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Open Thread: NCAA Tournament, Day 1

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Because screw it, we’re not playing but we can still hate on those that are.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Four-Arizona State Sun Devils vs St. John’s Red Storm Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Does the Anchor of Gold commentariat want a live thread for the first day of the NCAA Tournament? Well, you’re getting one, so take it and be happy with it.

Today’s schedule (all times God’s time, a.k.a. Central time):

  • (10) Minnesota vs. (7) Louisville (11:00 AM, CBS)
  • (14) Yale vs. (3) LSU (11:30 AM, truTV)
  • (12) New Mexico State vs. (5) Auburn (12:20 PM, TNT)
  • (13) Vermont vs. (4) Florida State (12:50 PM, TBS)
  • (15) Bradley vs. (2) Michigan State (1:30 PM, CBS)
  • (11) Belmont vs. (6) Maryland (2:00 PM, truTV)
  • (13) Northeastern vs. (4) Kansas (2:50 PM, TNT)
  • (12) Murray State vs. (5) Marquette (3:20 PM, TBS)
  • (10) Florida vs. (7) Nevada (5:45 PM, TNT)
  • (15) Abilene Christian vs. (2) Kentucky (6:00 PM, CBS)
  • (11) St. Mary’s vs. (6) Villanova (6:15 PM, TBS)
  • (16) Fairleigh Dickinson vs. (1) Gonzaga (6:15 PM, truTV)
  • (15) Montana vs. (2) Michigan (8:15 PM, TNT)
  • (10) Seton Hall vs. (7) Wofford (8:30 PM, CBS)
  • (14) Old Dominion vs. (3) Purdue (8:45 PM, TBS)
  • (9) Baylor vs. (8) Syracuse (8:45 PM, truTV)

As far as actual compelling television, the early window looks decent: New Mexico State and Vermont are somewhat popular upset picks; Yale-LSU is an interesting matchup, if only because of LSU’s ongoing distractions (and Yale’s a pretty good team, too), and then there’s the Richard Pitino vs. Louisville storyline.

The afternoon time slot has the two highest-scoring players in the tournament facing each other (Murray State’s Ja Morant and Marquette’s Markus Howard.) Northeastern-Kansas seems like a classic Bill Self choking hazard, and oh yeah, there’s Belmont. Don’t bother with Michigan State-Bradley, which is probably going to be a blowout.

The early evening timeslot has Gonzaga facing a 16-seed, which is about as interesting as it sounds, and Kentucky facing a team that’s making its first-ever tournament appearance (and has only been Division I for a few years.) But Abilene Christian is the alma mater of former WWE wrestler John “Bradshaw” Layfield, which makes total sense. Florida-Nevada and St. Mary’s-Villanova should be interesting, though.

The late timeslot has two really compelling games in Syracuse-Baylor and Wofford-Seton Hall.