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It’s a busy day Tuesday in conference tournament action with five championship games and the ACC Tournament starting with its first round. Monday featured two teams punching their tickets to the NCAA Tournament.   

Appalachian State is heading back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000 after capping an improbable run through the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Monday with an 80-73 win over No. 1 seed Georgia State. As the No. 4 seed from the league’s East Division, the Mountaineers were forced to play four games in four days and went to overtime twice during the journey.

They still, however, had enough energy at the final horn to rush the floor and celebrate a monumental achievement for a school better known to most for its strong football legacy. Though Appalachian State (17-11) didn’t receive a great seed in the league tournament, the Mountaineers showed during their four-day run that they could be a threat in the NCAA Tournament. With four guards — including a pair of seniors in Justin Forrest and Michael Almonacy — averaging double figures — watch out because this is the type of team that busts brackets.

The Mountaineers were one of two teams to secure an automatic bid to the Big Dance on Monday, joining UNC Greensboro, which survived an upset bid from No. 7 seed Mercer in the Southern Conference Tournament final to win 69-61. The Spartans were the No. 1 seed in the SoCon and will be making their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament under ninth-year coach Wes Miller. Star guard Isaiah Miller led all scorers with 25 points in the title game after scoring 21 in quarterfinal and semifinal victories over The Citadel and ETSU.

You don’t have to wait until the field of 68 is announced to fill out your brackets. Play Conference Bracket Challenge presented by Hertz and pick the tournaments for a $10,000 cash prize or start a pool and compete against friends. No purchase necessary, see Rules for details.

We’re keeping up with the various tournament schedules and automatic qualifiers here as the madness of March begins to heat up.

Tuesday’s conference tournament schedule, scores

All times ET

  • ACC: First round
  • Big West: First round
  • Colonial: Championship — No. 8 Elon vs. No. 6 Drexel, 7 p.m. (CBS Sports Network) 
  • Conference USA: First round
  • Horizon League: Championship — No. 3 Oakland vs. No. 1 Cleveland State, 7 p.m.
  • MAAC: First round
  • NEC: Championship — No. 4 Mount St. Mary’s vs. No. 2 Bryant, 7 p.m.
  • Southland: First round 
  • Summit: Championship — No. 4 Oral Roberts vs. No. 3 North Dakota State, 9 p.m.
  • WCC: Championship — No. 2 BYU vs. No. 1 Gonzaga, 9 p.m.

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2021 conference tournament schedules

Conference Tournament site Dates Championship Game, Time, TV
AAC Fort Worth, Texas March 11-14 March 14, 3:15 p.m., ESPN
ACC Greensboro, N.C. March 9-13 March 13, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
America East Campus sites Feb. 27-28, March 6,13 March 13, 11 a.m., ESPN2
Atlantic 10 Richmond,/Dayton March 3-6, 14 March 14, 1 p.m., CBS
ASUN Jacksonville, Fla. March 3-7 Liberty (23-5)
Big East New York March 10-13 March 13, TBA, FOX/FS1
Big Sky Boise, Idaho March 10-13 March 13, 8 p.m., ESPNU
Big South Campus sites Feb. 27, March 1,4,7 Winthrop (23-1)
Big Ten Indianapolis March 10-14 March 14, 3:30 p.m., CBS
Big 12 Kansas City March 10-13 March 13, 6 p.m., ESPN
Big West Anaheim March 9, 11-13 March 13, 11:30 p.m., ESPN2
Colonial Washington D.C. March 6-9 March 9, 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Conference USA Frisco, Texas March 9-13 March 13, TBA, CBS Sports Network
Horizon League Indianapolis Feb. 25, March 2, 8-9 March 9, 7 p.m., ESPN
Ivy League No Tournament in 2021
MAAC Atlantic City, N.J. March 9-13 March 13, 4 p.m., ESPNU
MAC Cleveland, Ohio March 11-13 March 13, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
MEAC Norfolk, Va. March 11-13 March 13, 1 p.m., ESPN2
Missouri Valley St. Louis March 4-7 Loyola Chicago (24-4)
Mountain West Las Vegas March 10-13 March 13, 6 p.m., CBS
Northeast Campus sites March 6 & 9 March 9, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Ohio Valley Evansville, Ind. March 3-6 Morehead State (23-7)
Pac-12 Las Vegas March 10-13 March 13, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Patriot Campus sites March 3, 6, 10 & 14 March 14, Noon, CBS Sports Network
SEC Nashville, Tenn. March 10-14 March 14, 1 p.m., ESPN
Southern Asheville, N.C March 5-8 UNCG (21-8)
Southland Katy, Texas March 9-13 March 13, 9:30 p.m., ESPN2
Summit Sioux Falls, S.D. March 6-9 March 9, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Sun Belt Pensacola, Fla. March 5-8 Appalachian State (17-11)
SWAC Birmingham, Ala. March 10-13 March 13, 6 p.m., ESPNU
WAC Las Vegas March 10-13 March 13, 10 p.m., ESPNU
West Coast Las Vegas March 4-6 & 8-9 March 9, 9 p.m., ESPN