The opening Thursday of March Madness featured two big upsets, one by an Ivy League program with a giant-killing history and the other by a SoCon team that hadn’t won an NCAA tournament game in nearly half a century.
Now comes Friday’s slate with just as much action. Here’s a rundown of Friday’s slate:
12:15 p.m. – No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 USC (CBS)
12:40 p.m. – No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 14 Kennesaw State (truTV)
1:40 pm – No. 3 Boiler vs. No. 14 UC Santa Barbara (TNT)
2 p.m. – No. 5 St. Mary’s vs. No. 12 VCU (TBS)
2:45 p.m. – No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 15 Vermont (CBS)
3:10 pm – No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 11 Pittsburgh (truTV)
4:10 PM – No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 11 NC State (TNT)
4:30 PM – No. 4 UConn vs. No. 13 Iona (TBS)
Must see: Before Rick Pitino leaves for a bigger job, perhaps in the Big East at St. John’s, he’ll try to lead what is likely his last Iona team to a major NCAA tournament upset. Gayle hasn’t lost since January… but he also hasn’t seen someone as talented as Yukon. Iona has a powerful backcourt and decent size for a mid-major, but defensive rebounding is a big concern. If Gayle can stop the Huskies for one shot, it has the potential to live up to the hype.
6:50 PM – No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson (TNT)
7:10 p.m. – No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 11 Providence (CBS)
7:25 PM – No. 5 Miami vs. No. 12 Drake (TBS)
7:35 PM – No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 14 Grand Canyon (truTV)
9:20 PM – No. 8 Memphis vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic (TNT)
9:40 PM – No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 14 Montana State (CBS)
9:55 p.m. – No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 Kent State (TBS)
10:05 am – No. 6 TCU vs. No. 11 Arizona State (TruTV)
Must see: Two years ago, Kentucky endured its worst weather in decades. Last year, the Wildcats suffered their worst NCAA tournament loss in program history. Thus far, there is no coach in the country under more pressure to win their first-round game this week than John Calipari. Kentucky will be trying to end a 1,449-day drought without an NCAA tournament win when it faces a Providence team that contended for the Big East title in February but struggled on defense down the stretch.