Two teams secured automatic bids on Monday night, as Louisiana topped South Alabama, 71-66, in a thrilling Sun Belt final in Pensacola. Then, Furman avenged last year’s heartbreaking loss to Chattanooga in the SoCon final, 88-79. While the Ragin’ Cajuns last qualified in 2014, the Paladins’ NCAA drought extended to 1980.
There are five conference title games on tap tonight, though just four bids are up for grabs.
- In the CAA (7 p.m., CBSSN), Charleston secured its 30th win of the season (29th against Division I opponents) by holding off Towson, 77-72, in the second semifinal in Washington, D.C. The Cougars will meet regional rival UNCW, who topped No. 1 seed Hofstra, 79-73, after overtime. Should Charleston fall, would the Committee really leave out a 30-win team? The most wins to fail to reach the field is 28—most recently by UNCG in 2019 and Saint Mary’s the season before.
- The third and fourth seeds prevailed in the typically topsy-turvy Horizon semifinals, setting up a Northern Kentucky-Cleveland State final (7 p.m,, ESPN). The Vikings last appeared in 2021, while their Norse rivals won the conference tournament in both 2019 and 2020.
- No automatic bid will be up for grabs in the NEC (7 p.m., ESPN2), as Fairleigh Dickinson’s 70-50 win over St. Francis (Pa.) secured it by virtue of Merrimack’s 71-60 win over Sacred Heart in Saturday’s first semifinal. However, the Knights will travel to Andover, Mass. in an effort to keep the Warriors from winning a double conference crown in their final reclassification season.
- In the Summit League, Oral Roberts will look to complete a 21-0 run through the conference as it meets North Dakota State (9 p.m., ESPN2). If the Golden Eagles fall, the Committee will have another interesting case to address.
- Finally, in the WCC, it’s time for Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s III (9 p.m., ESPN), as the Bulldogs took care of San Francisco and the Gaels held off BYU—thanks to their continued inability to cope with a press. The Zags will be playing for a 3 seed, while the Gaels could move up to a 4 if they claim a second win over their rivals on the season.
- No fewer than eight other conference tournaments are in action today, with the America East, Big Sky, and Southland all at the semifinal stage. You can find more details about those at Conference Tournament Central.
- Conference logos indicate auto bid holders. If a team has secured its league’s auto bid, the conference logo will appear next to the team logo. If a team is just the regular-season champ/highest seed remaining in the conference tournament, the logo will remain on the right.
- Numbers in red squares indicate team’s position in the bracket’s top 16 (top four seed lines).
- Colors next to seed numbers indicate bracket movement: yellow (new), green (seed up), red (seed down) relative to Monday’s bracket.
Graphics by Chris Dobbertean using logos from either SportsLogos.net, Wikimedia Commons, or the institutions’ websites.
Highest-ranked NET exclusion: Nevada (36)
Highest-ranked KenPom exclusion: Nevada (39)
Bids By Conference
23 single-bid conferences
Ins and Outs (2, 0 at-large)
New Entrants: Charleston (CAA), Cleveland State (Horizon)
Out For Now: Hofstra (MVC), Youngstown State (Horizon)