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College Basketball Viewing Guide for Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Tonight’s schedule will see the last automatic bids handed out (five) before Saturday’s flood of invitations.

NCAA Basketball-WCC Tournament-St. Mary’s vs Gonzaga
Gonzaga will look to extend its record to 26-0 tonight against BYU.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chronological Conference Tournament Schedule

Tuesday. March 9, 2021

Tip Time (ET) Conference Round Matchup Outlet Season Series
Tip Time (ET) Conference Round Matchup Outlet Season Series
2 p.m. ACC First Round 13. Miami (Fla.) vs. 12. Pittsburgh ACCN UP 1-0 (road)
4:30 p.m.* ACC First Round 15. Boston College vs. 10. Duke ACCN DU 1-0 (home)
5 p.m. MAAC First Round 9. Iona vs. 8. Quinnipiac ESPN+ ($) QU 1-0 (home)
6 p.m. Big West First Round 9. Long Beach State vs. 8. CSUN ESPN3 Have not met
6 p.m. Southland First Round 9. McNeese vs. 8. Southeastern Louisiana ESPN+ ($) 1-1 road split
7 p.m. CAA Championship 8. Elon vs. 6. Drexel CBSSN Have not met
7 p.m. Horizon Championship 3. Oakland vs. 1. Cleveland State ESPN CSU 2-0 (road)
7 p.m. NEC Championship 4. Mount St. Mary's at 2. Bryant ESPN2 Have not met
7 p.m.* ACC First Round 14. Wake Forest vs. 11. Notre Dame ACCN ND 1-0 (home)
7:30 p.m.* MAAC First Round 10. Manhattan vs. 7. Fairfield ESPN+ ($) 1-1 (at MANH)
8 p.m. C-USA First Round W7 Southern Miss. vs. W6 Rice ESPN+ ($) RU 2-0 (home)
9 p.m. Summit Championship 4. Oral Roberts vs. 3. North Dakota State ESPN2 1-1 (at NDSU)
9 p.m. WCC Championship 2. BYU vs. 1. Gonzaga ESPN GU 2-0 (H/H)
9 p.m. Big West First Round 10. Cal Poly vs. 7. Cal State Fullerton ESPN3 Have not met
9 p.m. Southland First Round 10. Houston Baptist vs. 7. Incarnate Word ESPN+ ($) HBU 2-0 (H/H)

CAA Championship

Game 9: No. 8 Elon (10-8, 4-7) vs. No. 6 Drexel (11-7, 4-5), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
The pair have not met this season.

On Monday night, the Phoenix dashed Hofstra’s hope of ending its 20-year NCAA drought—one that would have ended last season were it not for CoVID. Tonight, Elon can earn its first-ever NCAA bid if it defeats Drexel. The Dragons earned a chance at securing their first bid since 1996 by eliminating 2019’s Colonial champ, Northeastern. Tonight’s winner is likely to earn a 15 or 16 seed on Sunday.

Horizon League Championship

Game 11: No. 3 Oakland (12-17, 10-10) vs. No. 1 Cleveland State (18-7, 16-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
The Vikings won both meetings (at Oakland).

The Vikings, who last qualified in 2009, rallied to defeat Milwaukee in Monday night’s first semifinal in Indianapolis. They’ll meet Oakland, last in the field in 2011, tonight, following the Golden Grizzlies’ victory over 2019 champ Northern Kentucky. While Cleveland State is a 15 in today’s bracket, Oakland would likely be headed for the First Four with a win tonight.

NEC Championship

Game 3: No. 4 Mount St. Mary’s (11-10, 9-7) at No. 2 Bryant (15-5, 10-4), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
The pair have not met this season.

Like Elon, Bryant can earn its first-ever NCAA bid with a win tonight. The Bulldogs take on perennial Northeast Conference power Mount St. Mary’s, who last made the field in 2017. While Bryant should be able to avoid the First Four, the Mountaineers may not be so lucky. Who knows, maybe the Mount will even get an all-Mountaineer matchup against Sun Belt champ Appalachian State,

Summit League Championship

Game 7: No. 4 Oral Roberts (15-10, 10-5) vs. No. 3 North Dakota State (15-11, 11-5), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
The season series was a 1-1 split (at NDSU).

In 2020, both of the Summit’s South Dakota schools fell in the quarterfinal round. Yesterday, both were eliminated one-round later, with the top-seeded SDSU Jackrabbits pipped at the buzzer by Oral Roberts. While NDSU was the league’s last NCAA rep, in 2019, the Eagles last made the field in 2008. Tonight’s winner is likely to earn a 16 seed, with a good shot of avoiding the First Four.

