Viewer's Guide: 14 bids handed out, five leagues with semifinals
Fourteen bids will be handed out on Saturday.
With about 30 hours until the Selection Show, things are winding down on the college basketball season. But Saturday is packed. Fourteen automatic bids will be handed out, while five leagues have semifinals. Some bubble games, some No. 1 seed implications. Let’s get to it.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP Poll.
Albany at Stony Brook (11:30 a.m., ESPN2): Top-seeded Vermont was knocked out by Albany in the semifinals, and now Stony Brook will try to break through to the NCAA Tournament. The Seawolves finished first three of the last four seasons prior to 2013-14 – yet didn’t make the dance.
Tulsa vs. Louisiana Tech (11:35 a.m., CBS): Louisiana Tech seems to be hitting its stride at the right time, but Tulsa has won 10 in a row heading into the title game. Danny Manning has done a tremendous job.
Prairie View A&M vs. Texas Southern (4:30 p.m., ESPN2): Both teams are eligible for the NCAA Tournament, which was a concern. If Texas Southern wins, that will be the third team Mike Davis has led to the dance.
UCLA vs. No. 4 Arizona (6 p.m., FOX Sports 1): We all wanted a second UCLA-Arizona game this season, and we’re getting it. Arizona won the first meeting in Westwood by four points.
No. 21 Connecticut vs. No. 5 Louisville (6 p.m., ESPN): Shabazz Napier vs. Russ Smith. It doesn’t get much better than that. This one is for NCAA Tournament seeding; how high can the Cardinals go?
No. 20 New Mexico vs. No. 8 San Diego State (6 p.m., CBS): Another game that many of us wanted to see – even though they played just one week ago. New Mexico blew a lead at San Diego State; can the Lobos bounce back and get the title?
Morgan State vs. North Carolina Central (6 p.m., ESPNU): LeVelle Moton and NC Central have won 19 games in a row heading into the title game, only losing the MEAC opener. Morgan State only lost by one in their lone meeting.
Toledo vs. Western Michigan (6:30 p.m., ESPN2): The two best teams in the league battle for the automatic bid. Each team won by 11 points on their homecourt during the regular season.
North Dakota vs. Weber State (8 p.m., ESPNU): The Big Sky championship. Both teams have a go-to star, with Weber State’s Davion Berry and North Dakota’s Troy Huff among the best players in the league.
Providence vs. No. 14 Creighton (8:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1): The first Big East title game appearance for Creighton; the first Big East title game appearance for Providence in 20 years. They split in the regular season.
Sam Houston State vs. Stephen F. Austin (8:30 p.m., ESPN2): Stephen F. Austin hasn’t lost since November 23, winning 27 in a row. But they need to beat Sam Houston State to go dancing.
Baylor vs. No. 16 Iowa State (9 p.m., ESPN): The No. 4 seed Cyclones against the No. 7 seed Bears. Not many teams are playing better basketball than Baylor right now, and Iowa State is looking like a Final Four contender.
Idaho vs. New Mexico State (10 p.m., ESPNU): With Utah Valley falling in the semifinals, the top seed is out. New Mexico State will enter as the favorite. The two teams split during the WAC regular season.
Cal Poly vs. Cal State Northridge (10:30 p.m., ESPN2): This was definitely not the title game anyone expected. Cal Poly is below .500 and the No. 7 seed, while Northridge is at .500 and the No. 5 seed.
ACC: It’s not the marquee semifinal some expected, but No. 1 Virginia faces No. 5 Pittsburgh (1 p.m., ESPN) and NC State looks to push for an at-large bid against Duke (3 p.m., ESPN).
Atlantic 10: St. Bonaventure is the story so far, upsetting Saint Louis on Friday to advance to the semifinals to play Saint Joseph’s (1:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network). The winner faces VCU or George Washington (4 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
Big Ten: The winner of this tournament could get the fourth No. 1 seed, if it’s Wisconsin or Michigan. The top-seeded Wolverines face Ohio State (1:40 p.m., CBS) and the Badgers play Michigan State (4:05 p.m., CBS).
SEC: This is still Florida’s to lose, but Tennessee could punch its ticket with a semifinal win (1 p.m., ABC). Kentucky looks to keep its momentum going against Georgia (3:25 p.m., ABC).
Sun Belt: Georgia State is the heavy favorite to win the bid, but Arkansas State is coming off a four-overtime win and will have some momentum (3 p.m.). Western Kentucky vs. UL-Lafayette in the other semifinal (5:30 p.m.)
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