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 week, so join us!
The good games
West Coast Conference Semifinals
No. 5 San Francisco Dons vs. No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Spread: Gonzaga -13
Time: 9 p.m. ET
The ‘Zags might be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA’s even with a loss, but lock up the top line with a win. There might be a rust concern as they haven’t played in nine days thanks to the double-bye format of the WCC Tournament, as well as an added off day for the women’s tournament on the same floor, but it shouldn’t be much of an issue for a team that lost this event in the final last year.
No. 3 Saint Mary’s Gaels vs. No. 2 BYU Cougars
Spread: BYU -4.5
Time: 11:30 p.m. ET
Both these teams should be in safely, with the Gaels on an 8-line or so, and the Cougars in the 5-6 range. BYU would need to beat Gonzaga in the final to move up, while Saint Mary’s could remove 100% of the 1% of doubt about their status with a win here.
Southern Conference Championship
No. 7 Wofford Terriers vs. No. 1 E. Tennessee State Buccaneers
Spread: ETSU -7
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Wofford with the out-of-nowhere run in the SoCon, knocking off No. 2 Furman in the quarterfinals by nine, then UT-Chattanooga last night by a bucket. ETSU will be their biggest challenge however, as the Buccaneers would be a bubble candidate even with a loss. In a bad year for the mid-majors, the Bucs are 29-4 and 18-2 in the league. They beat Wofford twice this season, but only by seven points combined.
The Sleeper Game
No. 5 Delaware Blue Hens vs. No. 1 Hofstra Pride
Spread: Hofstra -3.5
TV: CBS Sports
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
This one should be good. Hofstra can score with anyone on the perimeter, and UD is excellent on the block at at getting to the line. The Blue Hens won in Newark in January, but the Pride cracked back by 16 on their home floor 16 days ago. A fun clash of styles in a terrific little gym in Southeast Washington DC, home of the WNBA Champion Washington Mystics.
The Rest of The Slate
CBB Tournaments March 9
|Oral Roberts||North Dakota St. -1||7:00 PM|
|Green Bay||Northern Kentucky -5||9:30 PM||ESPN2|
|Coastal Carolina||App State -3.5||7:00 PM|
|Illinois Chicago||Wright St. -6||7:00 PM||ESPNU|
|Purdue Fort Wayne||North Dakota -2||9:30 PM|
|Central Michigan||Ohio -5||7:00 PM|
|Eastern Michigan||Kent St. -7.5||7:00 PM|
|Elon||Northeastern -9||8:30 PM||CBSSN|
|Louisiana||Georgia Southern -8.5||7:00 PM|
|Miami OH||Buffalo -9||7:30 PM|
|Western Michigan||Toledo -9.5||7:00 PM|
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN) or 1-800-522-4700 (NH). NH/NJ/WV/IN/PA only. 21+ (18+ NH). Eligibility Restrictions Apply. See website for details.