Casual Cheering Guide for Tonight's NCAA Hoops Action

Well a lot has happened since our last installment on Friday.  The Big South, Atlantic Sun, Ohio Valley, and Missouri Valley Conferences all crowned their champions this weekend, four more conference champions will be crowned tonight, and two other conferences will have their semifinals.

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March is the best.  via beat.bodog.com

Quick recap of the weekend's action:

  • Former Hoya-Victim UNC Asheville knocked off another FHV in Coastal Carolina to become the very first team into the dance
  • Belmont soundly beat upstart six seeded North Florida in the Atlantic Sun championship
  • Morehead State won the Ohio Valley Conferences automatic birth behind the play of Kenneth Faried
  • Indiana State defeated conference favorite Missouri State in Missouri Valley Conference Final.  They may have stolen a bid as the Bears are now on the bubble, but unfortunately (for them) they're likely on the outside looking in

After the Jump everything you need to know about tonight's games

Colonial Athletic Association Tournament Finals:
  • #2 Old Dominion vs. #4 Virginia Commonwealth 7pm ESPN VCU upset the #1 Seed and everyone's darlings the George Mason Patriots. Old Dominion beat the #3 seed Hofstra in the semis. The teams split the season series each winning on the others' home court. ODU won the rematch. ODU is in the NCAAs win or lose. So if you like seeing major conference teams have their bubbles pop - root for the Rams. If you care about Georgetown having a Conference champ on their resume root for ODU.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Finals:

  • #2 Iona vs. #4 St. Peters 7pm ESPN2 The Peacocks of St. Peter's upset the #1 seed Fairfield in the Semifinals. Iona blew out the #3 seed Rider. Iona swept the season series winning by 18 and then 14. I am often torn in games like this. Do you root for the better team (Iona) who is more likely to give a team a good game in the NCAAs. Or do you root for the upstart underdogs. It's a one bid conference so no bids to be stolen here.

Southern Conference Tournament Finals:

  • #1S College of Charleston vs. #2S Wofford 9pm ESPN2 This is going to be a very good game. College of Charleston has a great player in Andrew Goudelock. The Cougars beat a tough #3S Furman team by 5 in the semifinals. We beat Wofford in the Charleston Classic. They beat the #1N Western Carolina in the semifinals by 14. The terriers were swept by Charleston in the regular season. Root for Wofford. 

West Coast Conference Tournament Finals:

  • #1 St. Mary's vs. #2 Gonzaga 9pm ESPN St. Mary's beat the #4 seed Santa Clara in the semifinals while Gonzaga beat the #3 seed San Francisco. The teams split their regular season meetings. Both teams are currently on the bubble. The winner gets an automatic bid, the loser sweats it out on selection Sunday. St. Mary's is more likely to get in with a loss. I don't think Gonzaga deserves to be in, but they might sneak in even with a loss.

Summit League Tournament Semi Finals:

  • #1 Oakland vs. #5 South Dakota State 7pm ESPN3 Again do you root for the best team Oakland who ran through the summit league regular season and has an NBA talent in Keith Benson? Rr the plucky upstart with the funny mascot - the SDSU Jackrabbits? Oakland won both meetings by 9 points. Oakland beat Southern Utah on the 5th. SDSU beat the IPFW mastodons last night, so Oakland has an extra day of rest.
  • #2 Oral Roberts vs. #3 IUPUI 9:30pm ESPN3 A battle between two teams with names that are fun to say. Oral Roberts defeated North Dakota State on Saturday while the Jaguars beat the UMKC Kangaroos. Oral Robert swept the season series. 

Sun Belt Conference Tournament Semi Finals:

  • #E3 Western Kentucky vs. #W4 North Texas 7pm ESPN3 This is a battle of two of the greatest mascots in college sports. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are represented by Big Red a Blobby Muppet that enjoys eating people's coats. They will take on the North Texas Mean Green. Both teams pulled upsets to make it this far. W Kentucky beat #W2 Louisiana Lafayette while North Texas stunned #E1 Florida Atlantic. Western Kentucky won their lone meeting this year by 11 at home.
  • #E2 Middle Tennessee  vs. #W5 Arkansas Little Rock 9:30pm ESPN3 The Blue Raiders of middle Tennessee beat Isiah Thomas and Florida international the #6 seed in the quarter finals. The Trojans upset the #W1 seed Arkansas state. Arkansas Little Rock one the single meeting between the two teams in the regular season at home.
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