NCAA Tournament 2014: Bracket Picks and Live Stream for 1st-Round Day 1 Schedule

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIMarch 18, 2014

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 14:  T.J. Warren #24 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack celebrates after defeating the Syracuse Orange 66-63 during the quarterfinals of the 2014 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 14, 2014 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The NCAA tournament officially gets started on Tuesday with two of the four play-in games in the first round getting ready to start up.

The first round will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, then the real action will get started on Thursday with the round of 64 starting up with games on for around 12 hours.

But before we can get to the round of 64, there are still four play-in games to watch for, so let's take a look at the schedule for Day 1 of the NCAA tournament, followed by picks for the first two games.

 

All Your Bracket Essentials

You can view the official NCAA bracket here

 

Day 1 Schedule

NCAA Tournament Day 1 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

 

No. 16 Albany vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary's

Mar 17, 2014; Dayton, OH, USA;  Albany Great Danes coach Will Brown talks to his team during practice the day before the first round the NCAA Tournament at University of Dayton Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Tuesday, March 18

Time: 6:40 p.m. ET

TV: truTV

A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed in the history of the NCAA tournament, but that doesn't mean that these two play-in teams won't be giving it their all to at least advance to the second round.

The Albany Great Danes will be taking on the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers. While the Great Danes had a respectable record at 18-14, the Mountaineers went just 16-16. But Mount St. Mary's has gotten hot at the perfect time, winning four straight games, including the Northeast Conference title game against Robert Morris, to get here.

But it's not like Albany has been cold, as they've won six of their last seven. In order for the Great Danes to take down the Mountaineers, they will need to focus on perimeter defense. Opponents have shot 35.2 percent from behind the arc against Albany, and the Mountaineers will be putting up plenty of threes, as they make an average of 8.9 per game, with Rashad Whack making 2.5 per contest.

Fans may not always watch the play-in games, but this one should actually be an entertaining matchup, even if the winner will likely lose against the Florida Gators in the next round.

 

No. 12 N.C. State vs. No. 12 Xavier

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14:  Semaj Christon #0 of the Xavier Musketeers reacts in the first half against the Creighton Bluejays during the Semifinals of the 2014 Men's Big East Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2014 in New York City
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Date: Tuesday, March 18

Time: 9:10 p.m. ET

TV: truTV

While the winner of the first game on Tuesday will likely be one-and-done, the winner of the second game might have a chance to win another one, as they will head into the second round to play the No. 5 St. Louis Billikens.

The N.C. State Wolfpack went just 9-9 in the ACC this season, but their strong record out of the conference helped them go 21-13 and punch a surprise ticket to the tournament. It was a surprise to most of their team, and their reaction to getting a tournament bid was priceless:

Meanwhile, the Xavier Musketeers are 21-12 this season with a 10-8 record in their first year in the Big East, taking down teams like Creighton and Cincinnati to help their tournament resume.

For the Musketeers, one of the big keys to the game will be how effective center Matt Stainbrook can be, as he sprained his left knee in the second to last regular-season game. According to the Associated Press (via USA Today), Stainbrook should be good to go.

"I feel a ton better," Stainbrook said before practice Tuesday. "I've had a little more time to get my legs back."

The key for the Wolfpack will obviously be for T.J. Warren to light it up from the field. He's averaging more than a third of the team's points, putting up 24.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 52.5 percent from the field. Considering he's just a sophomore, that's pretty impressive, but the Wolfpack will be in trouble if he can't step up in a big game like this one.

Overall, this is an interesting matchup between two bubble teams, and we'll see which team was more deserving of a tourney bid in this First Four contest.