What games to watch for Thursday’s first round of 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 snuck into a portable handheld TV my mom had—it was in the mid-1990s—and caught a glimpse of 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. 4 South Dakota State vs. No. 13 Providence, 9:40 a.m. TruTV: The Jackrabbits are just two-point underdogs against the Big East champion, meaning this could be the first upset – in the traditional sense anyway – of the tournament.

No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Marquette, 1:30 p.m. TBS: Will the North Carolina team that ruined Coach K’s home finals emerge, or the team that lost to Pitt at Chapel Hill? If it’s the former, the Tar Heels have a shot at knocking out Baylor on Saturday.

No. 5 St. Mary’s vs. No. 12 Indiana, 4:20 p.m. TBS: Indiana has won three out of four to place in the 64 field. Tune in to find out if first-year coach Mike Woodson really has something going on here or not.

No. 7 Murray State vs. No. 10 San Francisco, 6:40 p.m. CBS: How often do you see two mid-majors playing each other as top 10 seedlings on day one of the tournament? The winner likely gets a shot against Kentucky on Saturday. What games to watch for Thursday’s first round of NCAA tournament

Andrew Schnitker

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