2019 NCAA Tournament Viewing Guide: First Round, Day One; Thursday, March 21, Daytime Games

There are plenty of intriguing matchups among the eight contests schedule for this Thursday afternoon, but two involving OVC teams in the late session rise above the rest.

All times are Eastern. You can stream all games on the NCAA’s March Madness Live. (I’ll have links for each game in these posts, however.)

Schedule at a Glance

* = tip time is approximate

Announcers by Site

Des Moines: Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner with Dana Jacobson reporting
Hartford: Carter Blackburn/Debbie Antonelli with John Schiffren reporting
Jacksonville: Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel with Jamie Erdahl reporting
Salt Lake City: Andrew Catalon/Steve Lappas with Lisa Byington reporting

Session 1


Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from SportsLogos.net.

12:15 p.m., Des Moines (East Region) on CBS

March Madness Live link

No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers (21-13, Big Ten at-large) vs.
No. 7 Louisville Cardinals (20-13, ACC at-large)

KenPom predicted score: Louisville 71, Minnesota 66

Watchability rank within window: 1st

It’s Minnesota coach Richard Pitino against the program where his father coached for 16 seasons. Rick Pitino’s final season, 2016-17, marked both Louisville last NCAA appearance and win. As for the Golden Gophers, they’re back for the first time since that same tournament, though their last NCAA win came under Tubby Smith in 2013.

12:40 p.m., Jacksonville (East Region) on TruTV

March Madness Live link

No. 14 Yale Bulldogs (22-7, Ivy League automatic bid) vs.
No. 3 LSU Tigers (26-6, SEC at-large)

KenPom predicted score: LSU 85, Yale 76

Watchability rank within window: 4th

LSU, making its first NCAA trip since 2015, will be playing its third game without suspended head coach Will Wade. And the first two contests were a mixed bag, an easy home win over Vanderbilt, followed by an SEC Tournament quarterfinal exit at the hands of Florida. The Tigers will be favored to advance, however, against a Yale squad which last qualified in 2016. However, the Bulldogs both defeated Baylor in that season’s round of 64 and pushed Duke hard in the second round.

1:30 p.m., Salt Lake City (Midwest Region) on TNT

March Madness Live link

No. 12 New Mexico State Aggies (30-4, WAC automatic bid) vs.
No. 5 Auburn Tigers (26-9, SEC automatic bid)

KenPom predicted score: Auburn 75, NMSU 69

Watchability rank within window: 2nd

This could have been a second round matchup in last season’s Midwest region, as New Mexico State met the Clemson, who eliminated Auburn in the round of 32, in 2018’s first round. The Tigers’ first round win over College of Charleston marked their return to the NCAAs after a 15-year absence. As for the Aggies, they’ve qualified for all but two NCAAs in this decade. Unfortunately, they haven’t had much success in that span, as their last tourney win came in 1993.

2 p.m., Hartford (West Region) on TBS

March Madness Live link

No. 13 Vermont Catamounts (27-6, America East automatic bid) vs.
No. 4 Florida State Seminoles (27-7, ACC at-large)

KenPom predicted score: FSU 72, Vermont 62

Watchability rank within window: 3rd

Florida State is looking to build off last season’s Sweet Sixteen trip, while Vermont returns to the field for the second time in three years. The Catamounts last NCAA victory, however, came in 2012.

Session 2


Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from SportsLogos.net.

All times are approximate.

2:45 p.m., Des Moines (East Region) on CBS

March Madness Live link

No. 15 Bradley Braves (20-14, Missouri Valley automatic bid) vs.
No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (28-6, Big Ten automatic bid)

KenPom predicted score: MSU 78, Bradley 57

Watchability rank within window: 4th

Of all eight games this afternoon, this is potentially the least-intriguing, even with Michigan State’s recent habit of making early NCAA exits. The Spartans last reached the second weekend in 2015, and suffering a 15-over-2 upset one year later. But that Middle Tennessee team was better than this Bradley squad, which was the No. 5 seed in a down Missouri Valley. The Braves made their last NCAA trip in 2006 — as an at-large in the year of the Valley and mid-major — going all the way to the Sweet Sixteen as a 13.

3:10 p.m., Jacksonville (East Region) on TruTV

March Madness Live link

No. 11 Belmont Bruins (27-5, OVC at-large, First Four winner) vs.
No. 6 Maryland Terrapins (22-10, Big Ten at-large)

KenPom predicted score: Maryland 76, Belmont 72

Watchability rank within window: 2nd

Tuesday’s win over the Temple was Belmont’s first in eight NCAA appearances and they’ll look to double that total against a Maryland team that returns after a season away. The Terps’ last victory (over Hawai’i) came in 2016’s run to the Sweet Sixteen.

4 p.m., Salt Lake City (Midwest Region) on TNT

March Madness Live link

No. 13 Northeastern Huskies (23-10, CAA automatic bid) vs.
No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks (25-9, Big 12 at-large)

KenPom predicted score: KU 78, Northeastern 68

Watchability rank within window: 3rd

Northeastern gave Notre Dame a fright in a 3/14 game in 2015, falling by just four to the Fighting Irish in their last NCAA appearance, which was their first in 24 years. The Huskies last won a tournament game in 1984, in the preliminary round! That track record naturally doesn’t compare to a Kansas team that last missed the tourney in 1989 — the result of a postseason ban. The Jayhawks reached the Final Four in 2018 and last failed to win at least on tournament game in 2006.

4:30 p.m., Hartford (West Region) on TBS

March Madness Live link

No. 12 Murray State Racers (27-4, OVC automatic bid) vs.
No. 5 Marquette Golden Eagles (24-9, Big East at-large)

KenPom predicted score: Marquette 76, Murray State 72

Watchability rank within window: 1st

Odd that both OVC teams would be scheduled in the same window.

With two of the most dynamic players in the country, Murray State’s Ja Morant and Marquette’s Markus Howard, involved, this West region matchup is the most anticipated one of the day. While this is the second NCAA trip in as many years for the Racers, they last won a game in 2012, as a six seed. Oddly enough, Marquette is the team that eliminated Murray State in the round of 32. As for the Golden Eagles, they’re back after a year away, though their last victory came in a 2013 run to the Elite Eight under Buzz Williams.

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About the Author: Taylor Coburn

Hi my name is Taylor C Copburn I love to play the odds and beat the point spread on NFL, NCAA and NBA games. Breaking down the risk value and finding the angle to collect on my wagers.

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