Four teams claimed pre-Thanksgiving trophies on Tuesday night:
- A 21-point, 10 board effort from Robert Williams helped push the No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies (4-0) past the Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1), 98-87, in the Legends Classic final in Brooklyn.
- The 22nd-ranked Baylor Bears (5-0) held off the Creighton Bluejays (4-1) to win the Hall of Fame Classic, 65-59. In the third-place game, the No. 23 UCLA Bruins (4-1) picked up what could be a vital win, topping the Wisconsin Badgers (2-3) in a 72-70 thriller.
- The Jacksonville State Gamecocks (4-1) continued their impressive start to the season by edging the host Chattanooga Mocs (2-3), 77-75, after OT in the Cayman Islands Classic Mainland final.
- The Legends Classic’s subregional title went to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (3-2), 80-73 victors over the Montana Grizzlies (3-2) in Malibu.
Today’s lineup features seven championship games played in three different countries!
For a full lineup of non-tournament games, check out MattSarzSports.com’s Daily Schedule.
|Tip Time (ET)||Event||Round||Matchup||Outlet||KenPom Fan Match Rank|
|Tip Time (ET)||Event||Round||Matchup||Outlet||KenPom Fan Match Rank|
|11 a.m.||Gulf Coast Showcase||7th/8th Place||Manhattan vs. Northern Illinois||FloHoops.com ($)||25|
|12 p.m.||Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis||Quarterfinal||Purdue vs. Tennessee||ESPN2||2|
|12 p.m.||Cayman Islands Classic||7th/8th Place||Iowa vs. UAB||FloHoops.com ($)*||10|
|12:30 p.m.||Cancun Challenge||Mayan 3rd/4th Place||Binghamton vs. CSUN||Triple Crown Sports on YouTube||36|
|1:30 p.m. (approx.)||Gulf Coast Showcase||5th/6th Place||Missouri State vs. FAU||FloHoops.com ($)||44|
|2 p.m.||MGM Resorts Main Event||Visitors' 3rd/4th Place||Eastern Kentucky vs. Eastern Washington||FloHoops.com ($)||20|
|2:30 p.m.||Maui Jim Maui Invitational||7th/8th Place||California vs. Chaminade||ESPNU||74|
|2:30 p.m. (approx.)||Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis||Quarterfinal||Villanova vs. WKU||ESPN2||51|
|2:30 p.m. (approx.)||Cayman Islands Classic||5th/6th Place||South Dakota State vs. Buffalo||FloHoops.com ($)*||8|
|3 p.m. (approx.)||Cancun Challenge||Mayan Championship||Montana State vs. Southeast Missouri||Triple Crown Sports on YouTube||29|
|4 p.m.||GCI Great Alaska Shootout||Quarterfinal||Cal Poly vs. College of Charleston||FloHoops.com ($)^||39|
|4:30 p.m. (approx.)||MGM Resorts Main Event||Visitors' Championship||Prairie View A&M vs. Georgia State||FloHoops.com ($)||54|
|5 p.m. (approx.)||Maui Jim Maui Invitational||5th/6th Place||VCU vs. MIchigan||ESPN2||4|
|5 p.m. (approx.)||Cayman Islands Classic||3rd/4th Place||Louisiana vs. Richmond||FloHoops.com ($)*||13|
|5 p.m.||Gulf Coast Showcase||3rd/4th Place||UMKC vs. Penn||FloHoops.com ($)||40|
|6 p.m.||Cancun Challenge||Riviera 3rd/4th Place||George Mason vs. Fresno State||CBSSN||19|
|6:30 p.m. (approx.)||GCI Great Alaska Shootout||Quarterfinal||Central Michigan vs. Sam Houston State||FloHoops.com ($)^||23|
|7 p.m.||Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis||Quarterfinal||N.C. State vs. Arizona||ESPN3||18|
|7:30 p.m. (approx.)||Cayman Islands Classic||Championship||Cincinnati vs. Wyoming||FloHoops.com ($)*||6|
|7:30 p.m. (approx.)||Gulf Coast Showcase||Championship||Georgia Southern vs. Towson||FloHoops.com ($)||5|
|8 p.m.||Maui Jim Maui Invitational||3rd/4th Place||Marquette vs. LSU||ESPN2||3|
|8:30 p.m. (approx.)||Cancun Challenge||Riviera Championship||Louisiana Tech vs. Evansville||CBSSN||9|
|9:30 p.m.||GCI Great Alaska Shootout||Quarterfinal||Idaho vs. Santa Clara||FloHoops.com ($)^||14|
|9:30 p.m. (approx.)||Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis||Quarterfinal||SMU vs. UNI||ESPN3||11|
|10 p.m.||MGM Resorts Main Event||Hosts' 3rd/4th Place||Rice vs. Ole Miss||ESPNU||48|
|10:30 p.m. (approx.)||Maui Jim Maui Invitational||Championship||Wichita State vs. Notre Dame||ESPN2||1|
|12 a.m. (approx.)||GCI Great Alaska Shootout||Quarterfinal||Cal State Bakersfield at Alaska Anchorage||FloHoops.com ($)^||69|
|12:30 a.m. (approx.)||MGM Resorts Main Event||Hosts' Championship||Utah vs. UNLV||ESPN2||7|
*Cayman Islands Classic games are also streaming on CollegeSportsLive.com ($).
^Great Alaska Shootout games also air on GCI channel 907 in Alaska only.
Gulf Coast Showcase Finals
FloHoops.com ($) will stream all four games.
7th/8th Place: Manhattan Jaspers (2-2) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (2-2), 11 a.m.
5th/6th Place: Missouri State Bears (3-2) vs. FAU Owls (2-2), approx. 1:30 p.m.
3rd/4th Place: UMKC Kangaroos (2-4) vs. Penn Quakers (3-3), 5 p.m.
Championship: Georgia Southern Eagles (5-0) vs. Towson Tigers (4-1), approx. 7:30 p.m.
Considering the Eagles have won two games in Estero, Fla. by a total of four points, their final against the Towson Tigers should be a thriller. It’s a pity it won’t reach a bigger audience. In the first semifinal of the evening doubleheader, the Tigers held off regional rival Penn, 79-71.
Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Quarterfinals (Primer)
Purdue Boilermakers (4-0) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (2-0), 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
Villanova Wildcats (3-0) vs. WKU Hilltoppers (2-1), approx. 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
N.C. State Wolfpack (4-0) vs. Arizona Wildcats (3-0), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
SMU Mustangs (4-0) vs. UNI Panthers (3-1), approx. 9:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
All 12 games of this event will appear on ESPN outlets—on Thursday and Friday, the afternoon championship bracket doubleheader will appear on actual TV, like today’s first two quarterfinals, while the consolation bracket will be relegated to a stream, like tonight’s first round matchups.
WKU (to Missouri State at home) and UNI (at North Carolina) are the only teams from this group to have tasted defeat so far—and both of those losses came on Opening Night. But that doesn’t mean that each game still doesn’t have a clear favorite, as I listed in the primer piece. To me, the first matchup of the day—Purdue vs. Tennessee—should be the most intriguing, though I’m not sure the Vols have the depth to compete with the Boilers over a full 40 minutes.
Cayman Islands Classic Finals
7th/8th Place: Iowa Hawkeyes (3-2) vs. UAB Blazers (3-2), 12 p.m.
5th/6th Place: South Dakota State Jackrabbits (4-2) vs. Buffalo Bulls (3-1), approx. 2:30 p.m.
3rd/4th Place: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (3-2) vs. Richmond Spiders (1-3), approx. 5 p.m.
Championship: Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0) vs. Wyoming Cowboys (4-0), approx. 7:30 p.m.
Considering how the 12th-ranked Bearcats obliterated Richmond in a 75-48 semifinal win on Tuesday night, I really don’t see how Wyoming—70-61 winners over Louisiana in the afternoon semi—keeps up.
The first game of the day features two teams, Iowa and UAB, who each hoped to win at least twice on Grand Cayman, looking to avoid an 0-3 trip. Game two features a pair possible mid-major auto bid squads—who played a two-point game back on the Opening Day of the 2014-15 season. That was a 69-67 Buffalo home victory.
Cancun Challenge Finals
Consolation: Binghamton Bearcats (1-4) vs. CSUN Matadors (1-3) , 12:30 p.m. (CBSSports.com)
Championship: Montana State Bobcats (3-2) vs. Southeast Missouri Redhawks (2-2), approx. 3 p.m. (CBSSports.com)
Both the Bobcats and Redhawks (who won their first game over D1 opposition of the season) made it through their respective semifinals without too much trouble—winning by double digits.
Remember those nice things I said about GMU giving Louisiana Tech a game yesterday? Don’t. The Bulldogs cruised past the Patriots, 77-64. But Evansville prevented an all-canine final in Mexico, as the Purple Aces edged Fresno State, 59-57, in the second semifinal.
Maui Jim Maui Invitational Finals
7th/8th Place: California Golden Bears (2-2) vs. Chaminade Silverswords (2-2, DII), 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
5th/6th Place: VCU Rams (3-1) vs. Michigan Wolverines (4-1), approx. 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
3rd/4th Place: Marquette Golden Eagles (2-2) vs. LSU Tigers (3-1), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Championship: Wichita State Shockers (4-0) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-0), approx. 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Neutral fans got the championship matchup they wanted, and with relatively little drama too as both No. 6 Wichita State and 13th-ranked Notre Dame made it through the semifinal round easily. The Shockers handled Marquette by 14, while the Fighting Irish knocked LSU back to earth by applying a 92-53 hammering in the final game of the day. Hopefully this matchup will be a bit more thrilling than Notre Dame’s 81-70 win over Wichita in the 2015 Sweet 16.
The third-place game is a rematch of a 2016’s Legends Classic semifinal that Marquette won by a single point, 81-80, back when LSU had Ben Simmons on its roster. VCU last met Michigan in the 2013 NCAAs, in the round of 32. The Wolverines blasted the Rams on that occasion, 78-53—the second stop of a run that would end in the National Championship game.
MGM Resorts Main Event Finals
FloHoops.com ($) will stream both games.
On Monday, Prairie View took out the Colonels, 80-70, to prevent a second consecutive EKU-GSU matchup in an exempt tournament undercard final. Instead, we get an unexpected Battle of Panthers that the Sun Belt contenders should take.
The quasi-host Runnin’ Rebels stormed past a bad Rice team in its semifinal on Monday night, while Utah took down Ole Miss by nine. A victory for UNLV tonight, even with what should be a friendly crowd in the background, would help establish the Rebels’ credentials as a Mountain West contender in Marvin Menzies’s second season in charge.
GCI Great Alaska Shootout Quarterfinals (Primer)
FloHoops.com ($) will stream and GCI channel 907 (Alaska only) will air all four games.
Cal Poly Mustangs (2-2) vs. College of Charleston Cougars (2-1), 4 p.m.
Central Michigan Chippewas (2-1) vs. Sam Houston State Bearkats (2-1), approx. 6:30 p.m.
Idaho Vandals (2-1) vs. Santa Clara Broncos (1-2), 9:30 p.m.
Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (2-2) at Alaska Anchorage Seawolves (3-2, DII), approx. 12 a.m. 11/23
Sadly, the final edition of this venerable event won’t reach too much of an audience, thanks to its broadcast arrangements. And that explains, in large part anyway, why it’s ending on Saturday evening.