NCAA Tournament Schedule 2013: Complete Guide to Wednesday's Opening Round Games

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NCAA Tournament Schedule 2013: Complete Guide to Wednesday's Opening Round Games
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Tuesday night's opening round games did not disappoint, and fans will have a similar chance to catch all the action of the 2013 NCAA tournament on Wednesday, when Boise State, La Salle, Long Island-Brooklyn and James Madison all are in action.

The "First Four" set up the NCAA now employs allows the field to expand to 68 teams, and gives those like Boise State a chance to prove they belong in the Big Dance before hitting the bracket we all know and love.

Both No. 16 seeds—LIU-Brooklyn and James Madison—won their conference tournament and enter this major one with much to prove, but drama on one side and high scoring on the other are both factors at play in determining the winner.

The Broncos of Boise State have been busting the BCS brackets in football over the years, but now have a chance to get their first-ever tournament win against a La Salle team that enters the limelight again after an impressive run in the talented Atlantic 10 conference.

Check out a preview for both games and where to catch all the action.

 

No. 16 LIU-Brooklyn vs. No. 16 James Madison

 

Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

What: "First Four"

When: Wednesday, March 20, at 6:40 p.m. ET

Watch: truTV

Live Stream: March Madness Live

Betting Line: LIU by 2 (according to Sports Book)

 

If you're tempted to avoid this game because it has two No. 16 seeds (a number that has never beaten a No. 1 seed in tournament history), don't do it.

Tune in because you could be watching the precursor to the first-ever No. 1 seed to go down, but also because there is going to be plenty of intrigue between the high-scoring Long Island-Brooklyn Blackbirds and the Colonial Athletic champion, James Madison Dukes.

For starters, James Madison will be without a key player for the entire first half.

Harry How/Getty Images

That's the scoop from Mark Selig of the Daily Mail-Record in Harrisonburg, Virginia who reports that head coach Matt Brady suspended Rayshawn Goines—the team's leading scorer—for the first 20 minutes after he was arrested over the weekend.

It could be a loss that dooms the Dukes in the end, but don't discount key sixth man A.J. Davis, who scored 26 points in the CAA tournament championship to help carry his into the Big Dance. Either way, it's the biggest storyline heading into this game.

Which team will be facing Indiana on Friday?

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On the other side, LIU has not played a team in the tournament so far this season. However, they have played Maryland and Kentucky (both losses) and are fifth in the nation in scoring at 79.5 points per game.

Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner both score over 16 points per game for the Blackbirds, a team that has been very close to breaking the 100 point mark on several occasions this season.

The winner of this game gets a shot at the Big Ten regular season champion, Indiana, and will have to bring its A game to knock off the Hoosiers. To get there, they'll have to take on each other first, and you don't want to miss a game that could get into the 180-point total by the end of the game.

 

No.13 Boise State vs. No. 13 La Salle

USA TODAY Sports

 What: "First Four"

When: Wednesday, March 20, at 9:10 p.m. ET

Watch: truTV

Live Stream: March Madness Live

Betting Line: Boise State by 2 (according to SportsBook)

 

It's hard to put a finger on both the Boise State Broncos and the La Salle Explorers, the winner of which will take on No. 4 Kansas State in the West region second round.

Which team prevails?

Submit Vote vote to see results

On one hand, it's easy to give the edge to the Blue Bombers, who played conference games in an extremely underrated Mountain West this season. Boise State has wins over Creighton, Colorado State, UNLV and San Diego State, yet also lost games to the final three teams on that list.

Led by Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks, the Broncos don't do anything particularly well, but have an impressive set of athletes and do score 73 points per game—a number that places them within the top 50 teams in the nation.

The Broncos have never won a game in the NCAA tournament (0-5) but have a chance to get the job done on Wednesday.

On the other hand, La Salle makes you scratch your head about who should be the favorite.

The Explorers beat both Butler and Virginia Commonwealth (the latter on the road, no less) this season, and also knocked off tournament teams Villanova and Iona. They also played Bucknell and Temple close before eventually losing.

La Salle has Ramon Galloway, a volume-shooting guard that manages to shoot almost as well from the three-point line (40.2) as he does from the field (41.2).

Center Steve Zack might not play for the Explorers in this game.

This game should be a nail-biter and provide fans with the kind of opening game they want to see in March, which is what it's all about this time of year.


Stay up-to-date with March Madness by following along with the live tournament bracket, and by printing out a PDF of this year's draw. Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA Tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game.

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