March Madness Daily Guide
Baylor vs. West Virginia
Baylor faces West Virginia for the third time this season at 11:30 a.m. CST on ESPN2. The first two versions of the contest resulted in dominant Baylor wins, as the Bears' length and team athleticism poked holes in the WVU press. Juwan Staten is doubtful for today, which seriously bolsters Baylor's chances. Sans Staten, West Virginia will be forced to look for other options on offense against a strong Baylor zone.
Big 12 Quarterfinals
It's a full day for the Big 12. Eight teams remain, and four will survive. TCU will attempt to upset Kansas and force Revivalry III at 2:30, Texas looks to unseat Iowa State at 7, and Bedlam is at 9. Kansas, Iowa State, and Oklahoma are all hefty favorites in their games.
American First Round
UCF and East Carolina will settle the pirates vs. knights argument, Houston and Tulane will attempt to follow the act, and defending national champion UCONN looks to knock off a weak South Florida. UCONN isn't nearly the team it was last year, but no one gave last year's UCONN much credit going into the postseason either.
Atlantic 10 Second Round
Fordham and Duquesne survived the first round and will take a run at No. 1 seed Virginia Commonwealth and No. 2 seed George Washington respectively. The other games are Saint Joe's vs. St. Bonaventure and La Salle vs. UMASS.
Big East Quarterfinals
A likely No. 1 overall seed takes the floor in the Big East as Villanova plays Marquette, fresh from their win in the first round. Georgetown and Butler are both likely tournament teams and host Creighton and a salty Xavier. The most interesting game of the day is St. John's vs. Providence. The two 21-10 teams are looking to bolster their resume at the last minute to ensure their spot in the tourney; Lunardi has them at a six and seven seed respectively.
Big Sky Quarterfinals
Favorite Eastern Washington hits Idaho, Portland State hits Sacramento State, Northern Colorado hits Northern Arizona, and Weber State hits Montana. Six of these teams have winning records, but the chances of more than one making the tournament are slim to none. Eastern Washington is the runaway favorite to win the conference.
B1G Second Round
Nebrasketball and Rutgers didn't live through the night, but Penn State and Minnesota still have a shot as they try to survive Ohio State and Iowa. Michigan looks for redemption against Illinois and Northwestern will look to do the same against Indiana. Wisconsin, Purdue, Maryland, and Sparty wait patiently for a worthy challenger to approach in the quarterfinals.
Big West Quarterfinals
The University of California system is going to cannibalize itself. UC Irvine and UC Riverside, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis and Cal State Northridge, and Hawaii and Long Beach State. Some of you may recall Long Beach State from the 2012 NIT run.
Conference USA Quarterfinals
There are some teams with very good records in Conference USA. Among them are Western Kentucky (20-11) who play UAB, UTEP (21-9) who play Florida International, Old Dominion (24-6) who play Middle Tennessee, and Louisiana Tech (24-7) who play Rice.
Eastern Michigan and Akron have struck down two opponents already in their quest for the MAC's auto-bid, and to get a shot at the top two they'll need to get through Toledo and Kent State. Buffalo and Central Michigan await the winners of today's games. If Eastern Michigan wins, it will guarantee Directional Michigan's presence in the conference title game. Godspeed, Directional Michigan.
I try and I try to find a compelling storyline in the MEAC, and I fail and fail again. Hampton plays Maryland-Eastern Shore. Delaware State plays Howard, a school that actually uses all of the Buffalo Bills' iconography. Norfolk State is hosting and is kind of a good team I suppose.
Mountain West Quarterfinals
The Mountain West is an absolutely massive conference in terms of geographical influence. I mean, it's the Canada of conferences; a ton of space and not much that anyone pays attention to. Boise State is a nice road trip and the syrup is fantastic. The people are super nice too. I'm not sure if I'm talking about the conference or Canada at this point. Anyway, Boise State vs. Air Force, Utah State (home of Heath Nielsen but also called the Aggies) vs. Wyoming, UNLV vs. San Diego State, and Fresno State vs. Colorado State. Goodness there's a lot of basketball.
Quarters in the Pac-12 feature some quality basketball. Arizona looks to tighten their grip on a 2 seed against Cal, Utah is jockeying for a higher seed against Stanford, USC and UCLA play a rivalry game that probably won't get either of them into the dance, and Colorado tries for an upset of Oregon.
SEC Second Round
The SEC teams playing today arguably have the most to gain of any active teams. Alabama and Florida is somewhat irrelevant, but Texas A&M can quite possibly punch their ticket with a win against Auburn. Ole Miss can do the same against South Carolina. Vandy's hopes are slim at this point, but if they can knock off Tennessee they won't be completely dead.
SWAC Quarterfinals Day 2
Four teams with losing records. It's a pretty ugly slate. Alabama A&M vs. Southern and Jackson State vs. Prairie View A&M. See, I told you. Plus, look at all of those A&Ms. It's an eyesore.
Sun Belt First Round
The Fun Belt is only slightly better than the SWAC today. Texas State faces UT-Arlington, the only Sun Belt team today to carry a winning record, and Arkansas-Little Rock faces South Alabama in an absolute snoozer.
WAC First Round
Do you want to hear about the WAC? You probably don't, but it's my job to tell you about it. Six teams are playing in the first round of the WAC tournament and not a single one won more games than they lost this year. Seattle (playing Chicago State (why is Chicago State in the Western Athletic conference (there's a Chicago State?))) broke even at 14-14. Utah Valley, Bakersfield, UT-Pan American, and Missouri-Kansas City (what are those two doing in the WAC also?) all posted losing records by a significant margin.