While the person running your office bracket pool may insist that the NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, there are eight teams that beg to differ.
The 2013 NCAA Tournament officially tips off on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio with the "First Four." Spread across two nights, the "First Four" includes four games and eight teams that just landed a spot in the field of 68. The winners advance to second round, which most people consider the "first round"
Of course, the presence of 20-loss Liberty in the opening game of the first round might not force longtime tourney viewers and bracketologists to adjust their habits just yet.
That doesn't matter to Liberty coach Dale Layer, who said he doesn't care who his Flames play after winning the Big South Conference Tournament title.
After the Liberty tangles with North Carolina A&T in the opener, Saint Mary's takes on Middle Tennessee State for a chance to play No. 6 Memphis. The Gaels and Blue Raiders both hope the First Four can be their launching pad for journey to the Final Four. VCU navigated the unlikely route from Dayton to the Final Four in 2011. Can any team in this group follow their lead?
Scroll down for live updates and CLICK HERE for a printable 2013 NCAA tournament bracket!
03/19/2013 11:31 PM EDT
We get to see more Dellavedova!
03/19/2013 11:30 PM EDT
Saint Mary's wins 67-54 and will be the No. 11 seed playing Memphis in the Midwest Region.
03/19/2013 11:29 PM EDT
Time Running Out
After both teams traded baskets, MT put on a full court press but let Young get out in front all alone for a fast break dunk. Dellavedova made 1/2 free throws after that to make it 67-54. 11.7 seconds left.
03/19/2013 11:27 PM EDT
They're down but they're not going to stop fighting. Middle Ten. players diving on the floor for loose balls and pushing the tempo. Knight just made a layup to cut it to 10. 39.5 seconds left. Saint Mary's going to the line.
03/19/2013 11:25 PM EDT
@ kyleveazey :
Since Memphis' 12/15 loss to Louisville, average CBS RPI of its wins: 137. Since St. Mary's 12/23 loss to UNI, average RPI of its wins: 157.
03/19/2013 11:24 PM EDT
@ raphiellej :
This may be the concern for Memphis in a matchup with Saint Mary's. Dellavedova does a very good job of maintaining tempo.
03/19/2013 11:23 PM EDT
Out Of Reach
Holt makes a driving layup just under the 2-minute mark and it looks like that might be it. Saint Mary's up by 13.
03/19/2013 11:20 PM EDT
Waldow is called for his third foul and Middle Tennessee's Marcos Knight hits two free throws. MT has scored four straight now. 57-48 Saint Mary's with 3 minutes left.
03/19/2013 11:16 PM EDT
@ YahooForde :
I've said this before, but if you don't like watching St. Mary's you must not like basketball. Gaels pass and shoot beautifully.
03/19/2013 11:15 PM EDT
Saint Mary's puts on a ball movement clinic after Dellavedova gets double teamed. Holt is found wide open in the left corner and he knocks down a 3 to make it 57-44 Saint Mary's.