Every year, a new college hero emerges in March. Here are some potential NBA lottery pickers that fans should watch out for in this NCAA tournament.

Mars Madness has officially arrived and college basketball fans can rejoice.

Yes, the first four have been played in Dayton the two previous nights. But the opening Thursday with 16 matches over the four regions is the official start of the NCAA tournament. It is the day that marks the beginning of the run of disturbances. Where Cinderella gets done and the top seeds fall too early. It is the day when your precautionary measures with careful thought-out console either take shape or transform into the recycling bin in history.

And for genuine college hoops fans, it is a 12-hour marathon of truly meaningful, win-or-go

Kentucky guard Keldon Johnson celebrates after scoring against Tennessee in the 2019 SEC tournament semi-finals. (Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sport)

How we rank the games set for Thursday:

1. No. 5 Marquette vs. No. 12 Murray State (19:30, TBS)

All US guards Markus Howard (25.0 ppg) and Ja Morant (24.6 ppg) can both fill it up and make for a must-look individual matchup . But which team wins? Right now, Howard Marquette's team (losing five in six) is fighting and Morant's is a trendy upset choice as a midfielder because of it.

2. No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Belmont (3:10 pm, TruTV)

Bruins passed by Temple in the first four in Dayton, and now coach Rick Byrd finally got his first NCAA tournament win, nerves calming down for a deep run. Maryland has the fourth youngest team in the entire Division I who looks hot and cold in the Big Ten game late in the season and looks ripe for an uproar.

REGIONALT BREAKDOWNS: East | Midwest | South | West

BRACKETIPS: All you need to dominate your office pool

MARCH MADNESS: 2019 NCAA Tournament Schedule and Results ]

3. No. 5 Auburn vs No. 12 New Mexico State (1:30 pm, TruTV)

The SEC tournament match is not a team to bet on based on current form, but the Aggies are a 30-winner well-coached by Chris Jans, a Wichita State disciple when Shockers was a Cinderella Final Four finisher in 2013.

4. No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 13 Northeast (4 pm, TNT)

Jayhawks did not win the big 12 season for the first time in 15 years and they recently had their leading score, Lagerald Vick, leave the team. But Dedric Lawson is still out to be devastating, so the huskies are better at their A-games if they want to take advantage of KU's vulnerabilities.

5. No. 7 Nevada vs No. 10 Florida (19:50 pm, TNT)

Twins Caleb and Cody Martin are back for more March Madness's success after leading Wolf Pack to Sweet 16 last year. They go into a Gators team that played the bubble late in the season and will not lose anything.

6. No. 7 Wofford vs No. 10 Seton Hall (19:40, CBS)

The Terriers lost the middle main standard by staying away from the bubble and receiving a solid seed in the NCAAs, but their memorable season could crash into a stop against a Seton The Hall team played the bubble and was very close to winning the Big East tournament. The player watching is Wofford's Fletcher Magee, a three-point landlords and 20 points per game shooter.

7. No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Old Dominion (19:50, TBS)

Boilermakers quietly won the big ten regular seasons and have an unstoppable player in All-America Guard Carsen Edwards. The conference US-winning monarchs get a nice 1-2 backcourt battle from B.J. Stith and Ahmad Caver equip them for an unexpected outrage.

8. No. 3 LSU vs. No. 14 Yale (12:40 pm, TruTV)

What will be the tiger's psyche with coach Will Wade's suspension and an upcoming NCAA violation explaining their future? Don't expect to take an LSU team that won the SEC season too far out of the track. But expect that dimension to give Yale a chance here to pull off a painful outrage.

TIGERS BOND: LSU players "get together" after suspension of coach

] 9. No. 6 Villanova vs No. 11 Saint Marys (7:20 pm, TBS)

The defending champions Wildcats are not the Final Four good. But they can be cute 16 good after winning both the regular season and the Big East titles tournament. They face a Gaels team that only restricted Gonzaga's No 1-ranked offense against 47 points in the West Coast Conference tournament, to earn their seats within 68.

10. No. 8 Syracuse vs. No. 9 Baylor (19:57 ET TruTv)

Two teams turning away from the bubble in mid-February, Orange and Bears are dark horse beats to beat Gonzaga in the next round They would have to do it in defense, for It is also not very spectacularly offensive. & # 39; Cuse's well-managed 2-3 zone is never an easy adjustment, but Baylor's rather well-run test of meeting a series of top-class teams in Big 12.

11. No. 7 Louisville vs No 10 Minnesota (12:15 pm, CBS)

Cardinals have lost seven of their last 10. At the same time, Gophers only beat a really good Purdue group in the Big Ten tournament. The story of Richard Pitino as a coaching school that fired his dad is sure to get the most attention.

12. No. 2 Michigan vs. No 15 Montana (9:20 pm, TNT)

Wolverines are a well-oiled machine on both ends of the floor. Freshman Ignas Brazdeikis gives this team a backbone and veteran floor General Zavier Simpson makes this team go. Expect Grizzlies to fight a fight. They are a top 10 shooter team (50 percent) and if they do three years it is possible in March.

13. No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 13 Vermont (19:00, TBS)

The Seminoles play just as well as any team in the country that is not called Duke, who has lost in the ACC tournament after beating Virginia. Coach Leonard Hamilton has transformed this team into a Final Four contestant, making Catamounts first run draw an unfortunate one.

14. No. 1 Gonzaga vs No. 16 Farleigh Dickinson (7:27 pm, TruTV)

The Bulldogs lead the nation in crime, with an average of 89 points a game. They also have the best field target percentage and aid turnover in the country. Can anyone in the knights stop "Zags" Rui Hachimura? Nope.

Thank you! You are almost registered for

Keep an eye on an email to confirm your newsletter.

15th No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Abilene Christian (19:10, CBS)

The wild cats have slowed down from November to March more than any law in the country, as a credit for coach John Calipari's ability to mold teen standouts with egos in a cohesive unit. Abilene Christian was only eligible for the tournament two years ago and was the worst school in the entire Division II eight years ago. So just playing Kentucky is a feat. Expect UK to give Southland champ a welcome.

16. Nr 2 Michigan State vs. No. 15 Bradley (2:45 pm, CBS)

The reason why this game offers the smallest plot of the bundle is that Braves will not be in this case from the beginning. Unlike Middle Tennessee beating the Spartans when they were a No. 2 seed in 2016. Tom Izzo and MSU's path to an eleven eight matchup with Duke will begin with a likely blowout of the unlikely Missouri Valley champen

CONTRITION: Bradley trainer Brian Wardle sorry for school donor


Show thumbnails

Show caption

Latest slide show