March Madness is so called because filling out a half-dozen brackets between Sunday night and Thursday morning is a maddening challenge for most. Procrastination is one reason, and another is the general befuddlement at questions like which team is more likely to pull off a first-game upset in the South, Western Michigan or Eastern Kentucky?
Alas, as the round of 64 starts, fans can finally relax and soak in all the amateur action while clutching photocopies of their brackets in a sweaty fist. Here is all the info you need for the NCAA tournament, including bracket essentials, how to watch and the first highlight of the dance.
All Your Bracket Essentials:
- Download the Printable Bracket
- Follow the Latest Bracket Updates Live
- Play the Free Bracket Challenge
If you click the above link that says "Follow the Latest Bracket Updates Live," it will take you to B/R's interactive bracket with full TV times for all games with a set matchup.
The President and virtually all ESPN employees have Michigan State written in marker as the eventual national champions, but that requires five more wins instead of a consensus between prez and pundits. Now the Spartans just need to prove the prognosticators right.
The third round (round of 32) takes place on March 22 and 23 ahead of the Sweet 16 on March 27 and 28. The Elite Eight clash on March 29 and 30, and the victors get a nice, long rest ahead of the Final Four on April 5.
The national championship game takes place on April 7, a Monday night, as usual.
CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV have all the games covered for you, but once the Sweet 16 begins, CBS and TBS will carry the vast majority of the coverage.
How to Stream
You can stream all the action from every game as it happens with March Madness Live on NCAA.com. Join the party!
Live streaming is the wave of the future for those on the go, at work or those who always knew television was a passing fad. It's allegedly a massive drain on workplace productivity this time of year, so don't miss out on that trend.
At least 86 percent of college basketball fans stream the NCAA tournament at work http://t.co/8xgXEbIT5A— For The Win (@forthewin) March 30, 2013
The tournament has been one of the ideal events to offer live streaming for every game, and the NCAA has you covered once again with March Madness Live.
Stay Caught Up
Aside from streaming content and interactive bracket trackers, Bleacher Report has blanket coverage of all the action to offer you with heaping spoonfuls of analysis.
A whole round is in the books already, with Round 1 and the First Four (games, not teams) cementing the field of 64.
The tournament got its first thrilling finish as Tennessee forced overtime against Iowa on Wednesday night. Roy Devyn Marble drained a mid-range jump shot for Iowa with 18 seconds remaining to sent the game into OT.
However, the Hawkeyes had nothing left for the final five minutes. Once they got to the extra period, the Volunteers blew them off the court and romped through OT 14-1 to move on in the tournament.
Not apparent in the box score was the stirring personal story of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, whose 13-year-old son Patrick had surgery on Wednesday to remove a thyroid tumor. Per Eric Prisbell, USA Today, McCaffery stated the obvious after the game: "It was a day, needless to say, that has been very difficult. It puts wins and losses in perspective."
So every Tennessee player went to the Iowa coach and hugged him and told them his son was in their thoughts? Class move guys, pure class— Big Orange Vol (@I_Bleed_Orange7) March 20, 2014
Tennessee now has a second-round date with Massachusetts on March 21 at 2:45 p.m. ET on CBS as the madness marches on.