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A viewing guide to college basketball's championship weekend and Selection Sunday

The Miami Herald — David Wilson The Miami Herald

March 15-- Mar. 15--This is March, so it's time to start learning about college basketball.

There's no better crash course for March Madness and bracket season than the final two days of conference tournaments.

On Saturday and Sunday, every major conference will hold its championship games, which means now is the perfect time to check out the majority of teams which have a shot to actually get to the Final Four and win a national championship next month.

The weekend really kicks off Friday, when the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference, Big East Conference and nine others will play their semifinals.

The next day, those 13 conferences -- plus one other -- will play their championship games, while the Big Ten Conference, Southeastern Conference and four others move into their semifinals, with those six championships to follow Sunday.

The day wraps up with the selection show, which airs at 6 p.m. EST on CBS. Before then, these are all the chances this weekend to check out all the contenders, pretenders and spoilers who will take over the next month:

Saturday, March 16

America East Conference championship

When: 11 a.m. EST

Where: Burlington, Vermont

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Vermont Catamounts

What's at stake: The UMBC Retrievers are trying to get back to the NCAA Tournament after upsetting the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in the first round last year, but Vermont is the favorite playing at home.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship

When: 1 p.m. EST

Where: Norfolk, Virginia

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Norfolk State Spartans

What's at stake: Norfolk State is the favorite for the automatic berth and a likely No. 16 seed.

Southwestern Athletic Conference championship

When: 5 p.m. EST

Where: Birmingham, Alabama

TV channel: ESPNU

The favorite: Texas Southern Tigers

What's at stake: Texas Southern finished three games behind the Prairie View A&M Panthers, but finished strong. Winner probably is a No. 16 seed.

Big 12 Conference championship

When: 6 p.m. EST

Where: Kansas City

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Kansas State Wildcats

What's at stake: The Texas Tech Raiders' stunning loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers on Thursday leaves Kansas State and the Kansas Jayhawks as the two favorites, but West Virginia will try to keep its run going and steal a bid.

Mountain West Conference championship

When: 6 p.m. EST

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

TV channel: CBS

The favorite: Nevada Wolf Pack

What's at stake: Nevada is trying to move up to be a No. 4 or 5 seed, and everyone other than the Wolf Pack and Utah State Aggies will try to steal a bid.

Big East Conference championship

When: 6:30 p.m. EST

Where: New York

TV channel: FOX

The favorite: Villanova Wildcats

What's at stake: Villanova, the Marquette Golden Eagles and Seton Hall Pirates are all Tournament locks, and bubble teams like the St. John's Red Storm, Creighton Bluejays and Georgetown Hoyas all lost Thursday.

Mid-American Conference championship

When: 7:30 p.m. EST

Where: Cleveland

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Buffalo Bulls

What's at stake: Buffalo is the overwhelming favorite and a Tournament lock, so the rest of the league is looking to steal a bid.

Big Sky Conference championship

When: 8 p.m. EST

Where: Boise, Idaho

TV channel: ESPNU

The favorite: Montana Grizzlies

What's at stake: Montana is trying to get to the Tournament for the second straight year from this one-bid league.

Atlantic Coast Conference championship

When: 8:30 p.m. EST

Where: Charlotte

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Virginia Cavaliers

What's at stake: Virginia, the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels all have a chance at a No. 1 seed if they make it to Saturday.

Conference USA championship

When: 8:30 p.m. EST

Where: Frisco, Texas

TV channel: CBS Sports Network

The favorite: Old Dominion Monarchs

What's at stake: Old Dominion needs to win to get into the Tournament, but the Western Kentucky Hilltopers have a likely first-round pick in center Charles Bassey

Southland Conference championship

When: 9:30 p.m. EST

Where: Katy, Texas

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Abilene Christian Wildcats

What's at stake: Southland is a one-bid league likely to get a No. 15 or 16 seed.

Western Athletic Conference championship

When: 10 p.m. EST

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

TV channel: ESPNU

The favorite: New Mexico State Aggies

What's at stake: New Mexico State needs to win to secure its seventh trip to the Tournament in eight years.

Pac-12 Conference championship

When: 10:30 p.m. EST

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Washington Huskies

What's at stake: Washington is the only tournament lock. The Arizona State Sun Devils will try to make sure the Pac-12 isn't just a one-bid league.

Big West Conference championship

When: 11:59 p.m. EST

Where: Anaheim

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: UC Irvine Anteaters

What's at stake: The Big West is a one-bid league, but UC Irvine could be a first-round spoiler in the Tournament.

Sunday, March 17

Ivy League championship

When: noon EST

Where: New Haven, Connecticut

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Yale Bulldogs

What's at stake: The Ivy winner is always a potential first-round spoiler and Yale or the Harvard Crimson could be the latest.

Southeastern Conference championship

When: 1 p.m. EST

Where: Nashville

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Tennessee Volunteers

What's at stake: Tennessee and the Kentucky Wildcats are both trying to get a No. 1 seed, while the LSU Tigers want to solidify themselves as a No. 2. The Florida Gators are firmly on the bubble.

Atlantic 10 Conference championship

When: 1 p.m. EST

Where: Brooklyn

TV channel: CBS

The favorite: VCU Rams

What's at stake: VCU should be a lock, so everyone else is trying to steal a bid by winning the A-10 tournament.

Sun Belt Conference championship

When: 2 p.m. EST

Where: New Orleans

TV channel: ESPN2

The favorite: Georgia Southern Eagles

What's at stake: Georgia Southern, the Georgia State Panthers and UT Arlington Mavericks are the three favorites to land the Sun Belt's one Tournament berth.

American Athletic Conference championship

When: 3:15 p.m. EST

Where: Memphis

TV channel: ESPN

The favorite: Houston Cougars

What's at stake: Houston ran away with the league and wants to grab a top-two seed, but the Cincinnati Bearcats and Central Florida Knights are worthy challengers. The Temple Owls are firmly on the bubble.

Big Ten Conference championship

When: 3:30 p.m. EST

Where: Chicago

TV channel: CBS

The favorite: Michigan State Spartans

What's at stake: The Big 10 is up for grabs with Michigan State, the Michigan Wolverines, Purdue Boilermakers and Wisconsin Badgers all legitimate threats to win the tournament.

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