N.C.A.A. Tournament Live: Updates from Round 1

March 19, 2021, 12:32 ET.

March 19, 2021, 12:32 ET.

March Madness logos appeared this week in Indianapolis. linked to credit Darron Cummings/Associated Press.

As in previous years, the men’s matches will be broadcast on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. The official way to broadcast the tournament is through the N.C.A.A. March Madness Live app, which requires registration with a television provider. (The Paramount+ app, formerly known as CBS All Access, will also show games that air on CBS.)

Check out the men’s roster and schedule for Friday (all times eastern):

  • No. 7 Florida vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech, 12:15 p.m.
  • No. 3 Arkansas vs. 14 Colgate, 12:45 p.m.
  • Illinois, No. 1, vs. Drexel, no. 16, 13-15.
  • No. 6 Texas Tech vs. No. 11 Utah State, 1:45 p.m.
  • No. 2 seeded Ohio State against No. 15 seeded Oral Roberts, 3 p.m.
  • Baylor, No. 1, against Hartford, No. 16, 3:30 p.m.
  • No. 8 seeded Loyola Chicago against No. 9 seeded Georgia Tech, 4 p.m.
  • No. 5 Tennessee vs. 12 Oregon State, 4:30 p.m.
  • Oklahoma State, No. 4, vs. Liberty, no. 13, 18-25.
  • North Carolina, no. 8, v. Wisconsin, no. 9, 19-10.
  • no. 2 Houston vs. 15 Cleveland State, 7:15 p.m.
  • Fourth-seeded Purdue against 13th-seeded North Texas, 19-25.
  • No. 7 Clemson Setzer vs. 10 Rutgers Setzer, 21-20.
  • Sixth-ranked San Diego State against 11th-ranked Syracuse at 21:40.
  • No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 14 Morehead State, 9:50 p.m.
  • Villanova’s number 5 against Winthrop’s number 12, 9:57.

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19. 20 March 21, 12:30 ET.

19. 20 March 21, 12:30 ET.

Faced with outrage and accusations that men’s basketball players are rated higher than students competing in the women’s tournament next week, the N.C.A.A. apologized Friday for significant inequities in practice facilities at its commuter championships.

Indiana tournament players were treated to a large, well-equipped facility in downtown Indianapolis. But the women’s soccer stars, playing their championship tournament in Texas, had little to do.

On Friday morning, with the public furious and the N.C.A.A. already tainted by years of lobbying for the rights of student-athletes, the league offered an uncoordinated expression of regret – a striking and sudden comedy for an organization often criticized as being closed-minded and recalcitrant. Dan Gavitt, vice president of basketball operations for the N.C.A.A., apologized for dropping the ball, frankly.

We’re going to fix it as soon as possible, he said from Indiana.

N.C.A.A. senior vice president of basketball operations Dan Gavitt at a press conference in 2019.Credit…Max Wolfson/Getty Images

Lynn Holtzman, who played at Kansas State and became vice president of N.C.A.A. women’s basketball, also said Friday that organizers have failed. Her voice sometimes overheard in a video conference with reporters, she acknowledged that the episode was flawed.

I’ve experienced the situation where you don’t have something right away, she said, adding that there will be an aspect of accountability in future discussions about what happened in Texas.

If it’s personal, it’s as real as it gets, she said. It hurts. And if people are passionate about something – in this case, women’s basketball – it’s our responsibility to provide our fans and our student-athletes who play the game with a great championship experience they can be proud of. That’s disappointing. That’s it. I have no words to describe how much this hurts me personally.

The disappointments in Texas came during a week when student-athletes had already used the big tournament to voice their grievances against the N.C.A.A. and its restrictions on how players can exploit their fame. Earlier this week, players began tweeting with the hashtag #NotNCAAProperty to protest the league’s rules. While much of this discord was public in the men’s tournament, it has also surfaced in the women’s league.

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March 19, 2021, 12:21 ET.

March 19, 2021, 12:21 ET.

Tre Mann of the Florida Gators will be introduced for Friday’s first round game against Virginia Tech. Credit…Andy Lyons/Getty Images.

