Who the Rumble likes on Friday besides Marv Albert: NCAA Tournament picks + open thread

Day one is in the record books, with the defending National Champion Connecticut going out like national chumpions. And fellow Big Easties West Virginia played the same way they played in the second half of the conference season - like they were dragging a leg. #5 seed Wichita State and #6 UNLV were both upset, and #1 seed Syracuse squeaked by #16 UNC-Asheville with the help of some controversial calls.

Your bracket's already showing cracks, but you will soldier on, watching today's games. And probably playing hooky from work... or testing your IT departments' tolerance and your company's bandwidth capacity. Or you're in school, or working from home... where that kind of thing flies a little better.

The Rumble's Friday Round of 64 picks, with times, locations, and stations, below the fold.

From UNC-Asheville's the Lantern, on the Syracuse/ Asheville game:

Syracuse charged back with fewer than 10 minutes to play, and took the lead for good with fewer than six minutes remaining. In the closing moments, the Bulldogs were called for a lane violation after a missed free-throw by Syracuse junior guard Brandon Triche.

In a later play, replay showed that Triche knocked a ball out of bounds near the Bulldogs bench, but the ball was awarded to the Orange.

Refs_medium

The ball was called out on the Asheville player. It could have been a foul on the Asheville player. Or out on Brandon Triche. But the UNC-Asheville player never touched it. It may not have won the game. But it would have made the chance of an upset a little higher - and a little fairer.

Location Day Time Station Game
Pico
Quinn
Tim
Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN) Friday, March 16 12:15 PM CBS Texas #11 E
Cincinnati #6 E
x
x
x
Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio) Friday, March 16 12:40 PM truTV N.C. State #11 MW x
x x
San Diego St. #6 MW


Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC) Friday, March 16 1:40 PM TBS Alabama #9 MW
Creighton #8 MW
x
x
x
CenturyLink Center Omaha (Omaha, NE) Friday, March 16 2:10 PM TNT Virginia #10 W
Florida #7 W
x
x
x
Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN) Friday, March 16 2:45 PM CBS St. Bonaventure #14 E x
Florida St. #3 E

x
x
Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio) Friday, March 16 3:10 PM truTV Belmont #14 MW
Georgetown #3 MW
x
x
x
Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC) Friday, March 16 4:10 PM TBS Vermont #16


North Carolina #1 MW x
x
x
CenturyLink Center Omaha (Omaha, NE) Friday, March 16 4:40 PM TNT Norfolk St. #15 W

Missouri #2 W
x
x
x
Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio) Friday, March 16 6:50 PM TBS St. Louis #9 W
Memphis #8 W
x
x
x
Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC) Friday, March 16 7:15 PM CBS Lehigh #15 S
Duke #2 S
x
x
x
Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN) Friday, March 16 7:20 PM TNT Ohio #13 MW

Michigan #4 MW
x
x
x
CenturyLink Center Omaha (Omaha, NE) Friday, March 16 7:27 PM truTV Purdue #10 MW x
x
St. Mary's (Ca.) #7 MW

x
Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio) Friday, March 16 9:20 PM TBS Long Island #16 W


Michigan St. #1 W x
x
x
Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC) Friday, March 16 9:45 PM CBS Xavier #10 S x
x
x
Notre Dame #7 S


Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN) Friday, March 16 9:50 PM TNT South Florida #12 x
Temple #5 MW

x
x
CenturyLink Center Omaha (Omaha, NE) Friday, March 16 9:57 PM truTV Detroit #15 MW
Kansas #2 MW
x
x
x

Tim's pick: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Saint Mary's Gaels. The Gaels/ Boilermakers matchup is the game to watch for me because of Robbie Hummel. After 5 years of injury plagued seasons, Hummel finally completed a whole season averaging 16 points per game. Now it's time for him to make the mark the Purdue program has been waiting for since signing him; in March.

First test will be Saint Mary's who had a stellar season behind forward Rob Jones and guard Matthew Dellavedova. The Boilermakers will have to be ready for that pair's scoring, as well as Clint Steindl who has had a quiet season but could breakout at any point from 3-point range.

Quinn's pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Xavier Musketeers. I'm interested to know why anyone would or wouldn't believe in either of these two teams, because there's arguments either way. On the side of the Irish, you can get the team that was the lone squad to take down Syracuse in the regular season. Or, you can get the group that couldn't hit the side of a barn against St. John's in late February. Can anyone really trust Notre Dame in any game away from South Bend?

On the other side, you have a Xavier team who was selected in the preseason Top 25 and found a way to ruin high expectations in a blowout win over rival Cincinnati. I'm not so sure excuses should be made for Chris Mack's kids because they went through an 'emotionally draining' experience. The Bearcats went through the same process and found a way into the Big East title game two and half months later. Can anyone really trust Xavier...at all? They will need to utilize their athletic edge on Notre Dame and hope the Irish aren't accurate from deep.

By the way, both these two are foaming at the mouth looking at a possible Sunday match-up with the susceptible Dukies.

Pico's pick: South Florida Bulls vs Temple Owls. This may not be a game to "watch" exactly, with South Florida's pace manipulation dragging every team into the muck. The Bulls have a lot of length and solid athleticism that the Owls don't see in the A-10... but can they score?

The Owls have shooting and ball protection with Juan Fernandez, Khalif Wyatt, and Ramone Moore. But the Bulls make getting shots difficult and defend from the field very well - and don't need to turn teams over for the win.

How do you feel about the picks? What would you change? Leave a comment below.

Follow the Rumble on Facebook | Follow on Twitter: Rumble In The Garden | Tim | Quinn | Pico | Follow on Tumblr

Schedule recap, with links to the Rumble St. John's game recaps and links to re-watch games

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