2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

NCAA Bracket 2014: Schedule and Updated Predictions Before Day 2 of 2nd Round

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 19: Josh Richardson #1 and Jeronne Maymon #34 of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrate after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 78-65 in overtime in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 19, 2014 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 21, 2014

The next wave of second-round games in the 2014 NCAA tournament is on Friday, and even though many of the elite squads are in action, there should still be a sizable amount of drama in this dose of March Madness.

Three No. 1 seeds in Arizona (West), Wichita State (Midwest) and Virginia (East) will take to the hardwood and try to avoid history by being the first to lose to 16th-seeded opponents. They should all succeed, but some of the perceived favorites are in danger of being bounced in the round of 64.

Here is an overview of the bracket, Friday's full TV schedule and predictions for every game, with a focus on the upsets to watch for on Day 2.

 

All Your Bracket Essentials:

 

NCAA Tournament Schedule and Predictions for Friday, March 21
RegionMatchupTime (ET)TVPick
MidwestNo. 3 Duke vs. No. 14 Mercer12:15 p.m.CBSDuke
WestNo. 6 Baylor vs. No. 11 Nebraska12:40 p.m.TruTVBaylor
SouthNo. 7 New Mexico vs. No. 10 Stanford1:40 p.m.TBSStanford
WestNo. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Weber St.2:10 p.m.TNTArizona
MidwestNo. 6 UMass vs. No. 11 Tennessee2:30 p.m.CBSTennessee
WestNo. 3 Creighton vs. No. 14 UL-Lafayette3:10 p.m.TruTVCreighton
SouthNo. 2 Kansas vs. No. 15 Eastern Kentucky4:10 p.m.TBSKansas
WestNo. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Oklahoma St.4:40 p.m.TNTOklahoma St.
EastNo. 8 Memphis vs. No. 9 George Washington6:55 p.m.TBSGeorge Washington
MidwestNo. 1 Wichita St. vs. No. 16 Cal Poly7:10 p.m.CBSWichita State
SouthNo. 5 VCU vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin7:27 p.m.TruTVVCU
EastNo. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 11 Providence7:20 p.m.TNTProvidence
EastNo. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Coastal Carolina9:25 p.m.TBSVirginia
MidwestNo. 8 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Kansas St.9:40 p.m.CBSKentucky
Source: CBSSports.com

 

Upset Predictions

Tennessee (11) over Massachusetts (6)

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 19: Jarnell Stokes #5 and Jeronne Maymon #34 of the Tennessee Volunteers celebrate after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes 78-65 in overtime in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 19, 2014 in Dayt
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

When the Minutemen won 16 of their first 17 games, there was no doubt they were headed to the NCAA tournament. The question was how high they would be seeded in representing the Atlantic 10.

Although the mid-major conference is deep and has six tournament entrants, that doesn't excuse UMass' stumble to the finish, as it went 8-7 in its final 15 contests. That creates a shroud of uncertainty around the Minutemen, who will be facing a formidable foe in Tennessee.

The Volunteers had to fight just to get into the second round, rallying from an early deficit against Iowa before dominating in overtime in a 78-65 first-round win. A healthy combination of size inside and quickness on the perimeter works in Tennessee's favor, led by forward Jarnell Stokes and guard Jordan McRae, the Vols' leading scorer.

BasketballInsiders.com's Alex Kennedy was impressed with Stokes' double-double performance against the Hawkeyes on Wednesday:

Tennessee ranks 13th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.com, and have the length on the inside to bother bulky UMass forward Cady Lalanne.

Point guard Chaz Williams is the Minutemen's primary offensive catalyst, but he's just 5'9". He'll have a tough time penetrating with Stokes and Jeronne Maymon clogging the lane and the length of the Vols' guard rotation.

None of this bodes well for the higher-seeded UMass squad, who will actually be considered underdogs in this one and won't do enough on defense to prevent Tennessee from advancing to the round of 32.

Prediction: Tennesssee 70, UMass 58

 

Providence (11) over North Carolina (6)

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Winners of conference tournaments can't always be trusted, but something about the way the Friars tore through the Big East with their backs against the wall suggests they won't be a one-and-done.

The Tar Heels have tradition and history on their side, which doesn't really mean much. All that matters is the matchup, and in terms of positional battles, there may not be many better ones than the point guards in this one.

UNC's Marcus Paige and Providence playmaker Bryce Cotton should put on a show and offset each other with their brilliance off the dribble and outside shooting ability. It's up to the supporting players for both teams to decide the outcome in this one.

Between versatile forward LaDontae Henton, big senior Kadeem Batts and Tyler Harris, there is some quick size in the frontcourt for the Friars to neutralize Tar Heels junior James Michael McAdoo.

Factoring in what each squad's personnel dictates, this should be a tight contest. What often ends up being the difference in such games is free-throw shooting. Providence is a sensational 78.1 percent from the charity stripe, while North Carolina is a meager 62.5 percent.

That should be enough to push the Friars to the third round, where a matchup with No. 3-seeded Iowa State likely looms in the East region.

Prediction: Providence 68, North Carolina 63

 

Stanford (10) over New Mexico (7)

Mar 20, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle addresses the media at a press conference during their practice session prior to the 2nd round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: J
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Losing in the round of 64 as a third seed last year has to have the Lobos eager to prove themselves this time around, but the Cardinal will thwart that bid for redemption.

Coach Johnny Dawkins has the best guard on his side in Stanford's Chasson Randle, who will win the battle with New Mexico's Kendall Williams. The big disadvantage the Cardinal have here is the Lobos' superior size, headlined by Cameron Bairstow, who averages 20.3 points per contest.

It's been a stunning progression for Bairstow, as he improved by leaps and bounds before his junior and senior seasons. After seeing his points average jump from 3.7 to 9.7 as a junior, few could have fathomed what was on the horizon in 2013-14.

"I don't think there's anybody who's come farther in four years," said New Mexico coach Craig Neal, per Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I don't think there's anybody who could have predicted what he's done this season."

To beset Bairstow, Stanford has Dwight Powell, a senior forward who is long, athletic and can not only disrupt Bairstow as a defender but also facilitates ball movement in the Cardinal's offense. A change in rotational philosophy has also seen Dawkins deploy three frontcourt players in the starting lineup—a rare development in modern college hoops—which has worked well. Dawkins feels his team wouldn't have punched a Big Dance ticket without the change.

"I don't think we'd be where we are if we hadn't made that decision," said Dawkins, per Jeff Faraudo of the San Jose Mercury News. "It was a tough one, because we knew it would leave us in some situations where guys had different roles than they had last year."

Tough as it may have been to implement the fix, it's the perfect counter to make Bairstow's operation on the block bothersome.

But while the young men up front will be key for Stanford, it will be Randle sinking the clutch shots down the stretch and sending New Mexico home disappointed for the second NCAA tournament in a row.

Prediction: Stanford 62, New Mexico 58

 

If it seems ridiculous to pick three double-digit seeds to win on Friday, bear in mind that two such seeds advanced to the round of 32 within Thursday's first five games. No one beyond the top two seeds is safe—and if Florida Gulf Coast taught us anything in 2013, even the No. 2s may not get through unscathed.

Friday is full of bracket busters. Sometimes it can be frustrating to witness one's NCAA tournament predictions fall apart whilst being unable to do anything about it. However, that is what also makes March Madness so excellent. Embrace the volatility, and don't be shocked if all three of the aforementioned lower seeds get through this stage.

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