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March Madness Day Three Early Guide

Hey hey, eight more games of awesome basketball today as the 2011 NCAA Tournament marches (pun intended) on, now spread more thin so you don't have as many games to choose from at a time. They're also all mostly in the evening, save for one that still manages to be on really early.

We have a guaranteed Cinderella contender heading to next week out of Morehead State or Richmond. Personally, I think getting a full week of coverage and a Sweet 16 performance out of Kenneth Faried would be stellar, but don't tell anyone from Richmond. After that, we have a decent shot at another Cinderella out of Gonzaga.

By the way, did you know that 12 seeds have a better record in the second round than 11 seeds? 11 seeds have won just over 36% of the 33 games they've played in the second round, including a 9-21 record against three seeds. 12 seeds have won more than half, almost 55%, of the second round games they've played, including an 11-16 record against four seeds and all but one of the eight games they've played against 13 seeds. So there is your trivia of the day.

Any other Cinderellas would be mild at this point, and they'd have to go through top seeds. The match-ups mostly look good on paper, though, so today could be one great day of basketball.

After the jump is a guide for the first two games of the day, the same guide from the first two days, with stats, odds, predictions, picks, and key players for each game. You can see all the staff picks for the tournament here. Stats courtesy of KenPom.com and odds courtesy of BetVega.com. Not that KenPom's stats are updated through the tournament, so what you see includes the games played on Thursday.

The six evening games will be up a bit later.

11:15

(4) Kentucky

(5) West Virginia

LINE

-181

+164

PACE

66.3 Pos/G

63.8 Pos/G

KENPOM RANK (OFF/DEF)

9 (7/26)

19 (23/33)

MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS

3 Terrence Jones

(6.5 Fouls Drawn/40)

25 Darryl Bryant

(5.9 Fouls Drawn/4)

3 Casey Mitchell (32.4% Shots)

13 Deniz Kilicli (11.5 Off Reb%)

SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTORS

12 Brandon Knight

(23.0 Asst Rate)

 

KenPom Chance of Win

63%

37%

KenPom Predicted Score

69

66

FanMatch: Third best game of the day.

SB Nation Dallas-Ft. Worth Staff Picks
Code: Kentucky
Griffin: Kentucky
Ponting: Kentucky
London: Kentucky
Perryman: WVU
Starkey: WVU
Fittz: Clemson

1:45

(2) Florida

(7) UCLA

LINE

-229

+201

PACE

64.1 Pos/G

66.6 Pos/G

KENPOM RANK (OFF/DEF)

17 (17/35)

56 (85/37)

MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS

32 Vernon Macklin

(11.3 Off Reb%)

34 Joshua Smith (20.0 Off Reb%)

SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTORS

25 Chandler Parsons (56.2 eFG%)

1 Kenny Boynton (1.6 Fouls/40)

11 Erving Walker (10.0 Off Reb%)

23 Alex Tyus (3.3 Block%)

33 Erik Murphy (56.5 eFG%)

23 Tyler Honeycutt (1.9 Fouls/40)

22 Reeves Nelson (22.9 Def Reb%)

11 Lazeric Jones (25.3 Asst Rate)

KenPom Chance of Win

78%

22%

KenPom Predicted Score

69

62

FanMatch: Sixth best game of the day.

SB Nation Dallas-Ft. Worth Staff Picks
Code: Florida
Fittz: Florida
Griffin: Florida
Perryman: Florida
Ponting: UCLA
London: Mich St
Starkey: Mich St

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.