Now that the schedule for the second round and the times for tips have been set for the 2022 NCAA Tournament, we can look forward to the extras from some of the early stars of March Madness. Thursday’s action in the first round featured one of the most astonishing disruptions in tournament history with Saint Peter’s only becoming the 10th No. 15 seed to hit a No. 2 seed when the Peacocks bounced off Kentucky, but it also included two No. 12 seeds. as advanced (New Mexico State and Richmond), a no. 11-seed over a no. 6-seed – admittedly not a big upset with Michigan as the betting favorite against Colorado State – and three games were decided in overtime.
It was an exciting day of action from wall to wall, and now Thursday’s winners will head out on another elimination day for Big Dance, this time with tickets to next weekend and a seat in Sweet 16.
The plot begins with two spotlight matches with No. 1 seed from Big 12 with Baylor and No. 8 seed North Carolina starting the day at 12:10 ET and No. 1 seed Kansas going up against No. 9 seed Creighton in the second match in the Fort Worth doubles game around 2:40 p.m. Then action opens across the country with staggered tip times among whose highlights include no. 3-seed Tennessee and no. 11-seed Michigan at. 17.15, no. 4-seed UCLA and No. 5 seed Saint Mary’s at 19:10 and No. 1 total seed Gonzaga in the nightcap against No. 9 seed Memphis at 21:40
But enough about the times and the teams involved. Let’s dive a little into the action for Saturday in the 2022 NCAA Tournament as the second round begins.
What happens next for Saint Peter’s, Saint Mary’s?
It was almost too much of a good story to win both Saint Peter’s and Saint Mary’s at St. Patrick’s Day, but of the two results, no team will draw more intrigue than the No. 15 seed Peacocks after their overtime win over No. 2 Seeds Kentucky. Shaheen Holloway’s team had a day to turn the page to No. 7 seed Murray State ahead of their tip on Saturday after Racer’s own overtime thriller against San Francisco made the evening games in Indianapolis the place to be on Thursday night.
Murray State’s deep rotation was to click on offense against Dons with five players finishing in double figures and the team scoring 1.15 points per possession. Saint Peter’s got heroic performances from Daryl Banks (27 points) and Doug Edert (20 points) but had no other double-digit players in their win against Kentucky. If the Peacocks can make this a slower game with low possession, these in-depth benefits and versatility of scoring options may not be as significant. This battle for a place in Sweet 16 could also be one that tests the endurance of both teams after emotionally exhausting overtime matches on Thursday night – making the victory a matter of survival through a Saturday night in Indianapolis.
Saint Mary’s, on the other hand, is not dealing with the same effects from its win in the first round after strangling No. 12 in Indiana by 82-53. Gaels undoubtedly has the tougher enemy in no. 4-seed UCLA, but after the Bruins were almost knocked out by no. 13-seed Akron, there must be some confidence on Saint Mary’s part that it has been included in a form that could pick up another win in the 19:10 tip. While UCLA wants to get back to the second weekend with many of the same bits from last year’s Final Four run, a win for Saint Mary’s win would get the program to Sweet 16 for the third time ever and the first time since 2010.
Gonzaga, Kansas, Baylor faces tough tests
No. 1 total seed Gonzaga got an early scare from Georgia State but turned it around late and cruised to a win of 21 points. No. 1 seed Kansas jumped out to a 47-19 first-half lead and never looked back against Texas Southern. Seed No. 1 Baylor won in a similar way in the blowout mode, only with an even more fantastic margin of 36 points against Norfolk State. But if you look forward to the match super in the second round for each of these No. 1 seeds, it’s obvious that more 20-point wins will not be the expectation, and at least one of these teams may end up with their tournament getting shorter. given the threat of an upset in the second round.
Seed No. 9 in Memphis had to survive a physical Boise State team to win its first NCAA Tournament game during the Penny Hardaway era. Jalen Duren and Deandre Williams are a couple of forwards who will clash with Gonzaga’s dynamic duo Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren. After playing in the early window on Thursday, Gonzaga and Memphis will meet in today’s final game, scheduled for a tip from Portland at. 21:40.
Another No. 9 seed, Creighton, stands in the way of Kansas and an 11th Sweet 16 appearance under Bill Self. These two teams played very different games in the first round on Thursday – Kansas won from thread to thread while Creighton needed two furious comebacks (one at the end of regulation, one in overtime) to get past San Diego State.
While Gonzaga and Kansas are double-digit betting favorites in their respective second-round games, the most popular choice is for a top-seed upset on Saturday with Baylor taking on No. 8 in North Carolina. Hubert Davis’ Tar Heels won convincingly against No. 9 seed Marquette on Thursday, and that 32-point win suggests the team that appeared at Fort Worth is playing close to the roof. If North Carolina’s roof is good enough to beat Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Mike Krzyzewski’s final home game, it could be good enough to bounce No. 1 in Baylor, even in front of a large audience with 12 tastes. That Baylor-North Carolina match from the Eastern Region will be left at 12.10 and Kansas-Creighton is scheduled to follow at 14.40 in Fort Worth.
How many double-digit seeds will hit Sweet 16 tickets?
Last year, we saw four double-digit seeds make Sweet 16, a figure that is noticeably higher than the average of just 2.3 (per NCAA.com). There is no game that guarantees that a double-digit seed will advance to Sweet 16 on Thursday, but with four chances, the odds are that we can get at least one from this first day of second-round action. Michigan No. 11 may seem the most likely in terms of its strength coming from the Big Ten, but it faces an absolute cut of a team in No. 3 seed Tennessee and Wolverines face similar odds of advancing as No. 12 seed New Mexico State in his match against no. 4 seed Arkansas. Seed No. 12 Richmond actually has the best odds of winning among the four, listed as a narrow underdog against No. 4 seed Providence while No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s faces the longest odds of the four against No. 7 seed Murray State.
Saturday’s livestreaming guide
(1) Baylor vs. (8) North Carolina
12:10 | CBS | Watch live
(4) UCLA vs. (5) Saint Mary’s
19:10 | TBS | Watch live
(1) Kansas vs. (9) Creighton
14:40 | CBS | Watch live
(7) Murray State Vs. (15) Saint Peter’s
19:45 | CBS | Watch live
(3) Tennessee vs. (11) Michigan
17:15 | CBS | Watch live
(4) Arkansas vs. (12) New Mexico State
20:40 | TNT | Watch live
(4) Providence vs. (12) Richmond
18:10 | TNT | Watch live
(1) Gonzaga mot (9) Memphis
21:40 | TBS | Watch live