NCAA tournament cheat sheet: bracket tips, upset picks, move coverage

First-round men’s matchups

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7:10 p.m.: No. 5 Duke vs. No. 12 Oral Roberts (CBS)

9:40 p.m.: No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 13 Louisiana (CBS)

12:15 p.m.: No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 USC (CBS)

2:45 p.m.: No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 15 Vermont (CBS)

6:50 p.m.: No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 16 Texas Southern/Fairleigh Dickinson (TNT)

7:10 p.m.: No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 11 Providence (CBS)

9:20 p.m.: No. 8 Memphis vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic (TNT)

9:40 p.m.: No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 14 Montana State (CBS)

Duke will play its first NCAA tournament game without Mike Krzyzewski as its head coach since 1980, and the selection committee didn’t do the Blue Devils any favors: Oral Roberts ranks 23rd in offensive efficiency, per Ken Pomeroy, and turns over the ball on only 13.2 percent of its possessions, tops in the nation. The Eagles also feature guard Max Abmas, the tournament’s top scorer (22.2 points per game) who helped lead Oral Roberts to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed two years ago.

12:15 p.m.: No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 9 West Virginia (CBS)

12:40 p.m.: No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 13 Furman (truTV)

1:40 p.m.: No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 10 Utah State (TNT)

2:45 p.m.: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 16 Southeast Missouri State/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (CBS)

3:10 p.m.: No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 12 College of Charleston (truTV)

4:10 p.m.: No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 Princeton (TNT)

1:30 p.m.: No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 14 UC Santa Barbara (TNT)

4 p.m.: No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 11 North Carolina State (TNT)

Despite being geographic neighbors and despite the schools’ football rivalry, Maryland and West Virginia have only faced each other twice this century on the basketball court, most recently in 2015 (a 69-59 Mountaineers win in the second round of the NCAA tournament). Missouri-Utah State features one of the biggest over/under totals of the first round (154 points as of Monday) and could be one of the more entertaining games over the first two days. The Aggies are two-point favorites despite being the lower seed.

6:50 p.m.: No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Auburn (TNT)

7:25 p.m.: No. 2 Texas vs. No. 15 Colgate (TBS)

9:10 p.m.: No. 1 Houston vs. No. 16 Northern Kentucky (TNT)

9:55 p.m.: No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Penn State (TBS)

12:40 p.m.: No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 14 Kennesaw State (truTV)

3:10 p.m.: No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 11 Mississippi State/Pittsburgh (truTV)

7:25 p.m.: No. 5 Miami vs. No. 12 Drake (TBS)

9:55 p.m.: No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 Kent State (TBS)

All eyes will be on the health of Houston guard Marcus Sasser, a national player of the year candidate who suffered a groin injury in the American Athletic Conference tournament and didn’t play in a championship game loss to Memphis. The Cougars probably won’t need much of a contribution from Sasser to beat Northern Kentucky, but his presence would be crucial after that. The selection committee rewarded Auburn with a near-home game despite its No. 9 seed. Birmingham, Ala., is a little more than two hours to the northwest of Auburn.

2 p.m.: No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Howard (TBS)

4:30 p.m.: No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Illinois (TBS)

7:35 p.m.: No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Boise State (truTV)

10:05 p.m.: No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville (truTV)

2 p.m.: No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 12 VCU (TBS)

4:30 p.m.: No. 4 Connecticut vs. No. 13 Iona (TBA)

7:35 p.m.: No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 14 Grand Canyon (truTV)

10:05 p.m.: No. 6 TCU vs. No. 11 Arizona State/Nevada (truTV)

If this were the World Cup, the West Region would be the “group of death.” You could make the argument, based on Pomeroy’s rankings, that defending national champion Kansas is the fourth- or fifth-best team in this region despite being the top seed. UCLA, Connecticut and Gonzaga all rate out better, per Pomeroy’s metrics, and Saint Mary’s is only two spots behind the Jayhawks. Kansas Coach Bill Self will rejoin the team after undergoing a procedure to treat blocked arteries in his heart, which caused him to miss the Big 12 tournament.

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