Championship Festival Go-Round: March 11, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10: The Colorado Buffaloes bench reacts after defeating the Kansas State Wildcats 87-75 in their quarterfinal game in the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

After a Thursday where no bids were handed out, Friday sees one awarded in the Patriot League.

Patriot League Final

No. 6 Lafayette Leopards at No. 1 Bucknell Bison, ESPN2 (4:45 p.m. ET)

The regular season champion Bison will be heavily favored in this one, particularly since they beat the Leopards by 19 in Lewisburg on January 19th. However, Lafayette will feel confident that they can pull an upset, particularly since they took Bucknell to overtime on February 16th at home. Bucknell's last bid came in 2006, when they earned a win over Arkansas as a nine seed, while Lafayette hasn't qualified in 11 years.

One final was set for Saturday, the Southland Conference's decider in Katy, Texas, but the two semifinal winners will get the day off before playing for the bid tomorrow afternoon. No. 7 seed Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners will take on regular season champion McNeese State. The Roadrunners eliminated third-seeded Sam Houston State in Thursday's first semi, and the Cowboys dispatched of No. 4 Texas State by eight in the second.

Several other Saturday finals will be set today. Info on those games and the rest of Friday's elimination action after the jump.

Big East Semifinals

at New York

Both games air on ESPN.

No. 9 Connecticut Huskies vs. No. 4 Syracuse Orange, 7 p.m. ET
No. 3 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, approx. 9:30 p.m. ET

UConn could be on a Maui-like run, thanks to, you guessed it, Kemba Walker, who hit a jumper at the buzzer to knock No. 1 seed Pittsburgh out 76-74. That's the second year in a row the top seed has dropped its first game at the Big East Tournament. The Huskies will get Syracuse in the semifinals Friday, and remember what happened the last time those two met at the Garden. The Orange ended No. 5 St. John's MSG win streak, which started right after the Red Storm lost to the Orange on January 12th.

Both evening session games were blowouts; however, as Notre Dame continued their march toward a surprising one seed by pummeling Cincinnati by 38 and third-seeded Louisville rocked Marquette by 25.

Big 12 Semifinals

at Kansas City

Both games air on Big 12 Network, Altitude, MASN, ESPN3, and Full Court.

No. 5 Colorado Buffaloes vs. No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks, 7 p.m. ET (also on BHSN)
No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies vs. No. 2 Texas Longhorns, approx. 9:30 p.m. ET

 

Top seed Kansas got a mighty scare out of No. 9 Oklahoma State, but moved on to today's semifinals with a 63-62 win over the Cowboys, keeping their hopes for a top seed very much alive. The Jayhawks will take on Colorado, who beat Kansas State for the third time this season to earn a key win for their bid hopes. Meanwhile, semifinal number two between Texas and Texas A&M features two teams that are safely in.

Big West Semifinals

at Anaheim

Both games air on ESPNU.

No. 7 UC Riverside Highlanders vs. No. 1 Long Beach St. 49ers, 9 p.m. ET
No. 5 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. No. 3 Cal St.-Northridge Matadors, approx. 11:30 p.m. ET

Regular season champ Long Beach State moved on to tonight's semifinals after getting a mighty scare from No. 8 UC Irvine who led for a portion of the second half. The 49ers eventually prevailed by seven, 79-72. As the Big West reseeds its teams after the quarterfinals, LBSU will face the lowest remaining seed, UC Riverside in the first semifinal tonight. The Highlanders upset runners-up No. 2 Cal Poly to start the evening session at Honda Center. UCSB moved on to the other semifinal, against Cal State Northridge by dropping No. 4 Pacific by 12.

Conference USA Semifinals

at El Paso, Texas

Both games air on CBS College Sports.

No. 3 UTEP Miners vs. No. 2 Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 4 p.m. ET
No. 8 East Carolina Pirates vs. No. 4 Memphis Tigers, approx. 6:30 p.m. ET

Conference USA's hopes at receiving more than one bid took a serious hit in the very first quarterfinal played Thursday. Regular season champ UAB lost to East Carolina in overtime, 75-70. Considering the Blazers were a shaky at-large candidate to begin with, Mike Davis' club may as well begin planning for yet another NIT trip. The Pirates will next look to burst Memphis' bubble in the semifinals, a good possibility considering they beat the Tigers in Greenville on March 2nd. Host UTEP, who knocked off No. 6 Marshall, will also look to advance to Saturday morning's final. To do so, they'll need to defeat second seed Tulsa, who handled No. 10 Rice in the nightcap.

