With day one of the NCAA tournament behind us, 32 more teams will meet Friday in a bid to make it to the second round. There have already been a few surprises. Cal State Northridge, even though it lost, was able to hang with Memphis through most of its opening game. American was up 14 on Villanova in the second half before losing. We'll probably see a few more surprises on Friday. Here are three games that could shape up to be closer than you think. First, No. 11 seed Utah State and No. 6 seed Marquette meet at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The Aggies played a perfect season at home and have won six of their last seven games. The Golden Eagles struggled for wins at the end of the season, losing five of their last six games, and seven of their last 11. But Marquette's lead scorers can deliver. Jerel McNeal, Wesley Matthews and Lazar Hayward average 19.7, 18.4 and 16.1 points a game, respectively. And they can recover quickly, coming back from a 16-point deficit at halftime of their last Big East tournament game, albeit to lose by 1 to Villanova. The Aggies, however, hold opponents to 62 points a game. In their last game, a win against Nevada in the Western Athletic Conference championship, they also made 50% of their shots, at one point leading by 19. Leading scorer Gary Wilkinson collected 21 points. The second game to watch involves Arizona State, another six-seed, meeting No. 11 Temple at 2:45 p.m. EDT. These teams have a few similarities on paper -- both average about 69 points a game, both won at home around 80% of the time, and on the road they won 50% to 60% of the time.
The Sun Devils lost their conference championship by three, blowing a 15-point lead and snapping a three-game winning streak. Their top three scorers bring in an average of 45 points, but the team needs James Harden, who averages more than 20 a game, to have a good showing. If forward Jeff Pendergraph also makes buckets and pulls down rebounds, that certainly wouldn't hurt. Meanwhile, Temple is on a five-game winning streak that landed it the Atlantic 10 Conference title. Look out for Dionte Christmas . The guard, who averages just over 19 points a game, scored 20 points in the first half of the conference championship, including six threes. If Christmas delivers, Temple could be moving on. The third contest of note will tip off at 7:20 p.m. EDT, when 10 seed USC faces No. 7 Boston College. The Trojans struggle more on the road than the Eagles, but they are coming off of a six-game winning streak and have held opponents to fewer points. Boston College has lost five of its last nine games, but keep in mind the school is in the tough ACC. The Eagles beat North Carolina, Duke and Maryland this season, but lost to Duke in the conference tournament. The Eagles score more points, with Tyrese Rice putting up 17 points a game, and Joe Trapani and Rakim Sanders adding 13 apiece. But the Trojans also have a strong shooting balance, with Taj Gibson and Dwight Lewis recording more than 14 points a game, and DeMar DeRozan and Daniel Hackett not far behind.