Not a shabby way to open the tournament, eh?
Unfortunately, I wasn't home for most of the great stuff -- for example, I was in the car when N.C. State was up 16 or something with like 5 minutes to go, only to get back in the car and hear "AND SAINT LOUIS TIES THE GAME" because what the holy heck just happened?
I did get to watch the end of San Diego State and New Mexico State, though. That was awesome.
Here's to hoping for more of that today, although there's only one of the 5/12 matchups left, and those were the ones that produced the most drama. That said, here are two games that I think have the potential to be awesome.
No. 11 Tennessee vs. No. 6 UMass: Like Harvard/Cincinnati yesterday, this is one of those matchups that would be an upset in name only -- in fact, the Vols are anywhere from 4 1/2- to 6-point favorites, depending on where you look. Tennessee played an exciting First Four game on Wednesday, and that, in fact, is its calling card -- if they're playing, it's either a blowout or very close. And they usually lose the close ones. So, the narrative likely either will be "No. 11 seed blows out No. 6 seed!" or the game will be super exciting.
No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State: CougZags can get fired up to cheer for their team, while the rest of us can get excited to watch Gonzaga's latest tournament choke job. Man for man, OSU is more talented, but the Cowboys have yet to really cash in on that talent in a highly inconsistent year. They've got the talent for a deep run, though. Additionally, they're precisely the kind of team Gonzaga is prone to losing to: OSU shoots an above average number of threes and shoots them well. The Cowboys could very well be the "welp they got hot from three and what can you do about that?" opponent that beats Gonzaga this year.
Friday's Game Schedule
|MidWest||Mercer Bears (14) vs. Duke Blue Devils(3)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||9:15a||CBS||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|West||Nebraska Cornhuskers (11) vs. Baylor Bears (6)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||9:40a||truTV||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craig Sager|
|South||Stanford Cardinal (10) vs. New Mexico Lobos (7)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||10:40a||TBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|West||Weber State Wildcats (16) vs. Arizona Wildcats (1)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||11:10a||TNT||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|
|MidWest||Tennessee Volunteers (11) vs. Massachusetts Minutemen (6)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||11:45a||CBS||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|West||Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (14) vs. Creighton Bluejays (3)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||12:10p||truTV||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|South||Eastern Kentucky Colonels (15) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (2)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||1:10p||TBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|West||Oklahoma State Cowboys (9) vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs (8)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||1:40p||TNT||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|
|East||George Washington Colonials (9) vs. Memphis Tigers (8)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||3:55p||TBS||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|MidWest||Cal Poly Mustangs/ Texas Southern Tigers (16) vs. Wichita State Shockers (1)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||4:10p||CBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|East||Providence Friars (11) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (6)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||4:20p||TNT||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|South||Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (12) vs. Virginia Commonwealth Rams (5)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||4:27p||truTV||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|
|East||Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (16) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (1)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||6:25p||TBS||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|MidWest||Kansas State Wildcats (9) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (8)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||6:40p||CBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|East||NC Central Eagles (14) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (3)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||6:50p||TNT||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|South||Tulsa Golden Hurricane (13) vs. UCLA Bruins (4)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||6:57p||truTV||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|