The second set of first-round games begin at approximately 2:30. Here's a breakdown.
West Region first round games
At San Jose: No.13 Murray State (30-4) vs. No.4 Vanderbilt (24-8) – Murray State is beginning to catch some support. Those things happen when you win 30 games. The Racers have six players averaging 9.5 points or more, but none over 10 points. Vany also has several competent offensive players. Jermaine Beal leads a balanced offense that can hurt you from anywhere. The Racers will keep it close, but the Commodores will prevail.
At Oklahoma City: No.15 North Texas (24-8) vs. No.2 Kansas State (26-7) – Josh White and Tristan Thompson are both big-time shooters who will cause problems for Kansas State early on. But Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente are better. The Wildcats will figure out North Texas before the end of the half.
South Region first round games
At New Orleans: No.14 Sam Houston St. (25-7) vs. No.3 Baylor (25-7) – Baylor will struggle to get rid of the early-game jitters. The Bears had an excellent season, but they’ve never played under this type of pressure. But once Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn gets going, it’s lights out for Sam Houston.
At Providence: No.10 Saint Mary’s (26-5) vs. No.7 Richmond (26-8) – The Spiders might be the most underrated team in this year’s tournament. People looking for the upset could look here. Although Kevin Anderson is one of those do-it-all type guards, who can carry a team, Richmond is going need scoring from somewhere else. The Gaels won’t have any issues scoring. Omar Samhan (20.9 ppg) and Mickey McConnell can light it up.