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On The Menu: Saturday, March 5, 2016: Conference Tourney Edition

On this Saturday, the first invitation to the 2016 NCAA Tournament will be handed out in Nashville. However, Yale can clinch the Ivy title with a win at Columbia (7 p.m. ET, no TV). But there's plenty of other elimination action to track throughout the day.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Game information courtesy Matt College Sports on TV Website, which has even more games listed and more specific info on coverage for regional sports networks and American Sports Network telecasts.

All times listed are Eastern, adjust accordingly.

For full information on this year's conference tournaments, visit Conference Tournament Central.

For information on today's regular season finales, visit part one of today's TV preview.

Big South Semifinals

ESPN3 will stream both games.

Game 8: No. 4 UNC Asheville Bulldogs (20-11, 12-6) vs. No. 1 High Point Panthers (21-9, 13-5), 1 p.m.
The Panthers won the pair's only meeting 73-69 (at home).
Game 9: No. 6 Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (17-15, 10-8) vs. No. 2 Winthrop Eagles (22-8, 13-5), approx. 3:30 p.m.
The Eagles won the pair's only meeting 71-58 (on the road).

The Big South quarters were all chalk, at least until Gardner-Webb ended Coastal Carolina's tenure as a conference member with a 69-65 win in the final game of the night.

The Panthers and Bulldogs are each looking for their first NCAA appearances, but it might be difficult for the top seed if John Brown continues to be out with a foot injury.

CAA Quarterfinals

All four games will air on select Comcast SportsNet-affiliated outlets.

Game 3: No. 9 Drexel Dragons (6-24, 3-15) vs. No. 1 Hofstra Pride (22-8, 14-4) , 12 p.m.
The Pride swept the season series.
Game 4: No. 5 William & Mary Tribe (19-10, 11-7) vs. No. 4 James Madison Dukes (21-10, 11-7), approx. 2:30 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each winning at home. JMU won a week ago by a 71-65 score.
Game 5: No. 7 College of Charleston Cougars (17-13, 8-10) vs. No. 2 UNC Wilmington Seahawks (22-7, 14-4), 6 p.m.
The Seahawks swept the season series.
Game 6: No. 6 Northeastern Huskies (17-14, 9-9) vs. No. 3 Towson Tigers (21-11, 11-7), approx. 8:30 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each team winning on the road.

The CAA Tournament's final run in Baltimore before relocating to North Charleston, S.C. moves into the quarterfinal stage, which should feature a fair bit of excitement, if a topsy-turvy regular season is any indication  While Hofstra will be heavily favored to advance, they only defeated the Dragons by single digits in each meeting (by eight in Hempstead and six at the DAC). it's a similar story for UNCW and College of Charleston, as the Seahawks swept the Cougars, but the second meeting, just two weeks ago in North Carolina, went to OT.

In one of the longest-running stories in college basketball, William & Mary's 2016 attempt to make its first NCAA Tournament begins with a rematch from just a week ago. In the final game of the night, Towson will aim to continue its surprising season with a win over defending tourney champ Northeastern.

Horizon League First Round

ESPN3 will stream all four games.

Game 1: No. 9 Cleveland State Vikings (9-22, 4-14) vs. No. 4 Green Bay Phoenix (19-12, 11-7), 12 p.m.
The Phoenix swept the season series.
Game 2: No. 8 Northern Kentucky Norse (9-20, 5-13) vs. No. 5 Milwaukee Panthers (19-12, 10-8), approx. 2:30 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each winning at home.
Game 3: No. 10 UIC Flames (5-24, 3-15) vs. No. 3 Wright State Raiders (19-12, 13-5), approx. 5 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each winning at home.
Game 4: No. 7 Youngstown State Penguins (11-20, 6-12) vs. No. 6 Detroit Titans (15-14, 9-9), approx. 7:30 p.m.
The Titans swept the season series.

