The 2016 NCAA Tournament's First Four finishes up Wednesday in Dayton with Holy Cross and Southern facing off to start the evening and Michigan and Tulsa capping off the night in advance of Thursday's first round.
Holy Cross and Southern, two No. 16 seeds, tip off at 6:40 p.m. ET. The Crusaders may have the worst record in the tournament at 14-19, but they're coming off a stirring run in the Patriot League Tournament that was completed by a victory over Lehigh in the title game.
Holy Cross finished ninth in the Patriot League with a 5-13 record and didn't win a road game all year before winning four straight on the road to earn its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2007. It was the first time a team had won four games to claim the title in the Patriot League Tournament. This will be the first tournament appearance since 1998 for head coach Bill Carmody, who failed to make it in 13 seasons at Northwestern.
Carmody hopes his trademark 1-3-1 defense will help stifle Southern like it did Holy Cross' opponents in the conference tournament. The Jaguars are 22-12 on the season and came away victorious in the Southwestern Atlantic Conference Tournament to reach their first NCAA Tournament since 2013.
Southern has the leading scorer in the contest in senior Adrian Rodgers at 16.6 points per game. The winner of this one gets to face top-seeded Oregon on Friday.
The second game of the night features two No. 11 seeds going at it in Michigan and Tulsa at 9:10 p.m. ET. The Wolverines have been hamstrung by yet another injury to star Caris LeVert this season, but they still fought their way into the tournament with a record of 22-12.
John Beilein's squad helped its cause with thrilling wins over Northwestern and conference champion Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament. With LeVert out, Michigan is led by juniors Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton Jr.
Tulsa enters the Big Dance with a record of 20-11 after getting smoked by Memphis in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament. Frank Haith's Golden Hurricane return to the NCAA Tournament after missing it last year but making it in 2014 for the first time since 2003. Tulsa is led by seniors James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison.
The winner of Michigan vs. Tulsa will face sixth-seeded Notre Dame on Friday.
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