Barclays Center Classic
Already ranked 24th, the Cincinnati Bearcats look like they could be in position to do big things this season. Mick Cronin's squad took down the George Washington Colonials, 61-56, to move to 7-0 and claim the Barclays Center Classic championship in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. The Nebraska Cornhuskers, already appearing more impressive than last season's disappointing squad, took out the Tennessee Volunteers, 82-71, to finish third.
Corpus Christi Coastal Classic
After two OTs, the UTEP Miners topped the Colorado State Rams, 99-90, to claim the title. It was the Miners first win over CSU since 2013. The consolation game was also razor close, as the Southern Illinois Salukis topped the Portland Pilots by the minimum margin, 80-79. The Oakland Golden Grizzlies routed the Abilene Christian Wildcats, 85-57, to claim the visitors' bracket title.
Emerald Coast Classic
The Illinois Fighting Illini hung tough with the fourth-ranked Iowa State Cyclones for about 30 minutes in Niceville, but the Cyclones' offense was too much. Georges Niang scored 23, Monte Morris netted 20, and Abdel Nader put up 18 in ISU's 84-73 championship game victory. The Virginia Tech Hokies claimed third with an 82-77 OT win over the UAB Blazers. The visitors' bracket title went to the Chattanooga Mocs, who dropped the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 62-52.
Great Alaska Shootout
In the championship game, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders pulled away from the Toledo Rockets to win the title in Anchorage, 78-70. Third place went to the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 59-48 winners over the Loyola of Chicago Ramblers. The San Jose State Spartans bettered their win total of all of last season, grabbing their third victory of the young campaign in the fifth-place game, a 91-87 nail-biter over the host Alaska Anchorage Seawolves. Seventh-place went to the San Diego Toreros, 62-59 victors over the Drexel Dragons.
In a couple of other noteworthy results, the Little Rock Trojans, who won at San Diego State in the on-campus rounds of the Las Vegas Invitational, topped the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, 64-60. Meanwhile, the Valparaiso Crusaders followed up their victory over Oregon State in Corvallis with a 69-66 loss at Ball State.
Game information courtesy Matt College Sports on TV Website, which has even more games listed.
All times listed are Eastern, adjust accordingly.
Advocare Invitational Finals
7th/8th Place: No. 20 Wichita State Shockers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes, 10 a.m. (ESPN3)
3rd/4th Place: USC Trojans vs. Monmouth Hawks, approx. 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Championship: No. 23 Xavier Musketeers vs. Dayton Flyers, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
5th/6th Place: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, approx. 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
It's not surprising that a tournament featuring three ranked teams and a handful of others with a case has been among the most entertaining of this season's crop, and four games remain. Naturally, the main attraction is the championship, which marks the first Dayton-Xavier game since February 16, 2013 (a 70-59 Flyer win), and the HP Field House will be rocking when the Southwestern Ohio rivals meet late tomorrow afternoon.
But each of the other placement games has an interesting storyline. Either Wichita State or Iowa will leave Florida with three losses in four days. Monmouth has a second chance at knocking off a USC team it fell to by 11 in one of this tournament's non-bracketed games—a result that cost the Hawks a rare non-conference Pac-12 Los Angeles sweep. In the finale, Alabama can pick up a second win in the somewhat unlikely event the Tide defeats Notre Dame, which would be a tremendous boost to a young team forecast to finish near the bottom of the SEC.
Directv Wooden Legacy Finals
5th/6th Place: UC Irvine Anteaters vs. Evansville Purple Aces, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
3rd/4th Place: Boise State Broncos vs. No. 11 Arizona Wildcats, approx. 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
7th/8th Place: Boston College Eagles vs. Santa Clara Broncos, approx. 7:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Championship: No. 3 Michigan State Spartans vs. Providence Friars, approx. 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Thanks to Providence's win over Arizona late on Friday night (Pacific time), we have a surprising final and a rematch for third-place. The championship game features two of the most electrifying and versatile players in America, as MSU's Denzel Valentine and Providence's Kris Dunn take center stage. While the Spartans have more of a supporting cast than the Friars, ask Arizona how well that worked for them in the semifinals.
The Wildcats face a Boise State team they defeated by 12 in Tucson on November 19th. Much like in their semifinal against Sparty, the Broncos hung tough for a good portion of the game (it was 44-all at the half at McKale) but ran out of gas in the end. It will be interesting to see if they can modify their approach a bit with a second crack at the Cats.
Other Intriguing Entrees
The Aggies should challenge Boise State and San Diego State in the Mountain West, but they'll be lucky to keep this one close.
The Badgers can get their campaign back on track with an upset victory in Norman. The Sooners are 3-0, but haven't been tested since they escaped from Memphis with an 84-78 win during the Tip-Off Marathon.
If it's Sunday, the Mustangs must be facing an ivy foe. A week ago, SMU defeated Yale by two. This one shouldn't be quite so close, but you never know.
This is the third of five games the Gauchos will play against Pac-12 opposition during the non-conference portion of their schedule. They've yet to win one. USC visits the Thunderdome on Thursday night, however.
Both of these squads will participate in the Wooden Legacy next season. Tonight, the Bruins will aim to get back over .500 by topping a Matador squad that USC drubbed by 35 on Monday.