First Round NCAA Tournament Game Intrigue Rankings

It is officially time to turn the table from my Brad-ketology entries (yes, I did beat Lunardi this year!) to actually analyzing the bracket at hand. There are countless number of NCAA tournament preview articles written in the days leading up to the NCAA tournament (and I have read most of them), but I have not seen anyone actually create an intrigue ranking of all the games from first to worst similar to what many analysts do during bowl season. Thus, I am hear to fill that void by publishing this list now for the second consecutive year. The main factors considered were: the possibility of an upset, likelihood of a close game, and the existence of other story lines that enhance the appeal of a particular game. If I have the chance, I will create a second list and post it on the blog which ranks each of these games after they are played. It will be interesting to compare how the pregame rankings compare to the postgame rankings. Enjoy this list and enjoy the games. Merry Christmas everyone!

Ranking the NCAA First Round Games (Pregame)
1(3) Wisconsin vs. (14) Colgate (9:50)- TBS (247)
2(7) Loyola Chicago vs. (10) Ohio State (12:15)- CBS (5)
3(4) Providence vs. (13) South Dakota St. (12:40)- Tru TV (246)
4(4) Arkansas vs. (13) Vermont (9:20)- TNT (245)
5(4) Illinois vs. (13) Chattanooga (6:50)- TNT (245)
6(5) Houston vs. (12) UAB (9:20)- TNT (245)
7(2) Kentucky vs. (15) Saint Peter’s (7:10)- CBS (5)
8(5) Iowa vs. (12) Richmond (3:10)- Tru TV (246)
9(8) Boise State vs. (9) Memphis (1:45)- TNT (245)
10(6) Texas vs. (11) Virginia Tech (4:30)- TBS (247)
11(1) Gonzaga vs. (16) Georgia State (4:15)- TNT (245)
12(5) UConn vs. (12) New Mexico State (6:50)- TNT (245)
13(6) Alabama vs. (11) Rutgers/ND (4:15)- TNT (245)
14(7) Michigan State vs. (10) Davidson (9:40)- CBS (5)
15(2) Auburn vs. (15) Jacksonville State (12:40)- Tru TV (246)
16(8) Seton Hall vs. (9) TCU (9:57)- Tru TV (246)
17(7) Murray State vs. (10) San Francisco (9:40)- CBS (5)
18(6) Michigan vs. (11) Colorado State (12:15)- CBS (5)
19(5) Saint Mary’s vs. (12) Ind./Wyo (7:20)- TBS (247)
20(3) Tennessee vs. (14) Longwood (2:45)- CBS (5)
21(1) Arizona vs. (16) Wright St./Bryant (7:27)- Tru TV (246)
22(2) Duke vs. (15) Cal State Fullerton (7:10)- CBS (5)
23(8) North Carolina vs. (9) Marquette (4:30)- TBS (247)
24(7) Southern Cal vs. (10) Miami-FL (3:10)- Tru TV (246)
25(8) San Diego State vs. (9) Creighton (7:27)- Tru TV (246)
26(1) Baylor vs. (16) Norfolk State (2:00)- TBS (247)
27(3) Texas Tech vs. (14) Montana St. (1:45)- TNT (245)
28(6) LSU vs. (11) Iowa State (7:20)- TBS (247)
29(2) Villanova vs. (15) Delaware (2:45)- CBS (5)
30(4) UCLA vs. (13) Akron (9:50)- TBS (247)
31(3) Purdue vs. (14) Yale (2:00)- TBS (247)
32(1) Kansas vs. (16) TX Sou./TAMU-CC (9:57)- TruTV (246)

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