The First Four games in the NCAA tournament are officially over, which means the real fun can start as the round of 64 begins on Thursday.
Wednesday featured some interesting games. Cal Poly, despite having a losing record, was able to pull off a dominant win over Texas Southern, thanks to some terrific shooting from the entire team. Meanwhile, the Iowa Hawkeyes and Tennessee Volunteers had a thrilling game that went to overtime. But it was the Volunteers who were able to advance to the second round.
Now that the play-in games are over, let's take a look at schedule for Day 3 of the NCAA tournament as well as the updated bracket and a couple of the top games to watch for on Thursday.
You can view the official NCAA bracket here.
Day 3 Schedule
|NCAA Tournament Day 3 Schedule|
|No. 11 Dayton vs. No. 6 Ohio State||12:15 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 15 American vs. No. 2 Wisconsin||12:40 p.m.||truTV|
|No. 9 Pittsburgh vs. No. 8 Colorado||1:40 p.m.||TBS|
|No. 12 Harvard vs. No. 5 Cincinnati||2:10 p.m.||TNT|
|No. 14 W. Michigan vs. No. 3 Syracuse||2:45 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 10 BYU vs. No. 7 Oregon||3:10 p.m.||truTV|
|No. 16 Albany vs. No. 1 Florida||4:10 p.m.||TBS|
|No. 13 Delaware vs. No. 4 Michigan State||4:40 p.m.||TNT|
|No. 10 Saint Joe's vs. No. 7 Connecticut||6:55 p.m.||TBS|
|No. 15 Wofford vs. No. 2 Michigan||7:10 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 12 N.C. State vs. No. 5 Saint Louis||7:20 p.m.||TNT|
|No. 12 NDSU vs. No. 5 Oklahoma||7:27 p.m.||truTV|
|No. 15 Milwaukee vs. No. 2 Villanova||9:25 p.m.||TBS|
|No. 10 Arizona State vs. No. 7 Texas||9:40 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 13 Manhattan vs. No. 4 Louisville||9:50 p.m.||TNT|
|No. 13 New Mexico State vs. No. 4 San Diego State||9:57 p.m.||truTV|
No. 11 Dayton vs. No. 6 Ohio State
Time: 12:15 p.m. ET
Thursday's action will start with an interesting in-state matchup between the Dayton Flyers and Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes have a chance to make a fairly deep run in this year's tournament, but they can't sleep on the Flyers.
While they haven't been as successful as they were last year, the Buckeyes have still gone 25-9 this season. Offensively, Ohio State isn't going to blow anyone away, but their one of the best teams in the nation on defense. This year, they've given up just 59.8 points per game while holding opponents to just 29.4 percent from the perimeter.
According to the Pomeroy rankings, the Buckeyes ranked fourth in adjusted defense, and senior Aaron Craft has been a big reason for that. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year has averaged 2.5 steals per game and has shut down opposing guards all season.
Meanwhile, the Flyers don't have a ton of flashy numbers, but they have plenty of depth. Their entire team does a nice job of shooting, making 46.6 percent of their shots and 37.8 percent from behind the three-point line.
With a big game like this one, Dayton head coach Archie Miller understands that the state of Ohio will be rooting mostly for Ohio State. According to John Wawrow from The Associated Press via Yahoo! Sports, Miller feels like his team shouldn't be overlooked, saying:
Everyone understands in the state of Ohio, what it's about in that state: That's Columbus. It's a powerful, powerful place. We feel like we've earned the right to be here. And regardless if it was Ohio State or somebody else, we have to prepare to be ourselves, not who we play, and not what part of the state they live in.
The Buckeyes are the obvious favorites as the No. 6 seed, but with how much depth the Flyers have, Craft and company better watch out.
No. 12 Harvard vs. No. 5 Cincinnati
Time: 2:10 p.m. ET
The Harvard Crimson were able to win their first NCAA tournament game in school history last year, and they're looking to add at least one more this year with a tough game against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Going 26-4 and 13-1 in the Ivy League, the Crimson look like a legitimately good team this season. They have a balanced offensive attack with five players averaging at least 10 points per game. With so many different scoring threats, the Crimson have shot 46.7 percent from the floor and 38.7 percent on the deep ball.
But that offense will be put to the test against a strong Bearcats defense on Thursday. Cincinnati has held its opponents to just 58.3 points per game and 39.4 percent shooting, while averaging an impressive 7.9 steals per game.
Along with a solid defense from the Bearcats, Harvard will also have to find a way to stop Sean Kilpatrick. He's been the leading scorer for Cincinnati, averaging 20.7 points per game while also playing solid defense.
A No. 12 seed has taken down a No. 5 seed at least once for the last six years, including three last year. Harvard has a chance to extend that streak to seven years, but it's going to have to find away to get past that stingy Cincinnati defense.
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