The four best days of the sports calendar have arrived.
From Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening, CBS and Turner Sports will broadcast 48 games from the NCAA Men’s Tournament. Opening day is not without intrigue as tournament seed Alabama begin their beleaguered campaign in what is sure to be a raucous atmosphere in Birmingham. Fellow No. 1 Kansas is also in action as the Jayhawks begin their quest for back-to-back titles while tournament favorite Houston launches his own run.
Here’s a look at the day one game slate as we announce March Madness (every hour ET).
12:15 p.m. — No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 9 West Virginia (CBS)
12:40 p.m. – Virginia No. 4 vs. Furman No. 13 (truTV)
1:40 p.m. — No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 10 Utah State (TNT)
2 p.m. – No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Howard (TBS)
2:45 p.m. – No. 1 Alabama vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi (CBS)
3:10 p.m. — No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 12 College of Charleston (truTV)
4:10 p.m. – No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 Princeton (TNT)
4:30 p.m. – No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Illinois (TBS)
To have: Two of the few future NBA lottery picks playing in this year’s NCAA Tournament are in Arkansas’ starting lineup. Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black will try to lead the Razorbacks past ever-erratic Illinois and set up a potential second-round matchup with Kansas. How did Arkansas lose 13 games this season with NBA talent splashed on their roster? A big reason is that the pieces don’t fit together very well. The Razorbacks don’t have enough shooters to space the ground, which makes attacking on half court difficult.
6:50 p.m. — No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Auburn (TNT)
7:10 p.m. — No. 5 Duke vs. No. 12 Oral Roberts (CBS)
7:25 p.m. – No. 2 Texas vs. No. 15 Colgate (TBS)
7:35 p.m. – No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Boise State (truTV)
9:20 p.m. – No. 1 Houston vs. No. 16 Northern Kentucky (TNT)
9:40 p.m. — No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 13 Louisiana (CBS)
9:55 p.m. – No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Penn State (TBS)
10:05 p.m. – No. 2 UCLA vs. 15 UNC Asheville (truTV)
To have: Duke-Oral Roberts is not only the most anticipated game of this window. This could be the showpiece match of the first round. An Oral Roberts team that is much better than the 15th seed that had a superb Sweet 16 run two years ago will target a talent-laden Duke team that peaks in March. Max Abmas is back and even deadlier attacking ball screens. His supporting cast is even stronger this year, headlined by 7-foot-5 pick-and-pop specialist Connor Vanover.