|This story originally published on CollegeHoops.scout.com|
You'll need a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast – or least a long nap and a bagel and a couple of cups of coffee – but, after 16 games on Friday, all of which you can experience, courtesy the wonder of satellite television, you be should be rip-roarin' to go for the second day of the NCAA Tournament.
Here's a look at the Friday first-round games:
All times Eastern
At Auburn Hills
Things to consider: After finishing a
game behind first-place
Frank's Spin: Some might say that "Steve Alford's career as
Things to consider: The Mountaineers have dropped six of their past nine games. Is it a case of "not playing well" or of "the Big East is that good". It is probably the latter. But they will have top play very well to beat the Salukis, who will be as solid a half-court defensive team as anything the Mountaineers saw in conference. Jamaal Tatum against WVU's Mike Gansey will be a nifty battle to keep an eye on.
Frank's Spin: Here's another "upset special" we had on Sunday that we're getting a little dicey on now. But we'll stick with the 11 seed in this one.
Things to consider: There is no mystery as to who the Wolfpack has to contend with in order to knock off the team from Berkeley – Leon Powe, one of the dominant low-post presences in this field who averaged 24.2 points over the past 10 games. If they commit to doubling Powe every time he touches the ball, they will have to account for pretty good Cal shooters like Richard Midgley (who beat NCSU with a 3-pointer three years ago) and Ayinde Ubaka.
Frank's Spin: Unless the Wolfpack have the kind of success guarding Powe that UCLA did, Cal advances to a Sunday game.
Things to consider: The best starting
lineup in the country that doesn't reside in
Frank's Spin: The Longhorns will face a
much tougher obstacle Sunday on the road to
At Auburn Hills
Things to consider: The Golden Flashes are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002, when they eliminated the Panthers in a Sweet 16 game. They're not as good as that team was and the Panthers are deeper and better, offensively, than in 2002. Look for Pitt Coach Jamie Dixon to have his team go inside to 6-11 Aaron Gray early and often.
Frank's Spin: The Panthers' game with
Things to consider: Never mind
Frank's Spin: Just a reminder – the Kansas-Pitt game will be worth watching Sunday.
Things to consider: The Razorbacks did
everything necessary down the stretch to go from bubble team to an at-large
lock, winning six SEC games in a row (with Florida, Alabama and Tennessee among
the victims) before losing to the Gators in an SEC tourney game. Ron Brewer is among the most versatile
perimeter players in the country. Bucknell returned every starter from the team
that knocked off
Frank's Spin: A Bisons' victory here will not be nearly the shocker that their win over the Jayhawks was a year ago.
Things to consider: The Tigers have
lost just once in the past 2 ½ months (at UAB on
Frank's Spin: John Calipari earns his
second NCAA Tournament victory in six years in
Things to consider: Can anyone explain why the Spartans were only able to go .500 in Big Ten Conference play? That's perplexing, to say the least. But Maurice Ager, Shannon Brown and Paul Davis are too good to let Tom Izzo's team get stunned in the first round – although, based on the way the Spartans have played most of this season, it probably wouldn't be that stunning to some observers.
Things to consider: Don't be misled by
the loss to
Frank's Spin: The Tar Heels will play a
Final Four semifinal "rematch", of sorts, with
Things to consider: Maybe Jim Calhoun used the couple of extra days off that the Huskies got after losing in the Big East Conference Tournament quarterfinals to drill his team on the importance of playing hard and with focus each night out, for the better part of 40 minutes. If that was the case and they took those lessons to heart, the Huskies are going to be difficult to beat – and then some.
Frank's Spin: Some day, a No. 16 seed will stun a No. 1. Some think it might even happen this season. But it's not going to happen in this game.
Things to consider: Can the Wildcats
Frank's Spin: One thing is certain –
there's no danger that Coach Tubby
Smith's team is going to be looking beyond this game and to a second-round
Things to consider: Who could have imagined that these programs, Elite Eight participants last season, would have 23 losses between them going into the tournament? Hassan Adams returns for the Wildcats after being suspended for the Pac 10 Tournament. He and the Badgers' Alando Tucker will provide one of Friday's better individual matchups.
Frank's Spin: The team that tied for fourth place in the Big Ten edges the team that tied for fourth in the Pac 10.
No. 1 Villanova (25-4) vs. No. 16 Monmouth (19-14),
Things to consider: Allan Ray will be
seeing the rim a lot more clearly than was expected after he got poked in the
Frank's Spin: The Hawks become the latest fellows to find it difficult to guard Villanova's guards.
Things to consider: Four years ago the Wildcats lost to the Buckeyes in the first round of the tournament, 69-64. It's not going to be that close this time around, unless Brendan Winters turns in the same kind of performance (33 points) he produced in the Southern Conference Tournament championship win over Chattanooga.
Frank's Spin: The Buckeyes help the Big Ten teams go 6-0 in first-round games.
Things to consider: This could be
Friday's best game. The Hoyas have 11 wins over Big East foes and another over
the tournament's top seed, Duke, on their resume.You want to know why
Frank's Spin: John Thompson III will
Inducted into the USBWA Hall of
Fame last April, Frank Burlison is Scout.com's national basketball expert and is
also a columnist for the