Rob Dauster

2016 NCAA Tournament Tip Times and Announcer Pairings

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NCAA First Four
Tuesday, March 15

6:40 p.m., truTV, Dayton
No. 16 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl)

9:05 p.m., truTV, Dayton
No. 11 Vanderbilt vs. No. 11 Wichita St.(Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl)

NCAA First Four
Wednesday, March 16

6:40 p.m., truTV, Dayton
No. 16 Holy Cross vs. No. 16 Southern U. (Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Jaime Maggio)

9:05 p.m., truTV, Dayton
No. 16 Michigan vs. No. 16 Tulsa (Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Jaime Maggio)

[   INSTANT ANALYSIS: East | South | Midwest | West   ]

First Round Games
Thursday Afternoon, March 17

12:15 p.m., CBS, Providence
No. 4 Duke vs. No. 13 UNCW (Ian Eagle, Chris Webber, Len Elmore, Evan Washburn)

12:40 p.m., truTV, Raleigh
No. 8 Texas Tech vs. No. 9 Butler (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Lewis Johnson)

1:30 p.m., TNT, Des Moines
No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Connecticut (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

2:00 p.m., TBS, Denver
No. 4 Iowa State vs. No. 13 Iona (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Eradhl)

2:45 p.m., CBS, Providence
No. 5 Baylor vs. No. 12 Yale (Ian Eagle, Chris Webber, Len Elmore, Evan Washburn)

3:10 p.m., truTV, Raleigh
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Hampton (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Lewis Johnson)

4:00 p.m., TNT, Des Moines
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Austin Peay (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

4:30 p.m., TBS, Denver
No. 5 Purdue vs. No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Eradhl)

First Round Games
Thursday Evening, March 17

6:50 p.m., TNT, Providence
No. 3 Miami vs. No. 14 Buffalo (Ian Eagle, Chris Webber, Len Elmore, Evan Washburn)

7:10 p.m., CBS, Des Moines
No. 5 Indiana vs. No. 12 Chattanooga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

7:20 p.m., TBS, Raleigh
No. 1 North Carolina vs. Florida Gulf Coast-Fairleigh Dickinson winner (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Lewis Johnson)

7:27 p.m., truTV, Denver
No. 3 Utah vs. No. 14 Fresno State (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Eradhl)

9:20 p.m., TNT, Providence
No. 6 Arizona vs. Vanderbilt-Wichita State winner (Ian Eagle, Chris Webber, Len Elmore, Evan Washburn)

9:40 p.m., CBS, Des Moines
No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Stony Brook (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

9:50 p.m., TBS, Raleigh
No. 8 USC vs. No. 9 Providence (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Lewis Johnson)

9:57 p.m., truTV, Denver
No. 6 Seton Hall vs. No. 11 Gonzaga (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Eradhl)

First Round Games
Friday Afternoon, March 18

12:15 p.m., CBS, St. Louis
No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Syracuse (Brian Anderson, Steve Smith, Dana Jacobson)

12:40 p.m., truTV, Brooklyn
No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)

1:30 p.m., TNT, Oklahoma City
No. 7 Oregon St. vs. No. 10 VCU (Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Jaime Maggio)

2:00 p.m., TBS, Spokane
No. 4 California vs. No. 13 Hawaii (Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb, Ros Gold-Onwude)

2:45 p.m., CBS, St. Louis
No. 2 Michigan St. vs. No. 15 Middle Tennessee St. (Brian Anderson, Steve Smith, Dana Jacobson)

3:10 p.m., truTV, Brooklyn
No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 10 Temple (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)

4:00 p.m., TNT, Oklahoma City
No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 15 CSU Bakersfield (Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Jaime Maggio)

4:30 p.m., TBS, Spokane
No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 12 South Dakota St. (Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb, Ros Gold-Onwude)

First Round Games
Friday Evening, March 18

6:50 p.m., TNT, St. Louis
No. 7 Wisconsin vs. No. 10 Pittsburgh (Brian Anderson, Steve Smith, Dana Jacobson)

7:10 p.m., CBS, Brooklyn
No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 14 Stephen F. Austin (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)

