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Conference Tournament Go-Round: March 5

Thursday saw our first final set, as Saturday's Big South championship could give us our first entrant. (Of course, Cornell can beat the winner to the punch by clinching the Ivy crown with a win at Brown this evening.)

Friday is going to be a busy day and night, highlighted by the Atlantic Sun and OVC semis and the CAA opening round. First, let's take a look back at Thursday.

Atlantic Sun

No. 5 East Tennessee State knocked off No. 4 Campbell, 72-64, thanks to Micah Williams' 32-point afternoon.. The Bucs will next face eighth-seeded Kennesaw State in Friday's semifinals (CSS/Full Court, 6:30 ET), as they attempt to go dancing for the second straight season. The Bucs beat the Owls twice this season, and neither game was particularly close.

Third-seeded Belmont fell to the hosts, No. 6 Mercer, 87-81. The Bears will next face two seed Jacksonville (CSS/Full Court, 9 ET) for a place in Saturday's final.

Big South

Third-seeded Winthrop had a pretty easy time with No. 2 Radford to advance to Saturday's Championship. The Eagles prevailed, 61-46, preventing the Highlanders from advancing to the NCAAs for the second straight season. Winthrop will next face regular season champion and tournament host Coastal Carolina in Saturday's final. The Chanticleers routed UNC Asheville, 92-73, to move on. The Eagles and Chanticleers split their two meetings, with Coastal winning in Conway.

Missouri Valley

Top seed Northern Iowa will face eighth-seeded Drake in their MVC quarterfinal (FS Midwest/CSN Chicago, 1 ET). The Bulldogs defeated No. 9 Southern Illinois, 63-61, in the opening round of Arch Madness. No. 7 Missouri State got a double-double from Kyle Weems to move past 10th-seeded Evansville, 52-46, for the right to play Wichita State Friday (FS Midwest/CSN Chicago+, 7 ET).

In Friday's other quarterfinal action, No. 4 Creighton takes on No. 5 Bradley (FS Midwest/CSN Chicago, 3:30 ET) and No.3 Illinois State faces No. 6 Indiana State (FS Midwest/CSN Chicago+, 9:30 ET).


All four home teams moved on in the NEC quarters. Top seeded Quinnipiac held off Monmouth, 84-75, and will next host the four seed, Long Island, in Sunday's semifinals. The Blackbirds survived a visit from Fairleigh Dickinson, 63-61. Quinnipiac won the only meeting between the two schools at home.

In the other half of the bracket, Mt. St. Mary's, the three seed, won their 11th straight, eliminating St. Francis (PA), 65-50. The Mountaineers now face a rubber match at second seeded Robert Morris Sunday. The Colonials knocked off Central Connecticut State, 71-63. The two schools split their two meetings this season, with each winning at home by a slender margin. 

After the jump, I'll look ahead to some of Friday's other action.


The CAA Tournament opens Friday afternoon in Richmond. I have a preview up at SB Nation, as I'll be in attendance from Saturday through the final on Monday.


The Horizon League Tournament shifts to Indianapolis for the quarterfinal round on Friday evening. Remember, the top two teams automatically advanced to Saturday's semifinals. In the Wright State half of the bracket, seventh-seeded Detroit will look to defeat No. 3 Green Bay for the first time and fourth-seed Cleveland State hopes that they can repeat their one-point home triumph over fifth-seeded Milwaukee, rather than the 10-point loss they suffered in the Brew City.

Metro Atlantic

There are two opening round games from the MAAC on Friday's schedule. No. 8 seed Loyola (MD) looks to beat ninth-seeded Manhattan for the third time this season, while seventh-seeded Canisius will look to do the same against bottom team Marist.

Ohio Valley

The OVC semis take place in Nashville with three of the four top seeds in action. Top seeded Murray State had their way with No. 4 Eastern Illinois during the regular season and will look to beat them for a third time (ESPNU, 7 ET) to make Saturday's final. No. 2 Morehead State, who just beat the Racers by five, will look to setup a rematch by knocking off the only lower seeded team to advance, sixth-seeded Tennessee Tech (ESPNU, 9:30 ET). Morehead is looking for their third win of the season over Tech.

West Coast

The WCC Tournament begins with its opening round (not quarterfinals, as they give the top two seeds a double-bye) tonight in Las Vegas. Zach Bell, editor of SB Nation's Gonzaga blog, Slipper Still Fits, has a full preview up at SB Nation.