WCC Championship

Game 9: No. 2 BYU (20-5, 10-3) vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (25-0, 15-0), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
The Bulldogs won both meetings (home-and-home).

There will be no drama in Las Vegas from an at-large perspective tonight, as both the Bulldogs and Cougars are locks. With a win, Gonzaga will remain perfect and lock up the No. 1 overall seed in March Madness. A loss opens the door for Baylor. As for BYU, a win could push them into the 5 or 6 seed range, as opposed to the 7–8 range.

ACC First Round

ACC Network will air all three games.

Game 1: No. 13 Miami (Fla.) (8-16, 4-15) vs. No. 12 Pittsburgh (10-11, 6-10), 2 p.m.
The Panthers won the pair’s lone meeting (at Miami).
Game 2: No. 15 Boston College (4-15, 2-11) vs. No. 10 Duke (11-11, 9-9), approx. 4:30 p.m.
The Blue Devils won the pair’s lone meeting (at home).
Game 3: No. 14 Wake Forest (6-15, 3-15) vs. No. 11 Notre Dame (10-14, 7-11), approx. 7 p.m.
The Fighting Irish won the pair’s lone meeting (at home).

All eyes in Greensboro will be on Duke, which needs to win today to earn itself a chance at recording victories that might actually provide a boost to its at-large case. A win over last-place BC won’t do it for the Blue Devils.

Big West First Round

ESPN3 will stream both games. Game numbering includes the women’s tournament.

Game 2: No. 9 Long Beach State (5-11, 4-8) vs. No. 8 CSUN (9-12, 5-9), 6 p.m.
The pair have not met this season.
Game 3: No. 10 Cal Poly (3-19, 1-15) vs. No. 7 Cal State Fullerton (6-9, 5-7), 9 p.m.
The pair have not met this season.

The Big West Tournament is temporarily in Las Vegas this year, not Anaheim, and it begins with a pair of first-round matchups between teams that are meeting for the first time in 2021. Today’s winners move on to Thursday’s quarterfinals, where the top two seeds, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine, are waiting.

C-USA Preliminary Round

Game 1: West No. 7 Southern Mississippi (8-16, 4-13) vs. West No. 6 Rice (13-12, 6-10) (Court A), 8 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
The Owls won both meetings (at home).

Two games were originally scheduled for tonight in Frisco, but FIU withdrew from the tournament due to CoVID protocols. So, the Panthers’ opponent, Middle Tennessee, advances to Wednesday’s first round against North Texas. Tonight’s winner gets Marshall.

MAAC First Round (Night Two)

ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 2: No. 9 Iona (8-5, 6-3) vs. No. 8 Quinnipiac (9-12, 7-10), 5 p.m.
The Bobcats won the pair’s lone meeting (at home).
Game 3: No. 10 Manhattan (7-12, 6-12) vs. No. 7 Fairfield (7-16, 7-11), approx. 7:30 p.m.
The season series was a 1-1 split (at Manhattan).

No. 11 seed Rider stunned sixth-seeded Canisius, 78-76, to earn a Thursday quarterfinal date with third-seeded Saint Peter’s. Tonight’s winners move on to Wednesday’s opening quarterfinal doubleheader, where Siena and Monmouth are waiting.

Southland First Round

ESPN+ ($) will stream both games.

Game 1: No. 9 McNeese (10-13, 4-10) vs. No. 8 Southeastern Louisiana (7-17, 5-11), 6 p.m.
The season series was a 1-1 road split.
Game 2: No. 10 Houston Baptist (5-18, 4-11) vs. No. 7 Incarnate Word (8-13, 5-9), 9 p.m.
The Huskies won both meetings (home-and-home).

The Southland extended its tournament from eight teams to 10 for this season. One team you won’t see is perennial power Stephen F. Austin, which moved its postseason ban up from 2022 to 2021. Remember that the Lumberjacks, Abilene Christian, Sam Houston State, and Lamar are all leaving for the WAC this summer. The bottom two finishers, Central Arkansas (headed for the ASUN itself) and A&M-Corpus Christi, join SFA in missing five days in Katy, Texas.

The Southland uses a stepladder bracket, so tonight’s winners will meet the fifth and sixth seeds, respectively. The top two seeds, Nicholls and Abilene Christian, won’t play until Friday’s semifinals.