The first match of the first round has two crucial storylines related to health and medicine.

Let’s start with seventh-ranked Florida, which is entering the tournament for the fourth consecutive time. But the Gators will be without a player they think will be a star this season.

Keyontae Johnson, a junior forward who was named Southeastern Conference player of the year in the preseason, had not played since December when he fouled out during a game against Florida. A flurry of speculation about his condition followed, but Johnson’s family said last month that the medical emergency was unrelated to Covid’s previous or current diagnosis, or its outcome.

But when Johnson’s family spoke out, his breakdown led to discussion and speculation in the college sports world about how the virus could threaten athletes.

Johnson hopes to play basketball this summer, but has been working with the team as a scout lately.

We’ve had guys in the past who were injured and not mentally right, who were suspended, Johnson told the Gators’ website. I wanted to learn from it and stay involved. It was the best way for me to learn without playing and without the guys learning from the teams, learning to play. I like it.

Then Virginia Tech, ranked 10th, who just won by 6. February in Miami only played three games. After that victory, Atlantic Coast Conference officials canceled five Virginia Tech games because of viral problems, giving the Hokies little chance to showcase their top scorer, Kev Aluma, or a rebound defense that has been among the league’s best this season.

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March 19, 2021, 12:13 ET.

March 19, 2021, 12:13 ET.

Former President Barack Obama picked the Gonzaga Bulldogs to win it all. linked to credit Erin Schaff / New York Times.

Former President Barack Obama predicts some turbulence in the first round, but limited chaos at the end of the men’s and women’s tournament.

In the rankings he announced Thursday, the former president named Gonzaga the defending champion on the men’s side, with the other top players completing the Final Four: Baylor, Illinois and Michigan. In the women’s tournament, Obama predicted that No. 2 Baylor would win the national championship after the Final Four, which included first-seeded Stanford and No. 2 North Carolina State and Maryland.

Obama expects eight byes in the first round in the men’s tournament, including No. 1. 12 C-USA, no. 5 Santa Barbara at Creighton and no. 13 Ohio State at no. 4 Virginia.

And while it’s no surprise, he predicted that no. 5 Tennessee no. 12 would beat Oregon State, where his brother-in-law coached the basketball team for six years.

In the round where Gonzaga faced Illinois for the men’s title, there was at least one sign of a second thought. In the South, Obama did not choose Wisconsin (9th) as his first-round pick, but instead chose North Carolina (8th), which won during his presidency.

For the women’s tournament, which begins Sunday in Texas, the former president’s crystal ball seems to have lightened a bit: No bricks. But he saw eight other defeats in the first round, including no. 10 Michigan State v. No. 7 Iowa State and no. 11 South Dakota vs. 6 Oregon State.

But even Obama’s elected officials sometimes scoff at his predictions.

It’s clear that we beat everyone we face ourselves, Rutgers guard Arella Girantes said Thursday. But it’s cool that he picked us in the first round.

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March 20, 2021, 11:19 ET.

March 20, 2021, 11:19 ET.

The Texas Longhorns are set to host the tournament. linked to credit Darron Cummings/Associated Press.

Do you fill out the bracket for the afternoon deadline for many pools? Here are some last-minute, lightning-fast tips:

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March 19, 2021, 10:36 ET.

March 19, 2021, 10:36 ET.

Virginia was one of the teams that had problems with the Corona virus before the tournament. Credit…Nell Redmond/USA Today Sports, via Reuters.

Virginia, the 2019 titleholder, is technically the defending champion since last year’s tournament was cancelled. But the Cavaliers were forced to withdraw from the Atlantic Coast Tournament semifinals last week after testing positive, then being quarantined and searched for contacts within the program.

Coach Tony Bennett said most of the team, fourth in the West Region, spent a week in quarantine in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers are expected to arrive in Indianapolis on Friday for Saturday’s game against No. 13 Ohio State. They will have to work hard in practice on Friday to prepare for their first game in nine days.

