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

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIMarch 17, 2014

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 16:  The Florida Gators celebrate with the trophy after their 61 to 60 win over the Kentucky Wildcats in the Championship game of the 2014 Men's SEC Basketball Tournament at Georgia Dome on March 16, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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
Date1st RoundTime (ET)TVLive Stream
Tue, March 18(16) Albany vs. (16) Mt. St. Mary's6:40 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Tue, March 18(12) NC State vs. (12) Xavier9:10 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Wed, March 19(16) Cal Poly vs. (16) Texas Southern6:40 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Wed, March 19(11) Iowa vs. (11) Tennessee9:10 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Date2nd RoundTime (ET)TVLive Stream
Thu, March 20(11) Dayton vs. (6) Ohio State12:15 p.m.CBSMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(15) American vs. (2) Wisconsin12:40 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(9) Pittsburgh vs. (8) Colorado1:40 p.m.TBSMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(12) Harvard vs. (5) Cincinnati2:10 p.m.TNTMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(14) Western Michigan vs. (3) Syracuse2:45 p.m.CBSMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(10) BYU vs. (7) Oregon3:10 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(16) Albany/Mt. St. Mary's vs. (1) Florida4:10 p.m.TBSMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(13) Delaware vs. (4) Michigan State4:40 p.m.TNTMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(10) Saint Joseph's vs. (7) Connecticut6:55 p.m.TBSMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(15) Wofford vs. (2) Michigan7:10 p.m.CBSMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(12) NC State/Xavier vs. (5) Saint Louis7:20 p.m.TNTMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(12) North Dakota St. vs. (5) Oklahoma7:27 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(15) Milwaukee vs. (2) Villanova9:25 p.m.TBSMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(10) Arizona State vs. (7) Texas9:40 p.m.CBSMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(13) Manhattan vs. (4) Louisville9:50 p.m.TNTMarch Madness Live
Thu, March 20(13) New Mexico St. vs. (4) San Diego State9:57 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(14) Mercer vs. (3) Duke12:15 p.m.CBSMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(11) Nebraska vs. (6) Baylor12:40 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(10) Stanford vs. (7) New Mexico1:40 p.m.TBSMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(16) Weber State vs. (1) Arizona2:10 p.m.TNTMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(11) Iowa/Tennessee vs. (5) Massachusetts2:45 p.m.CBSMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(14) LA-Lafayette vs. (3) Creighton3:10 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(15) Eastern Kentucky vs. (2) Kansas4:10 p.m.TBSMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(9) Oklahoma State vs. (8) Gonzaga4:40 p.m.TNTMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(9) George Washington vs. (8) Memphis6:55 p.m.TBSMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(16) Cal Poly/Texas Southern vs. (1) Wichita State7:10 p.m.CBSMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(11) Providence vs. (6) North Carolina7:20 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(12) Stephen F. Austin vs. (5) VCU7:27 p.m.TNTMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(16) Coastal Carolina vs. (1) Virginia9:25 p.m.TBSMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(9) Kansas State vs. (8) Kentucky9:40 p.m.CBSMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(14) North Carolina Central vs. (3) Iowa State9:50 p.m.TNTMarch Madness Live
Fri, March 21(13) Tulsa vs. (4) UCLA9:57 p.m.truTVMarch Madness Live

 

Odds

Odds for Top Teams
Florida11-2
Kansas6-2
Arizona15-2
Wichita State8-1
Duke10-1
Michigan State10-1
Syracuse16-1
Wisconsin18-1
Louisville18-1
Villanova18-1
Michigan20-1
Virginia20-1
Creighton28-1
Field (any other team)30-1
San Diego State40-1
Kentucky40-1
North Carolina40-1
Oklahoma State45-1
Iowa State45-1
Iowa55-1
VegasInsider.com

 

Predictions

Stephen F. Austin Becomes This Year's Cinderella Story

Mar 15, 2014; Katy, TX, USA; Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks teammates celebrate following their win over Sam Houston State Bearkats in the championship game for the Southland Conference college basketball tournament at Merrell Center. Stephen F. Austin Lum
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.

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

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 14:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks walks off the court after the Jayhawks were deated by the Iowa State Cyclones in the Big 12 Basketball Tournament semifinal game at Sprint Center on March 14, 2014 in Kansas City, Miss
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.