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Conference tournament viewers guide for March 3rd

We take a look at every game being played in every conference tournament tonight, including odds, spread, and tv schedule

Lipscomb Bisons center Ahsan Asadullah tries to block the shot of Auburn Tigers forward Danjel Purifoy during the first half at Auburn Arena. John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The Road to the Final Four starts Tuesday evening, as four leagues begin their conference tournaments. 32 conferences will help set the field for the NCAA Tournament with the bracket finalized on March 15th during Selection Sunday.

We’ll take a look at the matchup and spreads for each game tonight, and give you a bit of context for each game. We’ll be eliminating teams each day for the next two weeks, so join us!

Patriot League

No. 9 Loyola MD vs. No. 8 Lehigh

Spread: Lehigh -1
O/U: 147.5
TV: Patriot League Network
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The eighth-seeded Lehigh Mountain Hawks come in as slight favorites against the ninth-seeded Loyola Greyhounds in the first round of the Patriot League tournament. This will be a rematch of Saturday’s matchup when Lehigh won 74-71 on the road. Keep in mind Loyola only added Spanish superstar Santi Aldama on February 1st following a knee injury, and are 6-3 since. He’s their best player, and there’s no way the Greyhounds are playing an opening round game if they have him all season.

No. 10 Holy Cross vs. No. 7 Bucknell

Spread: Bucknell -13
O/U: 141.5
TV: Patriot League Network
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Bucknell Bison come in as the No. 7 seed against 10th-seeded Holy Cross Crusaders. Holy Cross is coming in with an overall record of 3-28. Bucknell won this matchup 75-60 in January and 69-48 on Feb. 17. Holy Cross hasn’t won a game in 2.5 months, and are the ninth-worst team in Division I by KenPom.

Atlantic Sun

No. 8 NJIT vs. No. 1 Liberty

Spread: Liberty -16.5
O/U: 121
TV: ESPN+
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Liberty Flames are huge favorites to win this tournament, with a record of 27-4 heading into tonight’s action. They’ll have home court all the way until the end, and they’re 66 in the NET rankings: 89 spots ahead of anyone they could play. Scottie James is probably the best player in A-Sun.

No. 7 Jacksonville vs. No. 2 North Florida

Spread: North Florida -9
O/U: 143.5
TV: ESPN+
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The No. 2 seed North Florida Ospreys go for their third consecutive victory over No. 7 seed Jacksonville Dolphins in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Sun tournament. UNF won the first matchup 75-68 on the road, and 81-66 at home. This is a rivalry game, but expect JU not to bring that many across town for what is expected to end their season.

No. 5 North Alabama vs. No. 4 Stetson

Spread: Stetson -1.5
O/U: 128.5
TV: ESPN+
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Stetson Hatters come into tonight’s matchup as the No. 4 seed against No. 5 North Alabama Lions. Stetson won the first two games between these two 75-64 and 54-49.

No. 6 FGCU vs. No. 3 Lipscomb

Spread: Lipscomb -6.5
O/U: 133.5
TV: ESPN+
Time: 7 p.m. ET

These teams split over the regular season, but Lipscomb enters having won six of their last seven to turn their season around. Ahsan Asadullah is one of the nation’s leaders in usage rate, having scored in double digits in every game since January 2nd this season.

Big South

No. 9 Presbyterian vs. No. 8 Charleston Southern

Spread: Chas. So -4.5
O/U: 137
TV: ESPN3
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Charleston Southern Buccaneers have dropped four in a row, including falling by 11 to this same Presbyterian team last Saturday. But before that the Blue Hose were no better, as they had lost six in a row too. Someone’s gotta win!

No. 10 High Point vs. No. 7 USC Upstate

Spread: USC Upstate -4.5
O/U: 138.5
TV: ESPN3
Time: 7 p.m. ET

High Point finished tied for last in the Big South this year, but beat the USC Upstate Spartans 62-54 on February 15th. Freshman Tommy Bruner for Upstate is the player to watch tonight.

No. 11 Campbell vs. No. 6 UNC-Asheville

Spread: Asheville -1.5
O/U: 140.5
TV: ESPN3
Time: 7 p.m. ET

UNCA just won this exact game on Saturday over the Campbell Camels 78-69 in Buies Creek on Saturday, so why is the spread only 1.5 at home here? We’re really not sure, but it seems awful close for a 6-11 game where the 6 has home court. But Asheville is actually behind Campbell in the NET rankings.

Horizon

No. 9 IUPUI vs. No. 8 Illinois-Chicago

Spread: UIC -7.5
O/U: 147
TV: ESPN+
Time: 8 p.m. ET

The IUPUI Jaguars finished 7-24, 3-15 in Horizon. Ken Pom has them as the 329th best team in college basketball. They’re pretty bad. The UIC Flames swept this series by a combined 14 points during the regular season.

No. 8 Milwaukee vs. No. 6 Youngstown State

Spread: Youngstown -4.5
O/U: 140.5
TV: ESPN+
Time: 7 p.m. ET

These two teams just played last Saturday, with the Milwaukee Panthers losing by four at home. The Youngstown State Penguins finished the season 17-4, 10-8 in the Horizon. Sophomore guard Darius Quisenberry is a scorer worth watching.

No. 7 Cleveland State vs. No. 6 Oakland

Spread: Oakland -7
O/U: 131.5
TV: ESPN+
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Cleveland State Vikings lost to these Oakland Grizzlies on this same court on February 13th 79-74. Xavier Hills-Mays should be the best player on the floor for the home team, a 6’7 forward that averaged 21.5 points per game in two matchups against CSU this season.

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