The first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament is set to get underway on Thursday afternoon, and there is plenty to know as tip-off approaches.
Sixty-four teams will be in action over the course of the first two days, with 32 squads taking the court on both Thursday and Friday. A win in the first round will give teams the opportunity to play for a spot in the Sweet 16 over the weekend.
Below is everything you need to know for the official start of March Madness.
Round-of-64 Schedule (all times Eastern)
Thursday, March 21
No. 7 Louisville vs. No. 10 Minnesota, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 14 Yale, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 12 New Mexico State, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 13 Vermont, 2 p.m. (TBS)
No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 15 Bradley, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
No. 6 Maryland vs. No. 11 Belmont, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 13 Northeastern, 4 p.m. (TNT)
No. 5 Marquette vs. No. 12 Murray State, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 10 Florida, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Abilene Christian, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
No. 6 Villanova vs. No. 11 St. Mary's, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 15 Montana, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
No. 7 Wofford vs. No. 10 Seton Hall, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Old Dominion, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
No. 8 Syracuse vs. No. 9 Baylor, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
Friday, March 22
No. 7 Cincinnati vs. No. 10 Iowa, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
No. 8 Ole Miss vs. No. 9 Oklahoma, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 14 Northern Kentucky, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 13 UC Irvine, 2 p.m. (TBS)
No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 15 Colgate, 2:45 p.m. ET (CBS)
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 16 Gardner-Webb, 3:10 p.m., (truTV)
No. 6 Buffalo vs. No. 11 Arizona State, 4 p.m. (TNT)
No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Oregon, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
No. 8 Utah State vs. No. 9 Washington, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 North Dakota State, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
No. 3 Houston vs. No. 14 Georgia State, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
No. 5 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Liberty, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Iona, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
No. 8 VCU vs. No. 9 UCF, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 11 Ohio State, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
No. 4 Virginia Tech vs. No. 13 Saint Louis, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
It should come as no surprise that the Duke Blue Devils (+190) are the favorite to cut down the nets in Minnesota next month. After all, the No. 1 overall seed went 26-2 (not including the Feb. 20 game against North Carolina) with Zion Williamson.
While Mike Krzyzewski's squad went 3-3 with its star player sidelined by a knee sprain, it won three games in three days upon his return. Williamson was named the 2019 ACC Tournament MVP while averaging 27 points, 10 rebounds and 2.3 steals in Charlotte last weekend.
With a healthy Williamson, the Blue Devils look as dangerous as anyone.
The second-ranked Virginia Cavaliers (+600) enter the tournament with the second-best odds after going 29-3 while earning a share of the ACC regular-season title. Prior to the ACC tournament, their only two losses came to Duke, by a combined 12 points.
Although the Cavaliers have enjoyed plenty of regular-season success under Tony Bennett, they have made it past the Sweet 16 just once since he took over in 2009. They made it to the Elite Eight in 2016, with their last Final Four appearance coming back in 1984.
Of course, it was just last year that Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16th seed.
Fellow top seeds Gonzaga (+650) and North Carolina (+1000) round out the top four favorites. The Bulldogs won the West Coast Conference regular-season title while going 30-3, and the Tar Heels (27-6) were co-ACC regular-season champs, claiming a pair of wins over the archrival Blue Devils.
The first two rounds of the tournament will be played this weekend, with the Sweet 16 (March 28-29) and the Elite Eight (March 30-31) being held the following week.
The 2019 Final Four will take place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on April 6. The title game will be played on April 8.