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Feast Week-Plus Viewer’s Guide: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

It’s Thanksgiving Eve and that means it’s time for the relocated Maui Invitational conclude not long after the Battle 4 Atlantis begins. However, the game of the day may very well occur in Fort Myers.

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NCAA Basketball: California at Florida Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

For a more complete listing of today’s games, visit the daily schedule at Matt Sarz’s Sports, adjustable by time zone.

All times are Eastern.

Maui Jim Maui Invitational (in Las Vegas) Finals

PDF Bracket

Championship: Wisconsin (Big Ten, 4-1, 35 KenPom) vs. Saint Mary’s (WCC, 5-0, 36 KP), approx. 5 p.m. (ESPN)
3rd/4th Place: Houston (American, 4-1, 6 KP) vs. Oregon (Pac-12, 3-2, 45 KP), 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
5th/6th Place: Texas A&M (SEC, 5-1, 75 KP) vs. Notre Dame (ACC, 3-1, 39 KP), approx. 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
7th/8th Place: Butler (Big East, 3-3, 87 KP) vs. Chaminade (PacWest (DII), 2-2), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

Even though the Maui final has been scheduled for late afternoon/early evening in the Eastern and Central time zones for a few years now, it’s still a bit weird. That being said, today’s contest between the Badgers and Gaels will see a team earn its first-ever Invitational title. In yesterday’s semifinals, both squads opened up big leads early. And while Houston had a chance to tie or defeat Wisconsin at the end (if not for a questionable final possession), Saint Mary’s was able to hold off Oregon much more easily.

A Gaels win tonight would do wonders for the WCC’s case for earning more than two bids to the NCAAs. On the other hand, a Badger victory would provide a bit of polish to a Big Ten reputation that’s taken some hits over the past few days (Michigan, Illinois).

In the third-place game, Houston and Oregon will play the rubber match of a home-and-home from 2018 and 2019, which saw each team defend its own floor.

At halftime of last night’s final game, featuring Notre Dame and host Chaminade, folks were wondering if the Silverswords could earn their first Maui win since 2017 (over Cal in the seventh-place game), since they only trailed the Irish by three. In the end, Notre Dame won easily, 90-64. Tonight, Chaminade gets another chance against a Butler team that’s offered lackluster performances in its first two games.

Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Quarterfinals

PDF Bracket

Michigan State (Big Ten, 3-1, 21 KP) vs. Loyola Chicago (MVC, 4-0, 34 KP), 12 p.m. (ESPN)
Auburn (SEC, 3-0, 30 KP) vs. UConn (Big East, 4-0, 22 KP), approx. 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Syracuse (ACC, 2-1, 48 KP) vs. VCU (A 10, 2-2, 110 KP), approx. 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Baylor (Big 12, 4-0, 4 KP) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12, 2-2, 62 KP), approx. 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

This year’s Atlantis field is arguably more impressive than Maui’s, and that’s with some teams struggling a bit. For starters, the third quarterfinal features a Syracuse squad that lost (and gave up 100) to local rivals Colgate on Saturday and a VCU squad that’s lost to Chattanooga and Wagner at the Siegel Center. Arizona State, tasked with stopping the defending National Champs in the nightcap, lost to UC Riverside at home and dropped a heartbreaker at San Diego State on Thursday night.

The top half of the field has played more cleanly so far, with Loyola and UConn looking particularly strong even though both have faced lower-tier competition. Michigan State has rebounded from its Opening Night 87-74 loss to Kansas with three straight wins. In today’s first game, Tom Izzo’s Spartans will encounter a familiar face in former grad assistant (and Oakland guard) Drew Valentine. Denzel’s brother replaced Porter Moser on the Ramblers’ bench when he left for Oklahoma.

Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tip-Off Finals

Beach Division (Host)

FS1 will televise both games.

Championship: Ohio State (Big Ten, 4-1, 20 KP) vs. Florida (SEC, 4-0, 13 KP), approx. 8:30 p.m.
Consolation: Seton Hall (Big East, 3-1, 32 KP) vs. California (Pac-12, 2-3, 126 KP), 6 p.m.

