We've been waiting way too long for March Madness to get underway, but rejoice college basketball fans, the day has finally arrived. Sixteen first-round 2021 NCAA Tournament games encompass our lives on Friday, spanning from noon (ET) until late into the night as the NCAA Tournament bracket slowly gets filled in. The NCAA Tournament is always full of surprises, and this one is sure to be wild after a season played amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first half of games on Friday delivered the goods. A pair of No. 1 seeds, Baylor and Illinois, advanced with ease. No. 7 seed Florida survived a late dagger from No. 10 seed Virginia Tech in overtime. But the biggest result was No. 15 seed Oral Roberts getting the upset over No. 2 seed Ohio State. The Eagles hadn't won an NCAA Tournament game in 47 years and became the ninth No. 15 seed to ever win the first-round matchup. They were the first to do so since Middle Tennessee in 2016.
North Carolina is just a No. 8 seed and will be in action against No. 9 seed Wisconsin, and No. 5 seed Villanova will take on No. 12 seed Winthrop in Friday's final game without injured star in Collin Gillespie. Basically, the door is flung wide open for us to see a first-time national champion, and Friday could be the beginning of that team's journey.
So settle in, grab your remote and get ready for the long-awaited return of March Madness. All times Eastern
2021 March Madness live stream
Date: Friday, March 19 | Round: 1 | Regions: South, Midwest
Live stream: March Madness Live
- (7) Florida vs. (10) Virginia Tech -- 12:15 p.m. | CBS (watch live)
- (3) Arkansas vs. (14) Colgate -- 12:45 p.m. | truTV (watch live)
- (1) Illinois vs. (16) Drexel -- 1:15 p.m. | TBS (watch live)
- (6) Texas Tech vs. (11) Utah State -- 1:45 p.m. | TNT (watch live)
- (2) Ohio State vs. (15) Oral Roberts -- 3 p.m. | CBS (watch live)
- (1) Baylor vs. (16) Hartford -- 3:30 p.m. | truTV (watch live)
- (8) Loyola Chicago vs. (9) Georgia Tech -- 4 p.m. | TBS (watch live)
- (5) Tennessee vs. (12) Oregon State -- 4:30 p.m. | TNT (watch live)
- (4) Oklahoma State vs. (13) Liberty -- 6:25 p.m. | TBS (watch live)
- (8) North Carolina vs. (9) Wisconsin -- 7:10 p.m. | CBS (watch live)
- (2) Houston vs. (15) Cleveland State -- 7:15 p.m. | truTV (watch live)
- (4) Purdue vs. (13) North Texas -- 7:25 p.m. | TNT (watch live)
- (7) Clemson vs. (10) Rutgers -- 9:20 p.m. | TBS (watch live)
- (6) San Diego State vs. (11) Syracuse -- 9:40 p.m. | CBS (watch live)
- (3) West Virginia vs. (14) Morehead State -- 9:50 p.m. | truTV (watch live)
- (5) Villanova vs. (12) Winthrop -- 9:57 p.m. | TNT (watch live)
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