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2019 NCAA Tournament, Day 1 open thread: Madness and hope

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Today is a day of hope and belief succumbing to fate and chaos.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Des Moines Practice Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The only thing I know to be true about what will happen in the games of this 2019 NCAA Tournament, like any of the many before it, is that something unexpected will happen.

It’s never all chalk. It’s never all titanic clashes or historic upsets. That team you thought was a lock might shoot 30 percent from the field; the team you swore had no chance might get hot for an entire weekend. Last year brought us a No. 13 seed in the Final Four and a No. 16 seed in the second round, and it doesn’t even feel that crazy in retrospect.

So I’m flying blind this year, more or less. I’ll be writing about it later, but I don’t know what to make of Florida’s game against Nevada later today as of this very moment, nor do I know what to feel about Marquette and Murray State, or even, like, Gonzaga and Fairleigh Dickinson. I didn’t fill out any sort of bracket, so it would have been silly to have any sort of bracket challenge here. (Sorry, all.)

But I’ll probably still love this NCAA Tournament, because flying blind works just as well as knowing everything when it comes to March Madness.

That’s just what this magically mad tournament is, at its heart: A sporting event in a sport so saturated by parity that it genuinely feels like anything can happen, that any team can hope to be a part of something crazy and wonderful.

I hope to enjoy it as much as I can. And I hope you do, too.

2019 NCAA Tournament Schedule: Thursday, March 21

Game Day Location Time (ET) TV Commentators
Game Day Location Time (ET) TV Commentators
Louisville vs. Minnesota Thursday Des Moines I 12:15 p.m. CBS Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner // Dana Jacobson
LSU vs. Yale Thursday Jacksonville I 12:40 p.m. truTV Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel // Jamie Erdahl
Auburn vs. New Mexico State Thursday Salt Lake City I 1:30 p.m. TNT Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas // Lisa Byington
Florida State vs. Vermont Thursday Hartford I 2 p.m. TBS Carter Blackburn / Debbie Antonelli // John Schriffen
Michigan State vs. Bradley Thursday Des Moines II After conc. 1 CBS Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner // Dana Jacobson
Maryland vs. Belmont Thursday Jacksonville II After conc. 1 truTV Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel // Jamie Erdahl
Kansas vs. Northeastern Thursday Salt Lake City II After conc. 1 TNT Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas // Lisa Byington
Marquette vs. Murray State Thursday Hartford II After conc. 1 TBS Carter Blackburn / Debbie Antonelli // John Schriffen
Nevada vs. Florida Thursday Des Moines III 6:50 p.m. TNT Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner // Dana Jacobson
Kentucky vs. Abilene Christian Thursday Jacksonville III 7:10 p.m. CBS Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel // Jamie Erdahl
Villanova vs. Saint Mary's (CA) Thursday Hartford III 7:20 p.m. TBS Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas // Lisa Byington
Gonzaga vs. Fairleigh Dickinson Thursday Salt Lake City III 7:27 p.m. truTV Carter Blackburn / Debbie Antonelli // John Schriffen
Michigan vs. Montana Thursday Des Moines IV After conc. III TNT Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner // Dana Jacobson
Wofford vs. Seton Hall Thursday Jacksonville IV After conc. III CBS Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel // Jamie Erdahl
Purdue vs. Old Dominion Thursday Hartford IV After conc. III TBS Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas // Lisa Byington
Syracuse vs. Baylor Thursday Salt Lake City IV After conc. III truTV Carter Blackburn / Debbie Antonelli // John Schriffen
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