Finishing up the opening day of First Four action will be the Temple Owls and Belmont Bruins. The two will be vying for the No. 11 seed in the East and a shot against No. 6 Maryland in the NCAA Tournament.
The Owls are coming off a third-place finish in the American Athletic Conference but a very quick exit from the AAC Tournament at the hands of Wichita State. Despite the setback, Temple is one of the few schools that can boast a win over Houston - and that 73-69 win back in January may have been the one that got them their shot in the tournament.
Belmont might have been considered a bubble team among bubble teams but certainly won't be complaining as a second selection from the Ohio Valley Conference. The Bruins finished second to Murray State in both the regular season and the the Ohio Valley Tournament, but still boast 17 wins in their last 19 games. Belmont is 0-7 in the NCAA Tournament, but they've already surprised people by getting into the tournament - so who's to say they can't win a game?
Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Time: ~9:10 PM (immediately following Prairie View A&M vs. Fairleigh Dickinson)
TV Channel: truTV
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson
Location: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH
Prediction: Temple's win over Houston sticks out like a sore thumb, while Belmont is sorely lacking for big out-of-conference wins. However, the Bruins have a knack for scoring plenty of points, and may be able to get just enough to eke out the win and get into the tournament proper.
Belmont Bruins by less than five.