Mar 19, 2013, 4:32 PM EDT
Game of the Day: Saint Mary’s vs. Middle Tennessee (9:10 p.m. ET, truTV)
The night cap of the First Four in Dayton features two bubble teams who were both able to fall on the right side of that bubble and into the NCAA tournament on Selection Sunday. For Saint Mary’s, everything starts with guard Matthew Dellavedova, who averaged 15.8 points and 6.4 assists per game this season. He is the engine behind an offense that is Top 25 in the country in scoring and field goal percentage, running through the WCC and if Gonzaga had not been there, likely would have won the conference.
Middle Tennessee was ready to be the mid-major snub, but now rightfully finds itself in the First Four. The Blue Raiders had high-major wins over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt in the non-conference this season, as well as keeping it close to Akron in an overtime loss. There is a good deal of balance to Middle Tennessee’s offense, but it is led by Marcos Knight with 13.5 points per game.
Mid-Major Matchup of the Day: North Carolina A&T vs. Liberty (6:40 p.m. ET, truTV)
Liberty was able to catch lightning in a bottle in the Big South tournament and turn a bad start to the season into one worthy of an NCAA tournament automatic berth. They meet a North Carolina A&T team that emerged from the dust in the MEAC tournament after No. 1 and No. 2 seeds Norfolk State and North Carolina Central fell in earlier rounds.
This will be a game of contrasting tempos, with Liberty looking to score the basketball more and North Carolina A&T wanting a more defensive game. A&T will have to shoot well from the field if it wants to advance, though, 317th in Division I.
NCAA Tournament First Four
North Carolina A&T vs. Liberty (6:40 p.m. ET, truTV)
Saint Mary’s vs. Middle Tennessee State (9:10 p.m. ET, truTV)
Other Notable Games (NIT)
Maryland vs. Niagara (7:00 p.m, ESPN2)
St. John’s vs. Saint Joseph’s (7:00 PM, ESPNU)
Louisiana Tech vs. Florida State (7:15 PM, ESPN3)
Robert Morris vs. Kentucky (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Norfolk State vs. Virginia (9:00 PM, ESPNU)
Northeastern vs. Alabama (9:00 p.m., ESPN2)
Ohio vs. Denver (9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Washington vs. Brigham Young (9:30 p.m., ESPN)
Stephen F. Austin vs Stanford (11:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer 5
- North Carolina announces receipt of Notice of Allegations from NCAA 2
- LSU’s ’25 is coming’ campaign doesn’t try to hide that they’re monetizing Ben Simmons 1
- Looking Forward: Catching up on the American’s offseason 1
- Five-star center Caleb Swanigan has committed to Purdue 8
- Friday’s most important rule changes only matter if refs actually enforce them 2
- Looking Forward: Catching up on the SEC’s offseason 1
- Sports book lists Maryland as early favorite to win national title (9)
- Five-star center Caleb Swanigan has committed to Purdue (8)
- John Calipari is selling his program when he says national title isn’t a goal (5)
- Frank Kaminsky writes a farewell letter to Wisconsin fans (5)
- Academic issues expected to sideline St. John’s point guard for fall semester, maybe longer (5)