clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Viewing Guide: First Round Friday Evening

Start your weekend with a lot of college basketball.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Virginia Syracuse
Late tonight, Quincy Guerrier and Syracuse meet San Diego State in one of the most anticipated first-round matchups of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Chronological Schedule

Friday, March 19, 2021 Evening

Tip Time (ET) Site Region Matchup Channel with March Madness Live Link
Tip Time (ET) Site Region Matchup Channel with March Madness Live Link
6:25 p.m. IF Coliseum Midwest 13. Liberty vs. 4. Oklahoma State TBS
7:10 p.m. Mackey South 9. Wisconsin vs. 8. North Carolina CBS
7:15 p.m. Assembly Hall Midwest 15. Cleveland State vs. 2. Houston TruTV
7:25 p.m. Stadium (Equality) South 13. North Texas vs. 4. Purdue TNT
9:20 p.m. BL Fieldhouse Midwest 10. Rutgers vs. 7. Clemson TBS
9:40 p.m. Hinkle Midwest 11. Syracuse vs. 6. San Diego State CBS
9:50 p.m. Stadium (Unity) Midwest 14. Morehead State vs. 3. West Virginia TruTV
9:57 p.m. IF Coliseum South 12. Winthrop vs. 5. Villanova TNT

From today’s first schedule post, a look at what’s different about the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

East 13. Liberty Flames (23-5, 11-2 ASUN Automatic) vs.
4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-8, 11-7 Big 12 At-Large)

6:25 p.m. on TBS (March Madness Live game link) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Kevin Harlan and Dan Bonner with Dana Jacobson reporting)

In their last NCAA appearance in 2019, the Flames notched a 12-over-5 upset of Mississippi State before falling to local rival Virginia Tech. The Cowboys, on the other hand, don’t have recent history on their side. Oklahoma State last won an NCAA game in 2009, going 0-5 since.

South 9. Wisconsin Badgers (17-12, 10-10 Big Ten At-Large) vs.
8. North Carolina Tar Heels (18-10, 10-6 ACC At-Large)

7:10 p.m. on CBS (March Madness Live game link) at Mackey Arena (Ian Eagle and Grant Hill with Jamie Erdahl reporting)

Having reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2019, the Tar Heels built upon their long, illustrious Tournament history in their last appearance. (Let’s not bring up 2020, however.) The Badgers, however, are coming off a rare short Tournament trip. Their 2019 first-round loss was their first since 2013. In the interim, Wisconsin managed a national runner-up finish, another Final Four, and two Sweet Sixteens.

Midwest 15. Cleveland State Vikings (19-7, 16-4 Horizon Automatic) vs. 2. Houston Cougars (24-3, 14-3 American Automatic)

7:15 p.m. on TruTV (March Madness Live game link) at Assembly Hall (Carter Blackburn and Debbie Antonelli with Evan Washburn reporting)

While the Vikings’ greatest accomplishment was 1986’s Sweet Sixteen run, Cleveland State did manage a 13-over-4 upset of Wake Forest in its second Tournament trip in 2009. On the other side of the court, the two-time national runner-up Cougars have recorded victories in their last two tournaments, reaching the Sweet Sixteen in 2019.

South 13. North Texas Mean Green (17-9, 9-5 C-USA Automatic)
vs. 4. Purdue Boilermakers (18-9, 13-6 Big Ten At-Large)

7:25 p.m. on TNT (March Madness Live game link) at Lucas Oil Stadium’s Equality Court (Tom McCarthy and Avery Johnson with AJ Ross reporting)

The Boilermakers’ last March memory is a sad one, as Purdue fell to Virginia in an epic overtime regional final in Louisville. The Mean Green’s basketball history isn’t nearly as long as Purdue’s, as this will be their fourth NCAA game ever. North Texas has yet to win or even lose by fewer than 15 points. Note that in its last appearance in 2010, UNT represented the Sun Belt.

Midwest 10. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (15-11, 10-10 Big Ten At-Large) vs. 7. Clemson Tigers (16-7, 10-6 ACC At-Large)

9:20 p.m. on TBS (March Madness Live game link) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Spero Dedes and Brendan Haywood with Lauren Shehadi reporting)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. This is the Scarlet Knights’ first NCAA trip since Bob Wenzel got the 1983 team there as an Atlantic 10 member. That’s three conferences ago! (Big Ten, American, Big East) Of course, Rutgers’ wait for a win is far longer—1979. The Tigers’ NCAA history isn’t as dire, but considering they represent an ACC school, it’s light on accomplishments. In its last NCAA trip in 2018, Clemson reached its fourth Sweet Sixteen. Only the Tigers’ 1979-80 team has gone one round further in their history.

Midwest 11. Syracuse Orange (16-9, 9-7 ACC At-Large) vs.
6. San Diego State Aztecs (23-4, 14-3 MW Automatic)

9:40 p.m. on CBS (March Madness Live game link) at Hinkle Fieldhouse (Jim Nantz and Bill Raftery with Tracy Wolfson reporting)

The Aztecs will try to make up for a lost opportunity, as 2020’s team was heading toward a top-two seed and lengthy March run. Discussing tournaments that actually happened, SDSU is making its first NCAA trip since 2018 and is looking for a first win since 2015, its prior trip. While the Orange lost in 2019’s first round, they reached the Sweet Sixteen as an 11th-seeded First Four team one year earlier. Syracuse also has a 2016 Final Four trip to its record as a 10 seed.

Midwest 14. Morehead State Eagles (23-7, 17-3 OVC Automatic)
vs. 3. West Virginia Mountaineers (18-9, 11-6 Big 12 At-Large)

9:50 p.m. on TruTV (March Madness Live game link) at Lucas Oil Stadium’s Unity Court (Lisa Byington and Steve Smith with AJ Ross reporting)

The Eagles are making their first NCAA trip since 2011, when Kenneth Faried and company edged in-state rival Louisville 62-61 in a 13-over-4 upset. While Morehead State has won one game in its last three tournament appearances, its 2009 and 1984 wins came in preliminary rounds. 2019’s NCAAs ended a run of four straight tournaments for the Mountaineers. In three of those seasons, West Virginia reached the Sweet Sixteen. The exception was 2016’s 14-over-3 upset loss to Stephen F. Austin.

South 12. Winthrop Eagles (23-1, 17-1 Big South Automatic) vs.
5. Villanova Wildcats (16-6, 11-4 Big East At-Large)

9:57 p.m. on TNT (March Madness Live game link) at Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Kevin Harlan and Dan Bonner with Dana Jacobson reporting)

In 2019, the Wildcats fell in the second round, bringing their title defense to a premature end. Villanova will face an Eagles team today that has lost twice as a 13 seed and once in the First Four since 2007’s squad took down Notre Dame, 74-64, in an 11-over-6 upset.