March Madness is underway. How to watch and what to look out for

A basketball with the March Madness logo comes into the basket before the game between the USC Trojans and the Michigan State Spartans at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH on March 17, 2023. Photo by Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports via REUTERS

The March madness has begun! On the tournament’s opening day, only four of 32 teams lost to low-ranking opponents, but two of them were big: Arizona, No. 2, and Virginia, No. 4, both went under and broke millions of brackets.

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 of the NCAA tournament, including favorites and underdogs and key games:

like watching

Each game of the men’s tournament will be broadcast — here’s a schedule — on either CBS, TBS, TNT, or TruTV and their digital platforms. CBS, which also has a handy schedule that includes team announcements, will host the Final Four and national title game this year.

The NCAA will again stream games via their March Madness Live option and CBS games will stream on Paramount+. Fans of longtime play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz should enjoy every moment: it’s his final NCAA tournament.

top seeds

The top four seeds of the tournament are Alabama, Houston, Kansas and Purdue. Everyone’s in a region, some tougher than others (on paper), and everyone’s had their share of headaches putting together a potentially chaotic tournament. Here’s the latest from each region:

Region East

The Boilermakers earned a No. 1 seed for the fourth time, but Purdue could face potential hurdles in Memphis and the up-and-coming Duke. Accomplished veteran coach Tom Izzo and Michigan State are also in the East and face a first-round duel with Dunk City’s Southern Cal and coach Andy Enfield.

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Region South

Alabama, led by coach Nate Oats in a challenging season, is ranked No. 1 for the first time behind SEC Player of the Year Brandon Miller, who has armed security on hand after being the subject of threats. The Crimson Tide opened the tournament with an easy win. Possible hurdles could be Baylor or Missouri.

Middle West

Houston got a top spot and won his opener despite All-American Marcus Sasser clearly limping (tense groin). Potential hurdles could include Penn State hammering Texas A&M behind eight 3-pointers and 27 points from Andrew Funk. Former Arizona coach Sean Miller also has Xavier in the tournament.

West region

Kansas is the leader in a stacked region, and the Jayhawks pulled away from Howard in their opener to advance into a tempting second-round matchup against Arkansas. The UCLA No. 2 looked like a title contender in their opening game. And you may recall that two years ago, VCU became the first NCAA tournament team to lose a game because of COVID-19; The 12th seeded Rams are back for a first round game against Saint Mary’s.

Radiant moments

Princeton and the Paladins took the spotlight early on opening day, and Penn State’s Andrew Funk bid farewell with a spectacular shooting display.

The Ivy League Tigers capitalized on a late run to claim their first NCAA tournament win in 25 years, edging out No. 2 Arizona 59-55. By then, the Paladins were already celebrating Furman’s first tournament appearance since 1980 with a win over the 4th-seeded Virginia, 68-67, on a deep 3-pointer from JP Pegues at 2.4 seconds Left.

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Texas A&M had no answer to Penn State’s stifling defense and 3-point acumen by Funk, who hit 8 of 10 from deep to help send the Aggies home.

games to watch

No. 4 Tennessee (24-10) vs. No. 5 Duke (27-8), Saturday 2:40 p.m. ET, CBS

The Blue Devils have won ten straight seasons under coach Jon Scheyer in their freshman year, with Jeremy Roach setting a career-high 23 points in each of his last two games. The Volunteers extended an 18-point lead and survived a challenge from Louisiana-Lafayette 58-55 in the opening round.

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No. 7 Missouri (25-9) vs. No. 15 Princeton (22-9), Saturday 6:10 p.m. ET, TNT

Ryan Langborg made Princeton the underdog favorite of this year’s tournament. The Tigers had their first lead with 2:03 left and the Tigers capitalized on a 9-0 run late in the game to clinch their first NCAA tournament win in 25 years with a riot against No. 2 Arizona gain The other Tigers ended a six-game tournament with their first Big Dance win since defeating Clemson in the first round in 2010.

go deeper

Gun violence has claimed lives and disrupted collegiate sports all season, touching some of college basketball’s top programs, including Alabama. Coaches have been pushed into unsafe and undesirable roles to steer the issue – as well as the fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

In short, if you think you know March Madness pretty well, try this 25-question trivia quiz put together by AP.

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to see players

The NCAA tournament is full of great players, and the AP All-America team is a good place to get familiar with the names. It’s also an event where guys you’ve never heard of – no offense Drake – can take a star turn. The guard game will always be important (see: Baylor, 2021 title winner) and there are some NBA prospects in the mix.

Bet on it, too: Some players – maybe more than one – will have a chance to join the mustachioed Doug Edert (remember last year’s inspiring run of Saint Peters?) and find a way to cash in on their fame .

betting guide

Who will be state champion? According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the betting favorites for reaching the Final Four are Houston, Alabama, Purdue and either Kansas or UCLA.

Crazy March calendar

Selection Sunday established the bracket matchups for the first four and first and second round games spanning from Florida to California. Sweet 16 weekend will feature games in New York City (East Region), Las Vegas (West), Kansas City, Missouri (Midwest) and Louisville, Kentucky (South).

Where are the Final Four? April 1st in Houston, with the championship game on April 3rd. Attention basketball fans: The women’s NCAA tournament will have its Final Four in Dallas, a four-hour drive from Houston.

Can’t get enough March Madness? Well, despite many challenges, there is talk of expanding the tournament. Enjoy the 68 team version now!

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