Day One of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the greatest Thursday of the calendar year. And I don't care what anybody says, this is Round 1.
Below is the list of games and what channel you can expect to find the games.
|South||Dayton Flyers (11) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (6)||First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)||12:15p||CBS||Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce|
|West||American University Eagles (15) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (2)||BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI)||12:40p||truTV||Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson|
|South||Pittsburgh Panthers (9) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (8)||Amway Center (Orlando, FL)||1:40p||TBS||Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy|
|East||Harvard Crimson (12) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (5)||Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA)||2:10p||TNT||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio|
|South||Western Michigan Broncos (14) vs. Syracuse Orange (3)||First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)||2:45p||CBS||Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce|
|West||BYU Cougars (10) vs. Oregon Ducks (7)||BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI)||3:10p||truTV||Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson|
|South||Albany Great Danes (16) vs. Florida Gators (1)||Amway Center (Orlando, FL)||4:10p||TBS||Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy|
|East||Delaware Blue Hens (13) vs. Michigan State Spartans (4)||Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA)||4:40p||TNT||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio|
|East||Saint Joseph's (PA) Hawks (10) vs. Connecticut Huskies (7)||First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)||6:55p||TBS||Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce|
|MidWest||Wofford Terriers (15) vs. Michigan Wolverines (2)||BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI)||7:10p||CBS||Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson|
|MidWest||North Carolina State Wolfpack (12) vs. Saint Louis Billikens (5)||Amway Center (Orlando, FL)||7:20p||TNT||Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy|
|West||North Dakota State Bison (12) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (5)||Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA)||7:27p||truTV||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio|
|East||Milwaukee Panthers (15) vs. Villanova Wildcats (2)||First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)||9:25p||TBS||Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce|
|MidWest||Arizona State Sun Devils (10) vs. Texas Longhorns (7)||BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI)||9:40p||CBS||Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson|
|MidWest||Manhattan Jaspers (13) vs. Louisville Cardinals (4)||Amway Center (Orlando, FL)||9:50p||TNT||Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy|
|West||New Mexico State Aggies (13) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (4)||Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA)||9:57p||truTV||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio|
This is kind of a futile effort but I like a couple of 12-seeds today. I know that the 12/5 match-up is the cliched upset pairing but these are the ones I find myself drawn to this year. I makes some sense why this 12/5 pairing is ripe for upset. Typically the 12-seeded teams are the best of the one-bid conferences. So of all the "Cinderellas" at the ball often times these are the best of the bunch. And your five seeded teams are usually good teams from strong conferences but not exactly teams that are going to make a push for the Final Four.
(5) Oklahoma vs (12) North Dakota State - I think this is going to be a really good game. NDSU is experienced, they played a tough schedule to start the season and they shoot the ball really well. Watch what Taylor Braun can do against the Sooner defense.
(5) Cincinnati vs. (12) Harvard - The Crimson won't sneak up on anybody this year after making a run last year but that doesn't mean they aren't capable of winning anyway. Tommy Amaker has a team that plays very good defense and has some scoring punch in Wesley Saunders and Sinyani Chambers (of Golden Valley). Cincinnati is not a great shooting team and they may struggle to score on Harvard.
Manhattan - I really wanted to have the Jaspers as an upset pick this year but then they got stuck facing a white-hot Louisville team. No upset here, but just wanted to say that I like Manhattan.
Best Games to Watch
(10) Arizona State vs. (7) Texas - Jahii Carson of ASU is a 5-10 guard who is scoring about 19 points per game. This could be an tight and entertaining game.
Should be a bunch of snoozers for the Big Ten today. Michigan State should win comfortably as should Michigan and Wisconsin. Dayton vs. Ohio State involves two teams with closer seeds, but I think Ohio State wins this one pretty handily.
Favorite Nick-Name of the Day
One thing I love about the NCAA Tournament is getting to know some more obscure programs with great nicknames. Today's set of games has a few outstanding ones.
- Delaware Blue Hens
- Manhattan Jaspers
- Albany Great Danes
- Saint Louis Billikens
All four are unique and fun points of bar trivia to impress your friends. I'm partial to the Jaspers as my favorite.