Three conference tournaments get underway today, as there is opening round, wild card-type action in the America East and Missouri Valley (FS Midwest/CSN Chicago, 6 and 8:30 p.m. CT) and quarterfinals in the Northeast. The three vs. six and four vs. five quarterfinals in the Atlantic Sun are also on tap this evening.
Last night, the top two seeds in the A-Sun advanced to Friday's semifinals, as top seed Belmont handled No. 8 Kennesaw State, and No. 2 ETSU escaped seventh-seeded Campbell by just a point. In the campus site quarterfinals in the Patriot League, three of the four home teams advanced, including Bucknell, the top seed, and American, the No. 2, but third seed Holy Cross lost to Lafayette. The OVC first round, on the other hand, featured a pair of upsets, as No. 8 Tennessee-Martin and seven seed Southeast Missouri both advanced to tonight's quarterfinals.
Tonight's viewing picks, including a pair of Big South conference semifinals, are after the jump.
Big South Semifinals, ESPNU (6 and approx. 8:30 p.m. ET)
In game one, seventh seed High Point looks to continue their Cinderella run against No. 3 UNC-Asheville. The two split in the regular season, but the Bulldogs' win came a week ago, while the Panthers grabbed their home victory back in early December. The nightcap sees the host Coastal Carolina, the top seed, face VMI, a team the Chanticleers handled in two high-octane regular season contests. The question is whether the Chanticleers, with all of their personnel issues, will have enough firepower to beat the Keydets a third time.
KenPom.com projections: Bulldogs 76-64, 70 poss.; Chanticleers 92-79, 76 poss.
Tennessee Volunteers at South Carolina Gamecocks, ESPN (7 p.m. ET)
If the Volunteers fail to sweep the Gamecocks, a team they topped by six in Knoxville on February 16th, they'll be in bubble trouble heading into their regular season finale, a visit from Kentucky on Sunday afternoon.
KenPom.com projection: Volunteers 69-65, 69 poss.
St. John's Red Storm at Seton Hall Pirates, ESPN2 (7 p.m. ET)
The Red Storm only need to beat the Pirates today and USF on Saturday to secure a double-bye in the Big East Tournament. No pressure.
KenPom.com projection: Red Storm 65-64, 68 poss.
UCLA Bruins at Washington Huskies, ESPN (9 p.m. ET) and Oregon St. Beavers at Arizona Wildcats, FSN/Comcast SportsNet (9 p.m. ET)
The Bruins' home win over the Wildcats means the two are tied atop the Pac-10; however, based on tonight's matchups (and Saturday's for that matter), Arizona has a good chance to take control of the race again. The fact Oregon State beat the Wildcats in Corvallis back on January 2nd doesn't change that assessment. Washington, a team who's notoriously bad on the road, won at UCLA that same weekend.
KenPom.com projections: Huskies 81-71, 72 poss.; Wildcats 83-64, 70 poss.
Wisconsin Badgers at Indiana Hoosiers, ESPN2 (9 p.m. ET)
The Badgers, the likely three seed at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, can't get caught looking ahead to their game at Ohio State on Sunday, especially given how tough the Hoosiers can be at Assembly Hall.
KenPom.com projections: Badgers 67-60, 57 poss.
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