The Most Wonderful Time of Year
“How’s your bracket?”
We always hear this question. Somewhere around 70 million people fill out a bracket every year. And they’re never perfect.
But this year, March Madness graced us with the ultimate bracket buster. Followed by one of the wildest Round of 32 Sundays in recent memory.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what you missed in the tournament’s opening rounds.
A 16 Seed Finally Did It
Some wondered if it would ever happen. Most thought it would at some point.
But not like this.
Virginia, the tournament’s top overall seed and the most consistent team in the country this season, would be the last team fall victim to a 16 seed.
But after 135 tries and 135 failures, it happened. The Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers became the first 16 seed to beat a 1 seed.
And they didn’t just beat the Cavaliers. They crushed them, winning 74-54.
It’s the greatest upset in college sports history. That’s enough reason to relish in something believed to be impossible.
Yes, the Retrievers lost to Kansas State in the Round of 32. But what they did in Charlotte Friday night will live on forever.
But March Madness wasn’t done. Sunday provided plenty of reasons for bracket-makers to throw up their hands and fans of the underdog to rejoice in the magic of the upset.
It began with Syracuse, a team that arguably shouldn’t have made the tournament, taking down third-seeded Michigan State 55-53. Apologies to all the “experts” who had the Spartans winning the title.
Down went defending champion North Carolina just a few hours later, falling 86-65 at the hands of Texas A&M.
Another 2 seed followed suit – this time in dramatic fashion, as Nevada erased a 22-point deficit to stun the Cincinnati Bearcats. That win also meant none of the top four seeds in the South region would reach the Sweet 16 – that’s never happened before.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, top-seeded Xavier joined the party by allowing a nine-point lead to slip away against Florida State, and the Seminoles punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 with a 75-70 win.
Who knows what could be in store for the remaining 16 teams? Here are a few storylines to watch.
Blue Bloods Still Alive
A couple of college basketball’s traditional powers (better known as “blue bloods”) bowed out among the Sunday slaughter, but several remain – Kentucky, Duke, and Kansas. Throw in Villanova and Gonzaga, and you have five teams who have been here before.
The Blue Devils and Jayhawks will likely meet in the Elite Eight – if the seeds hold, the winner of that matchup would face Villanova in the Final Four. If this tournament’s trajectory is anything to go by, there are probably some more surprises in store. But if logic holds, the winner of that Final Four matchup would be the most likely national champion.
Two seven seeds and two 11 seeds remain in the field – (7) Nevada and (11) Loyola-Chicago in the wide-open South, (7) Texas A&M in the West, and (11) Syracuse in the Midwest.
How will they fare? Well, either Nevada or Loyola-Chicago will make the Elite Eight because they play one another. That will likely be a close, exciting game—both teams have won thrillers in their opening games to make it this far.
The Wolfpack likely would have the best shot to beat Kentucky, the presumed winner in the top half of the South Region. But don’t count out the Ramblers and Sister Jean. They belong here.
As for the team with the best shot at the Final Four? That’s probably Texas A&M. The Aggies were highly ranked in the preseason before facing injuries and suspensions. They’re back to full strength and flexed their muscle against the Tar Heels.
They are a major conference team with beef inside that will challenge the best of post players. Could we see an all-SEC matchup between the Aggies and Kentucky in the Final Four? It wouldn’t be shocking.
Get ready to watch all of these stories unfold as the Sweet 16 kicks off Thursday.
March Madness Schedule
Thursday, March 22
South Region – Phillips Arena, Atlanta
- No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago, 7:07 p.m. ET (CBS)
- No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Kansas State, 9:37 p.m. ET (CBS)
West Region – Staples Center, Los Angeles
- No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 7 Texas A&M, 7:37 p.m. ET (TBS)
- No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Florida State, 10:07 p.m. ET (TBS)
Friday, March 23
East Region – TD Garden, Boston
- No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 5 West Virginia, 7:37 p.m. ET (TBS)
- No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 3 Texas Tech, 10:07 p.m. ET (TBS)
Midwest Region – CenturyLink Center, Omaha
- No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 Clemson, 7:07 p.m. ET (CBS)
- No. 2 Duke vs. No. 11 Syracuse, 9:37 p.m. ET (CBS)
How To Stream The Sweet Sixteen Online
Now’s a good time to cut the cord. Here are all of your streaming options for March Madness.
DirecTV Now has TBS, TNT and TruTV in all of their four channel packages, the most affordable being the “Live A Little” package. It’s $35/month and comes with over 60 channels.
Take advantage of their 7-DAY FREE TRIAL during March Madness.
Sling TV Has most of the channels you need for March Madness. With “Sling Blue” ($25/month) you get TBS, TNT, and TruTV. The “Sling Orange” ($20/month) package has TBS and TNT. If you want to record the games and watch them later you can get the cloud DVR for an extra $5/month.
They offer a 7-DAY FREE TRIAL if you want to test it out.
CBS All Access
Half of the remaining games are on CBS. If you want to watch without going to a sports bar CBS All Access might be a good option for you. In addition to College Basketball you can enjoy all of your favorite CBS shows. This includes shows that are unique unique to the platform like Star Trek Discovery.
If this sounds appealing they offer a 7-DAY FREE TRIAL.
Hulu With Live TV
Hulu With Live TV has every channel you need for March Madness. CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. It’s a great way to watch every NCAA tournament game. On top of live streaming TV you get access to the full Hulu on-demand library. Give them a try.