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Open Thread: NCAA Tournament First Four

Why not.

Western Kentucky v Drake Photo by Scott A. Miller/Getty Images

So, Vanderbilt isn’t playing in the NCAA Tournament, but what with this being a college sports blog... well, you, the Anchor of Gold reader, are probably watching this anyway.

The tournament starts tonight with the First Four, which got crammed into one day because of the pandemic, and which isn’t in Dayton and also for some reason does not involve any day games. (Boo.) Anyway, here’s your schedule for tonight.

4:10 PM CT: (16) Texas Southern vs. (16) Mount St. Mary’s (truTV)

5:27 PM CT: (11) Drake vs. (11) Wichita State (TBS)

7:40 PM CT: (16) Appalachian State vs. (16) Norfolk State (truTV)

8:57 PM CT: (11) Michigan State vs. (11) UCLA (TBS)

There are two sets of games here. On the one hand, you have the two 16-on-16 matchups that would be much more fun as games to watch because you’re bored at work and they’re on, and this was a really missed opportunity for the NCAA because why do you hate daytime basketball. The winner of Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern will draw Michigan on Saturday; the winner of Appalachian State/Norfolk State gets Gonzaga.

And then you have the at-large games. Drake-Wichita State is probably going to be a rock fight; the winner moves on to play USC. Michigan State-UCLA is the seemingly annual “what are you guys doing here?” game, with two brand name programs fighting for the right to play BYU.

Have fun.