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What You Need to Know About Today’s March Madness Games

Kansas coach Bill Self will miss Thursday’s first-round NCAA tournament game against Howard as he continues to recover from a recent health problem, the school announced.

Norm Roberts, a Kansas assistant coach who had been a head coach at St. John’s, will continue to coach the team in Self’s absence.

Self, 60, missed the Big 12 tournament last week after undergoing a procedure to treat blocked arteries in his heart. The Hall of Fame coach was released Sunday from a hospital.

Kansas (22-7) went 13-5 in the Big 12, winning a regular-season title for the 17th time during Self’s 20-year tenure, but lost to Texas, 76-56, in the Big 12 tournament final on Saturday. The Jayhawks, who won last year’s N.C.A.A. tournament, are the No. 3 overall seed — and No. 1 in the West — this postseason despite losing three starters from the 2022 title-winning team. — Adam Zagoria

We’re on the hunt for upsets as the men’s N.C.A.A. basketball tournament gets going in earnest. Here are our picks for the games we don’t want to miss (all times Eastern):

1:40 p.m., TNT

The 7-10 matchups are historically upset candidates, with the No. 10 seed winning 39.5 percent of the time. Modelers see this matchup as the most likely upset of this year’s No. 7 seeds, with FiveThirtyEight giving Utah State a 64 percent chance of advancing. The Aggies are 26-8 but didn’t play many top-tier teams. According to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, though, they feature the 13th-best offense in Division I. Missouri is no slouch, with forward Kobe Brown and guard D’Moi Hodge leading the way, but the Tigers may have trouble slowing Utah State’s attack.

6:50 p.m., TNT

Iowa has a potential first-round N.B.A. draft pick in Kris Murray, whose twin brother, Keegan, was a lottery pick last year. But the Hawkeyes have been inconsistent all season, including in a home loss to woeful Eastern Illinois. Auburn also recorded an up-and-down season: The Tigers had winning streaks of eight games (to start the year) and five games (in January), but otherwise didn’t win more than two games consecutively. Auburn’s defense could give the Iowa offense trouble; modelers are giving the edge to the Tigers in this tossup game.

7:10 p.m., CBS

Duke is a trendy Final Four pick in its first year under Coach Jon Scheyer, but the Blue Devils will need to handle Oral Roberts first. The Golden Eagles posted a record of 30-4, including a perfect 18-0 in Summit League play. But Duke is also on a hot streak and has won its past nine games on the way to an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title. Fans are largely picking Duke, but some modelers are skeptical, with Pomeroy giving Duke a 63 percent chance to advance.

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