NCAA Tournament Day 1 Open Thread Featuring UCLA

UCLA's Josh Smith, shown blocking a shot by Oregon St.'s Kevin McShane, is a huge physical presence inside for the Bruins. (Photo by Danny Moloshok, AP)

March Madness shifts into overdrive today, with the 16 games in the NCAA Tournament, including a featured game involving the Pac-10's UCLA Bruins on CBS.

UCLA (22-10) received a seventh seed, probably charitable in light of their stumbling finish to the season. The Bruins, having lost 70-63 at Washington, and barely beating a depleted Washington St. team 58-54 in overtime in Pullman, while the Cougs were playing without their two best players, proceeded to lose what was essentially a home game in the Staples Center to Oregon in their first game in the Pac-10 tournament. The Ducks, a sub .500 team, thrashed UCLA 76-59.

The Bruins are in the Tampa sub-regional, to face Michigan St. (19-14). The game will be at 6:20 pm PDT, carried on TBS, and shown in its entirety, as CBS used TBS, TNT, & TruTV to carry all he games, rather than engage in drive by shooting that shoots down any chance of following a game you are particularly interested in.

The marquis value of two of the college game's great programs has a lot to do with the seedings. Michigan St. was in last year's final four, and their history makes them instantly recognizable. UCLA is the most storied program in NCAA history.

The Spartans also got a charitable seed as a #10, after losing their three of their final six games, including a 61-48 blowout at the hands of Penn St. in the Big-10 tournament. This after Michigan St. finished in a 4 way tie for fourth through seventh in the Big 10/11ths.

 

After the NCAA play-in games, plus the NIT and CBA first rounds got basketball fans warmed up, and their appetite whetted for more action, this is the first day of wall to wall all day tournament action. Oregon St., unfortunately, is not a participant in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st. straight season.

 

Here's the complete broadcast schedule for the day (all times adjusted to be PDT):

Thursday March 17, 2011
Time Away Home National
9:15 am Clemson #11
West Virginia #5 CBS - HD National    
9:40 am Old Dominion #9 Butler #8 truTV    
10:40 am Morehead St. #13 Louisville #4 TBS    
11:10 am Penn St. #10 Temple #7 TNT    
11:45 am Princeton #13 Kentucky #4 CBS - HD National    
12:10 pm UNC-Asheville #16
Pittsburgh #1 truTV    
1:10 pm Richmond #12 Vanderbilt #5 TBS    
1:40 pm Northern Colo. #15 San Diego St. #2 TNT    
3:50 pm UC Santa Barb. #15 Florida #2 TBS    
4:15 pm Wofford #14 BYU #3 CBS - HD National    
4:20 pm Bucknell #14 Connecticut #3 TNT    
4:27 pm Belmont #13 Wisconsin #4 truTV    
6:20 pm Michigan St. #10 UCLA #7 TBS    
6:45 pm Gonzaga #11 St. John's (N.Y.) #6 CBS - HD National    
6:50 pm Missouri #11 Cincinnati #6 TNT    
6:57 pm Utah St. #12 Kansas St. #5 truTV

 

Jump in with your thoughts on who your adopted favorite team is, what you think about the preliminary days action, and analysis of today's action. Are you on the Bulldog Bandwagon, be it Butler or the 'Zags? (Both are in action today as well.)

 

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo,com

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