Monday featured just one tournament championship, as South Carolina defeated Tulsa, who finally dug themselves into a hole they couldn't dig themselves out of, to claim the Paradise Jam title in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands by an 83-75 score. Third place went to Indiana State, fought off a furious Hofstra rally, 67-66. Florida State claimed fourth by toppling Ohio University, 90-81. Norfolk State, meanwhile, finished 0-3, as they couldn't complete their comeback against DePaul, 82-78 winners in the seventh-place game.
Monday also featured a pair of notable results in on-campus exempt games. The UT Arlington Mavericks won their second straight HoopHall Invitational road game, following up their Friday win at Ohio State with a 68-64 victory over Memphis, the team the Buckeyes will play in one of that event's so-called "showcase" games on Friday in Miami. The Mavericks look much more worthy of attention than either the Buckeyes or Tigers a week and a half into the season. Meanwhile, in an Emerald Coast Classic game at its temporary Springfield home, Illinois had to rally to defeat Chicago State, the team picked to finish bottom of the WAC—the 30th conference in last season's RPI and KenPom tables—82-79. The Cougars actually led by eight at halftime.
Tuesday's slate features a pair of championship games and semifinals in Cancun, Estero, Fla., and Maui.
Game information courtesy Matt College Sports on TV Website, which has even more games listed.
All times listed are Eastern, adjust accordingly.
Gulf Coast Showcase Semifinals
All games are streaming on the BD Global Sports YouTube channel.
On Monday, Murray State, Drake, and Weber State all won close quarterfinals, while Pepperdine cruised against Duquesne. Kale Abrahamson scored 41 of Drake's 81 points in their win over WKU, who famously defeated the Bulldogs in a fantastic 2008 NCAA Tourney First Round game. Unfortunately, Drake won't get to face the man who coached them in that contest, as Keno Davis's Central Michigan Chippewas fell to Weber State, 63-60, in the final game of the night in Estero.
Cancun Challenge Semifinals
Both games are streaming on the Triple Crown Sports YouTube channel.
The Jackrabbits, who won both their road games in this event—at Illinois State and TCU—have to be considered the heavy favorites in this bracket. The other three teams in the Mayan Division have yet to defeat Division I opposition.
Likewise, it would be a massive upset if a team other than Maryland, a shaky as they've looked early on (including in a win over Rider in this event) claimed the Riviera Division title, particularly with E.C. Matthews out of the URI lineup.
Maui Jim Maui Invitational Semifinals
Indiana took a win over Wake Forest for granted, falling 82-78, meaning there won't be a Top 20 semifinal in Lahaina after all. The Demon Deacons will face Vanderbilt, who obliterated St. John's in Monday's first quarterfinal, in tonight's first game. Expect the Red Storm to face the Hoosiers' wrath in the first game of the day.
Kansas and UCLA took different paths to tonight's second semifinal. The Jayhawks defeated host Chaminade by a 123-72 score, slamming the door early on the Silverswords' upset hopes. Later, the Bruins held off the Runnin' Rebels, 77-75, thanks to 20-point efforts from Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh and 18 from Aaron Holiday, who was clutch from the foul line late for UCLA.
A Vanderbilt-Kansas final seems likely, but after Wake's effort in the quarterfinals and UCLA's unpredictability, it isn't guaranteed.
FanDuel Legends Classic Finals
We will get the anticipated pair of 2014-15 rematches tonight in Brooklyn, just not in the order predicted. Marquette stunned tournament favorite LSU, 81-80, despite Ben Simmons' 21 points, 20 rebounds, and seven assists, in the Monday's opener in Brooklyn. The Golden Eagles move on to the final to take on an Arizona State team they've faced in each of the past two years, with the home team winning each encounter.
But first, in the game most figured would determine the Legends Classic champion, LSU takes on the N.C. State team that knocked it out of last year's NCAAs at the first hurdle. The Wolfpack toppled the Bayou Bengals by a 66-65 score in one of the more memorable games of a 2015 March Madness run that featured plenty of quality finishes.
CBE Hall Of Fame Classic Finals
In the consolation game, Northwestern has a chance because Missouri looked like a strong candidate to finish 14th in the SEC based on their performance against K-State last night, which fittingly featured 14 Tiger first-half points. The Big Ten Wildcats hung tough with UNC, still without the injured Marcus Paige, for a little more than a half on Monday night, before the Tar Heels pulled away. UNC's Justin Jackson and NU's Tre Demps each led their respective teams with 21 points.
Kansas State will have its work cut out for it tonight, even if Paige misses another game for the preseason ACC favorites.
Other Intriguing Entrees
The Highlanders alternated losses and wins since stunning Georgetown, but the Nittany Lions are coming off a 26-point shellacking at the hands of Duquesne, so Radford has a chance at grabbing another power conference win.
The Bulldogs have done something the Buckeyes have not—defeated UT Arlington (80-68 in Ruston one week ago).
UNF played Louisville tough for about 25 minutes on Saturday before the Cardinals blew their doors off. The Billikens play a style that's more likely to allow the Ospreys to hang around and maybe grab their second win over a name opponent in 2015-16.
The Zips can claim their second win in this event in three tries with a win over the Phoenix, who are 0-3 in Division I games under new coach Linc Darner.
Barry Hinson's Salukis are off to a quiet 4-0 start, having just won at Sam Houston State on Saturday, but the Golden Grizzlies, picked to finish behind Valpo in the Horizon League, will be SIU's stiffest test yet.
On Sunday, the Crusaders didn't have enough to win at Oregon, but they get another crack at a Pac-12 NCAA contender this evening. Both squads have already handily defeated Iona in home games as part of this event.
The defending NEC Tournament champions have yet to win a game, as they lost by 12 at Air Force to start their participation in this round-robin on Sunday. Tonight, the Colonials will face a difficult contest against a fellow 2015 NCAA qualifier, one who's just lost once—to archrival New Mexico—in their first four.