Three of the four No. 1 seeds will be in action on Friday as the 2014 NCAA Tournament rolls into its second day. Thursday featured three marquee upsets by double-digit seeds, setting the tone for what's sure to be a wild conclusion to the round of 64.
The No. 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs face the No. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys, who might be more talked about as a third-round threat to No. 1 seeded Arizona. Shaka Smart's VCU squad faces a 31-2 Stephen F. Austin team that's won 29 in a row.
Meanwhile, No. 1 seeds Virginia, Arizona and Wichita State begin their 2014 tournament runs.
No. 9 Oklahoma State vs. No. 8 Gonzaga
4:40 p.m. ET, TNT
Some way, some how, OSU guard Marcus Smart pulled his Cowboys out of a miserable Big 12 stretch during the regular season. Following a seven-game losing streak, Oklahoma State went 5-2 leading into the NCAA Tournament and only lost in two overtime battles. Many see the No. 9 seed as a threat to drop the Arizona Wildcats in the second round, but first Travis Ford's squad will need to beat a Gonzaga team that is led by skilled forward Sam Dower, and as usual, well-coached.
No. 12 Stephen F. Austin vs. No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth
7:27 p.m. ET, truTV
VCU once found itself in a similar place as Stephen F. Austin, the unknown mid-major. But after tournament success, the Rams moved up the conference chain and now find themselves as a well-respected member of the Atlanta 10. Treveon Graham leads Smart's team with 15 points per game, and it'll be a battle between he and Stephen F. Austin guard Jacob Parker, who is likewise a swingman thriving with an undersized team that plays at a hectic pace.
No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 8 Kentucky
9:40 p.m. ET, CBS
Two talented but erratic teams meet in the second round of the tournament, but the pressure is all on Kentucky. A year after missing the NCAA Tournament, John Calipari has a revamped roster that has likewise struggled to put its talent together in a single season. Then again, the Wildcats are coming off a 61-60 loss to No. 1 overall seed Florida in the SEC title game. Bruce Weber's KSU Wildcats have their work cut out for them with three losses in a row heading into the Big Dance.
The rest of the schedule (ET)
• Mercer Bears (14) vs. Duke Blue Devils (2), 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
• Nebraska Cornhuskers (11) vs. Baylor Bears (6), 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
• Stanford Cardinal (10) vs. New Mexico Lobos (7), 1:40 p.m. (TBS)
• Weber State Wildcats (16) vs. Arizona Wildcats (1), 2:10 p.m. (TNT)
• Iowa/Tennessee winner (11) vs. Massachusetts Minutemen (6), 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
• Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns (14) vs. Creighton Bluejays (3), 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
• Eastern Kentucky Colonels (15) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (2), 4:10 p.m. (TBS)
• George Washington Colonials (9) vs. Memphis Tigers (8), 6:55 p.m. (TBS)
• Cal Poly/Texas Southern winner (11) vs. Wichita State (1), 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
• Providence Friars (11) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (6), 7:20 p.m. (TNT)
• Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (16) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (1), 9:35 p.m. (TBS)
• North Carolina Central Eagles (14) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (3), 9:50 p.m. (TNT)
• Tulsa Golden Hurricane (13) vs. UCLA Bruins (4), 9:57 p.m. (truTV)