[Note by Joel Hollingsworth, 03/11/12 1:02 PM EDT ] And if you can stomach it, this will serve as the SEC Championship open thread. We'll probably also have a Selection Show open thread because a miniscule chance is still something. And no, I don't know
Yeah, I know. Last night wasn't fun. Still, for a team that ...what, five weeks ago we were talking about the CBI? Going from that to the cusp of the NCAA tourney - and now, likely home game(s?) in the NIT - isn't a bad run as far as Februaries go. Enjoy it. This Tennessee team has gotten worlds better in a very short period of time, and for that they deserve all the praise you care to throw their way, regardless of how the SEC Tournament came to an end.
For now, though? Life goes on. There are plenty of games today and tonight - no, really, plenty of games. Twelve(!) conferences determine their champion today - as I write this, the C-USA Championship is getting handed to Memphis underway. New Mexico is in a dogfight with UNLV late in the Mountain West semifinals (in Las Vegas, on CBS College Sports). Vermont (remember them from a few years back?) is up on Stony Brook and close to punching their ticket. Florida and Kentucky go again, take three. Vanderbilt - yeah, I know - plays Ole Miss - yeah, I know - in the nightcap. Ohio State and Michigan, Big Ten semis, top ten teams. (That doesn't even count the Wisconsin-Michigan State matchup, which is impressive in its ow right.) With a Missouri win tonight, the SEC has two conference champions entering the 2012-13 basketball season. Louisville and Cincinnati - of all teams - fight for the Big East championship, and I can't be the only one who remembers when this matchup used to happen in C-USA.
Today is the beginning of the best nine days of the college basketball calendar (ten, if you follow the women's game as well). For once, it's safe for us to root for the underdogs. This is the open thread for Saturday. Let's go get it.