▪ No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 UNC-Asheville
Time/TV: 11:40 a.m., truTV
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Both teams play with small lineups. The tallest player in the Bulldogs’ seven-man rotation is Will Weeks, who is 6-6. Josh Hart, who averages 15.5 points and 6.9 rebounds, hopes to lead Villanova past the first weekend for the first time since reaching the 2009 Final Four.
Pick: Villanova 78-64
▪ No. 7 Iowa vs. 10 Temple
Time/TV: 2:10 p.m., truTV
The Hawkeyes stumble into the tournament having lost six of eight. They had 18 turnovers in the Big Ten tourney loss to Illinois. Temple won the American Athletic Conference but was bounced from the league tournament by Connecticut. The Owls lead the nation in fewest turnovers per game at 9.2.
AT SPOKANE, WASH.
▪ No. 4 California vs. No. 13 Hawaii
Time/TV: 1 p.m., TBS
The Bears have two players, forwards Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, who may be NBA lottery picks. But guard Tyrone Wallace suffered a broken hand in practice on Wednesday. Hawaii didn’t beat an RPI top 50 team but holds opponents to 39.8 percent shooting from the field.
Pick: Hawaii 68-66
▪ No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 12 South Dakota State
Time/TV: 3:30 p.m., TBS
The Terps are loaded with talent, led by guard Melo Trimble (14.4 ppg) and freshman big man Diamond Stone (12.9). But the Jackrabbits figure to be a tough out. They’re led by freshman big man Mike Daum (15.2)
Pick: Maryland 75-65
AT SPOKANE, WASH.
▪ No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 16 Holy Cross
Time/TV: 6:27 p.m., truTV
The Crusaders defeated Southern in the play-in round for the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory since 1953. Now comes Oregon, which should dominate this game in the paint.
Pick: Oregon 88-64
▪ No. 8 St. Joseph’s vs. No. 9 Cincinnati
Time/TV: 8:57 p.m. truTV
St. Joe’s won the Atlantic 10 Tournament and is getting 18.4 points and 8.1 rebounds from Isaiah Miles. The Hawks average nearly 79 points per game. The Bearcats are itching to play again after getting knocked from the AAC tournament by Connecticut after the third of four overtimes occurred on a Huskies’ 75-footer.
Pick: Cincinnati 79-75
AT OKLAHOMA CITY
▪ No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 14 Green Bay
Time/TV: 6:20 p.m. TBS
Green Bay won the Horizon tournament championship and averages 84.2 points per game. The Aggies are among the nation’s hottest teams, with their only loss in the last nine games coming in overtime against Kentucky in the SEC tournament final.
Pick: Texas A&M 80-71
▪ No. 6 Texas vs. No. 11 Northern Iowa
Time/TV: 8:50 p.m., TBS
Northern Iowa returns to the site of one of the tournament’s biggest recent upsets. In 2010, the Panthers beat top-seeded Kansas in the second round on the same floor. Texas big man Cameron Ridley will be eased into playing time after missing most of the season because of a broken foot.
Pick: Texas 75-69
▪ No. 7 Oregon State vs. No. 10 VCU
Time/TV: 12:30 p.m., TNT
The last time the Beavers reached the NCAA Tournament Gary Payton was a guard. Now it’s his son, Gary Payton II, who leads the way. VCU started the season 5-5 but rallied to win a share of the Atlantic 10 title.
Pick: VCU 63-58
▪ No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 CSU-Bakersfield
Time/TV: 3 p.m., TNT
Big 12 player of the year Buddy Hield leads the Sooners, one of the nation’s top three-point shooting teams. Bakersfield upset New Mexico State in the WAC tournament and is solid defensively, limiting teams to 63.2 points and 39.1 percent shooting.
Pick: Oklahoma 79-62
▪ No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 14 Stephen F. Austin
Time/TV: 6:10 p.m., CBS
Stephen F. Austin’s Thomas Walkup is a two-time Southland Conference player of the year. The teams rank 1-2 nationally in turnover percentage. These teams will get after each other for 94 feet throughout the game.
Pick: West Virginia 77-68
▪ No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 11 Michigan
Time/TV: 8:40 p.m., CBS
The Wolverines advanced with a victory over Tulsa in the play-in round, and now two old football rivals will get together. Michigan will be playing its third game in a third city in a week, while the Irish, led by point guard Demetrius Jackson (15.5 ppg) have been off for eight days.
Pick: Notre Dame 78-70
AT ST. LOUIS
▪ No. 7 Wisconsin vs. No. 10 Pittsburgh
Time/TV: 5:50 p.m., TNT
The Badgers fell in last year’s title game. They have a new coach in Greg Gard, and player of the year Frank Kaminsky has moved on. Still this is a solid team, led by Nigel Hayes. The Panthers are deep and are back in the field after missing last season.
Pick: Wisconsin 64-61
▪ No. 2 Xavier vs. No. 15 Weber St.
Time/TV: 8:20 p.m., TNT
Xavier, led by Trevon Bluiett (15.3 ppg), has become an NCAA Tournament regular. Its No. 2 seed is the best in school history. Weber State’s 6-9 Joel Bolomboy was the Big Sky player of the year and averages 17.2 points and 12.7 boards.
Pick: Xavier 81-68
▪ No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Syracuse
Time/TV: 11:15 a.m. CBS
A nine-game suspension for Orange coach Jim Boeheim didn’t derail Syracuse. Dayton won a share of the Atlantic 10, and two years ago knocked the Orange out of the tournament, holding it without a three-pointer for the first time in 665 games.
Pick: Dayton 65-63
▪ No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 15 Middle Tennessee State
Time/TV: 1:45 p.m., CBS
The Spartans have won 13 of 14, including the Big Ten Tournament. Denzel Valentine is averaging 19.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists. Middle Tennessee, seeking its first NCAA victory since 1989, has won six straight. Giddy Potts makes 50 percent of his three pointers for the Blue Raiders.
Pick: Michigan State 84-60