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Feast Week-Plus Viewer’s Guide: Friday, November 26, 2021

Feast Week is starting to wind down, but there’s still plenty on the menu to enjoy as you avoid your nearest mall or big box store.

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NCAA Basketball: Baylor at VCU Kevin Jairaj-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.

Continental Tire Challenge

Duke (6-0, 8 KenPom) and Gonzaga (6-0, 1 KP) meet for the first time since their epic 2018 Maui final. This one is set for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (10:30 p.m. (ESPN)), which happens to be where the top-ranked Bulldogs routed No. 2 UCLA, 83-63, on Tuesday night. Each of these squads have racked up a half-dozen wins with minimal resistance, though Gonzaga’s victims include a pair of power teams (UCLA, Texas), while Duke’s features just one (Kentucky). Despite that, perhaps the Blue Devils can provide the Zags with more of a challenge than early-season UCLA did.

Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Finals

PDF Bracket

Championship: Michigan State (Big Ten, 4-1, 17 KP) vs. Baylor (Big 12, 6-0, 4 KP), 11 a.m. (ESPN)
3rd/4th Place: UConn (Big East, 5-1, 19 KP) vs. VCU (A 10, 3-3, 93 KP), approx. 1:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
5th/6th Place: Auburn (SEC, 4-1, 28 KP) vs. Syracuse (ACC, 3-2, 54 KP), 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
7th/8th Place: Loyola Chicago (MVC, 4-2, 35 KP) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12, 2-3, 73 KP), approx. 7 p.m. (ESPN News)

Things wrap up at the Atlantis resort with a quartet of compelling matchups. The title game is the early tip, and it features tournament favorites Baylor and a tough Michigan State squad. In Thursday’s semifinal doubleheader, the Spartans used a late 9-0 push to knock out UConn, 64-60. The Bears, meanwhile, got more than they expected from VCU, eventually prevailing by a 69-61 count. Sparty should be another good test for the defending National Champs, who faced their first significant challenge of the season in yesterday’s contest.

In the consolation bracket, Syracuse held off Arizona State, 92-84, while Auburn handled Loyola, 62-53. The Ramblers’ failure to close out Michigan State in this tournament’s first game might be something to remember come Selection Sunday, should Loyola not win Arch Madness.

ESPN Events Invitational Semifinals

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Championship

Dayton (A 10, 2-3, 119 KP) vs. Kansas (Big 12, 4-0, 2 KP), approx. 1:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Iona (MAAC, 6-0, 126 KP) vs. Belmont (OVC, 4-2, 70 KP), approx. 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

Consolation

Miami (Fla.) (ACC, 3-2, 102 KP) vs. North Texas (C-USA, 2-2, 114 KP), 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
Alabama (SEC, 4-1, 24 KP) vs. Drake (MVC, 3-1, 58 KP), 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

The early Thanksgiving doubleheader at Walt Disney World saw Dayton snap its three-game skid, thanks to a red hot shooting performance that pushed the Flyers past Miami, 76-60. They’ll next meet Kansas in a rematch of the 2019 Maui final, as the Jayhawks took care of North Texas with ease, 71-59.

The post-dinner twin bill; however, was much more competitive—featuring one of the upsets of the season so far. That belongs to Iona, who got 15 from local freshman Walter Clayton in a 72-68 win over Alabama, a result that somewhat avenged the Gaels’ loss to the Tide in the first round of last season’s NCAA Tournament. Rick Pitino’s squad will take on Belmont in Friday’s evening semifinal. The Bruins defeated Drake, 74-69, in the first-ever meeting of two teams who will become conference rivals next season.

Unlike Loyola, who saw its best shot at a marquee non-conference win disappear on Wednesday afternoon in the Bahamas, Drake will get another chance at such a victory this afternoon against Alabama.

Upsie NIT Season Tip-Off Finals

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ESPN2 will air both games.

Championship: Iowa State (Big 12, 5-0, 95 KP) vs. Memphis (American, 5-0, 11 KP), approx. 9:30 p.m.
Consolation: Xavier (Big East, 4-1, 39 KP) vs. Virginia Tech (ACC, 5-1, 26 KP), 7 p.m.

In Wednesday’s semifinals in Brooklyn, Iowa State shocked Xavier, 82-70, a sign that T.J. Otzelberger’s first Cyclone team might be more competitive than expected as it prepares for a strong Big 12. Then, Memphis handed Virginia Tech its first loss of the season, 69-61, in a rather ugly nightcap.

Paycom Wooden Legacy Finals

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Championship: USC (Pac-12, 5-0, 20 KP) vs. San Diego State (MW, 4-1, 36 KP, approx. 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Consolation: Saint Joseph’s (A 10, 2-3, 237 KP) vs. Georgetown (Big East, 2-2, 94 KP), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

As anticipated, the two California participants advanced to tonight’s final with wins over their respective East Coast opponents. USC cruised past Saint Joe’s, 70-55, while San Diego State took down Georgetown, 73-56.

Emerald Coast Classic Semifinals

Host Bracket

CBSSN will air both games.

Penn State (Big Ten, 3-1, 87 KP) vs. LSU (SEC, 5-0, 21 KP), 7 p.m.
Wake Forest (ACC, 5-0, 90 KP) vs. Oregon State (Pac-12, 1-4, 103 KP), approx. 9:30 p.m.

Visitor Bracket

Emerald Coast TV will stream both games.

McNeese State (Southland, 2-3, 334 KP) vs. St. Francis Brooklyn (NEC, 0-4, 323 KP), 12 p.m.
North Carolina A&T (Big South, 1-3, 257 KP) vs. Samford (SoCon, 3-1, 239 KP), approx. 2:30 p.m.

LSU looks to be a clear favorite in Niceville, Fla. Penn State has already lost at UMass, Wake hasn’t defeated a team ranked higher than 257th in KenPom, and Oregon State hasn’t built on last season’s Elite Eight appearance. The Beavers have dropped four straight, including their on-campus game against Samford and an 81-80 decision to Princeton on Sunday.

Las Vegas Invitational Finals

FS1 will both games.

Championship: UAB (C-USA, 5-1, 52 KP) vs. San Francisco (WCC, 7-0, 37 KP), approx. 11:30 p.m.
Consolation: New Mexico (MW, 4-2, 253 KP) vs. Towson (CAA, 3-3, 192 KP), 9 p.m.

The late tip at the Orleans Arena will feature two teams to watch for March, and with the early strength of the WCC, perhaps USF will be able to claim an at-large when all is said and done. Beating the Blazers would help the Dons’ case a bit.

Las Vegas Classic Finals

Championship: South Alabama (Sun Belt, 4-2, 231 KP) vs. Hawai’i (Big West, 3-1, 198 KP), approx. 4 p.m.
Consolation: San Diego (WCC, 3-3, 160 KP) vs. UIC (Horizon, 2-3, 260 KP) , 1:30 p.m.

Again, there will be no TV/streaming coverage of this doubleheader. In yesterday’s semifinals, the Jaguars edged the Toreros, 68-67, while the Rainbow Warriors took down the Flames, 88-80.