The NCAA tournament TV schedule heads into first-round coverage on Thursday, March 17. The 2016 NCAA Tournament has already completed its “First Four” games to decide which schools advance to the 64-team brackets. In those play-in games, Fairleigh Dickinson beat Florida Gulf Coast, Wichita State beat Vanderbilt, Holy Cross beat Southern, and Michigan beat Tulsa. Now the major networks take over, as the 2016 NCAA tournament TV schedule begins with Duke vs. North Carolina Wilmington on CBS.
There are eight early games and then eight evening games on the first-round brackets. The NCAA tournament TV schedule begins at 12:15 p.m. ET with Duke vs. North Carolina Wilmington, followed by Baylor vs. Yale immediately after it. TruTV will have Texas Tech vs. Butler at 12:40 p.m. ET, followed by Virginia vs. Hampton. TNT begins coverage at 1:30 p.m. ET with Colorado vs. Connecticut and then shows No. 1 Kansas vs. Austin Peay. Finally there is TBS showing Iowa State vs. Iona and then Purdue vs. Arkansas-Little Rock.
TNT then tips off the night games in the NCAA tournament TV schedule, beginning with coverage of Miami vs. Buffalo at 6:50 p.m. ET and then moving to Arizona vs. Wichita State. CBS picks up the torch at 7:10 p.m. ET with Indiana vs. Chattanooga and then has Kentucky vs. Stony Brook. TBS is next up at 7:20 p.m. ET with No. 1 North Carolina vs. Florida Gulf Coast and then USC vs. Providence. TruTV starts its coverage at 7:27 p.m. ET with Utah vs. Fresno State and then moves to Seton Hall vs. Gonzaga right after that.
The 2016 NCAA tournament TV schedule listed below covers all 16 games that will take place on day one of the first-round. These are all the games that will be played on Thursday, March 17, around the country, including some of the top-seeded teams in the tournament.
West Region March 17 Games
Duke vs. North Carolina Wilmington, 12:15 p.m. ET (CBS)
Baylor vs. Yale, Following Game 1 (CBS)
Miami vs. Buffalo, 6:50 p.m. ET (TNT)
Arizona vs. Wichita State, Following Game 3 (TNT)
Midwest Region March 17 Games
Texas Tech vs. Butler, 12:40 p.m. ET (truTV)
Virginia vs. Hampton, Following Game 1 (truTV)
North Carolina vs. Florida Gulf Coast, 7:20 p.m. ET (TBS)
USC vs. Providence, Following Game 3 (TBS)
South Region March 17 Games
Colorado vs. Connecticut, 1:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
Kansas vs. Austin Peay, Following Game 1 (TNT)
Indiana vs. Chattanooga, 7:10 p.m. ET (CBS)
Kentucky vs. Stony Brook, Following Game 3 (CBS)
East Region March 17 Games
Iowa State vs. Iona, 2 p.m. ET (TBS)
Purdue vs. Arkansas-Little Rock, Following Game 1 (TBS)
Utah vs. Fresno State, 7:27 p.m. ET (truTV)
Seton Hall vs. Gonzaga, Following Game 3 (truTV)
The first No. 1 seed to take the court in the 2016 NCAA tournament TV schedule will be the Virginia Cavaliers at roughly 3:10 p.m. ET. The school finished the season 26-7 to achieve the top seed in the Midwest Region and will be taking on No. 16 seeded Hampton. No. 1 Kansas will take the court shortly after that in Des Moines, playing against No. 16 Austin Peay. The 30-4 Kansas Jayhawks are considered the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament brackets and will take the court at roughly 4 p.m. ET.
Later in the day, the No. 1 seed in the East Region will also be playing in the first round. North Carolina (28-6) will take the court in Raleigh against Florida Gulf Coast (21-13). Games will continue through the day, with the night ending on Gonzaga vs. Seton Hall in the Midwest Region. That game might not start until after 10 p.m. ET on truTV. Following the 16 games that will be played on day one of the first-round NCAA tournament TV schedule, there will be 16 more games taking place on Friday, March 18, among the schools in other parts of the brackets.
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