What you need to know about the Big Sky, C-USA, and SWAC Tournaments

Big Sky Conference

All games on campus sites until the semifinals.

Best to check conference website for exact streaming information for first two rounds.

First Round:

8. Portland State vs. 9. Northern Colorado, 3:05 p.m. Eastern

Winner plays 1. Weber State on Thursday.

5. North Dakota vs. 12. Southern Utah, 5:35 p.m.

Winner plays 4. Idaho State on Thursday.

7. Montana State vs. 10. Sacramento State, 8:35 p.m.

Winner plays 2. Montana

6. Eastern Washington vs. 11. Northern Arizona, 11:05 p.m.

Winner plays 3. Idaho

Semifinals on Friday, Championship game on ESPN sometime Saturday night.

Skinny:  Usually, Weber State dominates this tournament and I expect them to win again.  But don’t count Montana, they finished one game behind Weber State in the conference standings.

Conference USA

Best to check conference website for exact broadcast and streaming information.

First Round on Tuesday:

12. Florida Atlantic vs. 13. UT-San Antonio, 5 p.m.

Winner plays 5. Old Dominion at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Winner of 5/12/13 matchup gets 4. Louisiana Tech on Thursday.

Second Round on Wednesday:

8. Western Kentucky vs. 9. North Texas, 1 p.m.

Winner plays 1. UAB on Thursday.

7. UNC Charlotte vs. 10. Rice, 7 p.m.

Winner plays 2. Middle Tennessee on Thursday.

6. UTEP vs. 11. FIU, 9:30 p.m.

Winner plays 3. Marshall on Thursday

Semifinals on Friday, Championship game on Saturday on Fox Sports 1 cable.

Skinny:  UAB loves to dominate the glass, averaging over 42 rebounds a game.  But look out for Marshall and Louisiana Tech, who are averaging 85.8 and 80.3 ppg, respectively.  The darkhorse has to be Western Kentucky, based on their one run to the Sweet 16 several years ago in Tampa.

Southwestern Athletic Conference

Best to check ESPNU or the conference website for exact broadcast and streaming information.

First Round on Tuesday:

7. Mississippi Valley State vs. 10. Grambling, 3:30 p.m. Eastern

Winner plays 2. Texas Southern on Wednesday.

8. Alabama A&M vs. 9. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 9:30 p.m.

Winner plays 1. Alcorn State on Wednesday.

Quarterfinals on Thursday:

3. Jackson State vs. 6. Prairie View, 3:30 p.m.

Winner occupies lower half of the bracket on Thursday.

4. Southern University vs. 5. Alabama State, 9:30 p.m.

Winner occupies upper half of the bracket on Thursday.

Some semifinal games on Friday, Championship game on Saturday.

Skinny:  For several years, the SWAC traditionally has a wilted field because of their problems stemming from their academics.  If I had to do my best Bob Valvano take from ESPN Radio where he usually talks about his “Blind Stabs in the Dark”, my picks would be Texas Southern and Southern, but I did notice that most of these schools are usually at the bottom of the ladder as far as the RPI goes.  So when the overall seed list is released, I would not be surprised to see the SWAC champion earn the number 68 slot.  Besides, someone has to occupy that slot where nearly 300 other schools would love to have been included in the field.

See you all again later tonight, as I will briefly recap four more championship games–with the marquee matchup in Las Vegas, as St. Mary’s tries to end the 17 year tournament run of Gonzaga.

 

 

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