College Basketball

NCAA Tournament Update: Who Has Punched Their Ticket To The Big Dance?

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Conference tournament season in college basketball is in full swing, with 17 different leagues hitting the hardwood on Thursday, offering a massive slate of games for fans to devour all day long. With several automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament already claimed, the journey to March Madness has begun for many programs eager to add their names to the list come Selection Sunday.
The heavy hitters of college basketball, such as the ACC, Big 12, Big East, and Pac-12, are already underway with quarterfinal action, while other potential one-bid leagues are gearing up for their shot at glory.

While no championship games are on the slate for Thursday and Friday, come Saturday, there will be a whopping 13 title games, with three conference tournament finals already played on Wednesday. So grab some snacks, find a cozy spot on the couch, and get ready for a weekend of thrilling college basketball action.

Who Is Already Dancing?

Patriot League:

Colgate is heading to the NCAA Tournament yet again as the program’s dominance of the Patriot League continued Wednesday night with a 79-61 win over Lafayette in the conference tournament final. This will mark Colgate’s fourth consecutive Big Dance appearance under 12th-year coach Matt Langel. The win marks 20 in the past 21 games for the No. 1 seed Raiders, who got double-figure point totals from five different players in a dominant performance against the No. 2 seed Leopards. Colgate is seeking their first win in the NCAA tournament as they’ve suffered losses to Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Tennessee in the last three NCAA tourneys.

Big Sky Conference:

The Montana State Bobcats have done it again. They claimed their second consecutive Big Sky Conference Tournament title by taking down the No. 9 seed Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 85-78. RaeQuan Battle put on a scoring clinic, dropping 25 points to lead the Bobcats to their eighth straight victory and send the Lumberjacks packing.

Northern Arizona made a valiant effort, but it was not enough to overcome the Bobcats’ hot shooting and tenacious defense. The Lumberjacks were attempting to make history by becoming the first team with more than 20 losses to make it to the NCAA Tournament, but their unlikely run ended at the hands of the reigning champions.

Montana State’s victory marks their eighth straight win and secures their spot in the NCAA Tournament, where they will look to make some noise on the national stage. Watch for this talented team as they continue their march toward March Madness.

Southland Conference:

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders are headed back to the big dance. Under the guidance of second-year coach Steve Lutz, the team secured their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after a hard-fought 75-71 victory over Northwestern State in the Southland Conference Tournament final.

The Islanders were firing on all cylinders, shooting an impressive 57.4% from the field and relying on their deep bench to deliver 30 crucial points. Their victory marks their 13th win in their last 14 games, cementing their status as a team on the rise.

Jalen Jackson was the star of the show for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, pouring in 17 points and taking control of the game in the second half after the teams were knotted at 31 at halftime. The Islanders are looking to pick up their first NCAA Tournament victory in school history.

Tournaments In Action Thursday

  • AAC: First round
  • ACC: Quarterfinals
  • American: First round
  • Atlantic 10 – Quarterfinals
  • Big 12: Quarterfinals
  • Big East: Quarterfinals
  • Big Ten: Second round
  • Big West: Quarterfinals
  • Conference USA: Quarterfinals
  • MAAC: Quarterfinals
  • MAC: Quarterfinals
  • MEAC: Quarterfinals
  • Mountain West: Quarterfinals
  • Pac-12: Quarterfinals
  • SEC: Second round
  • SWAC: Quarterfinals
  • WAC: Quarterfinals