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Game thread, NCAA Tournament - Round of 32, Day 2

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Aren’t we all hoping for more competitive games than yesterday? Your idle St. John’s chatter goes here, too.

Iona v North Carolina Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

You know what I am NOT watching today? Duke vs UCF. I am sure it will be a good game, but to have the volume on will be to constantly listen to the middling conversation about the Tall Guy (Tacko Fall) vs the Wide Athletic Guy (Zion Williamson). It’s boring, WIlliamson has his own “cam” and I am over it.

Our picks today are influenced by needing to get some sleep. Pretty sure UC Irvine/ Oregon is going to be good, and Ohio State/ Houston should be a barnburner, but it’s a long season and personally I need some sleep. I’ll look to the comments to tell me how those games are!

Also, keep an eye on Nebraska vs TCU in the NIT, simply because today, Nebraska’s Time Miles has his job but the expectation is that he is gone when their season is done, a certain former Iowa State coach and Chicago Bulls coach will come in, and that coach has a close connection with someone near and dear to St. John’s recruiting.

We will see what comes to pass, but those are, of course, just rumors. After all, there is no open position in Nebraska.

Our picks...

Three to watch today

Washington Huskies (27-8) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (28-6)

TV: CBS | March Madness Live

When: 2:40 pm

Odds: North Carolina, -11.5

Announcers: Brian Anderson / Chris Webber // Allie LaForce

Prediction: My all-time favorite player (and one of the sideline announcers who really adds to the game) are on the call for a game that will be one of those pacey tests of wills. North Carolina wants to RUN! Washington wants to Cool It Down And Zone. Should be a fun one, a pair of solid teams on the hunt. North Carolina, a #1 seed, was down to #16 seeded Iona in their opening round game.

Buffalo Bulls (32-3) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (27-6)

When: 6:10 pm

TV: TNT | March Madness Live

Odds: Texas Tech, -4

Announcers: Brad Nessler / Steve Lavin / Jim Jackson // Evan Washburn

Preview: The highest-level game of the day, most likely, and it will be in a spot St. John’s could have been in (if they transformed into a different team, but I digress). Buffalo dismantled Arizona State, Texas Tech clobbered Northern Kentucky, this should be good.

Let’s watch Tariq Owens and think about what might have been. His numbers aren’t overall much better than at St. John’s — but they are more consistent against high level opponents, and he has other bigs to back him up.

Oklahoma Sooners (20-13) vs Virginia Cavaliers (30-3)

When: 7:45 pm

TV: TruTV | March Madness Live

Odds: Virginia , -11

Announcers: Jim Nantz / Bill Raftery / Grant Hill // Tracy Wolfson

Preview: On one hand, this could be a laugher. But after Virginia nearly gakked up against another 16 seed, how will they respond? Will they dismantle to Sooners, or will Lon Kruger’s players step their game up and make this a thriller?

Also on Tap

Iowa vs. Tennessee, 12:10 pm, CBS | March Madness Live

UCF vs. Duke, 5:15 pm, CBS | March Madness Live

Liberty vs. Virginia Tech, 7:10 pm, TBS | March Madness Live

Ohio State vs. Houston, 8:40 pm, TNT | March Madness Live

UC Irvine vs. Oregon, 9:40 pm, TBS | March Madness Live