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D.C.: Party crashers

Basketball

The GIST: There are potentially eight schools representing the DMV in the round of 64 and they’re ready to bust some brackets.

March 17, 2021
Source: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports
Source: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

First Four: As two of the four lowest-seeded automatic qualifiers, No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s and No. 16 Norfolk State must contest an additional play-in game tomorrow at 5:10 p.m. ET and 8:40 p.m. ET respectively. First round bound?

Upset watch: Four of these schools may have a shot at beating their higher-ranked, first-round opponents: 10-seeds Maryland, Virginia Tech and VCU, as well as 12-seed Georgetown.

  • Perhaps a change of scenery, away from the tough Big Ten, could help Darryl Morsell and the Maryland Terps upset No. 7 UConn on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET.
  • Keve Aluma (pronounced KEV-AY) and the Virginia Tech Hokies hope to take advantage of No. 7 Florida — who’ve lost three of their last four games — on Friday at 12:15 p.m. ET.
  • VCU’s stifling defense is up against No. 7 Oregon’s excellent offense. See which strength will prevail on Saturday at 9:57 p.m. ET.
  • And last but not least, the red-hot Georgetown Hoyas. Can they keep the magic alive against No. 5 Colorado on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. ET?

Grim outlook: No. 4 UVA’s COVID-19 issues leave the reigning national champions with scant preparation for the first round. And their opponent on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET is dangerous: No. 13 Ohio, who back in November, were a mere two points shy of beating now 1-seed Illinois. Gulp.

  • As for No. 13 Liberty, it seems likely that the electric Cade Cunningham and the No. 4 Oklahoma State will extinguish the Flames on Friday at 6:25 p.m. ET.