7:20 p.m., TBS, Oklahoma City
No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 14 UW-Green Bay (Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Jaime Maggio)

7:27 p.m., truTV, Spokane
No. 1 Oregon vs. Holy Cross-Southern U. winner (Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb, Ros Gold-Onwude)

9:20 p.m., TNT, St. Louis
No. 2 Xavier vs. No. 15 Weber St. (Brian Anderson, Steve Smith, Dana Jacobson)

9:40 p.m., CBS, Brooklyn
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. Michigan-Tulsa winner (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)

9:50 p.m., TBS, Oklahoma City
No. 6 Texas vs. No. 11 Northern Iowa (Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski, Jaime Maggio)

9:57 p.m., truTV, Spokane
No. 8 St. Joseph’s vs. No. 9 Cincinnati (Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb, Ros Gold-Onwude)

2016 NCAA TOURNAMENT PRINTABLE BRACKET

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[   BRACKET BREAKDOWN: East | South | Midwest | West   ]

NEW PODCAST: Get all your bracket analysis right here

(Click the image to enlarge for a printable version)

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INTRODUCING CINDERELLA: Meet the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners

Cal State Bakersfield's bench reacts during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against New Mexico State in the final of the Western Athletic Conference men's tournament Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
(AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
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Conference: WAC

Coach: Rod Barnes

Record: 24-8, 11-3

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 95
RPI: 138
AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: Bakersfield isn’t going to end up with a seed that’s strong enough to give them a real shot at pulling off an upset, but they may be able to avoid the 16-seed line.

Names you need to know: Bakersfield has five guys that average double-figures this season, which may strike you as odd considering how defensive-minded they are. Aly Ahmed is the star, but it was Dedrick Basile that hit the shot that sent them to the tournament.

Stats you need to know: The Roadrunners are 25th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which is really impressive given the schedule that they’ve played. In terms of their raw defensive points-per-possession numbers, they’re fourth nationally. They can lock up.

Big wins, bad losses: CSU-Bakersfield didn’t land any wins this season that were all that notable, but they did pick off Grand Canyon — a top 100 RPI team — once and they beat New Mexico State — who only lost once in league play — in the league title game.

How’d they get here?: The Roadrunners finished tied for second in the WAC, rolling through the league tournament and eventually picking off league champ NMSU in the title game thanks to this buzzer-beating, bid-clinching three.

Outlook: Bakersfield is one of those teams that is going to be annoying to get matched up with in the first round. They can really get after you defensively, and those teams can be dangerous in the tournament. Get someone frustrated, get them out of a rhythm and get hot offensively, and suddenly Bakersfield is in a close game with a No. 2 seed with five minutes left. I’m not saying to pick them in your bracket, but I am saying that this is the kind of team that could throw a scare into someone.

How do I know you?: You probably don’t, because Cal State Bakersfield has never been to the NCAA tournament before. So good for them.

VIDEO: CSU-Bakersfield earned a bid to the tournament on this buzzer-beater

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 1.58.50 AM
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That’s a helluva way to get into the NCAA tournament.

The hero of the night? Dedrick Basile:

North Carolina beats Virginia to win the ACC tournament, clinch a No. 1 seed?

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The story on this North Carolina team all season long — since they were jettisoned from the NCAA tournament in the second round back in 2014, really — was that they lacked a certain ‘toughness’, that their inability to handle the pressure that comes with the biggest moments in the biggest games was eventually going to be their downfall.

Their big men were soft physically, their guards fragile mentally. That’s why they did things like give away a 15-point lead to Notre Dame when the Irish grabbed 13 second half offensive rebounds, or let a Duke team with five healthy bodies land a come-from-behind win in the Dean Dome.

And everyone on that North Carolina roster knew about every word that was said about them.

“We have a group chat and whenever someone on the team sees somebody say something negative about us, we put it in the group chat,” Nate Britt told NBCSports.com after the game. “Sometimes we’ll screen shot [a tweet]. Sometimes we’ll just quote them. It’s anything that we see, we see it on twitter, live on TV, whatever.”

