NCAA Bracket 2014: First- and Second-Round Schedule, Odds for Top Teams

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NCAA Bracket 2014: First- and Second-Round Schedule, Odds for Top Teams
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

March Madness is finally here, which means it's time for everyone to fill out their brackets and prepare for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament coming up this week.

On Tuesday, 68 teams will begin fighting to make it to the Final Four in Arlington, Texas, and eventually to the national championship game on April 7. There will be upsets, Cinderella stories and amazing finishes, as the college basketball season seems to get extra crazy once the tournament begins.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the schedule for the first and second rounds as well as odds for the top teams and a couple of predictions for the second-round games.

 

All Your Bracket Essentials

You can view the official NCAA bracket here

 

First- and Second-Round Schedule

2014 NCAA Tournament Schedule
Date 1st Round Time (ET) TV Live Stream
Tue, March 18 (16) Albany vs. (16) Mt. St. Mary's 6:40 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Tue, March 18 (12) NC State vs. (12) Xavier 9:10 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Wed, March 19 (16) Cal Poly vs. (16) Texas Southern 6:40 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Wed, March 19 (11) Iowa vs. (11) Tennessee 9:10 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Date 2nd Round Time (ET) TV Live Stream
Thu, March 20 (11) Dayton vs. (6) Ohio State 12:15 p.m. CBS March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (15) American vs. (2) Wisconsin 12:40 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (9) Pittsburgh vs. (8) Colorado 1:40 p.m. TBS March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (12) Harvard vs. (5) Cincinnati 2:10 p.m. TNT March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (14) Western Michigan vs. (3) Syracuse 2:45 p.m. CBS March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (10) BYU vs. (7) Oregon 3:10 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (16) Albany/Mt. St. Mary's vs. (1) Florida 4:10 p.m. TBS March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (13) Delaware vs. (4) Michigan State 4:40 p.m. TNT March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (10) Saint Joseph's vs. (7) Connecticut 6:55 p.m. TBS March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (15) Wofford vs. (2) Michigan 7:10 p.m. CBS March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (12) NC State/Xavier vs. (5) Saint Louis 7:20 p.m. TNT March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (12) North Dakota St. vs. (5) Oklahoma 7:27 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (15) Milwaukee vs. (2) Villanova 9:25 p.m. TBS March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (10) Arizona State vs. (7) Texas 9:40 p.m. CBS March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (13) Manhattan vs. (4) Louisville 9:50 p.m. TNT March Madness Live
Thu, March 20 (13) New Mexico St. vs. (4) San Diego State 9:57 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (14) Mercer vs. (3) Duke 12:15 p.m. CBS March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (11) Nebraska vs. (6) Baylor 12:40 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (10) Stanford vs. (7) New Mexico 1:40 p.m. TBS March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (16) Weber State vs. (1) Arizona 2:10 p.m. TNT March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (11) Iowa/Tennessee vs. (5) Massachusetts 2:45 p.m. CBS March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (14) LA-Lafayette vs. (3) Creighton 3:10 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (15) Eastern Kentucky vs. (2) Kansas 4:10 p.m. TBS March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (9) Oklahoma State vs. (8) Gonzaga 4:40 p.m. TNT March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (9) George Washington vs. (8) Memphis 6:55 p.m. TBS March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (16) Cal Poly/Texas Southern vs. (1) Wichita State 7:10 p.m. CBS March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (11) Providence vs. (6) North Carolina 7:20 p.m. truTV March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (12) Stephen F. Austin vs. (5) VCU 7:27 p.m. TNT March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (16) Coastal Carolina vs. (1) Virginia 9:25 p.m. TBS March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (9) Kansas State vs. (8) Kentucky 9:40 p.m. CBS March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (14) North Carolina Central vs. (3) Iowa State 9:50 p.m. TNT March Madness Live
Fri, March 21 (13) Tulsa vs. (4) UCLA 9:57 p.m. truTV March Madness Live

 

Odds

Odds for Top Teams
Florida 11-2
Kansas 6-2
Arizona 15-2
Wichita State 8-1
Duke 10-1
Michigan State 10-1
Syracuse 16-1
Wisconsin 18-1
Louisville 18-1
Villanova 18-1
Michigan 20-1
Virginia 20-1
Creighton 28-1
Field (any other team) 30-1
San Diego State 40-1
Kentucky 40-1
North Carolina 40-1
Oklahoma State 45-1
Iowa State 45-1
Iowa 55-1

VegasInsider.com

 

Predictions

Stephen F. Austin Becomes This Year's Cinderella Story

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, one team emerges as a true Cinderella story, coming out of nowhere to make a surprisingly deep run. Last year, it was the No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, who made it all the way to the Sweet 16 before falling to the Florida Gators.

Can SF Austin take down VCU?

Submit Vote vote to see results

This year, that team might be the Southland Conference's Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.

It's been a terrific year for the Lumberjacks, who went 31-2 with a perfect 18-0 conference record. Their losses came against Texas and East Tennessee State. 

One of the big reasons for the Lumberjacks' success has been their ability to distribute the ball. They've averaged an impressive 16.6 assists per game this season, ranking eighth in the nation. Their perimeter defense has been strong as well, allowing just 136 three-pointers all year.

Former Indiana player and current radio host Dan Dakich had the Lumberjacks as one of his teams to look out for in the tournament:

The Lumberjacks will start the tournament against a former Cinderella team in the VCU Rams, who are heading into the tournament after losing to Saint Joseph's in the A-10 championship. If SF Austin can get through the Rams, it will play either UCLA or Tulsa, both of which could be winnable games if the Lumberjacks stay hot.

It's pretty difficult to predict which team will come out of nowhere in the tournament, but the Lumberjacks look like a pretty safe bet to be this year's Cinderella story.

 

Kansas Falls in Second Round to Eastern Kentucky

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In the past two NCAA tournaments, three No. 2 seeds lost to No. 15 seeds. Last year, it was Florida Gulf Coast beating Georgetown. In 2012, it was Lehigh taking down Duke and Norfolk State upsetting Missouri.

This year, the Kansas Jayhawks are on upset alert.

Despite tons of young talent on the Kansas roster, this team has struggled with consistency at times, especially as the season has wound down. Over the last five games, the Jayhawks have gone just 2-3, losing to Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Iowa State.

To make matters worse, the Jayhawks are going to be without one of their best players for the first week of the tournament. According to KUAthletics.com, head coach Bill Self had this to say about Joel Embiid, who hasn't played since March 1 against Oklahoma State due to a back injury:

Based on that, this weekend (in the Big 12 Championship) is out. Next weekend, we feel like is a longshot, but the doctors are hopeful that if Joel works hard in rehab and progresses that it is possible that he could play in the later rounds of the NCAA Tournament if our team is fortunate enough to advance.

Despite being a No. 15 seed, the Eastern Kentucky Colonels aren't going to be pushovers. They have an extremely efficient offense, averaging 79 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the field. Their scoring comes from everywhere, as they have five players averaging at least nine points per game. Glenn Cosey is leading the way with 18.8 per contest.

Anything can happen in the NCAA tournament, so the Jayhawks better be focused heading into this game; otherwise, they could be leaving much earlier than expected.

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