Championship Festival Go-Round: March 4, 2011

Friday's TV slate is dominated by conference tournament action, so I figured this would be a good opportunity for the first Championship Festival Go-Round post of the season.

Last night, our first conference championship game of the year was set as the top two remaining seeds in the Big South, No. 3 UNC-Asheville and top seed and host Coastal Carolina, both won to set up Saturday's final (ESPN2, 4 p.m. ET). That game will be the final contest in the Chanticleers' current home, Kimbel Arena, which is being replaced by a new facility next season.

In the Northeast Conference, all four home teams won and advanced to Sunday's semifinals. No. 1 Long Island and No. 2 Quinnipiac picked up easy wins, while three and four seeds Robert Morris and Central Connecticut State had closer calls.

Today's schedule is after the jump, starting with events that have relatively easy-to-find TV coverage.

Atlantic Sun Semifinals

at Macon, Georgia

Both games are on CSS/ESPN3/Full Court.

No. 5 Mercer Bears vs. No. 1 Belmont Bruins, 6;30 p.m. ET
No. 6 North Florida Ospreys vs. No. 2 East Tennessee St. Buccaneers , approx. 9 p.m. ET

There were a pair of upsets on Thursday, by the numbers anyway, as sixth-seeded UNF picked up their first ever A-Sun tournament win by defeating crosstown rival Jacksonville in their matchup, only the second ever win for the Ospreys over the Dolphins. Meanwhile, host Mercer prevented a third Battle of Boulevard matchup for the season by topping No. 4 Lipscomb. The Bears will look to use their homecourt advantage to cause a huge upset over  highly-favored Belmont in tonight's opener.

Ohio Valley Semifinals

at Nashville

Both games are on ESPNU.

No. 4 Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles vs. No. 1 Murray St. Racers , 8 p.m. ET
No. 3 Austin Peay Governors vs. No. 2 Morehead St. Eagles , approx. 10:30 p.m. ET

The top four teams are all alive in the OVC Tournament, though the top two seeds are just entering in this stage, thanks to the conference's new merit-based bracket (something implemented in several other mid-major leagues over the past few seasons). Pay special attention to the second semifinal, as the Eagles and Governors tied for second in the regular season, with each team grabbing a home win over the other.

Horizon League Second Round

at Milwaukee

Both games are on ESPN3 and Full Court and streaming for free on the Horizon League Network.

No. 6 Wright St. Raiders vs. No. 3 Cleveland St. Vikings, 6 p.m. ET
No. 5 Detroit Titans vs. No. 4 Valparaiso Crusaders, approx. 8:30 p.m. ET

The Vikings and Crusaders would both like to advance to the semifinals, where the two teams they've been battling all season for the Horizon crown, No. 1 Milwaukee and No. 2 Butler await. They won't find it easy against the Raiders and Titans, even if each swept its respective opponent during the double round-robin.

MAAC First Round

at Bridgeport, CT

Both games will stream at MAACSports.com.

No. 9 Marist Red Foxes vs. No. 8 Niagara Purple Eagles, 7:30 p.m. ET
No. 10 Manhattan Jaspers vs. No. 7 Siena Saints, approx. 10 p.m. ET

Tonight's winners advance to meet the top two seeds Fairfield Stags and Iona Gaels in Saturday's quarterfinals.

Missouri Valley Quarterfinals

at St. Louis

All games are on FS Midwest and CSN Chicago

No. 8 Southern Illinois Salukis vs. No. 1 Missouri St Bears, 1 p.m. ET
No. 5 Creighton Bluejays vs. No. 4 Northern Iowa Panthers, approx. 3:30 p.m. ET
No. 10 Bradley Braves vs. No. 2 Wichita St. Shockers, 7 p.m. ET
No. 6  Evansville Aces vs. No. 3 Indiana St. Sycamores, approx. 9:30 p.m. ET

The Bears and Shockers begin their quest for the Arch Madness final against Thursday's two winners. Bradley upset seventh-seeded Drake, while Southern Illinois eliminated Illinois State.

West Coast First Round

at Las Vegas

Both games air on BYU TV/ESPN3/Full Court.

No. 8 Loyola Marymount Lions vs. No. 5 Portland Pilots, 9 p.m. ET
No. 7 San Diego Toreros vs. No. 6 Pepperdine Waves, approx. 11:30 p.m. ET

Tonight's winners move on to Saturday's quarterfinals, where three seed San Francisco and No. 4 Santa Clara await. The top two seeds, St. Mary's and Gonzaga enter at Sunday's semifinal stage. Note also that BYU TV will be providing television coverage of the event's first two rounds, likely to give Cougar fans a preview of their future conference foes.

In one non-tournament game on TV tonight, Kent State looks to sew up the MAC regular season crown with a win over archrival Akron (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET).

There are a pair of non-televised Ivy League games of note, as Princeton (10-1) visits Dartmouth and Harvard (10-2) hosts Penn. The Tigers and Crimson are the only two teams with a shot to earn the Ivy's auto bid, and they happen to meet Saturday in Cambridge.

There are plenty of other conference tournament games on today's late that aren't being televised. You may want to visit each conference's respective website for streaming information.

CAA First Round

at Richmond

No. 9 Georgia St. Panthers vs. No. 8 UNC Wilmington Seahawks, 12;30 p.m. ET
No. 12 Towson Tigers vs. No. 5 Drexel Dragons, approx. 3 p.m. ET
No. 10 Northeastern Huskies vs. No. 7 Delaware Blue Hens, 6 p.m. ET
No. 11 William & Mary Tribe vs. No. 6 James Madison Dukes, approx. 8:30 p.m. ET

Today's winners will advance to meet the top four seeds in Saturday's quarterfinals, including NCAA Tournament at-large contenders George Mason, Old Dominion, and VCU.

Southern Conference First Round

at Chattanooga

N5 UNC Greensboro Spartans vs. S4 Davidson Wildcats, 2 p.m. ET
S6 Georgia Southern Eagles vs. N3 Appalachian St. Mountaineers, approx. 4:30 p.m. ET
N6 Samford Bulldogs vs. S3 Furman Paladins, approx. 7 p.m. ET
S5 The Citadel Bulldogs vs. N4 Elon Phoenix, approx. 9:30 p.m. ET

The top two seeds from the North and South Division await in tomorrow's quarterfinals.

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

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