Sunday, March 26, 2023|
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(AP) — March Madness has begun! Here is what to know, including the favorites and underdogs as well as key games and how to watch the NCAA Tournament. Oh, and how to fill out your brackets!
HOW TO WATCH
Every game of the men’s tournament will be aired — here is a schedule — either on CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV and their digital platforms. CBS, which also has a handy schedule that includes announcing teams, will handle the Final Four semifinals and national title game this year.
The NCAA will again stream games via its March Madness Live option and CBS games will be streamed on Paramount+. Fans of longtime play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz should soak up every moment: It’s his final NCAA Tournament.
The top four seeds in the tournament are Alabama, Houston, Kansas, and Purdue. Each is in a region, some tougher than others (on paper), and each has had its share of headaches to set up what could be a chaotic tournament. We break them down for you:
EAST REGION: The Boilermakers got a No. 1 seed for the fourth time after edging Penn State 67-65 in the Big Ten championship game, but they face potential hurdles in Memphis and surging Duke. Memphis (26-8) is fresh from a big upset of top-ranked Houston and led by Kendric Davis. Duke (26-8) shut down Virginia in a 59-49 ACC title game win.
SOUTH REGION: Alabama, led by coach Nate Oats in a challenging season, is a No. 1 seed for the first time after sweeping the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles behind league player of the year Brandon Miller, who has armed security on hand after being the subject of threats. They opened the tourney not far from home, in Birmingham, Alabama, blowing out Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Potential hurdles for the Crimson Tide could include Baylor but it won’t include No. 2 seed Arizona, which was ousted by Princeton. The Tigers’ first tourney victory in 25 years came shortly after Furman celebrated its first tourney appearance since 1980 by knocking off No. 4 seed Virginia 68-67 on a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left.
MIDWEST REGION: Houston (31-3) got a top seed despite stumbling 75-65 against unranked Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game, minus league player of the year Marcus Sasser (strained groin). They opened against Northern Kentucky (22-12). Potential hurdles could include Penn State, which took Purdue down to the wire in the Big Ten, and SEC Tournament runner-up Texas A&M.
WEST REGION: The Jayhawks fell 76-56 to Texas in the Big 12 championship game and they wound up with the top seed in a stacked region. They opened against Howard (22-12), making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992. Potential hurdles include No. 6 TCU (21-12), which beat Kansas at Allen Field House 83-60 on Jan. 21, and Arkansas (20-13).
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