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Daniel Wilco | | March 8, 2017

Morning Madness: Wednesday, March 8

  Northern Kentucky heads to the NCAA tournament in its first year of eligibility after winning the Horizon League.

Here's what you need to know in college hoops for Wednesday, March 8.

Eleven automatic bids down, 21 to go. We're just four days from Selection Sunday and the tournament field is slowly filling out.

Gonzaga, SD State, Mount St. Mary's, Northern Kentucky ... dance!

Shocker of the day: Gonzaga secured their spot in the NCAA tournament. Phew! That was a close one for the 32-1 Zags, No. 4 in the nation. They took down St. Mary's 74-56 in the West Coast Conference championship, though the Gaels likely also will be hearing their names called on Sunday.

South Dakota State held off Omaha 79-77 in the Summit League title game after the Mavericks' buzzer beater clanked off the rim, Mount St. Mary's became the first team since 2012 to start 1-11 and make the NCAA tournament after they beat St. Francis 71-61 for the NEC crown, and Northern Kentucky's 59-53 win over Milwaukee both stopped history (Milwaukee's 23 losses would have been the most in the tournament ever) and made it (the Norse qualified for the tournament in their first year of eligibility). 

Keep up with all the tickets being punched and check out the full conference tournament schedule.

Full Tuesday scoreboard

One, the loneliest number

The Patriot League is the only conference hosting its tournament championship tonight. It's Lehigh and Bucknell.

Elsewhere, the ACC's second round continues with Miami vs. Syracuse (12 ET), No. 14 Duke vs. Clemson (2:30 ET), Wake Forest vs. Virginia Tech (7 ET) and No. 21 Virginia vs. Pitt (9:30 ET).

The Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, C-USA, Mountain West, Pac-12, SEC, Southland, SWAC and Sun Belt tournaments all begin tonight as well.

Full Wednesday schedule

The Big Ten goes to Washington

The Big Ten tournament has been in Chicago or Indianapolis every year since 1998. So, naturally, they moved it to Washington, D.C. this year.'s Mike Lopresti previewed the tournament field and talked with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany to explore why the move was made.

One of us, one of us

The Ivy League finally joined the pack and decided to choose its NCAA tournament representative via a conference tournament. Only the top four teams in the conference will play for now (Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Penn), but it'll be an historic tournament, and probably an entertaining one as well.

The tournament starts Saturday, but you can read our preview of it now.

How to pick your NCAA bracket by mascot

Yes, you read that correctly.

We wrote an entire article on a statistical analysis of the correlation between a team's mascot and how that team performs in March Madness. 

If you want to join us in our delusion -- where these things actually matter -- and see whether Cats or Dogs really rule, we break it all down in a bit of Mascot Madness.

Mark your calendar

Selection Sunday: March 12
First Four in Dayton: March 14, 15
First Thursday of the NCAA tournament: March 16
Final Four in Phoenix: April 1-3


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