Friday night, Cornell became the first team to clinch an NCAA bid for this season, as they easily defeated Brown, 95-76, in Providence to lay claim to the Ivy League title. Three teams will join the Big Red on Saturday, as a trio of championship games are on the schedule.
All times are p.m. Eastern.
It will be an unexpected final tomorrow in the Atlantic Sun as homestanding Mercer, the six seed, will face fifth-seeded ETSU, the defending champion, for an auto bid, and likely spot in the Opening Round in Dayton on March 16.
Top seeded Coastal Carolina and third-seeded Winthrop both won Thursday to advance to today's final (4, ESPN2). The two teams split their two meetings this season, each winning on their own homecourt. Since this one is in Conway, advantage Chanticleers.
The top two seeds prevailed in Friday's semifinals, in very different ways. Murray State struggled against Eastern Illinois, while Morehead State blew out sixth-seeded Tennessee Tech. The Eagles will look for their second win over the Racers in a week and a half Saturday night (8, ESPN2) with a second straight trip to the NCAAs on the line.
After the jump, I'll take a look at the other conference tournaments in action Saturday.
Since Binghamton withdrew, no 8/9 game was needed in this event. That means the tournament begins Saturday with four quarterfinals in Hartford.
(1) Stony Brook vs. (8) Albany, 12
(4) Boston University at (5) Hartford, 2:15
(2) Vermont vs. (7) Maryland Baltimore County, 6
(3) Maine vs. (6) New Hampshire, 8:15
Only the top six teams advance to the Big Sky's postseason event. It begins Saturday with two first round games hosted by the higher seeds.
(6) Portland State at (3) Montana State, 9:05
(5) Northern Arizona at (4) Montana, 9:05
Action began Friday in Richmond with four opening round games. Three of the four favorites advanced, with sixth-seeded Drexel falling at the hands of James Madison.
Those results set up these four quarterfinals for Saturday. (All games on Comcast Network/CSN New England/Full Court, quarterfinals 2 through 4 also on CSS.)
(1) Old Dominion vs. (8) Towson, 12
(4) George Mason vs. (5) VCU, 2:30
(2) Northeastern vs. (7) Hofstra, 6
(3) William & Mary vs. (11) James Madison, 8:30
Four teams played second round games Friday night for the right to meet the top two seeds, Butler and Wright State, in Saturday's semifinals. The regular season champions, the Bulldogs, serve as the host for these two rounds.
Saturday's Semifinals (Both games on ESPNU.)
(2) Wright State vs. (7) Detroit, 5:15
(1) Butler vs.(4) Milwaukee, 8
The bottom four teams in the MAAC met Friday in Albany for the right to take on the top two seeds in Saturday's quarterfinals.
Saturday's Quarterfinals (All games on MSG/FCS Atlantic/Full Court. Games 3 and 4 on MASN.)
(1) Siena vs. (9) Manhattan, 4:30
(4) St. Peter's vs. (5) Rider, 2:30
(3) Iona vs. (6) Niagara, 10
(2) Fairfield vs. (10) Marist, 7:30
In St. Louis, Northern Iowa solidified their chance for a bid with a win in Friday's quarterfinals. However, they face a tough task in the semifinals, where they face Bradley, who defeated them in Peoria on February 13. The Braves were the only lower seed to advance.
Saturday's Semifinals (Both games on FS Midwest and CSN Chicago
(1) Northern Iowa vs. (5) Bradley, 2:35
(2) Wichita State vs. (3) Illinois State 5:05
Friday's opening round and Saturday's quarterfinals will take place at the smaller building that is the original Charlotte Coliseum (not the original home of the old Hornets that didn't have enough luxury boxes) before moving to the new arena for the semis and final. Davidson won't make a run through this tournament, as they fell to Elon in the first game of the day on Friday.
Saturday's final game features a rematch of last season's championship game, won by the Chattanooga Mocs.
(N2) Western Carolina vs. (N6) Elon, 12
(S1) Wofford vs. (N4) UNC Greensboro, 2:30
(N1) Appalachian State vs. (S4) The Citadel, 7
(S2) College of Charleston vs. (N3) Chattanooga, 9:30
Much like the Atlantic Sun, the Summit runs a staggered quarterfinal round. The top two seeds play their opening games Saturday in Sioux Falls, while the three and four play Sunday.
Both games will air Full Court
(1) Oakland vs. (8) Missouri-Kansas City, 7
(2) IUPUI vs. (7) Western Illinois. 9:30
Saturday will be a busy night in Hot Springs as five opening round games on the schedule. They'll even have simultaneous games in the evening.
(8) Florida Atlantic vs. (9) South Alabama, 3:15
(5) Arkansas State vs. (12) Arkansas Little Rock, 7:30
(4) Western Kentucky vs. (13) New Orleans, 7:45
(6) Denver vs. (11) Florida International, 9:45
(7) Louisiana-Lafayette vs. (10) Louisiana-Monroe, 10
The WCC is yet another conference that gives the top two seeds a double bye. So, action began Friday in Las Vegas with the conference's second division playing an opening round. Both favorites won thrillers.
On Saturday. the three and four seeds get involved for the quarterfinals. Both games will air on CSN Bay Area/CSN Northwest/Cox 4 in San Diego/Full Court.
(4) San Francisco vs. (5) Loyola Marymount, 9
(3) Portland vs. (6) San Diego, 11:30