TheOpenThread: The Thursday afternoon games

We've taken to calling the first day of UConn's basketball season "Basketballmas," which I guess makes today "Basketballpendance Day." Instead of warming your heart with the gift that is a new season, Basketballpendance Day is all about EXPLOSIONS AND FREEDOM AND 'MERICA COMING TOGETHER BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT 'MERICA DO.

For 12 hours today and tomorrow, you'll try not to miss a moment of even the most irrelevant 8-9 game. There are simply too many questions to ask in the zany first round of the tournament, such as:

Will the Big East live up to its reputation as the best league in the land? Will we find an early Cinderella on Day 1? Will your bracket be shot to all hell by 4:00? Will we snicker every time we hear the words "Pitino" and "Morehead" in the same sentence?

If the Basketball Gods truly love us, the answer to all those questions will be YES.

So here's the rundown:

This is your open thread for the first two blocks of games. We'll have another up for the UConn game (as a friendly reminder, it's at 7:20 p.m. on TNT) and tonight's two blocks of games. Tomorrow, we'll have another thread for all the games.

I'll be around all day, and Porter and Justin may pop in at times, so feel free to join in at any time to discuss the madness and gluttony of Day 1.

Below the jump, you can get today's full schedule, including when/where/who's playing, and what channel they're on. If you can't get to a TV this afternoon, the spectacular March Madness On Demand is streaming every game online once again. And if somehow the games get boring, you can always watch the greatest moments in recent tournament history (i.e. all the times UConn won games in the Sweet 16 onward) at the NCAA Vault.

WOO BASKETBALL

Time Region Site Matchup TV Announcers
12:15 p.m. East Tampa, FL #5 West Virginia vs. #12 Clemson
CBS Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel
12:40 p.m. Southeast Washington, DC #8 Butler vs. #9 Old Dominion TruTV Tim Brando, Mike Gminski
1:40 p.m. Southwest Denver, CO #4 Louisville vs. #13 Morehead State TBS Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
2:10 p.m. West Tucson, AZ #7 Temple vs. #10 Penn State TNT Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner
2:45 p.m.* East Tampa, FL #4 Kentucky vs. #13 Princeton CBS Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel
3:10 p.m.* Southeast Washington, DC #1 Pittsburgh vs. #16 UNC-Asheville
TruTV Tim Brando, Mike Gminski
4:10 p.m.* Southwest Denver, CO #5 Vanderbilt vs. #12 Richmond TBS Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
4:40 p.m.* West Tucson, AZ #2 San Diego State vs. #15 Northern Colorado TNT Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner
6:50 p.m. Southeast Tampa, FL #2 Florida vs. #15 UCSB TBS Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel
7:15 p.m. Southeast Denver, CO #3 BYU vs. #14 Wofford CBS Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
7:20 p.m. West Washington, DC #3 UConn vs. #14 Bucknell TNT Tim Brando, Mike Gminski
7:27 p.m. Southeast Tucson, AZ #4 Wisconsin vs. #13 Belmont TruTV Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner
9:20 p.m.* Southeast Tampa, FL #7 UCLA vs. #10 Michigan State TBS Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel
9:45 p.m.* Southeast Denver, CO #6 St. John's vs. #11 Gonzaga CBS Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
9:50 p.m.* West Washington, DC #6 Cincinnati vs. #11 Missouri TNT Tim Brando, Mike Gminski
9:57 p.m.* Southeast Tucson, AZ #5 Kansas State vs. #12 Utah State TruTV Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner

All times are Eastern; an asterisk (*) indicates that either a John Calipari team had a Final Four stripped, or that those games begin 30 minutes after the end of the previous game.

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