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Open Thread: NCAA Tournament First Round

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It’s... Friday, but this is the first big day of NCAA Tournament action.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Drake at Wichita State Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

So! Unlike a normal year, COVID has pushed the first real day of the NCAA Tournament back to Friday.

Anyway, we have you covered with an open thread for all the action today. Those of you who want to watch Vanderbilt baseball’s SEC opener, well, that game thread is coming later today. Here is today’s schedule:

11:15 AM CT: (10) Virginia Tech vs. (7) Florida, CBS

And the first game of the first round involves an SEC team.

11:45 AM CT: (14) Colgate vs. (3) Arkansas, truTV

Arkansas vs. toothpaste, name a better matchup.

12:15 PM CT: (16) Drexel vs. (1) Illinois, TBS

The first 1-vs.-16 matchup of the tournament.

12:45 PM CT: (11) Utah State vs. (6) Texas Tech, TNT

Okay, the first window of games has three games that could be good along with one likely stinker.

2:00 PM CT: (15) Oral Roberts vs. (2) Ohio State, CBS

One thing I’m not quite getting is why there’s such a big gap between games. Also, “oral,” heh heh heh.

2:30 PM CT: (16) Hartford vs. (1) Baylor, truTV

Blah. Hartford is making its first NCAA appearance and it will probably be a short one.

3:00 PM CT: (9) Georgia Tech vs. (8) Loyola-Chicago, TBS

Why the hell is Loyola-Chicago an 8-seed again?

3:30 PM CT: (12) Oregon State vs. (5) Tennessee, TNT

WE ARE ALL BEAVERS FANS TODAY.

5:25 PM CT: (13) Liberty vs. (4) Oklahoma State, TBS

For the record, having Tennessee and Liberty in the same pod is dangerous for everyone.

6:10 PM CT: (9) Wisconsin vs. (8) North Carolina, CBS

Winner gets Baylor.

6:15 PM CT: (15) Cleveland State vs. (2) Houston, truTV

A lot of people think Cleveland State is secretly good, but they’ll probably lose.

6:25 PM CT: (13) North Texas vs. (4) Purdue, TNT

The Mean Green!

8:20 PM CT: (10) Rutgers vs. (7) Clemson, TBS

Rutgers is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. Their appearance here means that DePaul (which hasn’t made the tournament since 2004) now has the longest power-conference drought. (Unless you want to count SEC school Tulane, which hasn’t been since 1995.)

8:40 PM CT: (11) Syracuse vs. (6) San Diego State, CBS

A lot of people are mad that Syracuse is here. As usual.

8:50 PM CT: (14) Morehead State vs. (3) West Virginia, truTV

“Morehead,” heh heh.

8:57 PM CT: (12) Winthrop vs. (5) Villanova, TNT

You ever feel like an upset pick is TOO popular and so you don’t want to pick it? That’s me with Winthrop-Villanova.