More and more teams are seeing their seasons come to an end.
And across the country, bubbles are popping and resumes are strengthening. the Friday of conference tournament play is going to bring the NCAA Tournament bracket to a firmer mold. We’ve got you covered for what you need to watch and where. Below, the schedule of Friday’s tournaments with links to each and every bracket, including live updates.
Here are the conference tournaments in action on Friday:
We’ve got more information below on all the other teams that have already secured their spot in the Dance.
Be sure to bookmark/favorite this page, as it is where you’ll want to frequently check in to get the fastest and latest updates on who is heading to the NCAAs.
|2019 conference tournaments|
|AAC||Memphis, Tenn.||March 14-17|
|ACC||Charlotte, N.C.||March 12-16|
|America East||Campus sites||March 9, 12 & 16|
|Atlantic 10||Brooklyn, N.Y.||March 13-17|
|Atlantic Sun||Campus sites||March 4-10||Liberty|
|Big East||New York||March 13-16|
|Big Sky||Boise, Idaho||March 11-16|
|Big South||Campus sites||March 5-10||Gardner-Webb|
|Big Ten||Chicago, Ill.||March 13-17|
|Big 12||Kansas City||March 13-16|
|Big West||Anaheim||March 14-16|
|Colonial||North Charleston, S.C.||March 9-12||Northeastern|
|Conference USA||Frisco, Texas||March 13-16|
|Horizon League||Detroit||March 5-12||Northern Kentucky|
|Ivy League||New Haven, Conn.||March 16-17|
|MAAC||Albany, N.Y.||March 7-11||Iona|
|MEAC||Norfolk, Va.||March 11-16|
|Missouri Valley||St. Louis||March 7-10||Bradley|
|Mountain West||Las Vegas||March 13-16|
|Northeast||Campus sites||March 6, 9 & 12||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|Ohio Valley||Evansville, Ind.||March 6-9||Murray State|
|Pac-12||Las Vegas||March 13-16|
|Patriot||Campus sites||March 5, 7, 10 & 13||Colgate|
|SEC||Nashville, Tenn.||March 13-17|
|Southern||Asheville, N.C||March 8-11||Wofford|
|Southland||Katy, Texas||March 13-17|
|Summit||Sioux Falls, S.D.||March 9-12||North Dakota State|
|Sun Belt||New Orleans||March 12-17|
|SWAC||Birmingham, Ala.||March 12, 15-16|
|WAC||Las Vegas||March 13-16|
|West Coast||Las Vegas||March 7-12||Saint Mary’s|
And here’s what to know about who else has punched their tickets so far.
For the first time since 1996, the Colgate Raiders will play in the Division I men’s basketball NCAA Tournament. Top-seeded Colgate knocked off No. 2 Bucknell 94-80 on Wednesday night to lock up a bid. The Raiders are 24-10; it’s the winningest season in school history.
Patience has paid off. Matt Langel is in his eighth season at Colgate and has brought the program back to prominence. The Patriot League gets new blood into the NCAAs; Bucknell had won three of the previous conference tournaments. The league has sent six different programs in the past eight years. A lot of variety from one of the more underrated mid-major leagues in America. Colgate tracks, potentially, as a No. 14 seed.
WCC: Saint Mary’s
Well, we have a stunner.
On Tuesday night in the WCC final, second-seeded Saint Mary’s — which had little-to-no-chance at earning an at-large bid with a loss to No. 1 Gonzaga in the championship game — upset Gonzaga 60-47 to earn the automatic bid and give the program its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in 18 seasons under Randy Bennett.
It was the school’s first win over a No. 1-ranked team in history. In fact, it was the first time SMC won over a top-10 AP-ranked team. Saint Mary’s snapped Gonzaga’s perfect run in WCC and potentially put the Zags’ No. 1 seed outlook in peril. We’ll have to wait and see on Selection Sunday. It’s still a crowded field for the top line; as of Thursday night, the only true luck for a No. 1 seed is Virginia.
Horizon: Northern Kentucky
No. 2 Northern Kentucky was dominant from the outset of the Horizon League title game, beating No. 1 Wright State 77-66 and avenging last season’s champ-game defeat. This is the second Big Dance appearance in three seasons for the Norse, who are not even a decade into Division I existence. John Brannen is an underrated coach.
