The Pi-Rate Ratings

March 12, 2016

NCAA Men’s Basketball Conference Tournament Update: 3/12/16

We are giving our 32 expert Bracketologists the morning off to recover from last night’s marathon that went well past Midnight in the Eastern Time Zone, so that they can be fully charged and ready to present you with the most accurate Bracket tomorrow.  Last year, these guys nailed 67 of 68 teams in their final Bracketology report, when most others could only muster 65 or 66, including the big-names that then spent 3 hours on Selection Sunday trying to tell the Selection Committee how to do their job rather than admit their inaccuracies.


If you are a basketball junkie, then today is the day you do not venture outside your home, unless you are headed to a sports bar.  Beginning at 11 AM Eastern and continuing until past Midnight once again, you can watch round the clock games, often times on more than one network at the same time, and you won’t be finished until it is time to lose an hour and turn up your clock.


Not only are today’s slate of games continual, this may be the best Championship Saturday in years with games that might be better than the first two rounds of the Big Dance!


Without further adieu, here is the breakdown for the day.


Teams Earning Automatic Bids
Ohio Valley: Austin Peay (18-17)
Ivy League: Yale (22-6)
Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast (20-13)
Big South: UNC-Asheville (22-11)
Missouri Valley: Northern Iowa (22-12)
Colonial Athletic: UNC-Wilmington (25-7)
Metro Atlantic: Iona (22-10)
Southern: Chattanooga (29-5)
Horizon: Green Bay (23-12)
Northeast: Fairleigh-Dickinson (18-14)
Summit: South Dakota St. (26-7)
West Coast: Gonzaga (26-7)
Patriot: Holy Cross 14-19


Automatic Bids Awarded Today
America East Conference Tournament
11:00 AM on ESPN2
#3 Vermont (21-12) at #1 Stony Brook (25-6)
Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament
Sites: Washington, DC
9:00 PM on ESPN
#1 North Carolina (27-6) vs. #2 Virginia (26-6)
Big 12 Conference Tournament
Site: Kansas City
6:00 PM on ESPN
#1 Kansas (29-4) vs. #2 West Virginia (26-7)
Big East Conference Tournament
Site: New York
5:30 PM on Fox
#1 Villanova (29-4) vs. #3 Seton Hall (24-8)
Big Sky Conference Tournament
Site: Reno, NV
8:45 PM on ESPNU
#1 Weber St. (25-8) vs. #2 Montana (21-10)
Big West Conference Tournament
Site: Anaheim
11:30 PM on ESPN2
#1 Hawaii (26-5) vs.#3 Long Beach St. (20-13)
Conference USA Tournament
Site: Birmingham
2:30 PM on Fox Sports 1
#2 Middle Tennessee (23-9) vs. #5 Old Dominion (22-12)
Mid-American Conference Tournament
Site: Cleveland
7:30 PM on ESPN
#1 Akron (26-7) vs. #3 Buffalo (19-14)
Mid-eastern Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Norfolk, VA
1:00 PM on ESPN2
#1 Hampton (20-10) vs. #3 South Carolina St. (19-13)
Mountain West Conference Tournament
Site: Las Vegas
5:00 PM on CBS
#1 San Diego St. (25-8) vs. #2 Fresno St. (24-9)
Pac-12 Conference Tournament
Site: Las Vegas
10:15 PM on FS1
#1 Oregon (27-6) vs. #2 Utah (26-7)
Southland Conference Tournament
Site: Katy, TX
9:30 PM on ESPN2
#1 Stephen F. Austin (26-5) vs. #2 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (25-6)
Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Houston
6:30 PM on ESPNU
#3 Jackson St. (19-14) vs. #4 Southern (21-12)
Western Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Las Vegas
11:00 PM on ESPNU
#1 New Mexico St. (23-9) vs. #2 Cal St. Bakersfield (23-8)


