College basketball today: Four automatic bids, American Athletic conference season champion to be decided
Here’s what’s at stake on the last day of the regular season and around college basketball Sunday:
Cincinnati at Wichita State, 12 p.m., CBS: The Bearcats can still lay claim to a top 16 seed with a win over Wichita State and an American title. Lose to the Shockers and Wichita State will be co-champions with the Bearcats, but the Shockers would get a No. 1 seed in the AAC tournament. A sweep of the Bearcats would be quite a statement by Wichita State. These two could meet again in the AAC final next week in Orlando. Wichita State doesn’t have the overall resume that Cincinnati does but it would be hard to put the Shockers behind Cincinnati if they get the sweep.
Illinois State vs. Loyola-Chicago, St. Louis, 2 p.m., CBS: The Missouri Valley Conference title comes down to programs/coaches who are on the rise. The Ramblers would likely be the better choice to win a first-round game. But there’s no reason to discount the Redbirds as a viable first-round upset team. The shame of a Loyola loss would mean that the outright Valley champs wouldn’t play in the NCAAs after a sensational conference season.
Michigan vs. Purdue, 4:30 p.m., CBS: The Big Ten tournament title game at Madison Square Garden should be one of the best games in the Big Ten this season. Purdue beat Michigan twice earlier in the season, but both games were won in late possessions. Michigan matches up quite well with Purdue. The Wolverines are playing the best basketball of any team in the conference and if you’re looking for one team to latch onto as a possible Final Four team then the Wolverines would be a good pick. Michigan should be in the top 16 on the seed line with a win. Purdue still could claim a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with a conference tournament title.
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Lipscomb at Florida Gulf Coast, 3 p.m., ESPN: The Atlantic Sun title goes through Gulf Coast yet again. Lipscomb beat Gulf Coast two weeks ago. Florida Gulf Coast has an elite scorer in Brandon Goodwin, who started his career at UCF. The Eagles aren’t as strong as they were a few seasons ago, but could still be a tough out if they earn the automatic bid. Lipscomb had its moments earlier in the season when it swept Belmont, and has lost only one game since January 18.