We knew it would take a lot for the nation to be sold on the Rhode Island Rams. After all, an Atlantic 10 team that didn’t live up to expectations last year (thanks to an unfortunate injury) isn’t going to woo the casual fan right away.
But the Rams beat Cincinnati on Saturday, 76-71, however, sending a wakeup call to the rest of the nation.
They’ll have a chance to open even more eyes on Sunday when they take on No. 1 (for now) Duke in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off title game.
The Blue Devils advanced to the final with a 78-68 semifinal win over Penn State.
That game will tip off at 1 p.m. on Sunday live from Mohegan Sun Arena, and can be caught on ESPN.
While the Rams are working on knocking off the nation’s top team, Northern Iowa will be in search of a marquee win of its own. The Panthers beat Arizona State and Oklahoma in the quarterfinals and semifinals en route to a spot in the Tire Pros Classic championship game, where they will face No. 11 Xavier in a 7:30 p.m. tilt on ESPN2.
Here’s the rest of the day’s mid-major TV schedule. All times Eastern.
Davidson vs. Arizona State, Tire Pros Invitational, ESPNU, 2:30 p.m.
UMES at Wichita State, ESPN College Extra, 3:30 p.m.
Hampton at Kansas State, ESPN College Extra, 6 p.m.
Wake Forest at College of Charleston, Charleston Invitational, ESPNU, 7 p.m.
Duquesne at Kentucky, ESPNU, 9 p.m.
Big Ten Network:
Niagara at Rutgers, Noon
Florida Gulf Coast at Michigan State, 7 p.m.
CBS Sports Network:
St. Joseph’s vs. Ole Miss, Paradise Jam, 6 p.m.
Comcast Sports Net:
Robert Morris at Richmond, Mid-Atlantic, 1:30 p.m.
Milwaukee at DePaul, FS1, 1:30 p.m.
Colorado State at Stanford, National, 6 p.m.
Northern Arizona at Washington, National, 8 p.m.
Long Beach State at UCLA, National, 10 p.m.
New Hampshire at West Virginia, Pittsburgh, 2 p.m.
Stetson at East Carolina, 1 p.m.
Boise State vs. Western Michigan, Charleston Classic, 1:30 p.m.
Manhattan at Temple, 2 p.m.
Georgia Southern at Mercer, 2 p.m.
Northern Kentucky at Miami-Ohio, 2 p.m.
Towson at Maryland, 2 p.m.
UTEP vs. Mississippi State, Charleston Classic, 3:30 p.m.
Miami vs. Grand Canyon, Hall of Fame Tip-Off, 6 p.m.
Green Bay at Bowling Green, 6 p.m.
Albany vs. Brown, Hall of Fame Tip-Off, 8:30 p.m.
Yale at Virginia, 1 p.m.
Stony Brook at Boston College, 1 p.m.
Detroit at Florida State, 5 p.m.
Atlantic 10 Digital Network:
Lipscomb at Fordham, 3:30 p.m.
Big South Network:
North Dakota State at High Point, 12:30 p.m.
Siena at UNC-Asheville, 2 p.m.
Navy vs. UNC-Greensboro, 7 p.m.
East Tennessee St. at UNC-Wilmington, 3 p.m.
UMass at Holy Cross, 1 p.m.
Princeton at Lehigh, 2 p.m.
Florida A&M at Air Force, 4 p.m.
LIU-Brooklyn at Boston U., 4:30 p.m.
Nicholls at San Diego, 5 p.m.
Iona at Nevada, 8 p.m.
The Citadel at Iowa State, 2 p.m.
Presentation at North Dakota, 5 p.m.
Radford at Akron, 7 p.m.
OVC Digital Network:
Sam Houston State at Tennessee Tech, 3 p.m.