Feel free to use this entry as a live discussion thread today.
We'll have a game-specific live thread, of course, but once the game is over, let's migrate over here so that one doesn't get too bogged down, performance-wise.
I probably should have done one of these last night, but I just couldn't muster the willpower. It didn't feel like a true opening day to the tourney, and nobody cares about those four teams anyway. Maybe next year.
11:30 a.m.: No. 5 Kansas St. Wildcats vs. No. 4 Baylor Bears (ESPN2)
- BracketCat: Baylor 68, Kansas State 66
- GAMER: Baylor 69, Kansas State 67
- Pomeroy: Baylor 68, Kansas State 67
- Sagarin: Baylor 66, Kansas State 65
I had a write-up ready to go for this, but screw it. P.S. Those uniforms were just awful. DIAF, Baylor.
2 p.m.: No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies vs. No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (ESPN2)
- BracketCat: Kansas 71, Texas A&M 55
- GAMER: Kansas 74, Texas A&M 55
- Pomeroy: Kansas 70, Texas A&M 53
- Sagarin: Kansas 70, Texas A&M 58
The team that is playing for its tournament life versus the team that really doesn't give a crap at this point. KU will go through the motions, though, if only to avoid a bad loss that could cost the Jayhawks a No. 1 seed. Hawks roll.
6 p.m.: No. 7 Oklahoma St. Cowboys vs. No. 2 Missouri Tigers (Big 12 Network)
- BracketCat: Missouri 75, Oklahoma State 63
- GAMER: Missouri 77, Oklahoma State 63
- Pomeroy: Missouri 79, Oklahoma State 67
- Sagarin: Missouri 68, Oklahoma State 59
Oklahoma State upset Missouri in Stillwater, but it required a Tigers letdown and a career performance from Le'Bryan Nash. He's not playing tonight. Neither are about half of the other members of the team, seemingly.
Expect this to be more like the game in Columbia: an MU rout.
8:30 p.m.: No. 6 Texas Longhorns vs. No. 3 Iowa St. Cyclones (Big 12 Network)
- BracketCat: Texas 68, Iowa State 67
- GAMER: Iowa State 69, Texas 68
- Pomeroy: Texas 71, Iowa State 70
- Sagarin: Texas 64, Iowa State 63
The only truly fascinating game of the day features a team that simply can't afford to lose, facing a team that really wants to win in order to advance up the seed line.
ISU might be a tad complacent, though, after the big home win over Baylor to secure this unexpected seed.
Plus, the Cyclones are susceptible to losing shootouts when the 3s aren't dropping (both games against MU come to mind).
I like the desperation of Texas to carry the Longhorns to a semifinal appearance and a minor upset win.