More NCAA Tournament Coverage
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule/Viewing Grid
NCAA Tournament NBA Draft Prospect TV Schedule: Thursday
NCAA Tournament NBA Draft Prospect TV Schedule: Friday
NCAA Tournament NBA Draft Prospect TV Schedule: Saturday
Note: The numbers listed next to players' names are their current standing in the latest iteration of our Top-100 Prospect Rankings
12:20 PM CBS Brooklyn, New York
#7 Iowa #53 Jarrod Uthoff
#2 Villanova #91 Josh Hart, Daniel Ochefu, Jalen Brunson, Ryan Arcidiacono
Iowa narrowly avoided being upset in overtime by Temple in the first round, behind a 23 point outing by their star player Jarrod Uthoff, who shot just 2/10 from beyond the arc. It was good to see the senior be more aggressive, particularly in overtime, and they'll need more of the same if they are to have any chance of advancing past one of best defensive teams in college basketball in Villanova.
It will be interesting to see who Villanova head coach Jay Wright decides to use to try and slow down the highly skilled Uthoff, as their starting power forward, Kris Jenkins, is arguably their weakest link when it comes to the defensive end. He has a natural fit in 6'7 freshman Mikal Bridges, who has a 7'1 wingspan, terrific instincts, and has demonstrated the ability to guard up to four positions over the course of the season. Bridges played 26 minutes in the first round against UNC Asheville, and 27 minutes in the Big East Tournament final against Seton Hall, so Wright hasn't been shy about deploying him as the season has moved on.
Bridges will need to become a better shooter and ball-handler as his career moves on at Villanova to improve his increasingly strong case as a future NBA draft pick, but the pair of 3-pointers he knocked down against Asheville shows he's definitely capable of doing so. This is yet another opportunity to build his resume in what has been a very solid debut campaign, at least relative to initial expectations.
2:40 PM CBS Brooklyn, New York
#14 Stephen F. Austin
#6 Notre Dame #11 Demetrius Jackson, #88 Zach Auguste, V.J. Beachem, Steven Vasturia, Bonzie Colson, Rex Pflueger, Matt Ryan
Somewhat of a Southland version of Draymond Green, Walkup does a little bit of everything for SFA, moving off the ball intelligently, handling in the open court, finding the open man, and finishing around the rim with tremendous efficiency. He plays a point forward role for them, operating both on and off the ball, but showing intriguing ability to create out of pick and roll and and isolation situations with slower big men guarding him. West Virginia's players openly admitted they didn't take Stephen F. Austin seriously after the game, and there's no way that will be the case again against Notre Dame.
While there is a lot to like about the strength, intensity level and basketball IQ he displays, there are some concerns about projecting the tremendous productivity Walkup has been able to achieve at the college level to the professional ranks, due to his lack of height, average athleticism and inconsistent shooting ability. Walkup is a career 35/115 (30%) 3-point shooter, and his percentages have disappointingly fallen every season since his sophomore year. Walkup did make two 3-pointers against West Virginia, but struggled making shots off the dribble, so it will be interesting to see if he can continue to demonstrate some long-range prowess against a significantly worse defensive team in Notre Dame.
The responsibility for guarding him will likely be tasked to power forward Bonzie Colson, a similarly undersized, but incredibly long-armed power forward who brings great strength and competitiveness to the table. This will be an extremely intriguing matchup to follow in what promises to be a huge contrast in styles.
5:15 PM CBS Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
#10 VCU Melvin Johnson
#2 Oklahoma #9 Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins
Up to his usual tricks in the round of 64, Buddy Hield scored 27 points en route to a 14 point victory over Cal State-Bakersfield in what wound up being a competitive game. Isaiah Cousins chipped in with 16 points on 3-3 from beyond the arc as both of Oklahoma's talented seniors delivered on Friday night. They'll face an interesting test against VCU's aggressive perimeter defense as the Rams may not press as often as they have in the past, but still force turnovers and pressure the ball effectively. Oklahoma's ability to survive VCU's defense could be a good primer for them as a looming matchup with Texas A&M could be one of the second weekend's best games should both teams advance, which if we've learned anything this week, is not a sure thing.
