There are a few Thursday nights that usually are marked on the calendars of sports fans each year. The first NFL game of the season, Thanksgiving, the NBA trade deadline, and both the NFL and NBA drafts are staples of the sports world, but even they can pale in comparison to the first day of the NCAA Tournament.
Of course, March Madness is following a different schedule this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FIrst Four games, typically held on Tuesday and Wednesday, are all being held on Thursday this year, so that means that Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament will officially tip off on Friday this year. That means starting at 12:15 p.m. ET and running all throughout the day, college basketball fans will be treated to 16 games of win-or-go-home basketball.
There will surely be upsets. Brackets will be busted and fan-favorite Cinderellas will emerge. And after March Madness was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, college basketball fans will be nothing but happy to watch their favorite players and tournament-winner picks square off in what is arguably the greatest playoff in sports.
Here’s everything you need to know about Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament, including a full schedule with TV channels and start times.
What channel is March Madness on today?
Friday, March 19
All times Eastern
LIVE: Follow SN’s March Madness bracket for scores and more
How to watch NCAA Tournament games
Friday’s March Madness games will be broadcast nationally across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV on cable.
March Madness Live is the hub for live streaming at NCAA.com. All games broadcast on CBS can also be streamed on fubtoTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.
7. Florida vs. 10. Virginia Tech
3. Arkansas vs. 14. Colgate
1. Illinois vs. 16. Drexel
6. Texas Tech vs. 11. Utah State
2. Ohio State vs. 15. Oral Roberts
1. Baylor vs. 16. Hartford
8. Loyola Chicago vs. 9. Georgia Tech
5. Tennessee vs. 12. Oregon State
4. Oklahoma State vs. 13. Liberty
8. North Carolina vs. 9. Wisconsin
2. Houston vs. 15. Cleveland State
4. Purdue vs. 13. North Texas
7. Clemson vs. 10. Rutgers
6. San Diego State vs. 11 Syracuse
3. West Virginia vs. 14. Morehead State
5. Villanova vs. 12. Winthrop
March Madness schedule 2021
Friday, March 19
Saturday, March 20
Sunday, March 21
Sunday’s second-round tip times will be announced after Friday’s games.
Monday, March 22
Monday’s second-round tip times will be announced after Saturday’s games.
Saturday, March 27
Sunday, March 28
Monday, March 29
Tuesday, March 30
Saturday, April 3
NCAA Tournament national championship
Monday, April 5
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