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Championship Fortnight 2022 Viewing Guide: Saturday, March 5, 2022

While some conferences finally get around to wrapping their regular seasons up over the next two days, bids are already up for grabs in a few others. Besides tonight’s first title game of the season, there are a couple key bubble games on this Saturday’s conference tourney slate.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament- Loyola Ramblers vs Bradley Braves
Loyola started its Arch Madness revenge tour by taking out Bradley in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Visit Conference Tournament Central and the 2022 Conference Tournaments Hub for full Championship Fortnight coverage.

Daily Chronological Schedule

* = tip time of the second game of a doubleheader is approximate

^ = game will be streamed or broadcast on additional outlets, see the conference’s entry below for details

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Tip Time (ET) Conference Round Matchup Outlet Season Series
Tip Time (ET) Conference Round Matchup Outlet Season Series
12 p.m. Big South SF (4) USC Upstate vs. (1) Longwood ESPN+ ($) LU 1-0 (H)
12 p.m. SoCon QF (9) The Citadel vs. (1) Chattanooga ESPN+ ($)^ UTC 2-0
12:30 p.m. Sun Belt QF (8) Louisiana vs. (1) Texas State ESPN+ ($) TSU 2-0
2:30 p.m.* Big South SF (3) Gardner-Webb vs. (2) Winthrop ESPN+ ($) WU 2-0
2:30 p.m.* SoCon QF (5) VMI vs. (4) Wofford ESPN+ ($)^ 1-1 road split
3 p.m.* Sun Belt QF (12) Little Rock vs. (4) Troy ESPN+ ($) LR 1-0 (A)
3:30 p.m. MVC SF (4) Loyola Chicago vs. (1) Northern Iowa CBSSN 1-1 home split
5 p.m. CAA 1st (9) Northeastern vs. (8) William & Mary FloHoops.com ($) 1-1 home split
6 p.m. ASUN SF (W2) Bellarmine at (E1) Liberty ESPN+ ($) LU 1-0 (A)
6 p.m. NEC SF (4) Mount St. Mary's at (1) Bryant ESPN3^ BU 2-0
6 p.m.* MVC SF (3) Drake vs. (2) Missouri State CBSSN MSU 2-0
6 p.m. SoCon QF (7) Mercer vs. (2) Furman ESPN+ ($)^ FU 2-0
6 p.m. Sun Belt QF (6) Arkansas State vs. (3) Georgia State ESPN+ ($) Have not met
7 p.m. ASUN SF (E2) Jacksonville at (W1) Jacksonville State ESPN+ ($) JSU 1-0 (H)
7 p.m. Summit QF (8) Omaha vs. (1) South Dakota State ESPN+ ($) SDSU 2-0
8 p.m. NEC SF (3) LIU at (2) Wagner ESPN3^ WC 2-0
8:30 p.m. OVC F (3) Morehead State vs. (1) Murray State ESPN2 Murray 2-0
8:30 p.m.* SoCon QF (6) UNCG vs. (3) Samford ESPN+ ($) 1-1 home split
8:30 p.m.* Sun Belt QF (10) Georgia Southern vs. (2) Appalachian State ESPN+ ($)^ ASU 2-0
9:30 p.m.* Summit QF (7) Denver vs. (2) North Dakota State ESPN+ ($) NDSU 2-0
10:30 p.m. WCC QF (5) BYU vs. (4) San Francisco ESPN2 1-1 road split
1 a.m. (03/07)* WCC QF (6) Portland vs. (3) Santa Clara ESPN2 SCU 1-0 (H)

Winning Time!

“Daytime Hoops” is on hiatus for retooling.

Actually, that’s not true. Since it’s the weekend and most of you aren’t working and don’t need the distraction, it will return on Tuesday. Although, watching the bottom teams from the 2021-22 season’s ACC attempt to get each other’s way is in some way more painful than the 9 to 5.

So, today’s post begins with the first conference title game of the year. That’s right one team will obtain an actual NCAA Tournament bid—in Evansville, Indiana.

OVC Championship

Game 7: (3) Morehead State (23-10, 13-5) vs. (1) Murray State (29-2, 18-0), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Racers won the season series 2-0.

Murray State is aiming for its first OVC title since Ja Morant’s 2018-19 team, but the Racers are almost assuredly in the field win or lose. While they only defeated Southeast Missouri by an 88-74 score, the margin is deceiving as Murray was in control throughout. Morehead State, on the other hand, gave itself a chance at consecutive conference tournament titles and NCAA bids by bursting Belmont’s bubble, 53-51.

