College basketball's best week is here By Associated Press - 03/04/2006 Duluth News Tribune
This is the week the hardcore college basketball fan waits for more than any other.
ESPN has named it "Championship Week." Its subtitle could be "the chance to see most of the bubble teams while getting a look at the possible first-round upset winners in the NCAA tournament."
ESPN and its properties will televise 80 men's games during "Championship Week," which runs through March 12. Included in that figure are 25 conference championship games, all of which decide an automatic berth to the NCAA's field of 65.
Fifty of the games will be broadcast over the final four days, with the last three -- Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 on ESPN and Southland Conference on ESPN2 -- on Selection Sunday.
The first of the games with a bid at stake are today and all were scheduled for ESPN2: the Big South, the Atlantic Sun and the Ohio Valley.
The entire Big East and Big 12 tournaments are part of the week, while eight of the ACC tournament games and five from the Big Ten are included.
The five conference tournament championships not on ESPN are: Big Ten, Conference USA, Missouri Valley, Pac-10 and Southeastern. The Ivy League is the only one of the 31 conferences that doesn't have a tournament.
NCAA Tournament, National Invitation Tournament:
"The National Invitation Tournament" (Arcadia Publishing) gives a decade-by-decade history of the older postseason tournament. Ray Floriani's book about the NIT is full of pictures, many of which haven't been seen in quite a while.
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