The four best days of the sports calendar have arrived.
From Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening, CBS and Turner Sports will broadcast 48 NCAA Men’s Tournament games. Opening Day is not short of intrigue as the tournament’s top seed, Alabama, will begin their beleaguered campaign amidst a decidedly rowdy 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 embarks on its own run.
Here’s a look at the list of games from day one while we tip on March Madness (all times are ET).
12:15 p.m. — No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 9 West Virginia (CBS)
12:40 p.m. — No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 13 Foreman (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)
Must see: Two of the few future NBA lotteries are playing in this year’s NCAA Tournament in Arkansas starting five. Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black will try to lead the Razorbacks past ever-moody Illinois and set up a potential second-round showdown with Kansas. How has Arkansas lost 13 games this season with NBA talent littering its rosters? A big reason is that the pieces don’t fit together very well. The Razorbacks don’t have enough shooters to clear the ground, which makes the half-court offense 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. No. 15 UNC Asheville (truTV)
Must see: Duke-Oral Roberts isn’t just the most anticipated game of this window. The selection game may be in the first round. An Oral Roberts team that is far better than the 15th-ranked team that performed astoundingly in the Sweet 16 two years ago will be targeting a talent-packed Duke team that is peaking in March. Max Apmas is back and has launched an even more deadly attack on the ball screens. His supporting cast is even stronger this year, with 7-foot-5 lead-in and pop-choice specialist Conor Vanover leading the way.
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