clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The start time & TV channel for every first round game in the 2021 NCAA Tournament

The first round of the NCAA Tournament features the wildest two days in sports. We break down when every game starts on Friday and Saturday.

Breaon Brady #24 of the Houston Cougars tips off against Kaleb Wesson #34 of the Ohio State Buckeyes to start their second round game of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at BOK Center on March 24, 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The NCAA Tournament gets underway on Thursday with the First Four and then follows on Friday and Saturday with the first round. The First Four airs on truTV and TBS, while the first round will air across CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV. The entire tournament will also air via live stream at March Madness Live.

While the First Four marks the start of the tournament, the first round on Friday and Saturday is when the tournament will be at its craziest. We’ll see upsets well into the second weekend, but the first two days provide the greatest combination of upsets along quantity of games.

We get 16 games on Friday and 16 more on Saturday. The two days tip off at just after 12 p.m. and wrap up around midnight. That’s 12 hours of basketball and the only downtime with no basketball is dinner time. We get a tip at 4:30 p.m. and then the next tip is at 6:25 p.m. That gives you just enough time to grab a quick dinner and get back in front of the TV.

Here’s how the first week of the tournament will air on television, including start times and television channels.

First Four schedule

5:10 p.m. — No. 16 Texas Southern vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s — truTV
6:27 p.m. — No. 11 Drake vs. No. 11 Wichita State — TBS
8:40 p.m. — No. 16 Appalachian State vs. No. 16 Norfolk State — truTV
9:57 p.m. — No. 11 UCLA vs. No. 11 Michigan State — TBS

First round schedule, Friday

12:15 p.m. — No. 7 Florida vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech — CBS
12:45 p.m. — No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 14 Colgate — truTV
1:15 p.m. — No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 16 Drexel — TBS
1:45 p.m. — No. 6 Texas Tech vs. No. 11 Utah State — TNT
3 p.m. — No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts — CBS
3:30 p.m. — No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 16 Hartford — truTV
4 p.m. — No. 8 Loyola-Chicago vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech — TBS
4:30 p.m. — No. 5 Tennessee vs. No. 12 Oregon State — TNT
6:25 p.m. — No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 13 Liberty — TBS
7:10 p.m. — No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Wisconsin — CBS
7:15 p.m. — No. 2 Houston vs. No. 15 Cleveland State — truTV
7:25 p.m. — No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 North Texas — TNT
9:20 p.m. — No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 10 Rutgers — TBS
9:40 p.m. — No. 6 San Diego State vs. No. 11 Syracuse — CBS
9:50 p.m. — No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 14 Morehead State — truTV
9:57 p.m. — No. 5 Villanova vs. No. 12 Winthrop — TNT

First round schedule, Saturday

12:15 p.m. — No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Georgetown — CBS
12:45 p.m. — No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 13 UNCG — truTV
1:15 p.m. — No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 14 Eastern Washington — TBS
1:45 p.m. — No. 9 St. Bonaventure vs. No. 8 LSU — TNT
3:00 p.m. — No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 16 Winner of Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern — CBS
3:30 p.m. — No. 5 Creighton vs. No. 12 UCSB — truTV
4:00 p.m. — No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 15 Iona — TBS
4:30 p.m. — No. 6 USC vs. No. 11 Winner of Wichita State/Drake — TNT
6:25 p.m. — No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 15 Grand Canyon — TBS
7:10 p.m. — No. 7 UConn vs. No. 10 Maryland — CBS
7:15 p.m. — No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 13 Ohio — truTV
7:25 p.m. — No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Missouri — TNT
9:20 p.m. — No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Norfolk State/Appalachian State TBS
9:40 p.m. — No. 6 BYU vs. No. 11 Michigan State/UCLA — CBS
9:50 p.m. — No. 3 Texas vs. No. 14 Abilene Christian — truTV
9:57 p.m. — No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 VCU — TNT