Championship Week Viewing Guide: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

On the surface, Wednesday's schedule looks hectic, but from a bracket perspective, only seven games will affect the at-large picture.

All TV info is courtesy Matt's College Sports on TV site. He has many more games listed, particularly ones broadcast only on local channels and in-house cable sports/local interest channels that are not widely available nationwide. You'll also want to check out his listings for information on which conference regional matchups and CSN, FSN, and Root Sports contests (all games listed in these posts marked with an *) are available on which affiliates.

All times are Eastern.

Patriot League Championship

No. 2 American U. Eagles (19-12, 15-5) vs. No. 1 Boston U. Terriers (24-9, 17-3), 7:30 p.m. (CBS SN)
KenPom predicted score: Terriers, 65-61

The rubber match between the top two in the Patriot League will determine the final auto bid handed out until Saturday, when a whopping 14 conference winners will qualify. The Eagles won by 30 in the Nation's Capital on January 22nd, a night when AU was as hot from the field (67.9% FG) as BU was ice cold (35.3%). A little less than a month later, the Terriers got a sliding Eagle team at Case Gym and picked up a 71-62 win. A repeat of that result would get BU back to the Dance for the second time in four seasons. American, meanwhile, last appeared in 2009.

American First Round

Both games on ESPNU

No. 10 USF Bulls vs. No. 7 Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 7 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Scarlet Knights, 71-70
No. 8 Temple Owls vs. No. 9 UCF Knights, approx. 9:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Knights, 78-77

The winner of game one will get the chance to upset Louisville on Thursday, while the nightcap's victor gets its shot at Cincinnati. Since none of the four have at-large hopes, they'll need four wins in Memphis to steal a bid from some unlucky bubble team.

ACC First Round

All games on ESPN2 and ACC Network*

No. 13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15-16, 6-12) vs. No. 12 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (16-15, 6-12), 1 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Fighting Irish, 72-70
No. 15 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-21, 2-16) vs. No. 10 Miami Hurricanes (16-15, 7-11), approx. 3:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Hurricanes: 59-52
No. 14 Boston College Eagles (8-23, 4-14) vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (15-16, 6-12), approx. 7 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Yellow Jackets, 69-68

Pittsburgh, Clemson, and N.C. State -- bubble teams all -- await today's winners in Thursday's second round. Yes, the new ACC Tournament format looks a lot like the behemoth Big East's.

Atlantic 10 First Round

No. 13 Fordham Rams (9-20, 2-14) vs. No. 12 George Mason Patriots (11-19. 4-12), 7 p.m. (A10 Network, streaming directly at SB Nation's Mid-Major Madness)
KenPom predicted score: Patriots, 79-74

The Patriots lost at Fordham by six while they were in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, but since then they've gone 4-4. The victor gets the chance to burst Dayton's bubble on Thursday afternoon in Brooklyn.

Big 12 First Round

Both games Big 12 Network*/ESPN3

No. 9 Texas Tech Red Raiders (14-17, 6-12) vs. No. 8 Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-11, 8-10), 7 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Cowboys, 71-65
No. 10 TCU Horned Frogs (9-21, 0-18) vs. No. 7 Baylor Bears (21-10, 9-9), approx. 9:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Bears, 72-58

Both the Cowboys and Bears will want to avoid a costly defeat this evening. If OSU wins, they'll face Kansas on Thursday, while Oklahoma awaits Baylor.

Big East First Round

Both games on FS1

No. 9 Butler Bulldogs (14-16, 4-14) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall Pirates (15-16, 6-12), 7 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Pirates, 66-65
No. 10 DePaul Blue Demons (11-20, 3-15) vs. No. 7 Georgetown Hoyas (17-13, 8-10), approx. 9:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Hoyas, 76-66

The game to watch here is the nightcap, where the Hoyas will look to avoid a chance-killing loss against woeful DePaul.

Conference USA Second Round

All games on C-USA Digital Network

No. 10 North Texas Mean Green (16-15, 7-10) vs. No. 7 Tulane Green Wave (16-15, 8-8), 2 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Mean Green, 69-65
No. 14 Marshall Thundering Herd (11-21, 5-12) vs. No. 6 Old Dominion Monarchs (15-16, 9-7), approx. 4:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Monarchs, 65-63
No. 12 East Carolina Pirates (17-15, 6-11) vs. No. 5 UTEP Miners (22-9, 12-4), 8 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Miners, 73-61
No. 9 Charlotte 49ers (16-13, 7-9) vs. No. 8 UAB Blazers (18-12, 7-9), approx. 10:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Blazers, 73-71

The Conference USA Tournament: Now 12 teams fighting for one bid, instead of 15. Out of this group, keep an eye out for UTEP, which is attempting to set up a titanic 4/5 matchup against Southern Mississippi for tomorrow night.

