From start to finish, yesterday was one of the craziest conference tournament days I've ever experienced. If today is one-tenth as exciting and surprising, it will still be well worth it. Let's get to the recap/preview.
One tourney bid is on the line, and it will be decided in my vicinity. (I will indeed be there.) The top two seeds in the Patriot League American University and College of the Holy Cross meet up at Bender Arena (ESPN2, 4:45 EDT). The Eagles are looking for their second straight conference crown, while the Crusaders look to get back to the Dance for the first time since 2007.
There is an almost excessive amount of non-championship conference tournament action going on today.
ACC Quarterfinals (all games on ESPN2 outside of ACC country and Raycom inside it)
Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina (12 EDT) - The Hokies probably knocked Miami out of the conversation yesterday. They can make their case a lot stronger by knocking off the Tar Heels today. UNC, meanwhile, has to like the carnage that took place among the potential #1 seeds yesterday.
Georgia Tech vs. Florida State (2:30 EDT*) - The Yellow Jackets next step in replicating Georgia's run through the SEC tournament last year, knocking out a Seminole team that's now fighting for a top four seed.
Maryland vs. Wake Forest (7 EDT) - The Terps did what they had to do last night. Now they look to get another big win for their resume against a Demon Deacon team who is now very much back in the two seed conversation.
Boston College vs. Duke (9:30 EDT*) - The Eagles are looking good for a bid. They now look to improve their seeding with a second win over the Blue Devils this season.
A-10 Semifinals (FS Ohio/MASN/Cox RI/Comcast Network)
Xavier vs. Temple (6:30 EDT) - After making it five in a row over St. Joe's, the Owls could make the A10 a three-bid league if they can beat the Musketeers.
Dayton vs. Duquesne (9 EDT*) - The Dukes pretty much ended URI's at-large hopes last night, but they probably need to win the auto bid to get in. The Flyers should be safe after defeating Richmond.
Big East Semifinals (all games on ESPN)
Louisville vs. Villanova (7 EDT) - Dwayne Anderson gave the Wildcats a win over a plucky Marquette side yesterday afternoon. Now they have to face a Cardinal team who all but ended Providence's hopes and probably has a better shot at holding on to a #1 seed than previously thought, thanks to the upsets in the night session.
West Virginia vs. Syracuse (9:30 EDT*) - How much do the Orange have left after winning that historic battle against UConn last night? While SU defeated the Mountaineers by 13 back on February 4, they had a full week off before that game. WVU, confident off a thumping of Pitt, should be fresher. But the Orange's momentum can't be discounted.
Big Ten Quarterfinals
Minnesota vs. Michigan State (ESPN, 12 EDT) - The Gophers should be safe after bursting Northwestern's bubble yesterday, but a win over Sparty would almost surely lock up a bid.
Wisconsin vs. Ohio State (ESPN, 2:30 EDT*) - The 4/5 quarterfinal features two teams who have to feel much better about their chances right now.
Michigan vs. Illinois (Big Ten, 6:30 EDT) - The Wolverines had little trouble with Iowa yesterday. Next, they look to win the rubber match against an Illini team who has dropped two straight..
Penn State vs. Purdue (Big Ten, 9 EDT*) - The Nittany Lions made sure they took care of Indiana. Like Michigan, they look to win the rubber match against their opposition, a Boilermaker team that's dropped two in a row.
Big 12 Semifinals (Games on Big 12/Altitude/Full Court)
Baylor vs. Texas (7 EDT) - While the Bears defeated Kansas yesterday, they're still on the fringe of consideration. The Longhorns ended Kansas State's hopes and now look to do the same to their in-state rivals, all while pushing to a conference title that may boost their seed.
Oklahoma State vs. Missouri (9:30 EDT*) - It was a sweet victory for the Cowboys last night. Not only did they probably lock up a bid, they closed the door on archrival Oklahoma's chances for a #1 seed. The Tigers stopped Texas Tech's attempt at a Cinderella run, pulling away in the second half. If MU can consistently do that at a neutral site, that should boost their seeding.
Big West Semifinals (all games on ESPNU)
Cal State-Northridge vs. UC Santa Barbara (8:30 EDT) and Long Beach State vs. Pacific (11 EDT*) - The top 4 seeds are still alive for the auto bid. Northridge swept UCSB and Long Beach swept the UOP during the regular season.
Conference USA Semifinals (all games on CBS CS)
Memphis vs. Houston (4 EDT) - The Cougars had a late night, defeating UTEP in OT. Now they have to face a Tiger team with aspirations for the top line on their home court.
UAB vs. Tulsa (6:30 EDT*) - The Blazers look to keep their at-large hopes alive by avenging a one-point loss at the Reynolds Center on January 28.
MWC Semifinals (all games on the mtn./CBS CS)
BYU vs. San Diego State (9 EDT) - That's three wins in three tries for the Aztecs over UNLV, with two of those coming at the Thomas & Mack Center. That fact should be enough to get SDSU in. A win over the Cougars today would really give them some breathing room.
Utah vs. Wyoming (11:30 EDT*) - The Utes escaped TCU thanks to a Lawrence Borha 3 in the dying seconds. They next take on the sixth-seeded Cowboys, who seriously dented New Mexico's at-large hopes last night, 75-67.
Pac-10 Semifinals (all games on (FSN/selected CSN outlets)
Arizona State vs. Washington (9 EDT) - The Sun Devils may have snapped their archrival Arizona's tourney streak. They could give their seed a boost by continuing their run in this tournament. The Huskies started their run at the title by defeating Stanford, 85-73.
UCLA vs. USC (11:30 EDT) - The Trojans upended California thanks in part to an errant inbound pass in the last throes. Now they find themselves back in the discussion and facing a cross-town semifinal. The rival Bruins beat Washington State by 11 in their quarterfinal.
SEC Quarterfinals (all games on Raycom/Full Court/FS South/Sun Sports)
Kentucky vs. LSU (1 EDT) - The Wildcats got by Ole Miss pretty easily. Next up is a Tiger team looking to snap a two-game skid and who beat UK by 3 at Rupp two weeks ago.
Mississippi State vs. South Carolina (3:30 EDT*) - MSU won the battle of the Bulldogs yesterday. Now they have a chance to knock the Gamecocks out.
Alabama vs. Tennessee (7:30 EDT) - So much for Vanderbilt's viability as an at-large candidate, as the Tide took care of them last night. Now they take on a Vol team they just stunned on Sunday afternoon at Thompson-Boling.
Florida vs. Auburn (10 EDT*) - The Gators pulled away from Arkansas in the second half. This one is a straight-up elimination game now.
Southland Semifinals (all games on Full Court)
Second-seeded Nicholls State takes on 6 seed Texas-San Antonio (7 EDT*), while top seed Stephen F. Austin faces fourth-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (9:30 EDT*). The Colonels lost their only meeting with the Roadrunners (at home), while the Lumberjacks won their only meeting with the Islanders (on the road).
Utah State vs. New Mexico State (no TV, 9;30 EDT) and Nevada vs. Louisiana Tech (ESPN2, 11;59 EDT) - The favorites remain on course to meet for the title tomorrow night.
The MAC semifinals (Ball State vs. Buffalo (7:30 EDT) and Akron vs. Bowling Green (10 EDT) will also be on FS Ohio and FS Detroit.