NCAA Tournament 2014: Schedule And Bracket For Thursday's Games

Now that the First Four is complete and we have a tidy 64-team bracket, it's time for the real Madness to begin. Here's a quick guide to Thursday's 16 games, broken down by viewing window.

The Bracket

If you're looking for a bracket to track tournament results or your picks, feel free to use SB Nation's printable bracket for 2014.

Bracket_medium

via cdn1.sbnation.com

The Announcers

Buffalo: Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery with Lewis Johnson reporting
Milwaukee: Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel with Kristine Leahy reporting
Orlando: Brian Anderson and Dan Bonner with Jaime Maggio reporting
Spokane: Spero Dedes and Doug Gottlieb with Allie LaForce reporting

If you're going to watch a single site based on the announcers, I suggest Buffalo, as Lundquist and Raftery are always entertaining; however, Milwaukee is a close second as the Brooklyn Nets TV combo of Eagle and Spanarkel are one of the most knowledgable and better prepared teams in all of broadcasting.

Early Afternoon Window

All game times are Eastern.

All games are streaming for free (with registration) at NCAA March Madness Live.

Buffalo (South Region): No. 11 Dayton Flyers vs. No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
KenPom projected score: Buckeyes 67-63
Milwaukee (West Region): No. 15 American University Eagles vs. No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers, 12:40 p.m. (TruTV)
KenPom projected score: Badgers 66-58
Orlando (South Region): No. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers vs. No. 8 Colorado Buffaloes, 1:40 p.m. (TBS)
KenPom projected score: Panthers 68-62
Spokane (East Region): No. 12 Harvard Crimson vs. No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats, 2:10 p.m. (TNT)
KenPom projected score: Bearcats 62-60

You had better hope that at least one of the noon Eastern hour games is interesting, because there's a bit of a wait before a Pitt-Colorado game that's sure to be a slog and a likely entertaining Harvard-Cincinnati contest both tip off. The in-state rivalry game in Buffalo looks to be the most likely to fit the bill.

But don't worry, as the afternoon's spread out schedule does not repeat in the evening windows.

Late Afternoon Window

Buffalo (South Region): No. 14 Western Michigan Broncos vs. No. 3 Syracuse Orange, approx. 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
KenPom projected score: Orange 69-59
Milwaukee (West Region): No. 10 BYU Cougars vs. No. 7 Oregon Ducks, approx. 3:10 p.m. (TruTV)
KenPom projected score: Ducks 85-82
Orlando (South Region): No. 16 Albany Great Danes vs. No. 1 Florida Gators, approx. 4:10 p.m. (TBS)
KenPom projected score: Gators 69-53
Spokane (East Region): No. 13 Delaware Blue Hens vs. No. 4 Michigan State Spartans, approx. 4:40 p.m. (TNT)
KenPom projected score: Spartans 84-73

During the late afternoon hours, I'll be paying the most attention to the two games that are the most likely to be blowouts, as Florida is the first No. 1 to take the floor and Syracuse gets WMU, also in a de facto home game. I'm not expecting too much out of MSU-Delaware, as that was one of the two worst draws the Blue Hens could have gotten out of the four line (Louisville being the other). However, if their December meeting is any indication, BYU-Oregon should keep the nation transfixed for two and a half hours, even with Kyle Collinsworth out for the Cougars.

Early Evening Window

Buffalo (East Region): No. 10 Saint Joseph's Hawks vs. No. 7 Connecticut Huskies, 6:55 p.m. (TBS)
KenPom projected score: Huskies 66-63
Milwaukee (Midwest Region): No. 15 Wofford Terriers vs. No. 2 Michigan Wolverines, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
KenPom projected score: Wolverines 70-58
Orlando (Midwest Region): No. 12 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. No. 5 Saint Louis Billikens, 7:20 p.m. (TNT)
KenPom projected score: Billikens 69-67
Spokane (West Region): No. 12 North Dakota State Bison vs. No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners, 7:27 p.m. (TruTV)
KenPom projected score: Sooners 79-76

The 7 p.m. Eastern window is the best of all of Thursday's, as it features a pair of possible 12-over-five upsets and what's likely to be a competitive game between St. Joe's and UConn. That one will, barring a Milwaukee upset win over Villanova, set up some sort of big rivalry contest for Saturday in Buffalo.

Late Evening Window

Buffalo (East Region): No. 15 Milwaukee Panthers vs. No. 2 Villanova Wildcats, approx. 9:25 p.m. (TBS)
KenPom projected score: Wildcats 79-64
Milwaukee (Midwest Region): No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils vs. No. 7 Texas Longhorns, approx. 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
KenPom projected score: Longhorns 72-71
Orlando (Midwest Region): No. 13 Manhattan Jaspers vs. No. 4 Louisville Cardinals, approx. 9:50 p.m. (TNT)
KenPom projected score: Cardinals 78-66
Spokane (West Region): No. 13 New Mexico State Aggies vs. No. 4 San Diego State Aztecs, approx. 9:57 p.m. (TruTV)
KenPom projected score: Aztecs 68-63

In the final window of the night, ASU-Texas looks to be the most intriguing game, by far, though I suspect NMSU will make life difficult for SDSU, particularly if the Aztecs, who have struggled offensively against good teams for the last month, can't score.

Feel free to use this post as your open thread for the day. As usual, I'll be tweeting @ChrisDobbertean throughout the day.

Be sure to follow @ChrisDobbertean on Twitter and to like Blogging the Bracket on Facebook and Google Plus.

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