The Horizon has a unique format. The top two seeds, the Valparaiso Crusaders and Oakland Golden Grizzlies, have a bye until Monday's semifinals, so the four winners of today's games will meet tomorrow in the quarterfinals. Also of note is that NKU, in its final year of its transition from Division II, is participating in its second consecutive conference tournament in its second conference in as many years. The Norse didn't disrupt the Atlantic Sun event as much last season as ineligible Stetson is this time around.

Note that this season's the Horizon tournament begins a long stay in Detroit, starting at Joe Louis Arena and moving to the Red Wings' new arena upon its completion.

The team in this group to keep an eye on is Wright State, who managed to defeat Valpo twice ... and also to lose to Oakland twice. The Raiders also managed to be one of UIC's three conference victims.

MAAC Quarterfinals, Night Two

ESPN3 will stream both games.

Game 6: No. 6 Manhattan Jaspers (13-17, 9-11) vs. No. 3 Siena Saints (20-11, 13-7), 7 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each winning at home.
Game 7: No. 5 Saint Peter's Peacocks (14-15, 12-8) vs. No. 4 Fairfield Stags (18-12, 12-8), approx. 9:30 p.m.
The Peacocks swept the season series. St. Peter's won 72-68 on the road a week ago.

Last night, the top-seeded Monmouth Hawks took down the Rider Broncs 59-48 and the Iona Gaels routed the Canisius Golden Griffins 73-55. The Hawks and Gaels will await tonight's winners in tomorrow's semifinal doubleheader. The winner of the first game of the night will move into the dark horse role, as Manhattan has represented the MAAC in the NCAAs for two seasons in a row and Siena is playing on its home floor.

MVC Semifinals

Both games will air on CBSSN.

Game 7: No. 4 UNI Panthers (20-12, 11-7) vs. No. 1 Wichita State Shockers (24-7, 16-2), 3:30 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each team winning on the road.
Game 8: No. 6 Indiana State Sycamores (15-16, 8-10) vs. No. 2 Evansville Purple Aces (24-8, 12-6), approx. 6 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each team winning at home.

On Friday afternoon, the Shockers got a scare from Loyola (Chicago) with Ron Baker bailing them out in a 68-58 win. Northern Iowa dispatched Southern Illinois in similarly difficult circumstances 66-60. In the night session, Evansville finished its quarterfinal against Missouri State with a little more cushion in a 66-56 triumph. Indiana State closed the night by defeating third-seeded Illinois State 65-57. The Sycamores obviously didn't get the same fortune cookies the other three winners did.

Wichita State is likely in as an at-large since they avoided the bad loss to the Ramblers yesterday, but UNi will look to knock them off for the second straight meeting. The Panthers will have little to fear after winning in Wichita on February 13th. If Ben Jacobson's squad can do that, the Valley will be a two-bid league for the second straight season (and fourth in the last five).

NEC Semifinals

Both games will air on MSG and FCS Atlantic and stream on NEC Front Row.

Game 5: No. 6 LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds (16-14, 9-9) at No. 1 Wagner Seahawks (21-9, 13-5), 4 p.m.
The Blackbirds swept the season series.
Game 6: No. 5 Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (14-18, 10-8) at No. 2 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (16-14, 11-7), 2 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each team winning on the road.

Considering that the top two seeds are a combined 1-3 against the visitors, there's no telling what could happen in today's NEC doubleheader. However, all four teams have a chance to be sent to Dayton for the First Four.

OVC Championship

ESPN2 will air the game.

Game 7: No. 8 Austin Peay Governors (17-17, 7-9) vs. No. 2 UT Martin Skyhawks (19-13, 10-6), 6 p.m.
The Skyhawks swept the season series.

The Governors, who have already won three games to get here, can make their first NCAA appearance since 2008, though they'll be a prime candidate for assignment to the First Four. Austin Peay's opponent for the title is a UT Martin squad that benefited from the OVC's weird seeding rules. Since the Skyhawks won the West Division, via a tiebreaker over the Murray State Racers, they jumped three East Division teams with better records in the ladder format. So, APSU will need to defeat yet another rested team to dance.

