturally split their pair of games as well, with Drake last winning at home one month ago, 83-77.

SoCon Quarterfinals

ESPN+ ($) will stream all four games. Select Nexstar-owned stations will air all four games.

No. 8 VMI Keydets (11-20, 4-14) vs. No. 1 Wofford Terriers (26-4, 18-0), 12 p.m.
No. 5 Chattanooga Mocs (12-19, 7-11) vs. No. 4 ETSU Buccaneers (23-8, 13-5), approx. 2:30 p.m.
No. 7 Samford Bulldogs (17-15, 6-12) vs. No. 2 UNCG Spartans (26-5, 15-3), 6 p.m.
No. 6 Mercer Bears (11-19, 6-12) vs. No. 3 Furman Paladins (24-6, 13-5), approx. 8:30 p.m.

While both VMI and Samford won their opening-round games handily, they’ll be in for a challenge today. All four higher seeds swept their quarterfinal opponents during the regular season. Bubble teams from coast-to-coast will be pulling for top-seeded Wofford, a top 15 team in the NET, to run the table in Asheville.

America East Quarterfinals

ESPN+ ($) will stream all four games.

No. 6 Albany Great Danes (12-19, 7-9) at No. 3 UMBC Retrievers (19-12, 11-5), 1 p.m.
No. 5 UMass Lowell River Hawks (15-16, 7-9) at No. 4 Hartford Hawks (17-14, 10-6), 5 p.m.
No. 8 Maine Black Bears (5-26, 3-13) at No. 1 Vermont Catamounts (24-6, 14-2), 7 p.m.
No. 7 Binghamton Bearcats (9-22, 5-11) at No. 2 Stony Brook Seawolves (24-7, 12-4), 7 p.m.

The America East begins its playoffs today with Vermont the favorite but Stony Brook, defending champ UMBC, and Hartford all look particularly feisty. The Catamounts and Saeawolves swept their opponents, who look to be overmatched, while Hartford and UMBC are both looking to claim rubber matches. Note that UMass Lowell won in West Hartford on January 19th, however, by a 76-73 score.

MAAC Quarterfinals, Night Two

ESPN3 will stream both games.

No. 6 Monmouth Hawks (12-20, 10-8) vs. No. 3 Quinnipiac Bobcats (16-13, 11-7), 7 p.m.
No. 5 Siena Saints (16-15, 11-7) vs. No. 4 Rider Broncs (16-14, 11-7), approx. 9:30 p.m.

Last night, the Iona Gaels (over the Saint Peter’s Peacocks, 73-71) and the Canisius Golden Griffins (who needed OT to eliminate the Manhattan Jaspers, 69-65) advanced to Sunday’s semifinals. Tonight, Quinnipiac, who has never made it to March Madness, will aim to defeat Monmouth for a third time, while Rider will attempt to defeat Siena on its home floor. The Broncs lost to the Saints, 59-57, in Lawrenceville back on February 10th.

Summit Quarterfinals, Night One

Midco SN will air both games. ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

No. 8 Western Illinois Leathernecks (9-20, 4-12) vs. No. 1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits (24-7, 14-2), 7 p.m.
No. 7 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (12-17, 6-10) vs. No. 2 Omaha Mavericks (19-10, 13-3), approx. 9:30 p.m.

Like the MAAC, the Summit League holds its quarterfinals over two nights. The top two seeds, who swept their respective opponents this season, are favored to win again and advance to Monday night’s semifinals. Of course, South Dakota State’s Mike Daum is the main attraction at this event, so you’ll probably want to see him play at some point over the next few days.

WCC Quarterfinals

ESPN2 will air both games.

No. 8. Pepperdine Waves (15-17, 6-10) vs. No. 4 San Francisco Dons (21-9, 9-7), 10 p.m.
No. 7 San Diego Toreros (20-13, 7-9) vs. No. 3 BYU Cougars (19-12, 11-5), approx. 12:30 a.m. 3/10

Both lower seeds won in Friday’s second round doubleheader, as Pepperdine slipped past the Loyola Marymount Lions, 68-65, and San Diego demolished the Santa Clara Broncos, 62-45. Each will have to reverse some recent bad history against their respective semifinal opponents, as the favorites each own a season sweep. One thing to keep in mind is that the WCC takes Sunday off because of BYU’s “no Sunday play” rule, so tonight’s winners will head into Monday’s semifinals—when the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Saint Mary’s Gaels enter—having had a day off beforehand.

CAA First Round

CAA.tv will stream both games.

