March Madness truly begins Thursday, when the “first four” games of the 2021 Men’s NCAA Tournament are played. There’s a few typical day one games and one absolute blockbuster to get us started.
The games begin with two Cinderellas, No. 16 seeds Texas Southern and Mount St. Mary’s, tipping off at 2:10 p.m. PT to officially get things started, scheduled to air on truTV.
From there, it’s a battle of No. 11 seeds, with mid-majors Drake and Wichita State looking to start a deep run from the first day, that game set to begin at 3:27 p.m. PT (gotta love the precise NCAA tip-off times). This one will be televised on TBS.
We continue Thursday with the third game, another longshot battle between No. 16 seeds Appalachian State and Norfolk State, scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT. This game is also set to air on truTV.
Then, it’s the big one, as two teams that have previously won the NCAA tournament multiple times square off. No. 11 seeds UCLA and Michigan State have drawn the unfair straw of starting on day one, with one headed to an early departure from Indiana (hopefully the Bruins, am I right?). That game will start at 6:57 p.m. PT, so perfect time for evening viewing out west, and it’s scheduled to air on TBS.
Obviously there’s no Stanford in this edition of the men’s tournament, but we have the women’s tournament and the No. 1 Cardinal there to look forward to. You can find full brackets for the men’s and women’s tournaments over at SB Nation, as well as plenty more great March Madness coverage around the network. Brackets on the men’s side will not close until after Thursday’s games, FYI, so you still have time to fill out your own for fun contests. We’ll be covering Stanford’s run in the women’s tourney, too.