Palms Division (Visitor)

SW Fla. College will stream both games.

Championship: Southern Utah (Big Sky, 2-3, 136 KP) vs. Bowling Green (MAC, 2-3, 158 KP), approx. 1:30 p.m.
Consolation: Yale (Ivy, 3-3, 142 KP) vs. Milwaukee (Horizon, 1-3, 154 KP), 11 a.m.

In Monday’s semifinals, the Buckeyes and Pirates played a back-and-forth 79-76 thriller, while the Gators coasted by the Golden Bears, 80-60. That sets up a game that’s a bit under the radar because of the prominence of the Maui and Atlantis events. While Florida has had an easy time of it over their first four games of the season, Ohio State poses a major threat, even more so than the Florida State squad that’s always given Mike White’s team fits. This contest is also one to pay attention to when looking at postseason individual honors, as the top player in KenPom’s POY standings, Ohio State’s EJ Liddell, will take the floor opposite the fourth-ranked player, Florida’s Colin Castleton.

Apparently, a streaming arrangement was made with Southwest Florida College, which hosts this event, for the Palms Division. So, while you likely missed yesterday’s semifinals, an 88-85 SUU OT win over Yale and Bowling Green’s 82-68 victory over Milwaukee, you can tune into today’s doubleheader starting at 11 Eastern.

Cancún Challenge Finals

Riviera Division

CBSSN will air both games.

Championship: Stephen F. Austin (WAC, 4-1, 135 KP) vs. Saint Louis (A 10, 5-1, 94 KP), approx. 8:30 p.m.
Consolation: Buffalo (MAC, 2-2, 85 KP) vs. Illinois State (MVC, 2-3, 228 KP), 6 p.m.

Mayan Division

FloHoops ($) will stream both games.

Championship: Middle Tennessee (C-USA, 4-1, 261 KP) vs. Mercer (SoCon, 2-3, 178 KP), approx. 3 p.m.
Consolation: Rider (MAAC, 2-4, 270 KP) vs. Bucknell (Patriot, 1-4, 298 KP), 12:30 p.m.

In Tuesday’s semifinals, SFA held on to win a 79-78 thriller over a Buffalo team that entered this event as the highest-ranked of the eight in KenPom. Then, Saint Louis took down Illinois State by an 82-76 count in the nightcap. That spared some blushes for the Atlantic 10, which had a rough night in tournament play.

SoCal Challenge Day 2

Surf Division (Host) Showcase

CBSSN will air both games.

TCU (Big 12, 3-1, 79 KP) vs. Pepperdine (WCC, 2-4, 203 KP), 10:30 p.m.
Fresno State (MW, 4-0, 122 KP) vs. Santa Clara (WCC, 5-0, 72 KP), approx. 1 a.m. 11/23

Sand Division (Visitor) Finals

FloHoops ($) will stream both games.

Championship: Nicholls State (Southland, 4-2, 216 KP) vs. Utah Valley (WAC, 4-1, 189 KP), approx. 5:30 p.m.
Consolation: Cal Poly (Big West, 1-4, 313 KP) vs. Idaho (Big Sky, 1-4, 355 KP), 3 p.m.

Even though the non-WCC entrants in the Surf Division merely swapped opponents for tonight, the first edition of the SoCal Challenge ends up with de facto consolation and title games based on Monday’s results. In the first Surf Division contest two nights ago, Santa Clara continued its great start by recording its second power win of the season (the first came over Stanford), 85-66 over TCU. In the nightcap, Fresno State took down struggling Pepperdine, 70-63.

The Sand Division final features two teams that could well earn automatic bids in March, the Southland’s Nicholls and WAC’s Utah Valley. However, the Wolverines’ path is a bit rougher, thanks to all of the new conference rivals they picked up from ... the Southland.

Gulf Coast Showcase Finals

FloHoops ($) will stream all four games.

