March Madness gets started with two First Four games in Dayton on Tuesday
The latest edition of March Madness is here as the 2019 NCAA Tournament tips off with the First Four on Tuesday, March 19. Since 2011, when the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 68 teams, the last four at-large teams selected and the four lowest ranked automatic qualifiers have met in Dayton, Ohio, to determine who advances to the first round.
Tuesday's action begins with a matchup of No. 16 seeds with the winner moving on to face West Region No. 1 seed Gonzaga. The second game pits as pair of teams that got in based on their overall body of work with the winner getting an opportunity to prove the selection committee right when they face No. 6 seed Maryland in East Region play on Thursday.
So if you're wondering, "What NCAA Tournament games are on today?" know this: There are two scheduled for Tuesday, March 19.
6:40 p.m. ET on truTV — University of Daytona Arena (Dayton, Ohio)
Why You Should Watch: Seeds aside, the opening game of this year's NCAA Tournament features a pair of teams that not only earned their way into the Big Dance by winning their respective confernece tournament but also are looking for their program's first-ever win on this stage. Prairie View has been on a 22-1 run since starting the season 1-11, as the Panthers have dominated their SWAC competition. They went 20-1 against conference teams in claiming both the regular-season and conference titles. Fairleigh Dickinson also enters this game on a hot stretch, having won eight in a row and 10 of its last 12. The Knights won the Northeast Conference Tournament by taking down regular-season champ St. Francis (Pa.) in the championship game. FDU is one of the nation's top shooting teams, ranking in the top 30 at 47.8 percent from the field. A collective 0-6 in the NCAA Tournament, Tuesday night's winner claims their program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory and advances to face West Region No. 1 seed Gonzaga in Salt Lake City on Thursday.
9:10 p.m. ET (approximately) on truTV — University of Daytona Arena (Dayton, Ohio)
Why You Should Watch: As two of the last four at-large teams to get into the field, Temple and Belmont will be under plenty of scrutiny so expect both to be plenty motivated and fired up for this game. The Owls own impressive wins over fellow NCAA Tournament participants Houston and UCF while the Bruins rattled off 14 straight wins before falling to Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship game. Both teams do an excellent job taking care of the ball so it will be interesting to see if that continues or if either tightens up on the big stage. Belmont is one of the nation's most efficient teams on offense and can score from anywhere on the floor while Temple is led by veteran guards and makes teams earn their points. The winner advances to face No. 6 seed Maryland in East Region play in Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday.