Saturday’s limited tournament action got lost in the shuffle of a rather underwhelming day of football, which is a shame, since some unique things happened:
- The TCU Horned Frogs (6-0) are the Emerald Coast Classic champions after an 89-79 victory over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (3-2). As for the visitors’ half of the draw, the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (6-1) routed the MD-Eastern Shore Fighting Hawks (2-4), 90-60, to take that bracket.
- Both the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (7-0) and Valparaiso Crusaders (7-0) made it through the Savannah Invitational unscathed, thanks to their respective wins over the Kent State Golden Flashes (3-3) and NC-Wilmington Seahawks (2-3).
- The Texas-Arlington Mavericks (4-1) got all that they wanted from the host Niagara Purple Eagles (2-4) in the Barclays Center visitors’ bracket final before prevailing 95-90.
- The game of the day (edging out the Penn Quakers’ 101-96 quadruple-OT win over the Monmouth Hawks in West Long Branch, N.J.) was undoubtedly the de facto final of the Barclays Center Classic. The 14th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-0) topped the No. 25 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1), 89-84. It was miraculous the Tide were able to reduce the margin to five, considering they played for the final 10:41 with three players! Friend of the blog, @zipsofakron wrote about it in detail for the Daily Gopher, even pointing out that Stadium archived the game from Facebook so you can check out the craziness yourself.
- Last, but certainly not least, the Great Alaska Shootout closed its record book for good with the Central Michigan Chippewas (5-1) winning the final title, taking a 75-72 victory over the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (4-3).
But now it’s time to turn to Sunday’s slate, which features a quartet of ESPN Events title games that tip late on the East Coast.
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|
|12 p.m.||AdvoCare Invitational||3rd/4th Place||St. John's vs. UCF||ESPNU||7|
|1 p.m.||Phil Knight Invitational Motion||3rd/4th Place||Texas vs. Gonzaga||ESPN||4|
|1 p.m.||Phil Knight Invitational Victory||5th/6th Place||Oklahoma vs. Oregon||ESPN2||5|
|2:30 p.m.||Wooden Legacy||7th/8th Place||Saint Joseph's vs. Sacramento State||ESPN3||48|
|2:30 p.m. (approx.)||AdvoCare Invitational||5th/6th Place||Long Beach State vs. Nebraska||ESPNU||25|
|3 p.m.||Savannah Invitational||Visitors' Round-Robin||Mississippi Valley State at Samford||ESPN3||56|
|3:30 p.m. (approx.)||Phil Knight Invitational Victory||3rd/4th Place||Arkansas vs. UConn||ESPN||6|
|3:30 p.m. (approx.)||Phil Knight Invitational Motion||5th/6th Place||Butler vs. Ohio State||ESPN2||8|
|5 p.m. (approx.)||Wooden Legacy||3rd/4th Place||Saint Mary's vs. Georgia||ESPNU||10|
|7 p.m.||AdvoCare Invitational||7th/8th Place||Oregon State vs. Marist||ESPN3||46|
|7 p.m.||Phil Knight Invitational Victory||7th/8th Place||DePaul vs. Portland||ESPNU||40|
|8:30 p.m.||Phil Knight Invitational Victory||Championship||North Carolina vs. Michigan State||ESPN||2|
|9:30 p.m. (approx.)||AdvoCare Invitational||Championship||Missouri vs. West Virginia||ESPN2||9|
|9:30 p.m. (approx.)||Wooden Legacy||5th/6th Place||Harvard at Cal State Fullerton||ESPN3||21|
|9:30 p.m. (approx.)||Phil Knight Invitational Motion||7th/8th Place||Stanford vs. Portland State||ESPNU||14|
|11 p.m. (approx.)||Phil Knight Invitational Motion||Championship||Duke vs. Florida||ESPN||1|
|12 a.m.||Wooden Legacy||Championship||Washington State vs. San Diego State||ESPN2||18|
AdvoCare Invitational Finals
3rd/4th Place: St. John’s Red Storm (5-1) vs. UCF Knights (4-1), 12 p.m. (ESPNU)
5th/6th Place: Long Beach State 49ers (3-3) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-2), approx. 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
7th/8th Place: Oregon State Beavers (2-3) vs. Marist Red Foxes (0-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
Championship: Missouri Tigers (5-1) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1), approx. 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
The first game of the day might just be important for a pair of teams that could find themselves on the bubble come Selection Sunday—though there might be more urgency for the Knights given how they were completely outclassed by West Virginia on Friday evening. Speaking of the Mountaineers, they will be a stiff challenge for a Mizzou squad that has started to assert itself in Florida as they’re adjusting to Michael Porter Jr.’s absence from the lineup.
