NCAA men’s tournament 2024: Highlights from first round of March Madness


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The First Four gave us some quality appetizers — aside from Virginia’s performance, which was more like expired dairy — but the 2024 NCAA tournament truly gets underway on Thursday, with 16 first-round games over the course of 12-plus hours.
Two of the most popular upset picks are in action in the late window, with 5-seed Gonzaga taking on 12-seed McNeese at 7:25 p.m. ET and No. 4 Kansas battling No. 13 Samford at 9:55 p.m. Can coach Will Wade continue his outstanding first season with the Cowboys by pulling off a win over the Zags, and how will Samford and “Bucky Ball” fare against a banged-up Jayhawks team?
There are some highly intriguing individual matchups Thursday, highlighted by an electric guard battle between Texas’ Max Abmas and Colorado State’s Isaiah Stevens at 6:50 p.m. Drake’s Tucker DeVries, who struggled in last year’s NCAA tournament against Miami, will look for redemption against breakout wing Jaylen Wells and Washington State to cap off the night at 10:05.
The West seems to be the most wide open of the regions — and the top two seeds are both in action in the early afternoon, with Arizona looking to avoid another shocking 15-over-2 upset against Long Beach State at 2 p.m. and North Carolina a heavy favorite in its 2:45 p.m. matchup against Wagner.
In reality, we’re watching it all anyway. It’s the NCAA tournament! Star frosh Josh Hubbard going against a veteran-laden Michigan State team gets things started at 12:15 p.m.
Check back here throughout the day as ESPN keeps you up to date and in the know with reports from arenas all over the country.


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