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March Madness 2014 TV Schedule: Full Viewing Guide for NCAA Tournament

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 14:  Monte Morris #11 of the Iowa State Cyclones smiles as he stands next to a dejected Naadir Tharpe #10 of the Kansas Jayhawks during the Big 12 Basketball Tournament semifinal game at Sprint Center on March 14, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

You don't have to miss a single basket of the NCAA tournament if you don't want to. That's the beauty of the tournament, folks—every single moment will be broadcast, and if you have the right setup during the tourney, you can watch them all at once.

Sports nirvana, am I right?

Don't know what I mean? You will. Below, you'll find a bracket and full viewing guide for this year's tournament. And because I can't resist a bit of good debate, I also broke down my picks for this year's top contenders. And yes, I might surprise you with a pick or two. 

 

All Your Bracket Essentials

Bleacher Report

 

Schedule

2014 NCAA Tournament TV Listings
Tuesday, March 18 (Dayton)Time (ET)Station
First Four (Game 1)6:30 p.m.TruTV
First Four (Game 2)9 p.m.TruTV
Wednesday, March 19 (Dayton)Time (ET)Station
First Four (Game 3)6:30 p.m.TruTV
First Four (Game 4)9 p.m.TruTV
Thursday, March 20 (Buffalo, Milwaukee, Orlando, Spokane)Time (ET)Station
Second Round12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.CBS
Second Round12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:55 p.m.TruTV
Second Round1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.TBS
Second Round2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.TNT
Friday, March 21 (Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis)Time (ET)Station
Second Round12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.CBS
Second Round12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:55 p.m.TruTV
Second Round1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:15 p.m.TBS
Second Round2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 9:45 p.m.TNT
Saturday, March 22 (Buffalo, Milwaukee, Orlando, Spokane)Time (ET)Station
Third Round12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 7:30 p.m.CBS
Third Round6 p.m., 8:30 p.m.TNT
Third Round7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.TBS
Sunday, March 23 (Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis)Time (ET)Station
Third Round12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.CBS
Third Round6 p.m., 8:30 p.m.TNT
Third Round7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.TBS
Third Round7:30 p.m.TruTV
Thursday, March 27 (Memphis, Anaheim)Time (ET)Station
Sweet Sixteen7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.CBS
Sweet Sixteen7:15 p.m., 9:55 p.m.TBS
Friday, March 28 (New York, Indianapolis)Time (ET)Station
Sweet Sixteen7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.CBS
Sweet Sixteen7:15 p.m., 9:55 p.m.TBS
Saturday, March 29 (Memphis, Anaheim)Time (ET)Station
Elite Eight6 p.m., 8:30 p.m.TBS
Sunday, March 30 (New York, Indianapolis)Time (ET)Station
Elite Eight6 p.m., 8:30 p.m.TBS
Saturday, April 5 (Arlington)Times (ET)Stations
Final Four (Game 1), Final Four Game 26 p.m., 8:30 p.m.TBS, TNT, TruTV
Monday, April 7 (Arlington)Time (ET)Station
National Championship Game9 p.m.CBS
Source: ChristianToday.com

 

Top Contenders

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 9: Chadrack Lufile #0 of the Wichita State Shockers celebrates after beating the Indiana State Sycamores in the MVC Basketball Tournament Championship game at the Scottrade Center on March 9, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Shocker
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Much like last year, it feels like there are a number of teams that could conceivably win this year's NCAA tournament.

Florida has been consistently excellent all season long. Wichita State hasn't lost this year. Villanova very quietly put together an excellent campaign. Arizona and Aaron Gordon are not to be taken lightly. Virginia and Duke are dangerous coming out of the ACC. San Diego State has already beaten Creighton, Kansas and New Mexico and played Arizona tough.

Big Ten teams like Michigan, Wisconsin or Michigan State could go on deep runs. Kansas and Syracuse are better than their rankings suggest. And you never know what teams like North Carolina and Kentucky are capable of doing if they get hot.

But we all know that's too many contenders for this year's throne. Let's whittle it down a bit.

 

Arizona

TUCSON, AZ - FEBRUARY 26:  (L-R) Nick Johnson #13, Aaron Gordon #11 and Kaleb Tarczewski #35 of the Arizona Wildcats react after scoring against the California Golden Bears during the second half of the college basketball game at McKale Center on February
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

"Defense wins championships" is the oldest sports cliche in the book, and college basketball doesn't generally deviate from the formula. Year in and year out, the teams that reach the Final Four generally rate highly in kenpom.com's defensive efficiency rating. Don't believe me?

Check this out from Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn, written in January:

Title teams always—not sometimes, always—have high-efficiency profiles on kenpom.com. A database I've kept of the past 11 seasons generates these average rankings for where teams finished in kenpom's adjusted offense/adjusted defense metrics:

Teams that reached the Elite Eight: 15.9/19.4

... that reached the Final Four: 15.9/16.4

... that reached the title game: 11.9 /11.3

... that won the national title: 4.5/8.5

And guess who the No. 1 team in that category was after the regular season this year?

You guessed it, Arizona.

Pair that fact with a proven go-to guy in Aaron Gordon, and you can see why Arizona has a legitimate shot at winning this year's title.

Now, granted, Arizona's adjusted offensive efficiency wasn't nearly as high (36th after the regular season). But behind a stellar defense, they'll be a tough out this season and are a definite title contender.

 

Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 08:  Russ Smith #2 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates with teammates after the game against the Connecticut Huskies at KFC YUM! Center on March 8, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was senior day and it was Smith's last home gam
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

You may not have expected to see Louisville as a top contender, but it isn't to be taken lightly. And it isn't as good as a season ago, but it might not need to be.

The Cardinals are 14th in kenpom's adjusted offensive efficiency and sixth in defense. They have a (streaky) lead gunner in Russ Smith. They did this a year ago. They survived the brutal American Athletic Conference.

Don't sleep on Louisville. The Cardinals will make plenty of noise once the tourney begins.

 

Florida

Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

The Gators were the first team in history to finish the SEC regular season 18-0. Non-conference wins over Kansas and Memphis negate non-conference losses to Wisconsin and UConn. They are balanced, experienced and led by the masterful Billy Donovan. They finished the regular season ninth in offensive and defensive efficiency. 

Florida might be a chalk pick, but it is a very, very smart chalk pick.

 

Kansas

LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 11:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks waits during a timeout in the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Allen Fieldhouse on January 11, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If Andrew Wiggins decides to dominate and Joel Embiid is healthy, Kansas may simply win based on pure talent. It's really that simple for the Jayhawks.

Said Bill Self before the Big 12 tournament via Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated, “I really believe—and of course I’m biased—when he’s healthy and playing well he has the potential to impact the game on both ends as much as anybody in the country."

The rest of the country agrees.

What do you think?

Did I nick Wichita State or Villanova too much for strength of schedule? Did I undervalue Syracuse too much after they limped to the finish in the ACC? Any glaring omissions that you would include in my list of top contenders? Any of the above teams that you don't think has a chance at all of winning a title?

Let the debates begin.


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