MAC Second Round

Both games on TWCS*/ESPN3

No. 8 Miami (Ohio) RedHawks (13-17, 8-10) vs. No. 5 Ohio Bobcats (22-10, 11-7), 6:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Bobcats, 69-64
No. 7 Northern Illinois Huskies (15-16, 8-10) vs. No. 6 Eastern Michigan Eagles (19-13, 10-8), approx. 9 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Eagles, 57-53

Monday's four preliminary winners square off in Cleveland, where tonight's winners will move on to face fourth-seeded Akron and No. 3 Buffalo in Thursday's quarterfinal doubleheader.

MEAC Quarterfinals

All games streaming at MEACSports.com

No. 8 Howard Bisons (8-24, 6-11) vs. No. 1 N.C. Central Eagles (25-5, 16-1), 6 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Eagles, 70-55
No. 7 Coppin State Eagles (11-19, 8-9) vs. No. 2 Hampton Pirates (18-11, 13-3), approx. 8:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Pirates, 75-69

It's the first of two days of quarterfinals in Norfolk, where the top two seeds will look to keep rolling. Note that while N.C. Central won easily at Howard during the regular season, Hampton needed OT to defeat Coppin State on the road and actually lost to the Eagles at home.

Mountain West First Round

All games on MWN, streaming directly at SB Nation's Mountain West Connection

No. 9 Colorado State Rams (16-15, 7-11) vs. No. 8 Utah State Aggies (17-13, 7-11), 5 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Aggies 72-71
No. 10 Air Force Falcons (12-17, 6-12) vs. No. 7 Fresno State Bulldogs (16-15, 9-9), approx. 7:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Bulldogs, 73-66
No. 11 San Jose State Spartans (7-23, 1-17) vs. No. 6 Boise State Broncos (19-12, 9-9), approx. 10 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Broncos, 74-61

Today's winners will meet San Diego State, New Mexico, and Nevada, respectively on Thursday.

Pac-12 First Round

All games on Pac-12 Network

No. 9 Washington Huskies (17-14, 9-9) vs. No. 8 Utah Utes (20-10, 9-9), 3 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Utes, 75-69
No. 12 USC Trojans (11-20, 2-16) vs. No. 5 Colorado Buffaloes (21-10, 10-8), approx. 5:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Buffaloes, 75-68
No. 10 Oregon State Beavers (16-14, 8-10) vs. No. 7 Oregon Ducks (22-8, 10-8), 9 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Ducks, 82-74
No. 11 Washington State Cougars (10-20, 3-15) vs. No. 6 Stanford Cardinal (19-11, 10-8), approx. 11:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Cardinal, 68-59

Wednesday's most interesting lineup is courtesy of the Pac-12. While Colorado and Stanford will look to avoid truly atrocious late losses to the bottom two teams in the conference, Utah and Oregon will be face real challenges in their quests to make the quarterfinals. The Utes split their regular season meetings with the Huskies, with each winning at home, with the same going for the Ducks and their in-state rivals.

SEC First Round

Both games on SEC TV/ESPN3

No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks (12-19, 5-13) vs. No. 12 Auburn Tigers (14-15, 6-12), 7 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Gamecocks, 76-75
No. 14 Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-18, 3-15) vs. No. 11 Vanderbilt Commodores (15-15, 7-11), approx. 9:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Commodores, 66-59

If these games were in Nashville, I suppose some Vandy fans may make the trip. However, I strongly suspect the Georgia Dome will feature a record number of empty seats this evening for #SECBasketballFever.

Southland First Round

Both games on Southland Digital Network

No. 8 SE Louisiana Lions (12-17, 7-11) vs. No. 5 Nicholls State Colonels (13-14, 10-6), 6 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Colonels, 67-66
No. 7 McNeese State Cowboys (11-19, 9-9) vs. No. 6 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (16-15, 10-8), approx. 8:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Golden Eagles, 77-68

Tonight's winners in Katy, Texas will advance to quarterfinals against Northwestern State and Sam Houston State. SELA and Nicholls split a pair of meetings, while ORU lost its lone meeting against McNeese.

SWAC Quarterfinals

No. 10 Grambling State Tigers* (5-23, 4-15) vs. No. 2 Texas Southern Tigers (16-14, 12-6), 1:30 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Texas Southern, 88-71
No. 8 Prairie View Panthers (9-22, 7-12) vs. No. 1 Southern Jaguars* (19-12, 15-3), 9 p.m.
KenPom predicted score: Jaguars, 74-63
* - ineligible for postseason

On the first day of quarterfinal action in Houston, the top two seeds enter competition. Of course, only No. 2 seed Texas Southern is eligible to make the NCAAs, so the Tigers get the advantage of the early afternoon tip against a Grambling team it swept, but struggled with mightily.

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