Previewing the First Four

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TUESDAY

No. 16 Hampton vs. No. 16 Manhattan (TruTV), 6:40 p.m.

Hampton and Manhattan kick off the 2015 NCAA tournament on Tuesday night, squaring off in Dayton for the right to play No. 1 Kentucky on Thursday in Louisville. Sounds fun, right? Either way, the winner of this game will, in all likelihood, go down in the annals of history as No. 35, but don’t be so quick to rush to judgement. I mean, Steve Masiello, Manhattan’s head coach, is a Rick Pitino disciple that was a manager at Kentucky in the 90’s. And Hampton? Well, just ask Iowa State about them.

No. 11 BYU vs. No. 11 Ole Miss (TruTV), 9:10 p.m.

The second game of the tournament is when it starts to get good.¬†Very few teams plays as fast a tempo as BYU, and given their proclivity for firing away from three, they can really put up points in a hurry. What they don’t do, however, is defend, and while Ole Miss has had their share of issues this season, what they do have is a back court that can score in bunches. Stefan Moody, Jarvis Summer and Snoop White can all go for 20 on a given night, which means that you should expect a high-scoring, uptempo affair.

WEDNESDAY

No. 16 North Florida vs. No. 16 Robert Morris, 6:40 p.m. (TruTV)

Andy Toole finally has led Robert Morris to the NCAA tournament this season, and his reward? Getting shuttled off to the First Four to take on the Atlantic Sun champs, who won a dual league title over resident power Florida-Gulf Coast.

No. 11 Dayton vs. No. 11 Boise State, 9:10 p.m. (TruTV)

No team in the country got a worse draw in the tournament than Boise State. The Broncos not only got relegated to the First Four after winning the Mountain West regular season title, but they will have to play Dayton in Dayton. A road game. In the NCAA tournament. That’s brutal. The good news? They still have Derrick Marks.