No. 9 Towson Tigers (10-21, 6-12) vs. No. 8 James Madison Dukes (13-18, 6-12), 4 p.m.
No. 10 UNCW Seahawks (9-22, 5-13) vs. No. 7 Elon Phoenix (11-20, 7-11), approx. 6:30 p.m.

The final edition of the CAA Tournament in North Charleston, S.C. opens with “PIllowfight Saturday.” Tonight’s winners advance to take on the top-seeded Hofstra Pride and No. 2 seeded Northeastern Huskies on Sunday.

Chronological Schedule

Grouped by quality in each tip window.

Early Afternoon Tips

SC QF: No. 8 Virginia Military Keydets (11-20, 4-14) vs. No. 1 Wofford Terriers (26-4, 18-0), 12 p.m. (Nexstar/ESPN+ ($))
NEC SF: No. 4 Robert Morris Colonials (17-15, 11-7) at No. 2 No. 2 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (18-13, 12-6), 12 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
AE QF: No. 6 Albany Great Danes (12-19, 7-9) at No. 3 UMBC Retrievers (19-12, 11-5), 1 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))

Mid-Afternoon Tips

SC QF: No. 5 Chattanooga Mocs (12-19, 7-11) vs. No. 4 ETSU Buccaneers (23-8, 13-5), approx. 2:30 p.m. (Nexstar/ESPN+ ($))
NEC SF: No. 6 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (16-15, 9-9) at No. 1 St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash (17-13, 12-6), 2 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))

Late Afternoon Tips

MVC SF: No. 5 Bradley Braves (18-14, 9-9) vs. No. 1 Loyola Chicago Ramblers (20-12, 12-6), 3:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
AE QF: No. 5 UMass Lowell River Hawks (15-16, 7-9) at No. 4 Hartford Hawks (17-14, 10-6), 5 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
CAA R1: No. 9 Towson Tigers (10-21, 6-12) vs. No. 8 James Madison Dukes (13-18, 6-12), 4 p.m. (CAA.tv)

Early Evening Tips

MVC SF: No. 6 Northern Iowa Panthers (15-17, 9-9) vs. No. 2 Drake Bulldogs (24-8, 12-6), approx. 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
SC QF: No. 7 Samford Bulldogs (17-15, 6-12) vs. No. 2 UNCG Spartans (26-5, 15-3), 6 p.m. (Nexstar/ESPN+ ($))
Summit QF: No. 8 Western Illinois Leathernecks (9-20, 4-12) vs. No. 1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits (24-7, 14-2), 7 p.m. (Midco SN/ESPN+ ($))
AE QF: No. 8 Maine Black Bears (5-26, 3-13) at No. 1 Vermont Catamounts (24-6, 14-2), 7 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
AE QF: No. 7 Binghamton Bearcats (9-22, 5-11) at No. 2 Stony Brook Seawolves (24-7, 12-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
MAAC QF: No. 6 Monmouth Hawks (12-20, 10-8) vs. No. 3 Quinnipiac Bobcats (16-13, 11-7), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
CAA R1: No. 10 UNCW Seahawks (9-22, 5-13) vs. No. 7 Elon Phoenix (11-20, 7-11), approx. 6:30 p.m. (CAA.tv)

Mid-Evening Tips

OVC FINAL: No. 2 Murray State Racers (26-4, 16-2) vs. No. 1 Belmont Bruins (26-4, 16-2), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
SC QF: No. 6 Mercer Bears (11-19, 6-12) vs. No. 3 Furman Paladins (24-6, 13-5), approx. 8:30 p.m. (Nexstar/ESPN+ ($))

Late Night Tips

WCC QF: No. 8. Pepperdine Waves (15-17, 6-10) vs. No. 4 San Francisco Dons (21-9, 9-7), 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
WCC QF: No. 7 San Diego Toreros (20-13, 7-9) vs. No. 3 BYU Cougars (19-12, 11-5), approx. 12:30 a.m. 3/10 (ESPN2)
Summit QF: No. 7 North Dakota Fighting Hawks (12-17, 6-10) vs. No. 2 Omaha Mavericks (19-10, 13-3), approx. 9:30 p.m. (Midco SN/ESPN+ ($))
MAAC QF: No. 5 Siena Saints (16-15, 11-7) vs. No. 4 Rider Broncs (16-14, 11-7), approx. 9:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

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About the Author: Taylor Coburn

Hi my name is Taylor C Copburn I love to play the odds and beat the point spread on NFL, NCAA and NBA games. Breaking down the risk value and finding the angle to collect on my wagers.

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