Championship: Oakland (Horizon, 4-2, 140 KP) vs. Delaware (CAA, 4-1, 149 KP), approx. 7:30 p.m.
3rd/4th Place: Rice (C-USA, 4-2, 147 KP) vs. Fordham (A 10, 3-3, 247 KP) , 5 p.m.
5th/6th Place: Vermont (AE, 4-2, 97 KP) vs. Appalachian State (Sun Belt, 233, 175 KP), approx. 1:30 p.m.
7th/8th Place: Evansville (MVC, 2-5, 211 KP) vs. Akron (MAC, 2-3, 166 KP), 11 a.m.

Tonight’s title game in Estero is a rematch of the first game the Golden Grizzlies and Fightin’ Blue Hens played in the 2019 Sunshine Slam, a 56-53 victory for Delaware, who went on to go 3-0 in the event. The most intriguing contest here might well be the 5th/6th place contest between the 2021 Sun Belt Tournament champ and the perennial America East favorites.

Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship Finals

FloHoops ($) will stream all three games.

Championship: Toledo (MAC, 4-1, 119 KP) vs. Coastal Carolina (Sun Belt, 2-1, 242 KP), approx. 8 p.m.
3rd/4th Place: Tulane (American, 2-3, 134 KP) vs. Valparaiso (MVC, 1-4, 243 KP), 5:30 p.m.
5th/6th Place: Jacksonville State (ASUN, 1-3, 141 KP) vs. Drexel (CAA, 3-2, 167 KP), 2:30 p.m.

Charlotte (C-USA, 3-2, 220 KP) finishes seventh and will not play on day three due to Abilene Christian’s (WAC, 1-2, 163 KP) withdrawal (COVID).

The Rockets won a 68-67 thriller over Tulane and the Chanticleers took down Valpo by a 64-61 count in their tournament opener. Based on those results, tonight’s final in Nassau might end up being a classic.

Naples Invitational Finals

FloHoops ($) will stream all four games.

Championship: Kent State (MAC, 3-1, 130 KP) vs. ETSU (SoCon, 3-2, 128 KP), approx. 8 p.m.
3rd/4th Place: George Washington (A 10, 2-5, 246 KP) vs. Missouri State (MVC, 3-2, 70 KP), 5:30 p.m.
5th/6th Place: James Madison (CAA, 5-1, 174 KP) vs. Murray State (OVC, 4-1, 105 KP), approx. 2:30 p.m.
7th/8th Place: Wright State (Horizon, 1-4, 146 KP) vs. Long Beach State (Big West, 1-4, 314 KP), 12 p.m.

ETSU stunned Missouri State, 77-76, to knock the tournament favorites out of title contention. The Bucs will meet Kent State in the final, as the Golden Flashes dropped GW by a 77-69 count.

Upsie NIT Season Tip-Off Semifinals

PDF Bracket

Xavier (Big East, 4-0, 33 KP) vs. Iowa State (Big 12, 4-0, 111 KP), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Memphis (American, 4-0, 17 KP) vs. Virginia Tech (ACC, 5-0, 26 KP), approx. 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

The nightcap in Brooklyn is a sneaky good matchup with the two teams a combined 9-0. I’m curious to see how the Hokies compete since their five wins have come against teams ranked outside of the KenPom top 150, while the Tigers have defeated both Saint Louis and Western Kentucky.

Mammoth Sports Construction Crossover Classic Day 3

ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Washington (Pac-12, 4-2, 120 KP) vs. Nevada (MW, 2-4, 78 KP) , 7 p.m.
George Mason (A 10, 4-3, 148 KP) vs. South Dakota State (Summit, 5-2, 71 KP), approx. 9:30 p.m.

Surprisingly, Washington is the only team of this quartet that can finish this event 3-0. The Huskies took down South Dakota State, 87-76, holding off a Jackrabbits squad that clearly has the Sanford Pentagon crowd behind them in this event. Nevada snapped its four-game skid with an 88-69 triumph over George Mason. The Patriots face SDSU riding a three-game skid and they’ll face an uphill battle to finish this event with a 1-2 mark.