6:10 PM TNT St. Louis, Missouri
#15 Middle Tennessee
#10 Syracuse #63 Michael Gbinije, Tyler Lydon, Malachi Richardson, DaJuan Coleman
Syracuse senior Michael Gbinije, fresh off a win over Dayton and their stingy defense, will have an opportunity to earn a trip to the Sweet 16 with a victory over Middle Tennessee State, which scored perhaps the most improbable upset in the NCAA Tournament history with a win over Michigan State. Getting 21 points from Malachi Richardson and 18 rebounds from Tyler Roberson, the Orange got major contributions from their roleplayers and looked as good as they have on both ends in some time. For Middle Tennessee State, it was the versatility of their starters and hot shooting that proved to be too much for the Spartans to handle. Scoring 1.52 points per jump shot in the half court in their win, up from the 1.01 points per attempt they had scored to that point, the hot may not do justice to the night the Blue Raiders had from the perimeter.
There isn't an overwhelming amount of intrigue here from a draft perspective, but Syracuse has a number of players who stand to gain something from a strong performance or the big stage experience. Middle Tennessee State may not have an obvious NBA talent on their roster, but they do have a number of players who could find suitors overseas, such as Reggie Upshaw and Giddy Potts. It will be interesting to see which of these double-digit seeds is able to sustain the momentum they built in the round of 64 as make it to the second weekend.
7:10 PM TBS Spokane, Washington
#13 Hawaii Stefan Jankovic
#5 Maryland #16 Diamond Stone, #36 Melo Trimble, #51 Jake Layman, #58 Robert Carter, Rasheed Sulaimon
He's been significantly better as of late, culminating in posting a career high 27 points on 5/8 shooting from beyond the arc against South Dakota State in the Round of 64. Scouts will want to see more of that from Layman, who ticks quite a few boxes as a NBA prospect, and it's unlikely that Hawaii will have many answers for a small forward with his physical tools and talent if he's being aggressive.
7:40 PM truTV Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
#11 Northern Iowa Wes Washpun
#3 Texas A&M #85 Danuel House, Jalen Jones, Tyler Davis, Tony Trocha-Morales, Alex Caruso, D.J. Hogg
Northern Iowa will need more of the same in what should be a much more difficult matchup against a deep and experienced Texas A&M squad. While Alex Caruso isn't quite as athletic as Texas' Isaiah Taylor, he's taller, a better defender and has a better feel for the game, which will make for a great scouting contrast.
8:40 PM TNT St. Louis, Missouri
#7 Wisconsin #41 Nigel Hayes, Ethan Happ
#2 Xavier Jalen Reynolds, Trevon Bluiett, Edmond Sumner
Going 3-17 from the field in Wisconsin's low-scoring 47-43 win over Pittsburgh, Nigel Hayes struggled mightily against a physical Panthers defense. Fortunately for Hayes, Ethan Happ was about to pick up a bit of the slack against Pittsburgh, and it will be worth watching how the freshman fares against a comparably big, more athletic big man in Jalen Reynolds against the Musketeers.
Depending on who Xavier throws at him when they're not dropping back into their 1-3-1 zone, Hayes could hold a significant size advantage over a player like Trevon Bluiett and a strength advantage over J.P. Macura.
Holding Weber State to just 19% from 3, Xavier pulled away in the first half and never looked back in the round of 64. Getting a combined 30 points from their big men Jalen Reynolds and James Farr but just 8 from guards Myles Davis and Edmond Sumner, the Musketeers have a number of players who can step up offensively on any given night. It will be interesting to see who those players are in their matchup with the Badgers who could look to slow the game down to a crawl.
9:40 PM truTV Spokane, Washington
#1 Oregon Dillon Brooks, Tyler Dorsey, Jordan Bell, Chris Boucher
#8 St. Joseph's #42 DeAndre Bembry
Bembry will see one of the strongest opponents he's faced thus far in his college career in #1 seed Oregon, certainly from an offensive standpoint at least. He'll likely be matched up with forwards Elgin Cook, Dillon Brooks and Dwayne Benjamin for most of the night, all of whom are very different players. Brooks is the most skilled of the bunch, but Bembry will have a significant advantage here in terms of athleticism and length. Cook might be Oregon's best matchup for slowing down Bembry, with his chiseled frame, long arms, strong athleticism and aggressive mentality defensively.
Scouts shouldn't have too many question marks about Bembry's overall talent level, as he's one of the most versatile players in the college game, possessing tremendous instincts, passing ability and underrated athleticism. He tends to float in and out of games for whatever reason, though, on both ends of the floor, looking far too lackadaisical with his intensity and effort level. His shooting has also been somewhat of a concern, as he's converted just 26% of his 3-point attempts this season and 31% for his career.
For St. Joe's to have any chance of staying in this game, they'll need Bembry at his absolute most aggressive and best, but they should feel good about the fact that they'll have the best NBA prospect on the court whenever he's in the game.