NEC: Fairleigh Dickinson
In the NEC title game, No. 2 Fairleigh Dickinson defeated No. 1 St. Francis (PA) 85-76 on the Red Flash’s home floor, giving the Knights their second NCAA tourney appearance under coach Greg Herenda; FDU last made it into the big bracket in 2016. The NEC title game is often a dramatic one, but FDU controlled St. Francis most of the night. It’s FDU’s sixth appearance in the NCAAs.
And in the CAA final, No. 1 Hofstra fell at the hands of Vasa Pusica and No. 2 Northeastern, 82-74. Pusica was out of his mind, sinking seven 3-pointers and downing the Pride and their standout senior, Justin Wright-Foreman, who is the second leading scorer in college basketball this season (27.0). For Northeastern, it’s the Huskies’ second trip under coach Bill Coen, the first coming back in 2015.
Summit: North Dakota State
Meantime, the Summit League championship saw No. 4 North Dakota State upset No. 2 Omaha 73-63 to make its second NCAAs in five seasons under Dave Richman. The Bison figure to be a 16 seed. Incredibly, just two out of 11 leagues have seen their No. 1 seed win the auto bid: Wofford in the SoCon and Iona in the MAAC.
The MAAC Tournament championship game went to Iona for the fourth straight season. Tim Cluess’ Gaels won 81-60 over Monmouth in a No. 1 vs. No. 6 matchup. Iona has made the NCAAs in six out of nine seasons under Cluess, making them one of the most consistent mid-major programs of the past decade. Iona is likely to be a 16 seed in what’s been a good year, but this is not a vintage, high-level-offense Gaels squad.
The Wofford Terriers will take a 20-game winning streak and the Southern Conference automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament with what’s surely to be a quality seed.
The Terriers came back to win on Monday night against UNC Greensboro, 70-58, in the SoCon title game. In doing so, Mike Young’s team could bump up another seed line. Heading into the title game, Jerry Palm projected Wofford as an 8 seed. Might a 7 or a 6 be possible? Why not? This is the fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, all coming since 2010.
Atlantic Sun: Liberty
The Liberty Flames are on their way to the fourth Big Dance in school history. Liberty won at top-seeded Lipscomb for the second time this season, doing so in a game that featured 23 lead changes. A 74-68 final means the 2018-19 Flames squad joins the 1993-94, 2003-04 and 2012-13 teams to break on through to the big bracket. A 13 seed is likely for the 28-6 Flames.
Liberty won in spite of what was unequivocally the most hilarious and egregious flop in college basketball this season.
Big South: Gardner-Webb
On Sunday afternoon, Gardner-Webb defeated second-seeded Radford — the reigning Big South tourney champs — to make its first NCAA Tournament in program history. The Runnin’ Bulldogs earned it: prior to beating Radford, Gardner-Webb upended top-seeded Campbell on its home floor in the Big South semis. The tourney newcomers figure to land as a 16 seed on Selection Sunday.
Missouri Valley: Bradley
In the Missouri Valley Tournament, Bradley made history: the Braves scored just 15 points by halftime against Northern Iowa, then roared back from an 18-point deficit to pull off the biggest comeback victory in MVC title game history. The final: 57-54. The Braves will be in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 13 years. Back in 2006, Bradley was in via an at-large; Sunday’s victory is the first conference tournament championship for the school since 1988. Bradley will either be a 15 or 16 seed depending on how the low-major conference tournaments unfold in the coming week.
Ohio Valley: Murray State
On Saturday night, the Ohio Valley Conference tourney handed out the first of 68 bids to the 2019 NCAAs. Murray State played a strong game and won 77-65 over top-seeded Belmont, creating an interesting bubble debate in the process. Murray State’s win means Ja Morant, a potential top-five pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, will be back in the NCAAs for a second consecutive season.
The Racers, who figure to be a 13 seed, will be must-watch no matter what team they wind up against in the first round. With Morant’s talent, this squad is obviously a prime candidate for one a first-weekend Cinderella story. At 27-4, Matt McMahon’s team poses a real threat to just about anyone it will see in the NCAA Tournament. The Racers will have the longest official wait of any team until Selection Sunday: eight days.