MEAC Semifinals

at Winston-Salem, NC

No. 4 Morgan St. Bears vs No. 1 Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, 6 p.m. ET
No. 6 Norfolk St. Spartans vs.No. 2 Hampton Pirates, approx. 8:30 p.m. ET

There was one upset in the final pair of MEAC quarterfinals, as sixth-seeded Norfolk State earned a semifinal date with Hampton by defeating No. 3 Coppin State by three. Morgan State advanced far more comfortably, as they took out NC A&T by 18 in the 4 vs. 5 game.

Mid-American Semifinals

at Cleveland

Both games air on SportsTime Ohio, ESPN3, and Full Court.

No. 6 Akron Zips vs. No. 2 Western Michigan Broncos, 7 p.m. ET
No. 4 Ball St. Cardinals vs. No. 1 Kent St. Golden Flashes, approx. 9:30 p.m. ET

MAC West champ and two seed Western Michigan opened the quarterfinals in Cleveland by handing No. 7 Bowling Green by 11. The Broncos will take on sixth-seeded Akron in the first semifinal this evening in Cleveland, as the Zips took care of No. 3 Miami (Ohio) in overtime. Top seed Kent State also moved on, as they eliminated eight seed Buffalo. The Golden Flashes will meet Ball State in semifinal No. 2, as the Cardinals ended defending champ Ohio's run.

Mountain West Semifinals

at Las Vegas

Both games air on CBS College Sports.

No. 5 New Mexico Lobos vs. No. 1 BYU Cougars, 9 p.m. ET
No. 3 UNLV Runnin' Rebels vs. No. 2 San Diego St. Aztecs, approx. 11:30 p.m. ET

BYU's Mountain West Tournament didn't get off to the best of starts, as they only managed to beat No. 9 seed TCU Horned Frogs by six. Up next for the Cougars, a New Mexico team that swept them during the regular season. The Lobos knocked fourth seed Colorado State off the bubble and put themselves in position to challenge for a bid.
In the night session, both San Diego State and UNLV advanced comfortably, handling Utah and Air Force Falcons respectively.

Pac-10 Semifinals

at Los Angeles

Both games air on FSN and Comcast SportsNet.

No. 4 USC Trojans vs. No. 1 Arizona Wildcats, 9 p.m. ET
No. 7 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 3 Washington Huskies, approx. 11:30 p.m. ET

USC continues their late push for an at-large, as they handled fifth-seeded California Golden Bears in the first Pac-10 quarterfinal on Thursday afternoon to set up a semifinal with an Arizona team they beat at the Galen Center on February 24th. Of course, if the Trojans keep playing the way they are, they won't need to sweat Selection Sunday. The second semifinal will be an all-Northwest affair as Oregon will meet Washington. The Ducks upset No. 2 UCLA to advance, while
the Huskies escaped archrival Washington State by a bucket. Klay Thompson scored 43 for the Cougars in the loss, which likely puts them in the NIT.

SWAC Semifinals

at Garland, TX

No. 6 Grambling St. Tigers vs. No. 2 Jackson St. Tigers, 3:30 p.m. ET
No. 4 Alabama St. Hornets vs. No. 1 Texas Southern Tigers, 9 p.m. ET

Six seed Grambling shocked No. 3 Mississippi Valley State by three to advance to today's semifinals, where they'll take on a rested Jackson State team. Top seed Texas Southern gets Alabama State, who blew by No. 5 Alabama A&M in the second game.

WAC Semifinals

at Las Vegas

No. 8 San Jose St. Spartans vs. No. 1 Utah State Aggies, 9 p.m. ET (no TV)
No. 3 New Mexico St. Aggies vs. No. 2 Boise St. Broncos, 12 a.m. ET (ESPN2)

San Jose State pulled their second upset in a row, toppin No. 4 seed Idaho Vandals to earn an unexpected semifinal date with regular season champ Utah State. No. 6 Nevada couldn't do the same as they fell to New Mexico State to end their campaign.