UTM is aiming for its first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Note that in their most recent meeting, the Skyhawks won by just one after overtime in Clarksville, Tenn.

SoCon Quarterfinals

ESPN3 will stream all four games.

Game 3: No. 8 Samford Bulldogs (14-18, 4-14) vs. No. 1 Chattanooga Mocs (26-5, 15-3), 12 p.m.
The Mocs swept the season series.
Game 4: No. 5 Western Carolina Catamounts (15-16, 10-8) vs. No. 4 Wofford Terriers (15-16, 11-7), approx. 2:30 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each winning at home.
Game 5: No. 7 Mercer Bears (19-13, 8-10) vs. No. 2 ETSU Bucs (21-10, 14-4), 6 p.m.
The Bucs swept the season series.
Game 6: No. 6 UNC Greensboro Spartans (14-17, 10-8) vs. No. 3 Furman Paladins (17-14, 11-7), approx. 8:30 p.m.
The pair split their season series with each winning at home.

Both SoCon First Round games came down to the wire last night, with Samford needing OT to defeat VMI 92-85 and Mercer getting a rebound off a missed free throw by The Citadel Bulldogs to win 71-69.

Chattanooga is the favorite here, especially since they won at Dayton, Georgia, and Illinois during the non-conference season. However, three conference losses have all but eliminated them from the at-large picture. ETSU, a recent arrival from the Atlantic Sun, and Furman have surprised this season, while fourth-seeded Wofford is aiming for its third consecutive NCAA bid.

Summit Quarterfinals, Night One

Both games will air on MidcoSN and stream on ESPN3.

Game 1: No. 8 South Dakota Coyotes (14-17, 5-11) vs. No. 1 Fort Wayne Mastodons (23-8, 12-4), 7 p.m.
The Mastodons swept the season series.
Game 2: No. 7 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (14-16, 6-10) vs. No. 2, South Dakota State Jackrabbits (23-7, 12-4), approx. 9:30 p.m.
The Jackrabbits swept the season series. SDSU defeated the Golden Eagles 73-65 at home a week ago.

Remember the Western Illinois Leathernecks winning at Wisconsin on Opening Night? Well, the Summit League now has nine NCAA-eligible teams, so one missed going to Sioux Falls for the conference tournament. Guess who the unlucky squad was?

This is another conference that splits the quarterfinal round into two nights to give the top two seeds an advantage. While Scott Nagy's Jackrabbits made consecutive NCAA trips in 2012 and 2013, the top-seeded Mastodons, AKA IPFW are looking for their first March Madness invite.

WCC Quarterfinals

Game 2: No. 6 Santa Clara Broncos (11-19, 7-11) vs. No. 3 BYU Cougars (22-9, 13-5), 4 p.m. (BYUTV/TWCS/CSN California/ROOT Sports/TheW.tv)
The Cougars swept the season series.
Game 3: No. 5 San Francisco Dons (15-14, 8-10) vs. No. 4 Pepperdine Waves (17-12, 10-8), approx. 6:30 p.m. (BYUTV/TWCS/CSN California/TheW.tv)
The pair split their season series with each team winning on the road.
Game 4: No. 8 Loyola Marymount Lions (14-16, 6-12) vs. No. 1 Saint Mary's Gaels (25-4, 15-3), 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Gaels swept the season series.
Game 5: No. 7 Portland Pilots (12-19, 6-12) vs No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs (23-7, 15-3), approx. 12:30 a.m. 3/7 (ESPN2)
The Bulldogs swept the season series.

Other than the MVC semifinals, the WCC Tournament will attract the most attention from the fans of bubble teams, as both Gonzaga and Saint Mary's have a chance at an at-large. However, those hopes are likely to end with a quarterfinal loss. If both the Bulldogs and Gaels advance to Tuesday's final, there's a chance the WCC will put two teams in the field again.

Note that the conference takes Sunday off due to BYU's "no play on Sunday" rule.

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