While Murray State won both regular-season meetings, the Racers’ only managed to defeat the Eagles by four in the pair’s matchup in Morehead on February 12th.

Fans of bubble teams must root hard for the Racers.

Bubble-icious Matchups

MVC Semifinals

CBSSN will air both games.

Game 7: (4) Loyola Chicago (23-7, 13-5) vs. (1) Northern Iowa (19-10, 14-4), 3:30 p.m.
The season series was a 1-1 home split.
Game 8: (3) Drake (23-9, 13-5) vs. (2) Missouri State (23-9, 13-5), approx. 6 p.m.
The Bears won the season series 2-0.

Yesterday afternoon, the Ramblers opened their final Arch Madness by thumping Bradley in a rubber match, 66-50. This afternoon, fourth-seeded Loyola gets another such contest, as the top-seeded UNI squad that defeated Drew Valentine’s team in OT last Saturday is on deck. This one might just determine whether the Valley gets one or two bids this season.

In the nightcap, Gaige Prim (15 points, 17 boards vs. Valparaiso) and Missouri State can get one game closer to its first Arch Madness title since 1992, when Tulsa was the opponent, Charlie Spoonhour the coach, and ‘Southwest’ still affixed to the school’s name. To do so, the Bears will need to defeat 2021 at-large squad Drake for a third time.

WCC Quarterfinals

ESPN2 will air both games.

Game 5: (5) BYU (22-9, 9-6) vs. (4) San Francisco (23-8, 10-6), 10:30 p.m.
The season series was 1-1 road split.
Game 6: (6) Portland (18-13, 7-7), (3) Santa Clara (20-10, 10-5), approx. 1 a.m. 03/06
The Broncos won the pair’s lone meeting at home.

Saturday night’s other big bubble game is set for the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, where BYU, fresh off an 85-60 hammering of LMU, faces San Francisco for a third time. While the Cougars claimed a 71-69 win in San Francisco on January 15th, the Dons had little trouble in the return matchup in Provo on February 3rd, winning 73-59. Tonight’s victor not only gets a shot at top-seeded Gonzaga on Monday, they move closer to an at-large. The loser, however, might want to start planning for an NIT home game or three.

In Saturday night’s second game, Portland will look to avenge both Santa Clara’s failure to travel to Oregon for a makeup game and the Broncos’ 102-89 victory at the Leavey Center one week ago.

Elsewhere ...

SoCon Quarterfinals

Select Nexstar-owned stations will air and ESPN+ will stream all four games.

Game 3: (9) The Citadel (13-17, 6-12) vs. (1) Chattanooga (24-7, 14-4), 12 p.m.
The Mocs won the season series 2-0.
Game 4: (5) VMI (16-14, 9-9) vs. (4) Wofford (18-12, 10-8), approx. 2:30 p.m.
The series was a 1-1 road split.
Game 5: (7) Mercer (16-16, 8-10) vs. (2) Furman (20-11, 12-6), 6 p.m.
The Paladins won the season series 2-0.
Game 6: (6) UNCG (17-13, 9-9) vs. (3) Samford (20-10, 10-8), approx. 8:30 p.m.
The series was a 1-1 home split.

With an 84-76 overtime win over ETSU yesterday evening, the Citadel’s dreams of leaving the “Never Made the Tournament” Club are alive for one more day. However, they may not last much longer, as the Bulldogs face top-seeded Chattanooga, who won the pair’s two matchups by a total margin of 31 points. Mercer also won its opening round game, by 28 over Western Carolina, to set up a quarterfinal with second-seeded Furman. However, keep an eye on third-seeded Samford, which won nine of its last 11 games. The Bulldogs split with Chattanooga and defeated every other SoCon team at least once in that span.

Sun Belt Quarterfinals

ESPN+ will stream all four games.

Game 5: (8) Louisiana (14-14, 8-9) vs. (1) Texas State (21-6, 12-3), 12:30 p.m.
The Bobcats won the season series 2-0.
Game 6: (12) Little Rock (9-18, 3-11) vs. (4) Troy (19-10, 10-6), approx. 3 p.m.
Little Rock won the pair’s lone meeting on the road.
Game 7: (6) Arkansas State (18-10, 8-7) vs. (3) Georgia State (15-10, 9-5), 6 p.m.
The teams have not met this season.
Game 8: (10) Georgia Southern (13-15, 5-11) vs. (2) Appalachian State (18-13, 12-6), approx. 8:30 p.m.
The Mountaineers won the season series 2-0.

