Monmouth University

NCAA Tournament first round preview

For the 32 teams unable to convince the NCAA Selection Committee that they deserved a seed, the tournament begins Thursday as 16 first-round tournament matches kick off. The winners will then travel to play a seeded side on Sunday.

And while many of the biggest names will not kickoff until then, there are a handful of possibly tantalizing matchups, the very first of which is the Dartmouth-Monmouth tilt that begins on Thursday at noon ET.

The Big Green weren’t able to eclipse any of their Ivy League rivals, but will provide a stiff first round test for the NEC Champion Hawks, currently ranked No. 13 overall by the NSCAA, and carrying high aspirations into the tournament.

A few other ranked teams will see action in the first round. College Cup host and No. 14-ranked UCSB host Denver to close out Thursday’s action, while University of Maryland-Baltimore County will travel to No. 10 Princeton to take on the Tigers.

One of the matches of the day will take place at Brown, as Boston College makes the short trip up to Providence in what is a clash of two teams ranked in the top 25.

Here’s the complete schedule of Thursday’s first-round action:

NCAA First Round

Monmouth (14-1-4) vs. Dartmouth (10-6-1), noon ET

Providence (12-5-3) vs. St. Peter’s (13-5-1), 1 p.m. ET

Michigan State (11-7-1) vs. Oakland (7-10-3), 1 p.m. ET

Georgetown (11-6-1) vs. UNC Greensboro (12-5-4). 1 p.m. ET

Central Florida (11-4-3) vs. South Florida (9-5-4), 5 p.m. ET

Sacramento State (10-4-7) vs. Santa Clara (10-5-5), 5 p.m. ET

West Virginia (10-7-2) vs. Xavier (10-6-4), 7 p.m. ET

Brown (11-3-3) vs. Boston College (10-4-5), 7 p.m. ET

Duke (9-5-4) vs. Coastal Carolina (12-7-2, 7 p.m. ET

Virginia (11-5-3) vs. Old Dominion (9-6-2), 7 p.m. ET

Penn (12-5-0) vs. Bucknell (10-8-2), 7 p.m. ET

Princeton (13-3-1) vs. UMBC (11-4-3), 7 p.m. ET

College of Charleston (10-4-3) vs. East Tennessee State (15-5-0), 7 p.m. ET

Creighton (12-5-1) vs. New Mexico (9-5-5), 8 p.m. ET

Tulsa (11-6-2) vs. Bradley (11-8-3), 8:30 p.m. ET

UC Santa Barbara (13-4-3) vs. Denver (9-6-4), 10 p.m. ET