What games to watch for Friday’s first round of the NCAA tournament


Anyone who grew up obsessed with March Madness has their stories of how they managed to follow the NCAA tournament from school or the office. In high school, I stole a portable handheld TV my mom had—it was in the mid-1990s—and checked the CBS feed whenever I could.

Of course we will be spoiled today. All games are available on a cable network or the March Madness streaming app. I’ll run four screens until only three are needed, three until only two are needed, and so on.

But some might not be at my level. For those of you who may only have the bandwidth for one game at a time, here’s my best guess as to what game will be on at each time of day at the start of the tournament.

No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Loyola Chicago, 9:15 p.m. CBS: The day starts with one of the best matchups. Ohio State lost to 15th-seeded Oral Roberts last year and is looking to regain lost respect. Loyola Chicago was a Cinderella in 2018, made the Final Four and in 2021 in the second round against No. 1 Illinois. Can Sister Jean bring home another big win over a proud Big Ten program?

No. 6 Texas vs. No. 11 Virginia Tech, 1:30 p.m. TBS: The Hokies got hot this past weekend, winning the ACC tournament four straight seasons including North Carolina and Duke. You’ll hope to stay hot, but Texas won’t be easy. Chris Beard led Texas Tech to the national championship game in 2019 and brought the same nasty brand of defense to Austin after last season.

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Cal State Fullerton, 4:10 p.m. CBS: Will this be Coach K’s last game? A potential Cinderella from our area has a say. Enough said.

No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Davidson, 6:40 p.m. CBS: This was supposed to be Tom Izzo’s month but the Spartans have been vulnerable lately. Davidson coach Bob McKillop had his own March hits, and this group of Wildcats could have what it takes to get past Michigan State to (theoretically) take on Coach K’s Blue Devils. What games to watch for Friday’s first round of the NCAA tournament

Andrew Schnitker

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