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
|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|