Phil Knight Invitational Finals
A couple of things about today’s schedules:
- The third-place (afternoon session) and championship games (night session) for both brackets will take place at Moda Center. ESPN will air all four of these contests.
- The fifth-place (afternoon session) and seventh-place (night session) games, again for both brackets, are set for Veterans Memorial Coliseum. ESPN2 will air the fifth-place contests during the day, while ESPNU takes the seventh-place ones in the evening, opposite the finals.
3rd/4th Place: Texas Longhorns (4-1) vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-1) , 1 p.m. (ESPN)
5th/6th Place: Butler Bulldogs (4-2) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1), approx. 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
7th/8th Place: Stanford Cardinal (3-4) vs. Portland State Vikings (4-2), 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Championship: Duke Blue Devils (7-0) vs. Florida Gators (5-0), approx. 11 p.m. (ESPN)
There are some interesting storylines in this quartet of games:
- Right off the bat, we have a very interesting frontcourt matchup between Texas (Mohamed Bamba and Dylan Osetkowski) and Gonzaga (Johnathan Williams and Killian Tillie).
- Then, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann gets to face his former charges, the Butler Bulldogs, in the fifth-place game.
- I’m curious to see if a Portland State that’s looked impressive in its losses to Duke and Butler can pull out a win over Stanford—who already lost to Vikings’ league rivals, the Eastern Washington Vikings, at Maples.
- And last but most certainly not least, the finale features a pair of teams who had to play a few extra minutes to earn their places in tonight’s championship tilt. The Gators will have to keep Duke from getting off to a fast start—they failed to do so at the Jimmy V Classic last December, and while UF only ended up losing 84-74, the Blue Devils were never really in danger of losing because they were able to put the Gators in a hole very early on. Off the court, Florida coach Mike White encounters the school where his father, Kevin, is the athletic director, for the second time in his tenure in Gainesville.
5th/6th Place: Oklahoma Sooners (3-1) vs. Oregon Ducks (5-1), 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
3rd/4th Place: Arkansas Razorbacks (4-1) vs. UConn Huskies (4-1), approx. 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
7th/8th Place: DePaul Blue Demons (1-4) vs. Portland Pilots (2-3), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Championship: North Carolina Tar Heels (5-0) vs. Michigan State Spartans (4-1), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
In the afternoon games, the losers are going to be a bit disappointed that they’ll be leaving Portland with a pair of defeats, but with the quality of the opposition here, such a result shouldn’t tarnish their respective March prospects. (At least these teams avoided losses to the Blue Demons or Pilots.)
As for the championship game, did you know the Tar Heels have defeated the Spartans seven straight times? Michigan State last won a game in this series all the way back on November 29, 2000. This game also serves as an appetizer for the upcoming Big Ten/ACC Challenge, which starts tomorrow with a pair of games. UNC hosts the Michigan Wolverines, while MSU welcomes the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Wooden Legacy Finals
7th/8th Place: Saint Joseph's Hawks (2-3) vs. Sacramento State Hornets (1-5), 2:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
3rd/4th Place: Saint Mary's Gaels (5-1) vs. Georgia Bulldogs (4-1), approx. 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
5th/6th Place: Harvard Crimson (3-3) at Cal State Fullerton Titans (2-3), 9:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Championship: Washington State Cougars (5-0) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (5-1), approx. 12 a.m. 11/27 (ESPN2)
Thanks to the Cougars’ surprising Friday afternoon win over the Gaels, we have an unexpected championship matchup and Saint Mary’s will have to take care of Georgia to avoid a 1-2 trip and an at-large case that’s already springing leaks. Harvard has a good chance to salvage a second win from this trip, even if they’re playing a true road game today, while Saint Joe’s will likely be disappointed win or lose—a victory over Sacramento State won’t do much for the Hawks’ postseason hopes.