Louisville v Memphis

If you’re in need of a serious college basketball fix before the actual Madness begins, then today is your lucky day as 17 conference tournaments are in play, including 13 conference championship games.

With those 13 conference tournament finals taking centre stage, 13 teams will earn automatic bids to next week’s NCAA tournament, and two teams opened today’s action doing just that.

In the Conference USA tournament final, Memphis cruised past Southern Mississippi, 91-79, for the Tigers’ third straight C-USA title and seventh conference championship in the last eight years. Meanwhile, Albany held off defending champions Vermont, 53-49, to capture their first America East tournament title in six years.

While the Great Danes will likely be one of the lowest seeded automatic bids and therefore might even find themselves in one of the four play-in games, the 20th-ranked Tigers should have done enough by now to lock down a 5-7 seed somewhere in the bracket.

Other conferences that will be decided today are:

Southwestern – Southern vs. Prairie View A&M – 4:30 p.m.

Mid Eastern – Morgan State vs. North Carolina A&T – 5 p.m.

Big 12 – Kansas vs. Kansas State – 6 p.m.

Mountain West – New Mexico vs. UNLV – 6 p.m.

Mid American – Akron vs. Ohio – 6:30 p.m.

Big East – Syracuse vs. Louisville – 8:30 p.m.

Southland – SF Austin vs. Northwestern State – 8:30 p.m.

Big Sky – Montana vs. Weber State – 9 p.m.

Big West – UC Irvine vs. Pacific – 10:30 p.m.

Pac 12 – UCLA vs. Oregon – 11 p.m.

WAC – Texas-Arlington vs. New Mexico State – 11 p.m.

In addition, semifinals are underway in the Atlantic-10, the ACC, the Big Ten and the SEC. In other words, get your popcorn ready. It’s going to be a great day of hoops.