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NCAA Tournament Play-in Tuesday: how to watch, announcers

On tap for tonight: UCLA! Radford! St. Bonaventure! LIU-Brooklyn! 16 and 11 seeds vie for wins.

NCAA Basketball: Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

First things first: the annual Rumble Yahoo! Tournament pick-em is live, so sign up and make your picks!

Second: the women’s team has made the WNIT, and will play on Thursday, time TBA. We will report on it when the time is confirmed.

Third: there are NCAA Tournament games on tonight. The schedule:

LIU-Brooklyn vs Radford

(16) LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds (18-16) vs. (16) Radford Highlanders (22-12) 6:40 p.m.

How to watch: truTV | Stream

Announcers: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore, Ros Gold-Onwude

Vegas line: Radford, -4

Radford, tonight’s play-in game favorite, defeated Liberty to reach the NCAA Tournament. LIU-Brooklyn upset the Wagner Seahawks, who looked like a shoo-in for the tourney.

Radford plays at one of the ten-slowest paces in college hoops and LIU plays the 39th fastest. Both teams are relatively short, with guard-heavy lineups and a heavy dose of three-pointers. LIU defends the three-point line well, limiting attempts and limiting success. Radford allows opponents to shoot more readily.

Radford’s defense, in conference play and on the season, looks to be a significant factor tonight. The Highlanders forced turnovers on 20% of opponent possessions, while the LIU Blackbirds committed turnovers on 19% of their possessions; forward Raiquan Clark, in particular, has had high-turnover games.

Rooting interest: hometown rules dictate LIU-Brooklyn gets the cheers.


St. Bonaventure vs UCLA

(11) St. Bonaventure Bonnies (25-7) vs. (11) UCLA Bruins (21-11) 9:10 p.m.

How to watch: truTV | Stream

Announcers: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore, Ros Gold-Onwude

Vegas line: UCLA, -3

That embarrassing incident at the beginning of the year for UCLA did not disable the team this season. Instead, the Bruins knocked off Kentucky early in the season, Arizona in February, and earned an 11-7 conference record — albeit in a weak Pac-12, falling to Colorado twice.

Are they good? Can they make a run? They have a third-team All-American in Aaron Holiday (yes, little brother to Jrue & Justin — recruiting families really works for UCLA!), talented senior height in Thomas Welsh and Gyorgy Goloman. Despite being the fifth-tallest team in college hoops, they play fast. The Bruins do not force turnovers, but defend inside the arc well. On offense, the top seven players are deft three-point shooters. Despite their size, UCLA does not crash the glass for offensive rebounds.

St. Bonaventure obviously did not impress the NCAA Tournament committee with their 25-win season. Wins over Maryland and Syracuse turned out to be less impressive than originally thought, as neither made the — what now? Syracuse is in? Oh FFS!

The Bonnies won 13 straight before being cut down by Davidson in the conference tournament, sans the high-scoring Courtney Stockard, a high-scoring wing whose availability is unknown for tonight’s game.

Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley are high-scoring stars; Adams scored 84 points in two games earlier this season, but tailed off in his last three (12, 5, and 20 points respectively). Big man Josh Ayeni hurt his ankle against Davidson as well. He and Amadi Ikpeze are the big men who would try to slow the Bruins inside; both are foul-prone.

Rooting interest: St. Bonaventure is from the State of New York. UCLA is from a place where they have not had snowfall. They can take this L back to their sunshine.