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College Basketball Viewing Guide for Selection Sunday, March 14, 2021

The final five automatic bids of 2021 will be awarded today. Can Cincinnati burst one last bubble?

NCAA Basketball: AAC Conference Tournament - Cincinnati vs Wichita State Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday morning’s bracket and cut line breakdown

Chronological Conference Tournament Schedule

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Tip Time (ET) Conference Round Matchup Outlet Season Series
Tip Time (ET) Conference Round Matchup Outlet Season Series
12 p.m. Patriot Championship 9. Loyola Maryland at 2. Colgate CBSSN Have not met
1 p.m. Atlantic 10 Championship 2. VCU vs. 1. St. Bonaventure CBS 1-1 home split
1 p.m. SEC Championship 3. LSU vs. 1. Alabama ESPN UA 2-0 (H/H)
3:15 p.m. American Championship 5. Cincinnati vs. 2. Houston ESPN UH 1-0 (home)
3:30 p.m. Big Ten Championship 5. Ohio State vs. 2. Illinois CBS 1-1 road split
6 p.m. The Selection Show CBS

American Athletic Championship

Game 10: No. 5 Cincinnati (12-10, 8-6) vs. No. 2 Houston (23-3, 14-3), 3:15 p.m. (ESPN)
The Cougars won the teams’ lone meeting (at home).

This is the third straight Cincinnati-Houston American championship game and the Bearcats’ fourth consecutive appearance overall. Of course, UC is aiming for a third straight win over the Cougars in this contest, and that’s the result that John Brannen’s squad will need to reach the field of 68. Houston last won a conference tournament title in its C-USA days, back in 2010. That team earned a 13 seed. Kelvin Sampson’s team will do far better than that with a title this time.

Atlantic 10 Championship

Game 13: No. 2 VCU (19-6, 10-4) vs. No. 1 St. Bonaventure (15-4, 11-4), 1 p.m. (CBS)
The season series was a 1-1 home split.

With the losses other bubble teams took over the past few days, both the Rams and Bonnies should be in the field no matter what happens in Dayton this afternoon. While St. Bonaventure claimed an impressive 70-54 win in Olean on January 20th, VCU turned the tables in Richmond to claim a 67-64 victory on February 12th.

Given the unpredictability of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s been a few years since either one of these teams won the title. While SBU lost the 2019 to Saint Louis, the Bonnies last won the title in 2012. On the other hand, VCU won the 2015 crown, the Rams’ lone win in five consecutive trips to the title game from 2013 to 2017.

Big Ten Championship

Game 13: No. 5 Ohio State (21-8, 12-8) vs. No. 2 Illinois (22-6, 16-4), 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
The season series was a 1-1 road split.

Illinois might be in position for the third overall No. 1 seed following Saturday’s win over Iowa and Ohio State’s over Isaiah Livers-less Michigan. If the Fighting Illini win their first Big Ten title since 2005’s national runner-up team, they might get there, depending on what the Selection Committee does with this late afternoon result. As for the Buckeyes, whose last title came in 2013 (their third in four years), they’re safely on the two line following consecutive wins over Minnesota, Purdue, and Michigan

Patriot League Championship

Game 8: No. 9 Loyola Maryland (6-10, 4-10) at No. 2 Colgate (13-1, 11-1), 12 p.m. (CBSSN)
The teams have not met.

The Patriot League final is the lone one-bid conference title game today. Given the conferences’ relationship, you can think of this matchup as a one-year replacement for the Ivy League final, which usually tips late on Selection Sunday morning, but won’t this year with the conference taking the year off. Favored Colgate is in its third straight final, having won in 2019, while Loyola has not played in the title game since joining the league in the 2013-14 season. The Greyhounds’ last bid came in 2012, when they claimed the MAAC Tournament title in the year Iona earned an at-large bid.

SEC Championship

Game 12: No. 3 LSU (18-8, 11-6) vs. No. 1 Alabama (23-6, 16-2), 1 p.m. (ESPN)
The Crimson Tide won the season series 2-0 (home-and-home).

One of these teams will end a very long wait for an SEC Tournament title. Alabama last won in 1991, back when the conference had just 10 teams and only nine participated because Kentucky was on probation. Amazingly, that was the Crimson Tide’s third straight title and fourth in a five-year span. As for LSU, the Tigers’ lone title came in 1980.

While Alabama likely won’t be a No. 1 seed, a win today will solidify its place a highly-ranked two seed. LSU is trying to get above the 7–8 range.

The Selection Show, 6 p.m. (CBS)

A near two-year wait for a real bracket ends.