2013 NCAA tournament: Previewing Wednesday’s play-in game matchups


C.J. Garner of LIU-Brooklyn. (Associated Press)

March Madness continues Wednesday night with another First Four appetizer at University of Dayton Arena, two play-in games for the right to advance to the second round, or the round of 64, or whatever we’re calling it now. Here’s a quick preview for the action. Both games are broadcast on TruTV, bookended by three-hour marathons of “Lizard Lick Towing.” 

GAME ONE INFO

Who: No. 16 LIU-Brooklyn (20-13, RPI 179) vs. No. 16 James Madison (20-14, RPI 182)
When: 6:40 p.m.
Where: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio.
TV: TruTV.
Coaches: Blackbirds – Jack Perri (first season, 20-13). Dukes – Matt Brady (fourth season, 87-81).

GAME TWO INFO

Who: No. 13 La Salle (21-9, RPI 46) vs. No. 13 Boise State (21-10, RPI 41).
When: 9:10 p.m.
Where: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio.
TV: TruTV.
Coaches: Explorers – John Giannini (ninth season, 140-137). Broncos – Leon Rice (third season, 56-40).

STORYLINES

Game One: James Madison star Rayshawn Goins will sit out the first half after getting arrested this weekend just hours after the Dukes learned they’d be traveling to Dayton for the play-in game. The team’s leading scorer and rebounder, Goins got popped on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing justice stemming from an off-campus party.

LIU-Brooklyn is no stranger to legal issues either. Four players were arrested and charged with assault for participating in a campus brawl. The players successfully appealed their suspensions, though forward Julian Boyd eventually tore his ACL and was lost for the season. The Blackbirds are an experienced bunch, earning their third straight NCAA tournament appearance. This is the first for James Madison’s players.

Game Two: La Salle guard Tyreek Duren apparently received a standing ovation in class, so the Explorers are certainly juiced over receiving an at-large bid, the school’s first in 21 years. Boise State, meanwhile, received the school’s first-ever at-large bid.

Both teams run four-guard lineups with adjusted offenses that rank among the nation’s top 45, according to Kenpom.com. The winner gets No. 4 seed Kansas State in Kansas City on Friday.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Game One: LIU-Brooklyn Jr. PG Jason Brickman: The San Antonio native leads the nation in assists with 8.5 per game and his 64.5 percent assist rate tops the Northeast Conference. Over LIU-Brooklyn’s past five games – all wins – Brickman is averaging 7.6 points and 9.4 assists per game, though he’s also committed 18 total turnovers in that span.

Game Two: Boise State Jr. G Jeff Elorriaga: The conference leader in effective field-goal percentage, a metric that weights the added point gained by a three-pointer, the 6-foot-2 Elorriaga also shoots a blistering 45.1 percent from beyond the arc, including some obscene lines earlier this season (10 for 16, 6 for 10 twice, 5 for 10). He also happens to rank third nationally with a 3.1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, but was held to nine total points over Boise State’s past two games, both against San Diego State.

Don’t forget to make your picks in The Post’s Bracket Challenge, study up on your history with our NCAA tournament database and read up on the latest news on our NCAA tournament grid.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt | March 20, 2013