After taking Friday off for the women’s quarterfinals, the Sun Belt is back for a quadruple-header that includes some anomalies. First, the schedule itself sees the No. 3 seed start the evening doubleheader, not the No. 2, as is traditional. Then, while there’s the typical “top two seeds play lower seeds they swept” setup for half of the contests, the other two see a 12 seed looking to defeat a 4 for the second time—after its first win came on the road—and a first-time matchup for the season, hopefully one of the last we will see for sometime.

Big South Semifinals

ESPN+ will stream both games.

Game 9: (4) USC Upstate (14-15, 10-6) vs. (1) Longwood (24-6, 15-1), 12 p.m.
The Lancers won the pair’s lone regular season meeting at home.
Game 10: (3) Gardner-Webb (18-12, 11-5) vs. (2) Winthrop (22-8, 14-2), approx. 2:30 p.m.
The Eagles won the season series 2-0.

While Friday’s Big South quarterfinals weren’t quite as dramatic as Wednesday’s first round, Longwood needed a 16-2 overtime period to dispatch North Carolina A&T in the Aggies’ final game as a conference member and Gardner-Webb held off Campbell, 54-53, in the nightcap after some reviews and missed Camel free throws. Even though today’s opponent, Winthrop, swept the Bulldogs, the pair’s first meeting was decided by just two points—in Rock Hill. Longwood, on the other hand, already eliminated the lone team to defeat it in the Big South regular season. Curiously, the Lancers took down USC Upstate by an 85-72 score in Farmville two nights before falling in Greensboro.

CAA First Round

Game 1: (9) Northeastern (8-21, 2-16) vs. (8) William & Mary (5-26, 4-14), 5 p.m. (FloHoops ($))
The season series was a 1-1 home split.

With James Madison sadly excluded, Elon received a reprieve needing to play today in Washington, D.C. This evening’s winner is likely to end a disappointing season at the hands of top-seeded Towson on Sunday afternoon.

ASUN Semifinals

ESPN+ will stream both games.

Game 9: (E2) Jacksonville (20-9, 11-5) at (W1) Jacksonville State (21-9, 13-3), 7 p.m.
The Gamecocks won the pair’s lone meeting at home.
Game 10: (W2) Bellarmine (18-13, 11-5) at (E1) Liberty (22-10, 12-4), 6 p.m.
The Flames won the pair’s lone meeting on the road.

The ASUN Tournament has been chalk all the way through, so the semifinals didn’t need to be reseeded. Each division’s first-place team hosts the other’s No. 2. That’s set up an always comical Jacksonville (Fla.) vs. Jacksonville (Ala.) State game two and a Bellarmine-Liberty matchup that might just determine the auto bid winner tonight. As the Knights are ineligible for the NCAAs and NIT due to their reclassification, a win over Liberty would give Jacksonville State the NCAA bid, provided the Gamecocks defeat the Dolphins tonight. Sound familiar? Last season, North Alabama’s semifinal win over FGCU gave regular-season champ Liberty the bid days before the Flames took the floor against the Lions in the ASUN final.

NEC Semifinals

SNY and MASN will air and ESPN3 will stream both games.

Game 6: (4) Mount St. Mary’s (14-15, 9-7) at (1) Bryant (20-9, 15-2), 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs won the season series 2-0.
Game 7: (3) LIU (16-13, 12-6) at (2) Wagner (19-5, 13-3), 8 p.m.
The Seahawks won the season series 2-0.

The Northeast Conference does not allow reclassifying teams in its postseason events, so Merrimack didn’t participate in either Monday’s first round or Wednesday’s quarterfinals. All four home teams claimed those contests to set up tonight’s matchups, each of which sees the home team looking to defeat their respective opponents for a third time. That won’t be easy, as Bryant only beat the Mount by a single point one month ago, and Wagner needed OT to win its first game with LIU.

The winners meet on Tuesday night for the auto bid.

Summit League Quarterfinals Night 1

Midco Sports will air and ESPN+ will stream both games.

Game 1: (8) Omaha (5-24, 4-14) vs. (1) South Dakota State (27-4, 18-0), 7 p.m.
The Jackrabbits won the season series 2-0.
Game 2: (7) Denver (11-20, 7-11) vs. (2) North Dakota State (21-9, 13-5), approx. 9:30 p.m.
The Bison won the season series 2-0.

The Summit League opens its tournament with the first of two nights of quarterfinal play. To begin, the top two seeds take on the bottom two, with the winners sitting until Monday’s semifinals. All eyes will be on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, who are riding an 18-game winning streak, but need to tack on three more to be sure they reach the field for the first time since 2018.