Five bids will be awarded tonight, and while the first round of the ACC Tournament would usually be Tuesday’s secondary highlight, you can feel free to pass on this year’s edition. 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.
The Huskies and Pride split their regular season meetings, with each winning on their home floor. Northeastern last qualified for the NCAAs in 2015, while a certain coach named Jay Wright took Hofstra to its last appearance in 2001, back when the school was in the America East. The Committee rudely snubbed the Pride during the CAA’s vintage season of 2005-06, so the Long Islanders can erase a lot of hurt tonight.
Horizon League Championship
The league’s last two NCAA reps meet in the first 1 vs. 2 matchup in a Horizon final since the Valparaiso Crusaders (now in the MVC) defeated the Green Bay Phoenix in 2015. Playing the quarterfinal round on campus sure did the trick in keeping the higher seeds alive, even though NKU didn’t have as easy of a time in its semifinal against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (a 64-63 escape) as the Raiders did in dispatching Green Bay by 12.
This season series was yet another home split.
With FDU ranked 215th in today’s NET and SFU at 250th, tonight’s winner in Loretto, Pa. is almost assuredly headed to Dayton to play either next Tuesday or Wednesday. While the Knights last reached the field in 2016, the Red Flash are looking to end a long drought — dating back to 1991. Road teams had the advantage in this pair’s season split.
This is the game of the night, without a doubt. The Bulldogs will lock up a No. 1 seed, and potentially the top spot overall, by defeating Saint Mary’s for a third time. On the other hand, the Gaels will steal a bit and break some bubble team’s heart if they can overcome the 48- and 14-point regular season losses they suffered at the hands of the Zags.
Summit League Championship
Both squads slipped past their semifinal rivals on Monday, with NDSU defeating the eighth-seeded Western Illinois Leathernecks, 76-73, and the Mavericks taking down the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons by the minimum margin, 61-60. Omaha is looking to join the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs in the NCAA first-timers’ club, while NDSU last qualified in 2015. Note that the Mavericks won both regular season meetings, by 13 at home and 8 in Fargo.
America East Semifinals
ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.
Teams were reseeded.
With home wins tonight, we’ll have a rematch of last season’s famous America East final, the game that first launched UMBC into the national consciousness—before they made history. But it won’t be easy for either host tonight. Vermont only beat Binghamton by six on February 23rd, though that game was in Vestal, not Burlington. Meanwhile, Hartford swept UMBC, including a 70-61 loss at the UMBC Event Center on February 6th.
No. 5 Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions (13-18, 10-8) at No. 4 Grambling State Tigers (16-15, 10-8), 8:30 p.m. (Grambling stream)
No. 7 Southern Jaguars (7-24, 6-12) at No. 2 Texas Southern Tigers (19-12, 14-4), 8:30 p.m. (Texas Southern stream)
No. 8 Alcorn State Braves (10-20, 6-12) at No. 1 Prairie View A&M Panthers (19-12, 17-1), 9 p.m. (Prairie View stream)
No. 6 Alabama State Hornets (11-18, 9-9) at No. 3 Jackson State Tigers (13-18, 10-8), 9 p.m. (Jackson State stream)
Tonight’s winners will play in Friday’s semifinals in Birmingham. Keep an eye on the trio of immediate rematches on this slate. On Saturday, Prairie View defeated Alcorn by 34 at home, Jackson State took down Alabama State by 12, also at home, and Texas Southern lost to Southern, 87-77, in Houston.
ACC First Round
Raycom will air all three games in ACC markets.
No. 13 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-19, 4-14) vs. No. 12 Miami Hurricanes (13-17, 5-13), 12 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-18, 3-15) vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (14-17, 6-12), approx. 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 14 Pittsburgh Panthers (13-18, 3-15) vs. No. 11 Boston College Eagles (14-16, 5-13), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
At least the first two games could provide decent background television for those of us who work from home. But with all six teams involved hoping to go on a surprise run in Charlotte, there’s no bubble drama in today’s tripleheader.
MEAC First Round, Night Two
FloHoops.com ($) will stream both games.
No. 9 South Carolina State Bulldogs (7-25, 5-11) vs. No. 8 Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (7-24, 5-11), approx. 6 p.m.
No. 10 Morgan State Bears (9-20, 4-12) vs. No. 7 Coppin State Eagles (7-24, 7-9), approx. 8:30 p.m.
Tonight’s winners in Norfolk hit the floor again tomorrow, as they’ll take on the top two seeds in the first doubleheader of the MEAC’s two-night quarterfinal lineup. Last night, the Delaware State Hornets ended the Savannah State Tigers’ Division I tenure with a wimper, as Horace Broadnax’s squad will head to Division II after a 71-67 loss.
Sun Belt First Round
ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.
Tonight’s on-campus winners travel to New Orleans to play in Thursday’s first round at Lakefront Arena. Note that the Sun Belt went back to a ladder format, so the top two seeds won’t actually play until Saturday’s semifinals.
Grouped by quality in each tip window.
ACC R1: No. 13 Wake Forest (11-19, 4-14) vs. No. 12 Miami (13-17, 5-13), 12 p.m. (ESPN/Raycom)
ACC R1: No. 15 Notre Dame (13-18, 3-15) vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech (14-17, 6-12), approx. 2:30 p.m. (ESPN/Raycom)
Early Evening Window
CAA FINAL: No. 2 Northeastern (22-10, 14-4) vs. No. 1 Hofstra (27-6, 15-3), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
Horizon FINAL: No. 2 Northern Kentucky (25-8, 13-5) vs. No. 1 Wright State (21-12, 13-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NEC FINAL: No. 2 Fairleigh Dickinson (19-13, 12-6) at No. 1 St. Francis (Pa.) (18-13, 12-6), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
AE SF: No. 4 Hartford (18-14, 10-6) at No. 3 UMBC (20-12, 11-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
AE SF: No. 7 Binghamton (10-22, 5-11) at No. 1 Vermont (25-6, 14-2), 7 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
ACC R1: No. 14 Pitt (13-18, 3-15) vs. No. 11 Boston College (14-16, 5-13), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
MEAC R1: No. 9 South Carolina State (7-25, 5-11) vs. No. 8 Maryland Eastern Shore (7-24, 5-11), approx. 6 p.m. (FloHoops.com ($))
SWAC QF: No. 5 Arkansas Pine Bluff (13-18, 10-8) at No. 4 Grambling State (16-15, 10-8), 8:30 p.m. (Grambling stream)
SWAC QF: No. 7 Southern (7-24, 6-12) at No. 2 Texas Southern (19-12, 14-4), 8:30 p.m. (Texas Southern stream)
SB R1: No. 9 Arkansas State (13-18, 7-11) at No. 8 South Alabama (15-16, 8-10), 8 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
SB R1: No. 10 Appalachian State (11-20, 6-12) at No. 7 ULM (16-14, 9-9), 8 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
MEAC R1: No. 10 Morgan State (9-20, 4-12) vs. No. 7 Coppin State (7-24, 7-9), approx. 8:30 p.m. (FloHoops.com ($))
Late Evening Window
WCC FINAL: No. 2 Saint Mary’s (21-11, 11-5) vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (30-2, 16-0), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Summit FINAL: No. 4 North Dakota State (17-15, 9-7) vs. No. 2 Omaha (21-10, 13-3), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
SWAC QF: No. 8 Alcorn State (10-20, 6-12) at No. 1 Prairie View A&M (19-12, 17-1), 9 p.m. (Prairie View stream)
SWAC QF: No. 6 Alabama State (11-18, 9-9) at No. 3 Jackson State (13-18, 10-8), 9 p.m. (Jackson State stream)