The NCAA Tournament’s round of 64 (what used to be the first round but is now called the “second round” by the NCAA) continues Friday. Here’s a preview of the games, with tipoff times, TV information and predictions.
At Omaha, Neb.
No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 15 New Mexico State, 11:15 a.m. (CBS)
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The Jayhawks haven’t lost their opening NCAA Tournament game since 2006. The Aggies have won 13 straight coinciding with the return of injured players Daniel Mullings and Tshilidzi Nephawe.
▪ Pick: Kansas 59-49
No. 7 Wichita State vs. No. 10 Indiana, about 1:45 p.m. (CBS)
Underseeded Wichita State isn’t the powerhouse of last year, but with Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, the Shockers are capable of a long run. The Hoosiers finished the season 5-9, which put them on the tourney bubble. This is an offensive-minded team led by Yogi Ferrell at 16.1 points per game.
▪ Pick: Wichita State 74-70
At Columbus, Ohio
No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 12 Buffalo, 1:10 p.m. (TNT)
Juwan Staten, West Virginia’s top player, Staten will be back. The Mountaineers will have to contain forward Justin Moss (17.7 ppg). Buffalo, coached by former Duke star Bobby Hurley, played Kentucky and Wisconsin tough during the regular season and won’t be intimidated by the surroundings.
▪ Pick: West Virginia 70-65
No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Valparaiso, about 3:40 p.m. (TNT)
The Terrapins shook off a midseason slump and won eight straight down the stretch, including a victory over Wisconsin. Valpo won the Horizon regular season and conference tournament but faces a Maryland team with stars in Melo Trimble and Dez Wells.
▪ Pick: Maryland, 80-74
At Omaha, Neb.
No. 8 Oregon vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State, 5:50 p.m. (TBS)
A big question for Oklahoma State: Will Phil Forte’s shooting touch return? Ducks coach Dana Altman returns to Omaha, where he led Creighton for 16 seasons. He brings an Oregon team led by Pac-12 player of the year Joseph Young .
▪ Pick: Oregon 77-68
No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 16 Coastal Carolina, about 8:20 p.m. (TBS)
Frank Kaminsky and the Badgers begin the quest for a second straight Final Four. This is Coastal’s second NCAA appearance under Cliff Ellis, who has taken three other programs — South Alabama, Clemson and Auburn — to the NCAA.
▪ Pick: Wisconsin 88-70
At Charlotte, N.C.
No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Georgia, 11:40 a.m. (truTV)
Michigan State made a run to the Big Ten Tournament title game on the strength of its defense. The Spartans reached the regional final last year before falling to Connecticut. How good on the boards is Georgia? Kentucky was outrebounded five times this season, twice by the Bulldogs.
▪ Pick: Michigan State 67-63
No. 2 Virginia vs. No. 15 Belmont, about 2:10 p.m. (truTV)
Justin Anderson is back for Virginia, and the Cavaliers need their best shooter back in the flow. He missed all six of his shots in the ACC Tournament. Belmont won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament by ending Murray State’s 25-game winning streak.
▪ Pick: Virginia 60-42
No. 5 Northern Iowa vs. No. 12 Wyoming, 12:40 p.m. (TBS)
Northern Iowa has allowed more than 60 points in a game just twice since Jan. 1. The Cowboys pushed their way into the tournament by winning the Mountain West Tournament. A good individual battle will be between the Panthers’ Seth Tuttle and Wyoming’s Larry Nance Jr.
▪ Pick: Northern Iowa 64-58
No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 UC Irvine, about 3:10 p.m. (TBS)
What to make of the Cardinals, who have been a bit erratic since guard Chris Jones was kicked off the team on Feb. 22. Louisville will contend with the tallest player in the game, Irvine’s 7-6 Mamadou Ndiaye, who averages 10.4 points per game.
▪ Pick: Louisville 65-59
At Columbus, Ohio
No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Albany, 6:27 p.m. (truTV)
The Great Danes are making their third straight NCAA appearance and have become a sentimental choice. Peter Hooley became a star after hitting the game-winning three-pointer in the America East Tournament and dedicating the moment to his mother, who had just passed away.
▪ Pick: Oklahoma 77-62
No. 6 Providence vs. No. 11 Dayton, about 8:57 p.m. (truTV)
The Flyers got a homecourt victory over Boise State in the opening round, and now must contend with the Friars’ tandem of LaDontae Henton (19.7 ppg) and Kris Dunn (15.8 ppg). Dunn ranks second in the nation with 7.6 assists per game.
▪ Pick: Providence 70-59
At Charlotte, N.C.
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 Robert Morris, 6:10 p.m. (CBS)
Robert Morris outlasted North Florida in the opening round, and the Colonials beat Kentucky in the NIT opener two years ago. Can they knock off Duke? Nah, but they do have a lucky player — Lucky Jones, a reserve who averages 14.5 points a game.
▪ Pick: Duke 92-68
No. 8 San Diego State vs. No. 9 St. John’s, about 8:40 p.m. (CBS)
The Aztecs can guard: They allow just 54 points per game. St. John’s, making its first tournament appearance since 2011, suffered a blow when starting center Chris Obekpa was suspended for two weeks a violation of team rules.
▪ Pick: San Diego State 58-54
No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 10 Davidson, 6:20 p.m. (TNT)
The Wildcats are terrific on the offensive end, averaging more than 10 three-pointers per game. They closed the year on a nine-game winning streak and finished first in the Atlantic-10. Tyler Kalinoski, the former Olathe East standout, was the A-10 player of the year.
▪ Pick: Davidson 81-78
No. 2 Gonzaga vs. No. 15 North Dakota State, about 8:50 p.m. (TNT)
Mark Few has perhaps his most talented and complete team, with inside forces such Przemek Karnowski and Kyle Wiltjer and guards Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. The Bison upset Oklahoma in last year’s tournament and are led by guard Lawrence Alexander at 18.9 points per game.
▪ Pick: Gonzaga 81-64