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.
|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.