College Sports

A viewing guide to college basketball’s championship weekend and Selection Sunday

De’Andre Hunter #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers reacts after a play against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on March 14, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
De’Andre Hunter #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers reacts after a play against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on March 14, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Getty Images

This is March, so it’s time to start learning about college basketball.

There’s no better crash course for March Madness and bracket season than the final two days of conference tournaments.

On Saturday and Sunday, every major conference will hold its championship games, which means now is the perfect time to check out the majority of teams which have a shot to actually get to the Final Four and win a national championship next month.

The weekend really kicks off Friday, when the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference, Big East Conference and nine others will play their semifinals.

The next day, those 13 conferences — plus one other — will play their championship games, while the Big Ten Conference, Southeastern Conference and four others move into their semifinals, with those six championships to follow Sunday.

The day wraps up with the selection show, which airs at 6 p.m. EST on CBS. Before then, these are all the chances this weekend to check out all the contenders, pretenders and spoilers who will take over the next month:

Saturday, March 16

America East Conference championship

When: 11 a.m. EST

Where: Burlington, Vermont

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Vermont Catamounts

What’s at stake: The UMBC Retrievers are trying to get back to the NCAA Tournament after upsetting the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in the first round last year, but Vermont is the favorite playing at home.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship

When: 1 p.m. EST

Where: Norfolk, Virginia

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Norfolk State Spartans

What’s at stake: Norfolk State is the favorite for the automatic berth and a likely No. 16 seed.

Southwestern Athletic Conference championship

When: 6 p.m. EST

Where: Birmingham, Alabama

TV channel: ESPNU

The favorite: Texas Southern Tigers

What’s at stake: Texas Southern finished three games behind the Prairie View A&M Panthers, but finished strong. Winner probably is a No. 16 seed.

Big 12 Conference championship

When: 6 p.m. EST

Where: Kansas City

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Kansas Jayhawks

What’s at stake: The Texas Tech Raiders and Kansas State Wildcats both went down earlier in the week, leaving Kansas as the favorite once again.

Mountain West Conference championship

When: 6 p.m. EST

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

TV channel: CBS

The favorite: Utah State Aggies

What’s at stake: San Diego State will try to steal a bid with both Utah State and the Nevada Wolf Pack locks.

Big East Conference championship

When: 6:30 p.m. EST

Where: New York

TV channel: FOX

The favorite: Villanova Wildcats

What’s at stake: Villanova, the Marquette Golden Eagles and Seton Hall Pirates are all Tournament locks, and bubble teams like the St. John’s Red Storm, Creighton Bluejays and Georgetown Hoyas all lost Thursday.

Mid-American Conference championship

When: 7:30 p.m. EST

Where: Cleveland

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Buffalo Bulls

What’s at stake: Buffalo is the overwhelming favorite and a Tournament lock, so the rest of the league is looking to steal a bid.

Big Sky Conference championship

When: 8 p.m. EST

Where: Boise, Idaho

TV channel: ESPNU

The favorite: Montana Grizzlies

What’s at stake: Montana is trying to get to the Tournament for the second straight year from this one-bid league.

Atlantic Coast Conference championship

When: 8:30 p.m. EST

Where: Charlotte

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Duke Blue Devils

What’s at stake: Duke may have sewed up a No. 1 seed with its in against the North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday. A win Saturday would further the Blue Devils’ case.

Conference USA championship

When: 8:30 p.m. EST

Where: Frisco, Texas

TV channel: CBS Sports Network

The favorite: Old Dominion Monarchs

What’s at stake: Old Dominion needs to win to get into the Tournament, but the Western Kentucky Hilltopers have a likely first-round pick in center Charles Bassey

Southland Conference championship

When: 9:30 p.m. EST

Where: Katy, Texas

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Abilene Christian Wildcats

What’s at stake: Southland is a one-bid league likely to get a No. 15 or 16 seed.

Western Athletic Conference championship

When: 10 p.m. EST

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

TV channel: ESPNU

The favorite: New Mexico State Aggies

What’s at stake: New Mexico State needs to win to secure its seventh trip to the Tournament in eight years.

Pac-12 Conference championship

When: 10:30 p.m. EST

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Washington Huskies

What’s at stake: Washington is the only tournament lock, but the Oregon Ducks have a chance to steal a bid in the title game.

Big West Conference championship

When: 11:59 p.m. EST

Where: Anaheim

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: UC Irvine Anteaters

What’s at stake: The Big West is a one-bid league, but UC Irvine could be a first-round spoiler in the Tournament.

Sunday, March 17

Ivy League championship

When: noon EST

Where: New Haven, Connecticut

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Yale Bulldogs

What’s at stake: The Ivy winner is always a potential first-round spoiler and Yale or the Harvard Crimson could be the latest.

Southeastern Conference championship

When: 1 p.m. EST

Where: Nashville

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Tennessee Volunteers

What’s at stake: Tennessee and the Kentucky Wildcats are both trying to get a No. 1 seed, while the Florida Gators are playing their way off the bubble.

Atlantic 10 Conference championship

When: 1 p.m. EST

Where: Brooklyn

TV channel: CBS

The favorite: Davidson Wildcats

What’s at stake: The VCU Rams lost Friday, which means the conference winner will steal a bid to the Tournament.

Sun Belt Conference championship

When: 2 p.m. EST

Where: New Orleans

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Georgia Southern Eagles

What’s at stake: Georgia Southern, the Georgia State Panthers and UT Arlington Mavericks are the three favorites to land the Sun Belt’s one Tournament berth.

American Athletic Conference championship

When: 3:15 p.m. EST

Where: Memphis

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Houston Cougars

What’s at stake: Houston ran away with the league and wants to grab a top-two seed, but the Central Florida Knights and Cincinnati Bearcats are worthy challengers.

Big Ten Conference championship

When: 3:30 p.m. EST

Where: Chicago

TV channel: CBS

The favorite: Michigan State Spartans

What’s at stake: The Big 10 is up for grabs with Michigan State, the Michigan Wolverines and Wisconsin Badgers all legitimate threats to win the tournament.

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