Championship Week: Day 11 Preview

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Over the next 13 days, the brackets will start to take shape. Teams with no at-large aspirations will make one final push at the post-season. Teams on the bubble will look to assert themselves as worthy members of “The Big Dance”, and contenders will start priming their engines for a national Championship run. While “March Madness” officially begins following Selection Sunday, the real madness starts now.

Until Sunday, March 11,  this will be your home for Championship Week recaps and previews. The players and teams are starting to prepare for March Madness, so you should too.

Game of the Night: Connecticut vs. Syracuse
The Huskies are looking to extend their postseason winning streak to 13 games against the top seed in the conference. A win against Syracuse would provide the signature win the Huskies need to solidify their tournament status. Syracuse has only been the top seed in the tournament four times since 1991, and they’ve lost their first game three of those times. Oh, and there’s the six overtimes thing too.

– Other Marquee Match-up: Kansas State vs. Baylor
Baylor needs this win for seeding and confidence. Kansas State needs this win in order to solidify an at-large birth. The last time these two teams played, Baylor got roughed up by the physical play of the Wildcats. Which ever team controls the tempo of the game should come away with the victory.

Player to Watch: Nick Johnson, Arizona
The freshman guard will be forced to take over the point because of yet another indefinitely suspension to Josiah Turner. The last time Johnson filled in for Turner, the Wildcats lost to Florida in overtime and he fouled out after scoring only five points and turning the ball over five times. Johnson might not be a game-changer but it will be interesting to see how he does in this “do-or-die” game for the Wildcats.

Miscellaneous Madness: South Florida still needs to win a big game, and a victory against Notre Dame should help their at-large hopes. All of the Big-XII should be entertaining, and even the Pac-12 will provide some noteworthy showdowns. Thursday is full of “good but not great” games from Noon til midnight.

Thursday Schedule

Atlantic Coast Conference First Round
12:00PM – #9 Wake Forest vs. #8 Maryland
2:00PM – #12 Boston College vs. #5 North Carolina State
7:00PM – #10 Virginia Tech vs. #7 Clemson
9:00PM – #11 Georgia Tech vs. #6 Miami

Big East Conference Quarterfinals
12:00PM – #9 Connecticut vs. #1 Syracuse
2:00PM – #5 Georgetown vs. #4 Cincinnati
7:00PM – #7 Louisville vs. #2 Marquette
9:00PM – #6 South Florida vs. #3 Notre Dame

Big-Ten Conference Tournament First Round
11:30PM – #9 Illinois vs. #8 Iowa
2:00PM – #12 Penn State vs. #5 Indiana
5:30PM – #10 Minnesota vs. #7 Northwestern
8:00PM – #11 Nebraska vs. #6 Purdue

Big-XII Conference Quarterfinals
11:30AM – #5 Kansas State vs. #4 Baylor
2:00PM – #9 Texas A&M vs. #1 Kansas
6:00PM – #7 Oklahoma State vs. #2 Missouri
8:30PM – #6 Texas vs. #3 Iowa State

Big West Conference Quarterfinals
3:00PM – #6 Pacific vs. #3 UC-Santa Barbara
5:30PM – #7 UC-Irvine vs. #2 Cal State-Fullerton
9:00PM – #8 UC-Davis vs. #1 Long Beach State
11:30PM – #5 UC-Riverside vs. #4 Cal Poly

Conference-USA Quarterfinals
12:00PM – #10 East Carolina vs. #2 Southern Mississippi
2:30PM – #6 Marshall vs. #3 Tulsa
6:30PM – #8 UTEP vs. #1 Memphis
9:00PM – #5 UAB vs. #4 Central Florida

Mid-American Conference Quarterfinals
7:00PM – #8 Western Michigan vs. #4 Kent State
9:30PM – #7 Toledo vs. #3 Ohio

Mid-Eastern American Conference Quarterfinals
6:00PM – #11 Florida A&M vs. #3 Delaware State
8:00PM – #4 Bethune-Cookman vs.#5 North Carolina Central

Mountain West Conference Quarterfinals
3:00PM – #8 Boise State vs. #1 San Diego State
5:30PM – #5 Texas Christian vs. #4 Colorado State
9:00PM – #7 Air Force vs. #2 New Mexico
11:30PM – #6 Wyoming vs. #3 UNLV

Pac-12 Conference Quarterfinals
3:00PM – #9 Oregon State vs. #1 Washington<
5:30PM – #5 UCLA vs. #4 Arizona
9:00PM – #7 Stanford vs. #2 California
11:30PM – #6 Colorado vs. #3 Oregon

Southeastern Conference First Round
1:00PM – #9 Arkansas vs. #8 Louisiana State
3:30PM – #12 South Carolina vs. #5 Alabama
7:30PM – #10 Auburn vs. #7 Ole Miss
10:00PM – #11 Georgia vs. #6 Mississippi State

Southland Conference Semifinals
7:05PM – #2 Stephen F. Austin vs. #3 Lamar
9:33PM – #4 McNeese State vs. #1 UT-Arlington

Southwestern Athletic Conference Quarterfinals
1:30PM – #6 Alcorn State vs. #3 Prairie View A&M
9:00PM – #5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. #4 Alabama State

Western Athletic Conference Quarterfinals
3:00PM – #6 Hawaii vs. #3 Idaho
5:30PM – #7 Fresno State vs. #2 New Mexico State
9:00PM – #8 San Jose State vs. #1 Nevada
11:30PM – #5 Louisiana Tech vs. #4 Utah State

 

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.