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2018 NCAA Tournament: Day 2 Preview

Ready for Round 2?

Big East Basketball Tournament - Semifinals Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The SECOND day of the NCAA Tournament is about to begin.

Thursday was chaotic and crazy. One thing we don’t have to worry about heading into Day 2 is the status of the Big East (yet, at least). The conference had two teams playing on the first day, and those two teams — the Seton Hall Pirates and Villanova Wildcats — each won their games.


BIG EAST STORYLINES

RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE

The first matchup of Day 2 pits the Texas A&M Aggies of the SEC against the Big East’s Providence Friars. Kyron Cartwright and the Friars will be looking to continue the Big East’s run of success so far and do so right as the day begins. The last time we saw PC, they were going blow for blow with Villanova in the Big East Tournament Final. And Ed Cooley pulled a Spongebob and had his pants rip, too. We can only hope he has things sewn up and that the Friars sew up a win to start the day.

A DOG AND A HOG IN DETROIT

The Butler Bulldogs and Arkansas Razorbacks continue this miniature SEC-Big East Challenge later today in Detroit. The ‘Dawgs, a 10-seed, will face the Hogs, a 7-seed, much like the Friars and Aggies are playing in Charlotte. It should be a fun game, but it’s unfortunate that very good doggo Trip, aka Butler Blue III, won’t be able to be inside Little Caesars Arena to see it. #LetTripIn

HELLO, (OLD) FRIENDS

Creighton Bluejays star Marcus Foster will be playing his old team, the Kansas State Wildcats, in Charlotte later on Friday night. Foster, of course, started his career at K-State before being dismissed from the program. He has refound his focus and his playing abilities and is, of course, one of the top players in the conference. By night’s end, perhaps he’ll be able to show the Wildcats what they’re missing out on. And yes, that heading was a Jim Nantz play on words, since he’ll be calling action in Charlotte.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST... XAVIER BEGINS THEIR QUEST

You may or may not have heard the nonsense about the Xavier Musketeers being the “weakest” 1 seed in the field. Despite all that fluff, Xavier gets their stint started against the Texas Southern Tigers in Nashville on Friday. The Musketeers have never been to a Final Four before, but this is perhaps their best shot yet of getting there. They should have absolutely no problem in getting through the Round of 64. Time will tell to see who they play on Sunday.


NATIONAL STORYLINES

2 SEEDS EVERYWHERE

Seriously, though. Three of them (Cincinnati, North Carolina, Purdue) will all be playing on Friday. Maybe it’s too much to ask for drama with these, but there may very well be some uncompetitive play.

A CLASH OF STYLES

The up-tempo style of Eric Musselman’s Nevada Wolf Pack will face off with the slow and plodding style that Shaka Smart’s Texas Longhorns bring to the table in Nashville later. This could be a very competitive game, and Nevada is a team that could surprise people if they’re able to get it going. They will have a stiff test in their first game, but watch out if they get through.

“OH GOD IS ‘CUSE DOING THIS AGAIN?”

The NCAA Tournament can’t seem to quit the Syracuse Orange, and the Orange can’t seem to quit wreaking havoc once they get in. They won their First Four matchup against the Arizona State Sun Devils, and now they’re back in action on Friday. They face the TCU Horned Frogs, which means Jim Boeheim will see former Big East coach Jamie Dixon once again. Can Boeheim get the better of Dixon, and will ‘Cuse do this thing again?