I really hope we can play this weekend, senior forward Sam Hauser said. Midlife is no fun, but at least you can go for a walk, get some fresh air, so try to keep the basketball in your hands as much as possible.

Ohio State’s Jason Preston, a 6-foot-4 junior point guard averaging 16.6 points, 7.2 assists and 6.8 rebounds, was named Lamelo College Ball by ESPN’s Jay Bilas. Bilas and former President Barack Obama both chose Ohio to defeat Virginia.

Kansas against Baylor earlier this season. Credit…Amy Contras/USA Today Sports, via Reuters.

Kansas, the No. 3 seed in the West Region, will also play its first game in nine days Saturday against No. 14 Eastern Washington after being eliminated in the Big 12 tournament. Junior big man David McCormack is expected to train Friday in Indianapolis after being part of the viral protocols. Coach Bill Self said sophomore guard Tristan Enaruna will miss at least the first two games after testing positive for coronavirus on Sunday following several consecutive negative tests. Jaylen Wilson, who averages 12.1 points and 8.2 rebounds, will miss at least the first game after being found positive on Friday.

Wilson’s former classmate, De’Vion Harmon of Oklahoma, will also miss his team’s first game against Missouri on Saturday after testing positive. Harmon is the Sooners’ second top scorer with 12.9 points per game. Kansas defeated Oklahoma last Thursday in the Big 12 tournament before being eliminated due to a positive test from Wilson.

I think there will be an adjustment, but not as much as many people think, Self said. We can play poorly, but it won’t be because we didn’t get a curveball that we can’t hit.

Georgia Tech, the A.C.C. Tournament champion and No. 9 in the Midwest Region, suffered a severe setback. According to multiple reports, Moses Wright, who was named A.C.C. Player of the Year, will play at least the first game Friday against the No. Missing 8 Chicago Loyols due to virus-related issues.

Wright, a 6-foot-9 forward, is averaging 17.4 points, 8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Coach Josh Pastner will now have to use a smaller lineup against Loyola that includes Cameron Krutwig, a 6-foot-9 Missouri Valley Annual Conference player averaging 15 points and 6.7 rebounds.

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March 19, 2021, 10:36 ET.

March 19, 2021, 10:36 ET.


CreditCredit…Elijah Walker

This year’s N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament is a metaphorical wheel of colors. Green for the hundreds of millions of dollars he will raise, even without fans. Red for the anger some players express when their winnings are taken away. And blue for the isolation others feel when stuck in a hotel at the beginning of a 68-team, three-week Survivor game.

However, chromium technology pales in comparison to the Midwest, where – in very bright colors – a pigment not often found in the sports world is used: Orange.

And there are many of them.

On Friday, you’ll see the Illinois Orange and the Oklahoma State Orange. There’s a Clemson Orange that’s very orange. And then there’s the Syracuse Orange, which is also orange. And when Tennessee plays Oregon State, there will be real orange thrills, a spectacle only softened by the limitation on the number of (in this case, orange) fans allowed in the tournament.

Here you will find a richer selection of bright colors, which are much more common in college sports than in professional sports in the United States:

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March 19, 2021, 10:35 ET.

March 19, 2021, 10:35 ET.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams leads his team in a game against Notre Dame during the A.C.C. credit tournament…Jerry Broome/Associated Press

Five of the seven current Division I Naismith Hall of Fame basketball coaches are competing in this N.C.A.A. tournament.

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo started Thursday night against U.C.L.A. and lost 86-80 in overtime.

Syracuse hosts Jim Boeheim on Friday and North Carolina hosts Roy Williams. And Bill Self of Kansas and Rick Pitino of Iona start the tournament on Saturday.

Neither Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) nor John Calipari (Kentucky) received an invitation. This is the first time since 1976 that either program has withdrawn from the tournament.

Jay Wright, this year’s Hall of Fame finalist, is back in the tournament after winning two of the last four N.C.A.A. titles, and Villanova plays Friday night against Winthrop.

Of the active coaches, only Krzyzewski (five) and Williams (three) have more titles than Wright.

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