Other Tournaments In Action Today
American Athletic Conference Tournament
Site: Orlando
Semifinal Round
Both Games on ESPN2
#1 Temple (21-10) vs. #5 Connecticut (22-10) 3:00 PM
#6 Memphis (18-14) vs. #10 Tulane (12-21) 5:15 PM
Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament
Site: Brooklyn
Semifinal Round
Both Games on CBS Sports Network
#1 Dayton (25-6) vs. #4 St. Joseph’s (25-7) 1:30 PM
#2 VCU (23-9) vs. #6 Davidson (20-11) 4:00 PM
Big Ten Conference Tournament
Site: Indianapolis
Semifinal Round
Both Games on CBS
#4 Purdue (25-7) vs. #8 Michigan (22-11) 1:00 PM
#2 Michigan St. (27-5) vs. #3 Maryland (25-7) 3:30 PM
Southeastern Conference Tournament
Site: Nashville
Semifinal Round
Both Games on ESPN
#1 Texas A&M (25-7) vs. #4 LSU (19-13) 1:00 PM
#2 Kentucky (24-8) vs. #6 Georgia (19-12) 3:15 PM
Sun Belt Conference Tournament
Site: New Orleans
Semifinal Round
Both Games on ESPN3
#1 UALR (27-4) vs. #4 UL-Lafayette (17-13) 2:00 PM
#2 UL-Monroe (19-12) vs. #3 UT-Arlington (23-9) 4:30 PM


Today’s Schedule By The Hour

Time Network Conference Team vs. Team
11:00 AM ESPN-2 America East Stony Brook vs. Vermont
1:00 PM CBS Big Ten Purdue vs. Michigan
1:00 PM ESPN SEC Texas A&M vs. LSU
1:00 PM ESPN-2 MEAC Hampton vs. S. Carolina St.
1:30 PM CBS SN A-10 Dayton vs. St. Joe’s
2:00 PM ESPN-3 Sun Belt UALR vs. UL-Lafayette
2:30 PM Fox Sports 1 C-USA Middle Tenn. vs. Old Dominion
3:00 PM ESPN SEC Kentucky vs. Georgia
3:00 PM ESPN-2 American Temple vs. Connecticut
3:30 PM CBS Big Ten Michigan St. vs. Maryland
4:00 PM CBS SN A-10 VCU vs. Davidson
4:30 PM ESPN-3 Sun Belt UT-Arlington vs. UL-Monroe
5:00 PM ESPN-2 American Memphis vs. Tulane
5:30 PM Fox Big East Villanova vs. Seton Hall
6:00 PM CBS Mountain West San Diego St. vs. Fresno St.
6:30 PM ESPN-U SWAC Jackson St. vs. Southern
7:30 PM ESPN-2 MAC Akron vs. Buffalo
8:45 PM ESPN-U Big Sky Weber St. vs. Montana
9:00 PM ESPN ACC North Carolina vs. Virginia
9:30 PM ESPN-2 Southland S. F. Austin vs. Texas A&M-CC
10:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Pac-12 Oregon vs. Utah
11:00 PM ESPN-U WAC New Mexio St. vs. CSU-Bakersfield
11:30 PM ESPN-2 Big West Hawaii vs. Long Beach St.


Games Most Affecting The Bubble

The Bubble has been reduced to Don Ho’s favorite size.  There are few teams left that can now play their way in to the NCAA Tournament or be ex-communicated after concluding their regular season.


Vanderbilt, Pittsburgh, Monmouth, Saint Mary’s, Syracuse, Valparaiso, and Tulsa cannot improve their lots, as these seven teams must wait to see what happens in other games, namely:

Michigan playing Purdue–The Wolverines might have earned their spot in the field with the upset of top-seed Indiana yesterday, but a win today guarantees their admittance

Connecticut playing Temple–A Husky win puts UConn in the Dance at one of the above’s expense

LSU playing Texas A&M–The Tigers must win today to even get into the conversation and probably  must win the SEC Tournament

Georgia playing Kentucky–The Bulldogs are behind LSU in the fight, so they absolutely must win today and then cut the nets in Nashville tomorrow

Davidson playing VCU–The Wildcats are not in the at-large discussion, but a win today over the Rams puts Steph Curry’s alma mater in the dance automatically and pops a bubble at the bottom

Memphis playing Tulane–One of these dark horse teams will be playing in the American Championship Game tomorrow and saving their coach’s job for an extra day, as word has it that both are ready to fire their coaches

Fresno St. playing San Diego St.–If the Bulldogs pull off the upset, the Aztecs could still be in the mix, but we doubt it


The PiRates believe there are just three Bubble spots left in the NCAA Tournament, so all it takes is for three upset winners to crash the party, and the Bubble has been burst.  We would not hold out a lot of hope if your team is one of the seven Bubblers this morning, because there will be some party-crashers disconnecting your Bubbler from the water supply.


Note: If you do not know what are Bubblers, ask somebody from Wisconsin.


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