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College Hoops Key Games: 14 Championships

[lead align=”default”]On this day before Selection Sunday 2017, fourteen league championship contests are among the college hoops key games on the board.[/lead]

We’ve come a long way to get to this point, and a day and a half from now, we’ll be filling out brackets. Before that happens, however, we need to learn most of the rest of the teams that will be there.

Of the 32 conferences in college basketball, entering Saturday’s action, we’ve barely crowned a dozen champions. Lost ground will be made up for today, and here’s a look at each and every one of the title games.

College Hoops Key Games: Championship Saturday

[alert heading=”America East (11am ET): Albany vs. Vermont” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Catamounts still have not lost a game to an America East opponent this season. If today is the day, they’re not going to the NCAA Tournament despite 28 wins over the course of the year. College basketball can be a cruel mistress, but only if you lose.[/alert]

[alert heading=”MEAC (1pm ET): Norfolk State vs. North Carolina Central” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The cream rose to the top in the MEAC with the two best teams meeting in the final. NC Central, the one-seed in the league, won the only meeting over NSU by 15.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Big East (5:30pm ET): Creighton vs. Villanova” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Wildcats look assured of a one seed in the NCAA Tournament, but can polish off a Big East title en route. Villanova swept Creighton during the regular season.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Big 12 (6pm ET): Iowa State vs. West Virginia” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]No Kansas and no Baylor is just what everyone predicted, of course. Iowa State is red hot while West Virginia has all the pieces they need to win their conference title today. Both will be in the NCAA Tournament with a respectable seed.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Mountain West (6pm ET): Colorado State vs. Nevada” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Mountain West looks like a one-bid league this year, and Nevada intends to grab it. Nevada, the regular-season champion, beat Colorado State just last week. These were the two top teams in the MWC this year.[/alert]

[alert heading=”SWAC (6:15pm ET): Alcorn State vs. Texas Southern” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Regardless of what happens, Texas Southern is going dancing because Alcorn State is ineligible. Kind of anticlimactic, one would think.[/alert]

[alert heading=”MAC (7:30pm ET): Kent State vs. Akron” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Let the battle of Northeast Ohio commence. These rivals are 20 minutes away from each other, and 40 minutes each from the NCAA Tournament.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Big Sky (8:30pm ET): Weber State vs. North Dakota” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]North Dakota has never made the Division I NCAA Tournament. Today may be a seminal moment in the program’s history. The Fighting Hawks swept Weber State earlier in the year.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Conference USA (8:30pm ET): Marshall vs. Middle Tennessee” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Middle Tennessee is a 29-win team that will not be on the bubble if they lose today. Yet, it’s win-and-in for both schools; the Blue Raiders’ only conference loss this season was not to Marshall.[/alert]

[alert heading=”ACC (9pm ET): Duke vs. Notre Dame” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]People who can’t stand either of these schools have nowhere to turn with this game. Duke is probably aiming for a two seed if they win, and they beat the Irish in their only prior meeting this season.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Southland (9:30pm ET): Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. New Orleans” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Another smaller league where the two-best teams made it all the way. The winner most likely grabs a 16 seed. In their only prior meeting this season, the Privateers escaped with a one-point victory.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Pac-12 (11pm ET): Arizona vs. Oregon” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Winner of this game might get a one seed. The teams come into this game with the exact same record of 29-4 (16-2). Arizona no doubt wants payback for their embarrassing loss at Oregon in February.[/alert]

[alert heading=”WAC (11pm ET): New Mexico State vs. Cal State Bakersfield” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Roadrunners just played a quadruple-OT game last night to get here; one wonders what they’ll have in the tank. These two teams split their games in the regular season, but who will win the rubber game?[/alert]

[alert heading=”Big West (11:30pm ET): UC-Davis vs. UC-Irvine” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Aggies meet Anteaters in the latest game of the day. The East Coast will be watching hoops until about 1:30am on Sunday, and then losing an hour of sleep. Davis and Irvine split their two games in the regular season, but UC-Irvine just beat the Aggies by 30 last week.[/alert]

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