No. 6 Northeastern vs. No. 1 Hofstra, 7 pm, CBSSN
It may be a surprise that the Huskies advanced to the CAA title game as the No. 6 seed, but they were actually quite unlucky during conference play. Six of their nine losses came by three or fewer points. This game is a rematch of last season’s championship, which Northeastern won by eight to break the hearts of Hofstra fans. This should be a fun one between the league’s best team and one that has enough talent, including senior guard Jordan Roland, to make it a game.
No. 4 UIC vs. No. 2 Northern Kentucky, 7 pm, ESPN
UIC’s defense stifled top-seeded Wright St. in the semifinals last night and thus the Flames, who underachieved during the regular season, are set to take on the Norse for the chance to dance. KenPom gives NKU a 61% chance of earning the Horizon League’s automatic bid for a second straight season. The Flames will counter with a defense that ranked No. 1 in the conference in points allowed per possession in league play. Senior guard Tarkus Ferguson scored 25 points in the upset of WSU and is a player to watch for UIC.
No. 2 Saint Francis U. at No. 1 Robert Morris, 7 pm, ESPN2
Despite a bunch of close calls, the NEC got exactly what every mid-major conference wants, a showcase between its top two (eligible) teams with an automatic bid on the line. The cherry on top of the Sunday here is that these two teams also happen to be bitter geographic rivals. SFU and RMU split during the regular season, with each winning on their home court. The Red Flash are led by two awesome seniors, Keith Braxton and Isaiah Blackmon, the last two NEC players of the year. The Colonials will counter with a grind-it-out offensive style that’s complemented by Andy Toole’s signature defensive effort.
No. 6 North Dakota vs. No. 1 North Dakota St., 9 pm, ESPN2
NDSU survived a scare in the semifinals against Oral Roberts to reach the championship game against their in-state rival. The Fighting Hawks start three seniors, including Kienan Walter, who scored 20 points in their semifinal victory over IPFW. NSDU put three senior guards on the Summit all-conference first team after going 13-3 during league play. The Bison have a 70% chance of taking home the victory and heading to the NCAA tournament, according to KenPom
No. 3 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 1 Gonzaga, 9 pm, ESPN
After two close semifinals, the Gaels and Bulldogs will play in the WCC finals for the second straight season. Last year Saint Mary’s needed the victory to be assured of an NCAA tournament bid, but that’s not the case this time around. Unless something crazy happens the Gaels and Bulldogs will join BYU in a 3-bid WCC. Hopefully Saint Mary’s can keep this one respectable. The Gaels fell by 30 points and 10 points in their two regular season games against Gonzaga.