Watching March Madness is a sport unto itself. There are multiple games going on at the same time, and not everyone has easy access to multiple screens.
We’re here to help.
SEC Country analyzed the schedule and selected the top matchups you should be watching in each time slot. Of course, keep your remote handy. March Madness means the most unexpected of upsets will soon become commonplace. Be ready to flip channels at a moment’s notice.
Enjoy the mayhem — March Madness is back. All times ET.
Thursday, March 17
12:15 p.m. – No. 5 seed Notre Dame vs. No. 12 seed Princeton (CBS)
Start the day off with an old friend. “Uncle” Verne Lundquist will be calling the first game of the tournament with Jim Spanarkel and Allie LaForce. The game should also be excellent. Ivy League champions pulled four upsets since 2010, and the Tigers are positioned well to make it five.
Keep an eye on Virginia-UNC Wilmington too — it’s a popular upset pick.
3:10 p.m. – No. 4 seed Florida vs. 13 seed East Tennessee State (truTV)
The tourney’s first game involving an SEC team pits the Gators against the high-powered Buccaneers. Leading scorer T.J. Cromer averages 19.1 points per game and hits 40.4 percent of his 3-pointers. ETSU as a team averages a blistering 49.1 percent from the floor. Florida’s defense will need to be ready.
4:30 p.m. – No. 9 seed Vanderbilt vs. No. 8 seed Northwestern (TBS)
Vanderbilt sneaked into the tournament, and now it has a significant matchup against a favorite of journalists around the country (Did you know Mike Wilbon went there?). However, the Commodores have a secret weapon: Luke Kornet is a 7-footer who shoots 3s.
Also keep an eye on Minnesota-Middle Tennessee, which many experts think will see the Gophers upset.
6:50 p.m. – No. 6 seed Maryland vs. No. 11 seed Xavier (TNT)
The Terrapins are back in the tournament, but against a team that qualified 15 of the past 17 years. Musketeers coach Chris Mack will have his team ready for prime time — but how can you pick against a team with a player named Melo Trimble?
9:40 p.m. – No. 8 seed Wisconsin vs. No. 9 seed Virginia Tech (CBS)
The nightcap features one of the most under-seeded teams in the tourney against one of the most underrated. Wisconsin finished second in the Big Ten and runner-up in the Big Ten Tournament, but fell to an 8-seed. The Hokies picked up big wins over Duke, Miami and Michigan throughout the season.
Friday, March 18
12:15 p.m. – No. 7 seed Michigan vs. No. 10 seed Oklahoma State (CBS)
Two of the hottest teams in the country come to blows in the first game of the tournament’s second day. The Cowboys have the nation’s top adjusted offense rate under new coach Brad Underwood. The Wolverines are streaking after their plane skidded off the runway. It should be a great game.
1:30 p.m. – No. 8 seed Arkansas vs. No. 9 seed Seton Hall (TNT)
You might have to wait until Michigan-Oklahoma State is over, but then switch over to this SEC matchup against Seton Hall. The Pirates boast three players who average at least 15 points per game, including Angel Delgado, the nation’s top rebounder. The matchup of Delgado and Arkansas big Moses Kingsley will be the one to watch.
RELATED: Raggedy ride for Razorbacks
3:10 p.m. – No. 6 seed SMU vs. No. 11 seed Providence/Southern Cal (truTV)
Here’s a secret: USC beat SMU earlier in the season. It remains to be seen whether the Trojans will be the Mustangs’ opponent in the first round of the tournament after Wednesday’s play-in game, but it would be a compelling story. Southern Cal plays eight players at least 15 minutes per game – SMU features only six.
4:30 p.m. – No. 6 seed Creighton vs. No. 11 seed Rhode Island (TBS)
Creighton rightly built a reputation as a mid-major power. That was only furthered when the Bluejays joined the Big East in 2014. However, they’re playing against a team that hasn’t been to the tournament since 1999. Several have pegged this as a possible upset pick.
7:10 p.m. – No. 7 seed Dayton vs. No. 10 seed Wichita State (CBS)
Wichita State as a 10-seed is among the most disrespectful things the committee did this year. Lucky for us, it makes for one of the best coaching matchups in the tournament. Dayton’s Archie Miller is a rising star, while Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall is a proven commodity. It’s a matchup built for the Sweet 16, not Round of 64.
Keep an eye on Cincinnati-Kansas State on truTV.
9:50 p.m. – No. 7 seed South Carolina vs. No. 10 seed Marquette (TBS)
The final SEC game of the first round should be one of the most competitive. Frank Martin led his team to the tournament for the first time since 2004, but the Gamecocks were rewarded with a Marquette team that has experience playing against top competition. South Carolina needs Sindarius Thornwell to go off to win this game.