The NCAA tournament begins in earnest today in what they're now calling the "second round." This year, they're calling those four play-in games the "first round." You've probably already noticed this oddity on your brackets... Whatever it's called, the schedule today features the most anticipated local game, Temple vs Penn St. Vegas has the Owls as 2.5 point favorites and ESPN's bracket predictor has Temple winning in three of its four categories. When they based the outcome on the Decision Tree Model, which Leverages hundreds of team stats and contextual game information, Temple wins 72% of the time. Based on scoring margin and schedule strength, Temple wins 55% of the time while the computer simulation has the Owls taking 54% of the matchups. The "Similar Games Model" came out even.
So Temple certainly has a slight edge here, but this is still a pretty wide open matchup. Here's the full schedule for today.
THURSDAY, MARCH 17 (Noon-5:00, ET)
12:15, CBS, Tampa -- West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Clemson Tigers
12:40, truTV, Wash. D.C. -- Butler Bulldogs vs. Old Dominion Monarchs
1:40, TBS, Denver-- Louisville Cardinals vs. Morehead St. Eagles
2:10, TNT, Tucson -- Temple Owls vs. Penn St. Nittany Lions
2:45, CBS, Tampa -- Kentucky Wildcats vs. Princeton Tigers
3:10, truTV, Wash. D.C. -- Pittsburgh Panthers vs. UNC-Asheville Bulldogs
4:10, TBS, Denver -- Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Richmond Spiders
4:40, TNT, Tucson -- San Diego St. Aztecs vs. Northern Colorado Bears