A champion will be crowned in New York City tonight, as the Coaches vs. Cancer event reaches its conclusion. Before the night is over, the finals in Charleston and San Juan will be set for Sunday, while the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas will have a pair of semifinals ready to go, also for the final day of the weekend.
More on today's matchups, including consolation and non-tournament games, after the jump.
Coaches vs. Cancer Final/Consolation
I'll need to make a new pick for this one, as Illinois fell to Texas in overtime to close Thursday's action. That means tonight's doubleheader at MSG will begin with a ACC-Big Ten matchup in the third-place game where Maryland will take on the Fighting Illini (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2), in what should be a high-octane game, as long as the refs let them play, something that was an issue in the second half of Thursday's nightcap. In the championship game, Pitt will meet the Longhorns (approx. 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in a game where I think the Panthers' veteran leadership and stifling defense will create problems for Texas. My revised pick: Pitt
Puerto Rico Tip-Off Semifinals
Vanderbilt vs. West Virginia, 12:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU): The Commodores were finally able to get away from Nebraska in a game where the Huskers' forced them into a halfcourt battle. A matchup with the Mountaineers should be more favorable for them, but expect another close one between two clubs with talented guard corps.
North Carolina vs. Minnesota, approx. 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU): The Tar Heels rolled against an overmatched Hofstra team, but how will Harrison Barnes and company cope with a Golden Gopher team that has real interior talent in Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III. This one will be a real battle.
Charleston Classic Semifinals
Georgetown vs. Wofford, approx. 2:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU): If the Hoyas shoot as well from outside (and overall) as they did against Coastal Carolina, the Terriers will still be looking for a win for the resume. Noah Dahlman and Jamar Diggs could present the Hoyas some problems on the interior though.
NC State vs. George Mason, 6 p.m. ET (ESPNU): The Patriots looked like a team on a mission against Charlotte, but a very balanced Wolfpack team will be a stiffer challenge. NC State had five players hit double-figures in points last night.
Paradise Jam Quarterfinals (Bracket)
This tournament begins in St. Thomas this afternoon with all four quarterfinals and Saturday and Monday's consolation bracket matchups available through reasonably-priced streaming.
St. Peter's vs. Old Dominion, 1 p.m. ET (FCS pay streaming): If the Peacocks play as poorly as they did against Robert Morris on Saturday, they could be in for a long afternoon against a veteran Monarch squad.
Long Beach State vs. Clemson, approx. 3:30 p.m. ET (FCS pay streaming): The 49ers have a chance to avenge the 87-79 loss the Tigers handed them in Anaheim on November 27, 2009.
Alabama vs. Seton Hall, 6 p.m. ET (FCS pay streaming): Both of these teams are looking to make a nice jump after a disappointing 2009-10 campaign, and this contest may give each team a better idea of how well they'll be able to compete in their respective conferences over the rest of the season.
Iowa vs. Xavier, approx. 8:30 p.m. ET (FCS pay streaming): A hurting, shorthanded Musketeer squad vs. an Hawkeye team that will be mediocre at best this season.
My tournament pick: Old Dominion over Seton Hall. The Pirates should be able to get through the bottom half fairly easily, but the Monarchs should be able to shoot past them in the final.
Puerto Rico Tip-Off Consolation
Davidson vs. Nebraska, approx. 3 p.m. ET (ESPN3 only): These two combined to go 2 for 32 from beyond the arc yesterday, with both makes by the Wildcats.'
Hofstra vs. Western Kentucky, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN3 only): The Pride got hammered on the boards by UNC, while the only reason the Hilltoppers managed to stay their game with Minnesota as long as they did was offensive rebounding. Charles Jenkins may be the best player on the court, but that stat means gives the advantage to WKU.
Charleston Classic Consolation
Coastal Carolina vs. USC Upstate, 12 p.m. ET (MASN/CSS): I strongly suspect the Spartans are going 0-3 in this event, and it won't be close.
East Carolina vs. Charlotte, approx. 8:30 p.m. ET (MASN/CSS): The Pirates looked better than they ever have as a program for about 10 minutes last night, while the 49ers are still a bit shorthanded, even with suspensions over.
Here are tonight's other nationally televised contests.
Fairfield at Penn State, 7:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network): The Stags lost by 15 at Rutgers on Monday night in a Philly Hoop Group Classic game, while the Nittany Lions topped St. Joseph's, who the Stags happen to host next Tuesday, during the Tip-Off Marathon.
North Texas at Kansas, 8 p.m. ET (Jayhawk Sports/ESPN3): The Mean Green are in search of their second straight win over a Big 12 opponent. Facing the Jayhawks in the Phog will be a far tougher test than facing Texas Tech in Denton,however.
Colgate at Duke, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3): After handling Princeton and Miami (OH), the Blue Devils should roll past the Raiders in their final tuneup before heading to Kansas City.
Southwestern Arizona at Northern Arizona, 9:30 p.m. ET (University House/FCS Pacific): If you watch this, you're an even more hopeless fan than I am.
Kentucky at Portland, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU): On the way to Maui, the Wildcats will play the Pilots in a place that many of their players will probably become familiar with in the future, the Rose Garden.
For broadcast information for local and regional telecasts, like Radford at South Carolina, North Carolina Central at Miami (FL), Missouri State at Tulsa, Boise State at San Diego, and Central Arkansas at Hawai'i, visit Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site.
Finally, here are a few other games to keep an eye on via the Internet or Twitter.
- Rhode Island vs. College of Charleston, 4:30 p.m. ET: This is a Coaches vs. Cancer "subregional" game to be played in Toledo.
- Illinois-Chicago at Toledo, approx. 7 p.m. ET
- Marist at Boston University, 7 p.m. ET: These two both played in the NIT regional at Villanova, but didn't meet.
- Duquesne at Robert Morris, 7 p.m. ET
- Niagara at Georgia Tech (Legends Classic), 7:30 p.m. ET
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Northwestern, 8 p.m. ET
- Appalachian State at Mississippi State, 8 p.m. ET
- Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech, 8 p.m. ET
- Seattle vs. Louisiana Tech, 8 p.m. ET: This is another Coaches vs. Cancer "subregional" game, slated for Irvine, CA.
- Navy at UC Irvine, 10:30 p.m. ET
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