The NCAA Tournament will officially kick off in Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday as the First Four gets underway.
The first game features Atlantic Sun champ Florida Gulf Coast (20-13) against Northeast Conference champ Fairleigh Dickinson (18-14). Florida Gulf Coast became a national phenomenon after its Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 in the 2013 tournament, but this year's team plays nothing like the Dunk City you know and love. Fairleigh Dickinson, meanwhile, is making its first tournament appearance since 2005 after upsetting top-seeded Wagner in the NEC title game.
The winner will earn the No. 16 seed in the East Region and the right to play No. 1 North Carolina in the Round of 64.
Following the conclusion of that game, the Vanderbilt Commodores (19-13) will take on the Wichita State Shockers (24-8). Despite being a First Four game between two bubble teams, this could be one of the most intriguing matchups of the opening round. Vanderbilt has two projected first-round NBA draft picks in point guard Wade Baldwin IV and center Damian Jones, but the Commodores have been inconsistent all season. On the other side, Wichita State is led by the most experienced backcourt in the country, Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet. The Shockers earned an at-large bid after being upset by Northern Iowa in the MVC tournament.
The winner will claim the South Region's No. 11 seed and face the No. 6 Arizona Wildcats.
Tuesday, March 15
Game 1: Florida Gulf Coast vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 6:40 p.m. ET
Game 2: Vanderbilt vs. Wichita St., after conclusion of Game 1
Wednesday, March 16
Game 3: Holy Cross vs. Southern, 6:40 p.m. ET
Game 4: Michigan vs. Tulsa, after conclusion of Game 3
* * *
Greatest Cinderella: Was it the NC State Wolfpack or Butler Bulldogs?
Be sure to subscribe to SB Nation's YouTube channel for highlight videos, features, analysis and more