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2018 NCAA Tournament: A Look At Friday’s Games

It’ll be tough to match Thursday

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Loyola v Miami
DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15: Ja’Quan Newton #0 of the Miami Hurricanes goes up for a shot against Cameron Krutwig #25 of the Loyola Ramblers in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at American Airlines Center on March 15, 2018 in Dallas, Texas
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Maybe it’s just us, but Friday’s schedule isn’t as compelling as Thursday’s, at least not early. That’s not to say some of those games might not end up being compelling, but at first glance they look fairly blah.

Providence and Texas A&M don’t really get us excited but we’d probably take A&M.

We’d be shocked if Purdue lost to Cal State Fullerton and we don’t expect to see Marshall upset Wichita State although this isn’t a vintage Gregg Marshall team.

We don’t think Georgia State will upset Cincy either but it’s nice to see Rob Porter back. You’ll remember him from when he fell off his stool after his son RJ hit a clutch shot to pull off a memorable upset of Baylor.

UNC plays Lipscomb at 2:45 and that game should be over by 3:15. Lipscomb’s kids are confident but they’re in over their head.

Arkansas and Butler is a fascinating pace game. We’ll take the Bulldogs.

West Virginia will take Murray State and we think Nevada is experienced enough to overcome a talented but young Texas.

K-State has an advantage as a Big 12 member. They’ve had a very high level of competition and that will help them overcome Creighton.

We admire Bucknell’s program but Michigan State isn’t going to go out on day one.

Certainly #1 Xavier will beat #16 Texas Southern.

Auburn’s had a tough year in many respects and they’ve fallen off late. We’ll take Charleston here in an upset.

No one would take UMBC over Virginia and that includes us.

Syracuse and TCU is a really interesting game. Jamie Dixon, who had a really nice run at Pitt, left when fans were unhappy with consistent NCAA success, has the last laugh as his TCU program has taken off. We think they’ll take a limited Syracuse.

Florida State and Missouri is also going to be fun. Michael Porter is trying to get back but there’s really not enough time. Florida State is almost always lame on the road though and Cuonzo Martin is a solid coach. We’ll take Mizzou here.

Clemson is playing New Mexico State in San Diego and NMSU is one of those teams that quietly has a solid tradition. Nonetheless, we’ll take Clemson here. This is a very unusual bunch of Tigers.

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