NCAA Tournament Friday Viewer's Guide: TV, times and the skinny on every game

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All the whens and wheres for the second day of the round of 64

NCAA Tournament Friday Viewer's Guide: TV, times and the skinny on every game

The NCAA Tournament began in earnest Thursday with three double-digit seeds advancing, four overtime games and two national championship contenders looking mighty vulnerable.

All in all, a fairly eventful day.

Maybe Friday’s games will be just as interesting, starting when Duke opens against Mercer, a team hoping to replicate Florida Gulf Coast’s run out of the Atlantic Sun.

The day that starts with one team hungry for an upset will end the same way when UCLA faces Conference USA champion Tulsa in the nightcap.

Navigating the whole day can be tough with games crossing four different networks. We’ll help you get through it here.

NCAA Tournament Friday Viewer’s Guide
All times Eastern

No. 3 Duke vs. No. 14 Mercer
TV: Noon, CBS
Site: Raleigh, N.C.
Region: Midwest
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore and Reggie Miller
The first matchup of Friday pairs two of the most prolific 3-point teams in the field. Both Duke and Mercer are in the top 10 in the NCAA Tournament in terms of 3-pointers per game. Mercer hails from the same conference as Florida Gulf Coast, which reached the Sweet 16 last season, but the Bears may have trouble getting a shot from long range. Duke allowed the fewest 3-pointers this season.

No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 11 Nebraska
TV: 12:30 p.m., truTV
Site: San Antonio
Region: West
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
Nebraska is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998, and many fans might pick the Huskers just because of Baylor’s unpredictability. The Bears, though, closed the season on a hot streak at 10-2. The 7-foot-1 center Isaiah Austin, an NBA Draft hopeful, may be the key here after averaging 14 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 blocks in the final three games.

No. 7 New Mexico vs. No. 10 Stanford
TV: 1:30 p.m., CBS
Site: St. Louis
Region: South
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony
Stanford is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in six seasons under Johnny Dawkins, and the prize is the Mountain West Tournament champions. New Mexico will find out if it has a better chance to advance with Steve Alford’s right-hand man, Craig Neal, than with Alford himself.

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Weber State
TV: 2 p.m., TNT
Site: San Diego
Region: West
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Mike Gminski
Weber State can shoot the 3, but this has the look of a typical No. 1 vs. No. 16 mismatch.

No. 6 UMass vs. No. 11 Tennessee
TV: 2:30 p.m., CBS
Site: Raleigh, N.C.
Region: Midwest
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore and Reggie Miller
Tennessee may be the most underrated team in the bracket, at least as far as seeding and the RPI go. The Volunteers are 11th in KenPom, yet needed to enter the proper bracket via an overtime win over Iowa in Dayton. In UMass, Tennessee will face a team similar to Iowa, one that likes to push the tempo and didn’t finish the season nearly as well as the Minutemen started it.

No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette
TV: 3 p.m., truTV
Site: San Antonio
Region: West
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
Doug McDermott has 3,105 career points and 1,074 career rebounds. He’ll be a three-time consensus All-American and the national player of the year. And all through his career, he has only two NCAA Tournament wins. He can start to chip away at that barring an upset against the Ragin’ Cajuns, who are led by their own superstar in Elfrid Payton.

No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 15 Eastern Kentucky
TV: 4 p.m., TBS
Site: St. Louis
Region: South
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony
Kansas will try to weather the weekend without center Joel Embiid. The Jayhawks will miss his defense around the rim. Eastern Kentucky prefers to play on the perimeter, but the Colonels shoot 56.2 percent from 2-point range, second in the nation.

No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State
TV: 4:30 p.m., TNT
Site: San Diego
Region: West
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Mike Gminski
Oklahoma State could be the most dangerous No. 9 seed in the field — and we say that knowing what Pittsburgh did to Colorado on Thursday. Marcus Smart is averaging 18.7 points per game, 6.0 assists and 5.7 rebounds in seven games since returning from his suspension.
 
No. 8 Memphis vs. No. 9 George Washington
TV: 6:45 p.m., TBS
Site: Raleigh, N.C.
Region: East
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore and Reggie Miller
Memphis is more or less a known quantity with coach Josh Pastner in his fifth season, Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford seniors and Shaq Goodwin and Geron Johnson sophomores. George Washington is back in the Tournament for the first time since 2007 thanks to a third-year coach (Mike Lonergan) and two transfers (Maurice Creek from Oregon and Isaiah Armwood from Villanova).

No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 16 Cal Poly
TV: 7 p.m., CBS
Site: St. Louis
Region: Midwest
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony
Enjoy this for what it is: An NCAA Tournament game between a 34-0 team and another with 19 losses. Only in college basketball can the same teams compete for a national title.

No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 11 Providence
TV: 7:15 p.m., TNT
Site: San Antonio
Region: East
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Providence’s Ed Cooley put together two of the better coaching jobs this season to meet in the round of 64. Williams rallied a North Carolina team that's less talented than most to a 12-2 finish after a wildly inconsistent start. Meanwhile, the Providence native Cooley has rebuilt his hometown program into Big East Tournament champions.

No. 5 VCU vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin
TV: 7:30 p.m., truTV
Site: San Diego
Region: South
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Mike Gminski
This is perhaps the best round of 64 games, even if it doesn’t involve classic power programs. VCU continues to be one of the best teams in the country at forcing turnovers while Stephen F. Austin is right behind the Rams at No. 3 in turnover rate. VCU is used to being the spoiler, but Stephen F. Austin, which hasn’t lost since Nov. 23, could be the giant killer in this case.

No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Coastal Carolina
TV: 9:15 p.m., TBS
Site: Raleigh, N.C.
Region: East
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore and Reggie Miller
Virginia coach Tony Bennett was 6 years old when Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis took his first Division I head coaching job at South Alabama. Youth will have the upper hand Friday.

No. 8 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Kansas State
TV: 9:30 p.m., CBS
Site: St. Louis
Region: Midwest
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony
The round of 32 game in this pod will be much more interesting, considering Wichita State likely will draw a team full of NBA talent (Kentucky) or an in-state foe from the Big 12 (Kansas State). For now, this will be one of the most surprising freshman guards in the country in Marcus Foster to face two of the more disappointing in Kentucky’s Andrew and Aaron Harrison.

No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 14 North Carolina Central
TV: 9:45 p.m., TNT
Site: San Antonio
Region: East
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
Iowa State has become a trendy Final Four team, but North Carolina Central shouldn’t be overlooked. Riding a 20-game win streak, the Eagles are one of the strongest MEAC teams in the field in several years. They’re in the top 75 on KenPom and the top 100 of the RPI. Iowa State will run into a team that ranks fifth nationally in defensive turnover rate.

No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Tulsa
TV: 10 p.m., truTV
Site: San Diego
Region: South
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, Mike Gminski
It’s 80s night in the final game of the round of 64 when a two-time All-American from 1986-87, Steve Alford, coaches against the 1988 national player of the year, Danny Manning. Alford will be hard-pressed to shake his reputation as a coach who struggles in March when he faces a team that had a losing record as recently as Feb. 8

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