ACC Quarterfinals

at Greensboro

Games air on ACC Network and are streamed at TheACC.com in ACC Territory and appear on ESPN2 in the rest of the country.

No. 9 Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels, 12 p.m. ET
No. 5 Boston College Eagles vs. No. 4 Clemson Tigers, approx. 2:30 p.m. ET
No. 7 Maryland Terrapins vs. No. 2 Duke Blue Devils, 7 p.m. ET
No. 6 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. No. 3 Florida St. Seminoles, approx. 9:30 p.m. ET

Boston College earned a bubble showdown with Clemson by hammering last-place Wake Forest for the second game in a row. Virginia Tech also took care of their struggling opponent, second-bottom Georgia Tech, meaning they'll allso have a chance to solidify a place, as they take on Florida State.

In the two games without bracket impact, Miami needed OT to top No. 8 Virginia in the opener. They'll face UNC in the quarterfinals, while Maryland faces Duke after they held off No. 10 N.C. State.

Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals

at Atlantic City, NJ

No. 9 Dayton Flyers vs. No. 1 Xavier Musketeers, FS Ohio/CSN Washington/CSN New England/CSS/CSN Philly (12 p.m. ET)
No. 12 St. Joseph's Hawks vs. No. 4 Duquesne Dukes, FS Ohio/CSN Washington/CSN New England/CSS/CSN Philly (approx. 2:30 p.m. ET)
No. 10 La Salle Explorers vs. No. 2 Temple Owls, CSN Washington Plus/Comcast Network Philly (6:30 p.m. ET)
No. 6 Rhode Island Rams vs. No. 3 Richmond Spiders, CSN Washington Plus/Comcast Network Philly/CSS (approx. 9 p.m. ET)

The Atlantic 10 quarterfinals feature some lower seeds and local rivalries. The team with the most to lose, Richmond, gets the toughest matchup, as the Rams were the only home team to win its opening round game Tuesday.

Big Ten Quarterfinals

at Indianapolis

No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats vs. No. 1 Ohio St. Buckeyes, ESPN (12 p.m. ET)
No. 5 Illinois Fighting Illini vs. No. 4 Michigan Wolverines, ESPN (approx. 2:30 p.m. ET)
No. 7 Michigan St. Spartans vs. No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers, Big Ten Network (6:30 p.m. ET)
No. 6 Penn St. Nittany Lions vs. No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers, Big Ten Network (approx. 9 p.m. ET)

Minnesota, a bubble team not long ago and a very solid pick to do some damage in the tournament back in December, is on their way to the NIT after losing to Northwestern, a team that needs to win this event to earn its first-ever NCAA bid.
Michigan State moved on to a quarterfinal against Purdue, barely, as they just got by No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes, 66-61. Penn State also got a game in their opener, as they topped last place Indiana by six. They'll have a chance to win their season series with Wisconsin tonight.

SEC Quarterfinals

at Atlanta

All four games air on SEC Network, ESPN3, and Full Court.

E4 Georgia Bulldogs vs. W1 Alabama Crimson Tide , 1 p.m. ET
W3 Mississippi Rebels vs. E2 Kentucky Wildcats, approx. 3:30 p.m. ET
E5 Tennessee Volunteers vs. W4 vs. E1 Florida Gators, 7:30 p.m. ET
E3 Vanderbilt Commodores vs. W2 Mississippi St. Bulldogs, approx. 10 p.m. ET

Georgia took care of business against Auburn to set up a potential bubble elimination game against an Alabama team they lost to in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. Mississippi, winners over South Carolina Thursday, will look to stun Kentucky in game two. Regular season champion Florida will have its hands full attempting to beat Tennessee for the third time this season in the first night game. The Volunteers held off a furious Arkansas comeback to win by six. Vanderbilt moved on to a quarterfinal with perennial SEC Tourney pest Mississippi State by topping the West's last place team LSU by 12.

Please share your thoughts about today's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.

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