“We’re young people. We see twitter. We see TV. We pay attention to it,” Berry said. “We try to feed off that. People are going to say what they have to say about us. They’re challenging us.”

On Saturday, North Carolina responded to that challenge.

Again.

For the second straight night, the Tar Heels completely shut down an opponent with an offense that ranked in the top ten in offensive efficiency according to KenPom.com, using a 15-2 “run” over an eight minute stretch late in the second half to open up a 55-46 lead. Virginia never truly threatened UNC in the final six minutes as the Tar Heels left the nation’s Capitol with a 61-57 win, a dual-ACC title and, in all likelihood, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

“I think we are the most criticized really good basketball game I’ve ever coached,” head coach Roy Williams said. “And least appreciated. That’s a pretty doggone good basketball team I’ve got out there.”

Joel Berry led the way with 19 points for North Carolina, hitting a three with six minutes left that pushed North Carolina’s lead to five. On the ensuing possession, Justin Jackson jumped a passing lane and went in for an uncontested dunk, leading the blue half of a bi-partisan Verizon Center crowd to go bonkers. Virginia wouldn’t score again for another five minutes, as UNC’s defense totally clamped down.

Virginia would make a flurry of threes in the final two minutes to make the final score closer than it was. If you factor out those final two minutes, the Tar Heels allowed Notre Dame and Virginia to score just 0.762 points-per-possession. For comparison’s sake, the best defense the Tar Heels played this season was in a 33 point win over Davidson when they allowed 0.793 PPP.

“I’ve been harping on, pushing them, cursing them, kicking them, pleading with them, begging with them all year long to understand how important the defensive end the floor is,” Williams said.

Williams told the team a couple of weeks ago that he’s never had a championship level team that wasn’t great defensively, and this team, a couple of weeks ago, wasn’t great defensively.

“That kind of resonated with us,” Paige said. “We want to win a championship. So we gotta start guarding somebody.”

Paige chipped in with 13 points. He scored nine straight early in the second half, all of which came when he was putting the ball on the floor and attacking the rim. His jumper wasn’t falling — he said after the game that his shot felt good, but half of his seven missed threes rattled out — but Paige may still have been UNC’s most important player. He did the heavy lifting in holding Virginia’s first-team all-american Malcolm Brogdon to 6-for-22 shooting from the floor.

 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“Marcus Paige is one of the five best defensive players in the league. Everybody wants to talk about him missing threes,” Williams said. Brogdon had scored at least 20 points in 10 of his last 15 games and more than 26 points in half of those ten. “He took Malcolm today and did a nice job. Malcolm is exceptionally hard to cover.”

“I knew he was going to get his, but I just wanted to make it tough on him,” Paige said. “You cut the head off the snake then it’s harder for them to get it going. I didn’t want him to get any rhythm baskets.”

“The key is to have a next-play mentality. He’s going to score. He’s going to hit a shot. My goals were to be there on every catch for him and contest every shot. Every time he’s reading one of those off-ball screens, which he’s so good at, was to have him feel my presence.”

The question now becomes whether or not this is a new North Carolina.

In these last two weeks, the Tar Heels have already done three things the seniors on this team have never done before: They won at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and that, in turn, won the program their first outright ACC regular season title since 2012. On Saturday, they won their first ACC tournament title since 2008.

That’s a helluva season, one that was special enough for Joel James to commemorate by getting every one of his teammates to sign a six-foot banner he had snagged from the net-cutting ceremony.

“That’s going in the house,” James said.

But that banner isn’t the last one James wants hanging on a wall. As successful as this season has been, it’s one that won’t feel complete without a trip to a Final Four, where they can take a shot at winning Williams his third national title. For that to happen, this surge on the defensive end of the floor, this new-found pride in their mental and physical toughness cannot be something left on the floor of the Verizon Center alongside piles of streamers and confetti.

Because when UNC plays like this, they can beat anyone in the country. They have the horses to win a national title. When pundits said that this was a team whose ceiling was higher than any team in college basketball, they weren’t wrong.

That’s still very much accurate.

We saw that in D.C.

And if we see it in Houston, Joel James is going to have to clear himself. a little extra wall space.