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Tournament Week On The Menu: Black Friday 2015

Why fight the crowds today? Sit back. Relax. Gorge yourself on leftovers and college hoops.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game information courtesy Matt College Sports on TV Website, which has even more games listed.

All times listed are Eastern, adjust accordingly.

Advocare Invitational Semifinals


No. 23 Xavier Musketeers vs. USC Trojans, approx. 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Dayton Flyers vs. Monmouth Hawks, approx. 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 20 Wichita State Shockers, 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. No. 17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

Three of Thursday's four quarterfinals were thrillers, and I was lucky enough to get to see Monmouth stun Notre Dame and Dayton top Iowa in one of the most amazing basketball atmospheres I've experienced. It should be more of the same on Friday. The first semifinal will be another excellent test for a USC team that might be going places in Andy Enfield's third season, as Xavier is looking like Villanova's main challenger in the Big East. Dayton will have the crowd on its side in the nightcap, but Monmouth won't be intimidated—not after fighting off Notre Dame's late rally on Thursday and winning at UCLA to start the season.

In the consolation bracket, Wichita State will look to get back on track with a win over the team that desperately wanted to hire Gregg Marshall away this offseason, Later, Iowa will look to repeat its 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge win over Notre Dame. It's hard to believe either the Irish or Hawkeyes will head into Sunday's play without a win in Florida.

Battle 4 Atlantis Finals

3rd/4th Place: No. 10 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. No. 18 UConn Huskies, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Championship: No. 25 Texas A&M Aggies vs. Syracuse Orange, approx. 3 p.m. (ESPN)
5th/6th Place: Texas Longhorns vs. Michigan Wolverines, 7 p.m. (AXSTV)
7th/8th Place: Washington Huskies vs. Charlotte 49ers, approx. 9:30 p.m. (AXSTV)

Gonzaga and UConn, arguably the favorites to make the championship game in the Bahamas, will have to settle for third at best, and one will leave with only a single win in three tries. Syracuse and Texas A&M, on the other hand, exceeded expectations, and it will be interesting to see how the Aggies, who look to be in the top tier of the SEC with Kentucky and Vanderbilt, cope with the unique challenge of playing Syracuse and its 2-3 zone. Of course, A&M can counter with a good amount of size and strength.

In the evening session, the Texas-Michigan matchup is intriguing, as only one of these programs on the rebound can leave Atlantis with a pair of wins. The Longhorns looked improved in their second shot at Washington last night, while a win over a poor Charlotte squad didn't tell us much new about the Wolverines.

NIT Season Tip-Off Finals

Consolation: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Stanford Cardinal, 12:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Championship: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. No. 8 Villanova Wildcats, approx. 3 p.m. (ESPN2)

Even though Villanova struggled on offense in their win over Stanford on Thursday, you might want to send well wishes to Georgia Tech anyway. The Wildcats are currently ranked first in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency standings, so things could get ugly for the Yellow Jackets.

Wooden Legacy Semifinals


Boise State Broncos vs. No. 3 Michigan State Spartans, approx. 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Providence Friars vs. No. 11 Arizona Wildcats, approx. 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


UC Irvine Anteaters vs. Boston College Eagles, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Evansville Aces vs. Santa Clara Broncos, 9 p.m. (ESPN3)

The Wooden Legacy has been the rare tournament that's been chalk so far, though Arizona needed OT to defeat a Santa Clara squad forecast to finish near the bottom of the WCC. Boise State will likely be overmatched against Michigan State in the first semifinal, though the Broncos would love to play MSU close, as they did when they met in East Lansing in 2012. Even though, Leon Rice's squad lost that game by four, their performance and the RPI bump they got from playing Tom Izzo's team on the road helped push them into the First Four. Izzo will be going for career win No. 501 tonight.

Providence, meanwhile, has to think it has a chance after how poorly Arizona played against a weak Santa Clara squad last night. Kris Dunn could do for the Friars what Jared Brownridge did for the Broncos late last night. He scored an amazing 44 of the Broncos' 73 points.

Corpus Christi Coastal Classic

UTEP Miners vs. Southern Illinois Salukis, 3:30 p.m. (ASN)
Colorado State Rams vs. Portland Pilots, approx. 8:30 p.m. (no TV)

After airing on CBSSN for its first few editions, the American Sports Network will air one semifinal and the championship game from Corpus Christi, thanks to other broadcasting commitments. Southern Illinois is off to a surprising 5-0 start, highlighted by home wins over Oakland and Kent State along with a victory at Sam Houston State. The Miners, meanwhile, enter at 4-0 with three Division I wins, but the Salukis will be their best test of the young season so far.

