Prelude to Madness: 2013 Conference Tournaments Open Thread

USA TODAY Sports

Saturday conference tournaments open thread.

There is not much to add what has already been said about last night's win against Arizona and Jordan Adams. We are all hoping he will heal and get back to 100 percent for next year. Hopefully he will have a new coach to play for who will energize our program and perhaps get him more than 4 or 5 team-mates worthy of D-1 scholarships.

In the meantime our championship game against the Duckies is set for tonight at 8 pm PST. While losing Adams is a blow, it shouldn't be an excuse for Ben and his groupies given that he still has Norman Powell coming from the bench - an incredibly talented athlete who has been in the program for 2 years. Plus, it begs the question why we are in a position to go into the NCAA tourney with only 7 scholarship players on the roster.

Anyway, our game is not till late and before then for college basketball junkies is a lot of action coast-to-coast. Here are some of the key games from today courtesy of Chris Dobbertean of SBNation.com (all times are Eastern in this list):

ACC Semifinals

Both Games on ACC Network or ESPN and ESPN3D (Check Your Local Listings)
N.C. State vs. Miami, 1 p.m. ET
Yesterday, the Wolfpack likely burst Virginia's bubble. Today, they'll try to end the Hurricanes' hopes for a No. 1 seed.

Maryland vs. North Carolina, approx. 3:30 p.m. ET
Even though the Terrapins have two wins over Duke, there are still holes to be filled on their profile. A win over the Tar Heels is vital, but the automatic bid may still be a necessity.

A10 Semifinals

Both Games on CBS Sports Network
Butler Bulldogs vs. Saint Louis, 1:30 p.m. ET
The Billikens, very much in play for a three or four seed, will look to defeat the Bulldogs for the third time this season.

UMass Minutemen vs. Va. Commonwealth Rams, approx. 4 p.m. ET
The Minutemen are a team that has a real chance to do what St. Bonaventure did last season -- make the last few at-large candidates very unhappy by grabbing the A-10's auto bid. Of course, if UMass beats the Rams, they could earn some more at-large consideration for themselves.

Big 12 Final

Kansas State vs. Kansas, 5:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Perhaps the third time will be the charm for the Wildcats, who will look to deprive the Jayhawks of a shot at a No. 1 seed.

Big East Final

Syracuse vs. Louisville, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
The Cardinals should sew up a No. 1 seed with a victory over the Orange, which is playing for a protected seed.

Big Ten Semifinals

Both Games on CBS
Wisconsin vs. Indiana, 1:30 p.m. ET
The Badgers defeated the Hoosiers by five in Bloomington on January 15th. A second win would be significant for Wisconsin's seeding and might just keep Indiana from claiming the top spot overall.

Michigan State vs. Ohio State
The winner of this one will be in good position to earn a two seed on Sunday, but a spot on the top line is unlikely, even with a Big Ten tournament crown.

C-USA Final

Southern Mississippi vs. Memphis, 11:30 a.m. ET (CBS)
Bubble teams from coast-to-coast will be cheering for the Tigers to keep C-USA a one-bid conference.

MAC Final

Ohio vs. Akron, 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
When the evening arrives, bubble rooting interests will switch to the Zips, who will look to beat the Bobcats for the third time. However, tonight, they'll need to do so without the services of suspended point guard Alex Abreu.

MWC Final

UNLV vs. New Mexico, 6 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Lobos will deserve a spot on the second seed line with a win over the Runnin' Rebels on their home floor, and you could argue that they should get a No. 1. But will the Committee show the Mountain West any respect?

Pac-12 Final

Oregon vs. UCLA, 11 p.m. ET (ESPN)
The Bruins managed to defeat Arizona for the third time on Friday night. However, UCLA will head into the remainder of the postseason, including tonight's final against the Ducks, without Jordan Adams, who broke his foot at the very end of Friday's win. Note that the Ducks won the lone regular season meeting between the two.

SEC Semifinals

Both Games on ABC
Alabama vs. Florida, 1 p.m. ET
The Crimson Tide must win this one if they want to sneak in as one of the final at-larges, as another Top 50 win is a necessity. If you're a fan of the bubble team, you'll want to cheer for the Gators, even if it pains you to do so. A Florida loss means the SEC will certainly send a somewhat surprising auto bid winner into the field.

Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi, approx. 3:30 p.m. ET
Can the Commodores, the defending SEC Tournament champs, continue their surprise run? If they do, they'll likely keep the Rebels out of the field.

Seven one-bid conferences will also determine their automatic qualifiers as Saturday unfolds.
America East: Albany at Vermont, 11:30 a.m. ET (ESPN2)
SWAC: Prairie View vs. Southern U., 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
MEAC: North Carolina A&T vs. Morgan State, 5 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Southland: Northwestern State vs. Stephen F. Austin, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Big Sky: Weber State at Montana, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Big West: UC Irvine vs. Pacific, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
WAC: UT Arlington vs. New Mexico State, 11 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Enjoy the games.

GO BRUINS.

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