The First Four in Dayton was truly a success as the four games played were highly entertaining, featured some different styles of play and late game heroics were evident.
With Hampton, Ole Miss, Robert Morris and Dayton moving on, the brackets are now down to 64 teams.
And that means the second round begins Thursday. There are some intriguing story lines in every match-up that is on the slate and with college basketball being played from Pittsburgh to Portland, this is a day that is one of the best of the sports days of the entire year.
How/Where to watch:
12:15 pm ET CBS 3. Notre Dame vs. 14. Northeastern (Brian Anderson, Steve Smith, Lewis Johnson
12:40 pm ET TruTV 3. Iowa State vs. 14. UAB (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)
1:40 pm ET TBS 3. Baylor vs. 14. Georgia State (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl)
2:10 pm ET TNT 2. Arizona vs. 15. Texas Southern (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Rachel Nichols)
2:45 pm ET CBS 6. Butler vs. 11. Texas (Anderson, Smith, Johnson)
3:10 pm ET TruTV 6. SMU vs. 11. UCLA (Lundquist, Spanarkel, LaForce)
4:10 pm ET TBS 6. Xavier vs. 11. Ole Miss (Catalon, Lappas, Erdahl)
4:40 pm ET TNT 7. VCU vs. 10. Ohio State (Harlan, Miller, Bonner, Nichols)
6:50 pm ET TBS 1. Villanova vs. 16. Lafayette (Anderson, Smith, Johnson)
7:10 pm ET CBS 8. Cincinnati vs. 9. Purdue (Lundquist, Spanarkel, LaForce)
7:20 pm ET TNT 3. North Carolina vs. 14. Harvard (Catalon, Lappas, Erdahl)
7:27 pm ET TruTV 5. Utah vs. 12. Stephen F. Austin (Harlan, Miller, Bonner, Nichols)
9:20 pm ET TBS 8. North Carolina State vs. 9. LSU (Anderson, Smith, Johnson)
9:40 pm ET CBS 1. Kentucky vs. 16. Hampton (Lundquist, Spanarkel, LaForce)
9:50 pm ET TNT 5. Arkansas vs. 12. Wofford (Catalon, Lappas, Erdahl)
9:57 pm ET TruTV 3. Georgetown vs. 14. Eastern Washington (Harlan, Miller, Bonner, Nichols)
Top Game Previews:
6. Butler (Big East At-Large) vs. 11. Texas (Big 12 At-Large) Midwest Region
The Bulldogs and Longhorns overachieved and underachieved respectively.
Butler was picked to finished in the bottom half of the Big East during the preseason and instead they shocked UNC during the non-conference and finished tied for second during the conference slate. They aren't incredibly athletic but they have high basketball IQs, are well coached, grab offensive rebounds and play sound team defense. Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham are studs, Kameron Woods is a rebounding machine and don't forget about Alex Barlow's steady ball handling.
During the preseason, Texas was projected to be one of the strongest teams in the Big 12 and instead point guard Isaiah Taylor went down with a wrist injury and Jonathan Holmes suffered a concussion, which held a talented team back from their potential. With both players back and the Longhorns coming off strong showings in their last few games, Rick Barnes' team will be a threat to make the second weekend with their impressive size and athleticism.
7. VCU (A-10 Automatic Bid) vs. 10. Ohio State (Big Ten At-Large) West Region
The Rams lost some steam defensively when they lost Briante Weber to a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus but the impressive showing in the Atlantic Ten tournament in Brooklyn (four wins in four days) shows that they can't be taken lightly. Treveon Graham (ankle) is healthy again and has scored 69 points in his last four games. Shaka Smart is a terrific coach, especially when it comes tournament time, and this Rams squad has plenty of experience in big games. They lost in the second round last year to 12 seeded Stephen F. Austin so that loss could provide motivation to move onto the round of 32.
For the Buckeyes, it's all about D'Angelo Russell and his playmaking abilities. It should certainly be interesting to see how he plays against the 'Havoc' defense. Will he lead Ohio State on a Shabazz Napier type run?
8. North Carolina State (ACC At-Large) vs. 9. LSU (SEC At-Large) East Region
If you like guard play, the Wolfpack are the team for you. Trevor Lacey (15.8 points per game), Ralston Turner (13.2 points per game) and Anthony 'Cat' Barber (3.8 assists per game) are dangerous for any team to handle as they have shown their skills in victories against Duke, at Louisville and at North Carolina. The Wolfpack have been tested and this team has a chance to knock off Villanova (given they beat Lafayette).
LSU doesn't have great guard play but Johnny Jones' team has two paint enforces in Jordan Mickey and Jarrell Martin. The Tigers are widely talented and long but they normally don't play 40 minutes and that can come back to haunt them. They too have true quality wins, at West Virginia and at Arkansas.