2013 NCAA Tournament: March Madness Viewer's Guide (March 21)

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Teams, times, networks, announcers and bits of knowledge to prep for the first day of the Tournament

<p> NCAA Tournament: Thursday Viewer's Guide</p>

Thursday (March 21) and Friday (March 22) will feature 16 NCAA Tournament games across four networks. An almost-continuous stream of college basketball will be fun, but it could be tiring.

Here’s everything you need to know for Thursday’s slate of games, including the TV schedule, the network, announcers, predictions and bits of knowledge for each game Thursday.

COMPLETE REGION PREVIEWS
East
| Midwest | South | West

THURSDAY NCAA TOURNAMENT VIEWERS GUIDE
All times p.m., Eastern.

No. 14 Valparaiso vs. No. 3 Michigan State
Time and TV: 12:15, CBS
Site and region: Auburn Hills, Mich., Midwest
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
What to watch: The Spartans played the nation’s toughest schedule according to KenPom.com, which is to say they played in the Big Ten and piled on with Kansas, Miami, Boise State and UConn.
Game in a Tweet: Kids, ask your folks about Bryce Drew’s shot 15 years ago. He’s coaching Valpo now.
Prediction: Michigan State

Related: Our best tips for your bracket pool

No. 11 Bucknell vs. No. 6 Butler
Time and TV: 12:40, truTV
Site and region: Lexington, Ky., East
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel
What to watch: Butler will get to know Bucknell’s stat-sheet stuffer Mike Muscala (19 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.4 bpg). The Bulldogs will need Rotnei Clarke to get hot from three-point land.
Game in a Tweet: Bucknell is 2–3 round of 64 games despite never being seeded higher than No. 9.
Prediction: Bucknell

Related: Bucknell among our top Cinderellas for 2013

No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Pittsburgh
Time and TV: 1:40, TBS
Site and region: Salt Lake City, West
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb
What to watch: Both Jamie Dixon and Gregg Marshall are looking for that elusive second weekend. Dixon has been to the Sweet 16 once in four tries since 2007, Marshall has never been.
Game in a Tweet: Pitt outscored opponents by 9.5 points per game in the second half, best in the country.
Prediction: Pittsburgh

No. 13 New Mexico State vs. No. 4 Saint Louis
Time and TV: 2:10, TNT
Site and region: San Jose, Midwest
Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner
What to watch: Saint Louis forward Dwayne Evans has averaged 18.1 points and 9.8 rebounds since Feb. 6.
Game in a Tweet: A WAC team hasn’t won a Tournament game since Nevada went to the Sweet 16 in 2004.
Prediction: Saint Louis

No. 11 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 11 Memphis
Time and TV: 2:35, CBS
Site and region: Auburn Hills, Mich., Midwest
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
What to watch: Saint Mary's is 17-0 since Jan. 1 against teams not named Gonzaga. The Gaels are defeating those teams by an average of 14.8 points per game.
Game in a Tweet: Six players contribute between 10 and 18 percent of Memphis’ scoring.
Prediction: Memphis

No. 14 Davidson vs. No. 3 Marquette
Time and TV: 3:10, truTV
Site and region: Lexington, Ky., East
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel
What to watch: Marquette has advanced to the Sweet 16 in each of the last two seasons — as a No. 3 seed last year and a No. 11 in 2011.
Game in a Tweet: Davidson was the only team to make at least 80 percent of its free throws (80.1).
Prediction: Marquette

Related: How safe is Marquette for another Sweet 16: We rank the top teams

No. 16 Southern vs. No. 1 Gonzaga
Time and TV: 4:10, TBS
Site and region: Salt Lake City, West
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb
What to watch: Indiana and Michigan spent most of the season in the top two, but Gonzaga finished the season first in points per possession.
Game in a Tweet: Gonzaga’s rotation includes two from Canada, one from Germany and one from Ivory Coast.
Prediction: Gonzaga

No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State
Time and TV: 4:40, TNT
Site and region: San Jose, Midwest
Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner
What to watch: Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart may be one of the nation’s most indispensable players, but Oregon is much better than a No. 12 seed with Dominic Artis in the lineup.
Game in a Tweet: Oregon has six players averaging at least 8.5 ppg.
Prediction: Oklahoma State

No. 16 North Carolina A&T vs. No. 1 Louisville
Time and TV: 6:50, TBS
Site and region: Lexington, Ky., Midwest
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel
What to watch: Peyton Siva took over during Tournament time last season. Are we seeing the same after Siva won Big East Tourney MVP honors?
Game in a Tweet: Rick Pitino has only two round of 64 exits in his career. He’ll still have two after this game.
Prediction: Louisville

No. 13 South Dakota State vs. No. 4 Michigan
Time and TV: 7:15, CBS
Site and region: Auburn Hills, Mich., South
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
What to watch: Don’t expect to see free throws: Michigan and South Dakota State were No. 1 and 2 in the country in limiting their opponents’ trips to the line.
Game in a Tweet: Trey Burke and Nate Wolters average a combined 45.7 points and 13.8 assists per 40 minutes.
Prediction: Michigan

No. 11 Belmont vs. No. 6 Arizona
Time and TV: 7:20, TNT
Site and region: Salt Lake City, West
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb
What to watch: Belmont has one of the field’s most dynamic backcourts with Ian Clark from the perimeter and Kerron Johnson driving to the basket.
Game in a Tweet: Arizona is on upset alert, but Coach Sean Miller is 4-1 in the round of 64.
Prediction: Belmont

No. 12 Cal vs. No. 5 UNLV
Time and TV: 7:27, truTV
Site and region: San Jose, East
Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner
What to watch: Despite being led by the backcourt, Cal made the fewest three-pointers per game in the field (four).
Game in a Tweet: UNLV has only advanced to the Sweet 16 once — in 2007 as a No. 7 seed — since Jerry Tarkanian was forced out in 1992.
Prediction: Cal

No. 9 Missouri vs. No. 8 Colorado State
Time and TV: 9:20, TBS
Site and region: Lexington, Ky., Midwest
Announcers: Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel
What to watch: Colorado State led the nation in rebound rate despite only one regular (leading scorer and rebounder Colton Iverson) taller than 6-6.
Game in a Tweet: The starting lineups feature a combined five transfers plus a first-year coach at Colorado State.
Prediction: Colorado State

No. 12 Akron vs. No. 5 VCU
Time and TV: 9:45, CBS
Site and region: Auburn Hills, Mich., South
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
What to watch: VCU picked up 11.2 extra scoring chances per game, nearly three more pre game than No. 2 Louisville.
Game in a Tweet: Take away suspended point guard Alex Abreu, and Akron has a 0.87 assist-to-turnover ratio. Good luck against VCU.
Prediction: VCU

No. 14 Harvard vs. No. 3 New Mexico
Time and TV: 9:50, TNT
Site and region: Salt Lake City, West
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb
What to watch: The Lobos will look to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1974.
Game in a Tweet: New Mexico leads the field by assisting on 66.5 percent of its made shots.
Prediction: New Mexico

No. 13 Montana vs. No. 4 Syracuse
Time and TV: 9:57, truTV
Site and region: San Jose, East
Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner
What to watch: Which Syracuse shows up? Syracuse is 8–8 in its last 16 games. The Orange opened the season with an 18–1 record.
Game in a Tweet: Montana’s coaching pedigree: Jud Heathcote, Mike Montgomery, Stew Morrill, Larry Krystkowiak
Prediction: Syracuse

Related: All Athlon Sports 2013 NCAA Tournament content
 

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