I apologize for a relatively light post. Since I'm out of town for the early part of the holiday weekend, I've decided to keep the rest of the holiday weekend's posts relatively short. But don't worry, they'll still include all of the relevant TV information for the cornucopia of early season events on the slate.
More after the jump...
NIT Season Tip-Off Finals
I'll be at both of these games today, where Stanford will attempt to shoot their way out of trouble against Syracuse's 2-3 zone in the championship game, while Oklahoma State will look for a more inspired performance than the one they got Wednesday against the Cardinal, as they face a tough Virginia Tech team in the consolation game.
Battle 4 Atlantis Semifinals
Connecticut Huskies vs. UCF Knights, 2 p.m. ET (Versus)
The Knights came back on, and eventually pulled away from, a talented College of Charleston squad, winning by a 74-63 tally in Thursday's first game. UConn opened the evening session with a closer than expected 76-63 victory over UNC Asheville.
Harvard Crimson vs. Florida State Seminoles
The Seminoles look like the clear No. 3 team in the ACC, something that was abundantly clear as they handed UMass its first loss of the season in a 73-53 rout. In the final day of the Bahamas quadruple-header, Harvard absolutely embarrassed Utah, 75-47, as the case for the Utes being the worst Big Six conference team obtained another damaging exhibit.
Old Spice Classic Semifinals
Indiana State Sycamores vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN)
The Sycamores certainly played like the defending Missouri Valley Tournament champions, as they had little trouble in defeating Texas Tech in the opener in Lake Buena Vista, 60-51. They should get more of a test from a Minnesota squad that came back to beat DePaul, 86-85, in a thrilling second quarterfinal. Seriously, that was a much better contest than you would have ever imagined going in.
Dayton Flyers vs. Fairfield Stags, approx. 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
In the opening game of the evening session, Dayton got a Chris Johnson three in the final minute to escape Wake Forest, 80-76. Fairfield closed the Thanksgiving Day slate with a suffocating 55-44 win over Arizona State. The result means that three of the four semifinalists in this event are mid-majors.
76 Classic Semifinals
Saint Louis Billikens vs. Villanova Wildcats, 2:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
As expected based on both teams' early play, Rick Majerus' Billikens had no trouble with Boston College, blowing by the Eagles, 62-51. They''ll take on a Villanova team that struggled with UC Riverside for about 10 minutes before asserting control in an easy 71-46 win.
Santa Clara Broncos vs. Oklahoma Sooners, approx. 12 a.m. ET (ESPN2)
Santa Clara needed overtime, but they managed to upset New Mexico, 79-76. In the final game of the night, Oklahoma outscored Washington State by 17 in the second half to overturn a two-point halftime deficit, winning 74-59.
Three Basketball Tournaments, Inc. events resume today, with two picking up action at the semifinal stage, while the South Padre Invitational adopts a different format for this season.
Chicago Invitational Challenge Semifinals
BYU Cougars (3-1, 2-1 vs. Division I) vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (3-2), 6 p.m. ET (BYU TV)
Both of these teams have built winning streaks after dropping early contests. BYU opened at one of the toughest places to play in America, Utah State, and returned to Provo with a loss. They've since defeated their Hawaiian branch campus, the 2011 Division II runners-up, and Longwood and Prairie View A&M in this tournament. Nevada opened with consecutive losses to and UNLV, but have won three straight since then, including their two campus games in this tournament against the same opposition BYU faced. However, they barely escaped Longwood on Tuesday night.
Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) vs. Bradley Braves (3-1), approx. 8:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
The Badgers have pummeled their first four opponents by an average of nearly 41 points, while the Braves suffered their first loss of the season on Tuesday night at the hands of Wofford, who are on this event's undercard.
Four teams will compete in the mid-major bracket. Prairie View A&M takes on Longwood, while Wofford faces UMKC Kangaroos.
Las Vegas Invitiational Semifinals
USC Trojans (2-3) vs. UNLV Runnin' Rebels (5-0), 4-0 vs. Division I), 7:30 p.m. ET (no TV)
The Runnin' Rebels will have a good chunk of the crowd behind them (can't underestimate the traveling UNC support) at the Orleans Arena. They should have little trouble with a Trojans' squad that's struggled offensively, especially in a home loss to Cal Poly in this event, a game in which they only scored 36. On Tuesday, the Trojans just held off Morgan State by three.
North Carolina Tar Heels (4-0) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (2-2), approx. 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
The consensus preseason number one against a team that lost to Tennessee State and struggled with Mississippi Valley State. This one could be a difficult watch.
The mid-major bracket features a pair of contests: Tennessee State vs. Mississippi Valley State and Cal Poly vs. Morgan State.
South Padre Invitational Day One
This event takes a year hiatus from a traditional tournament format. Since Northern Iowa and Iowa State meet in Ames on November 30. Tomorrow's games will be on the CBS Sports Network, but tonight's will be
Rice Owls (4-0, 3-0 vs. Division I) vs. Northern Iowa Panthers (3-1), 5 p.m. ET (no TV)
The Panthers seem to have gotten past the beating St. Mary's handed them during the Tip-Off Marathon, taking care of both Northern Colorado and Western Carolina before flying south. The Owls are surprisingly undefeated, though they haven't been tested at all in their four games.
Providence Friars (4-0) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (3-1, 2-1 vs. Division I), approx. 7:30 p.m. ET (no TV)
The Friars' biggest win of the season was a victory at Fairfield, coach Ed Cooley's former employer, but they struggled with Southern in their final campus-site game Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Cyclones, pegged by some as a Big 12 sleeper, have struggled early on, losing at Drake and just squeaking past Northern Colorado earlier this week.
In the non-televised mid-major bracket, Northern Colorado faces Western Carolina and Southern plays Florida A&M. Those games are set up as an actual tournament.
Great Alaska Shootout Semifinals
Dartmouth Big Green at Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves , 4 p.m. ET
As always, please feel free to discuss today's action in the comments.