In the non-televised game, Colorado State, 4-0 with a win at Northern Iowa, will be favored over a 3-2 Portland squad that's lost both of its games away from the Chiles Center.

Barclays Center Classic Semifinals

No. 24 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers, 6:30 p.m. (ASN/Altitude 2/MASN/SNY/ESPN3)
George Washington Colonials vs. Tennessee Volunteers, approx. 9 p.m. (ASN/ESPN3)

ASN truncates its Corpus Christi coverage to pick up this event, which NBCSN carried for the last two seasons. Yes, it's taking place in the Barclays Center just a couple of hours after the NIT Season Tip-Off wraps up. (I assume they'll change out the massive NIT decal that's currently on the court.) Cincinnati and GW are heavily favored to make the final. Both are undefeated with the Bearcats looking impressive early on, even offensively, against overmatched opposition, while the Colonials already own an impressive win over the Virginia. Nebraska and Tennessee have each lost once to teams who will happen to play on this floor during the afternoon doubleheader—the Cornhuskers took an early lead at Villanova before being blown out, while the Vols fell at Georgia Tech by two.

Emerald Coast Classic Semifinals

No. 4 Iowa State Cyclones vs. Virginia Tech Hokies, 7 p.m. (CBSSN) 
Illinois Fighting Illini vs. UAB Blazers, approx. 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

With the other three host schools struggling this season, the fourth-ranked Cyclones are the heavy favorites to leave Niceville with two wins and a trophy. Virginia Tech has already lost to Alabama State as part of this tournament, while Illinois has dropped home games to North Florida and Chattanooga (the latter is also participating in the Florida Panhandle) and nearly lost to Chicago State in this event on Monday night.

Continental Las Vegas Invitational Finals

Consolation: Richmond Spiders vs. No. 14 California Golden Bears, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Championship: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. San Diego State Aztecs, approx. 10:30 p.m. (FS1)

At one point in last night's semifinals, the 14th-ranked Golden Bears led the Aztecs, who lost a home game to Little Rock as part of this event on Saturday, by 15. Thanks to a 32-7 run, SDSU ran out 72-58 winners to close out Thanksgiving night in Las Vegas. Winston Shepard and Skylar Spencer each scored 15 for the Mountain West power, who moves on to what should be a defense-heavy final against West Virginia. The Mountaineers held off Richmond, 67-59, a game that defined by the Spiders' troubles on offense—they were 2 of 15 from beyond the arc and coughed the ball up 14 times.

Great Alaska Shootout Semfiinals


Toledo Rockets vs. Loyola of Chicago Ramblers, 12 a.m. 11/28 (CBSSN, delayed)
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 2 a.m. 11/28 (CBSSN, delayed)

On Saturday in a gym not too far from my apartment, the Ramblers rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to top the Rockets by a 69-62 score in a non-bracketed game for this tournament. They'll meet again for a place in Saturday night's final. Game two features a Middle Tennessee squad that needed all 40 minutes to dispatch the host, Division II's Alaska Anchorage, by a 75-72 count, and UNC Asheville, which had no trouble in sending Drexel to the consolation bracket by 19.

Other Intriguing Entrees

Northeastern Huskies at No. 15 Miami Hurricanes, 4 p.m. (ESPN3)

On Sunday, the Huskies lost to the Miami RedHawks in Oxford, Ohio to close a round-robin event. This afternoon, Bill Coen's team could fall to the other Miami, the one coached by former CAA rival Jim Larranaga.

No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats vs. USF Bulls at Miami (HoopHall Classic), 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Former Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua faces his mentor in Miami. Given that the Bulls have already lost to GW, NJIT, Troy, and Boston University, it could be a long night for him.

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at Florida Gators, 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

This is the pair's first meeting since the Gators knocked Dunk City out of the 2013 NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16. On Wednesday, Florida took out Vermont with a big second half. FGCU last played on Monday, when they wrapped up their home round-robin exempt tournament with a loss to Bowling Green.

IUPUI Jaguars at Georgia State Panthers, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

Ron Hunter faces his former employer for the second straight season. In 2014, the Panthers topped the Jaguars by three in Indy.

Memphis Tigers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes at Miami (HoopHall Invitational), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The two marquee teams in this five-team round-robin exempt event are a combined 2-3 in their on-campus games, with both wins coming against Grambling State. Memphis hosts Louisiana Tech, currently 3-0, thanks to a win over UT Arlington, on Tuesday night

Long Beach State 49ers at Oklahoma State Cowboys (Gildan Charleston Classic), 8:30 p.m. (select FSN outlets)

The Cowboys held off a late 49er push to claim third in the Charleston Classic on Sunday, 82-77. The pair meets again in a non-bracketed game.

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