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NCAA Tournament 2014: Round one preview, tip-off times, TV channels, and more

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The Gamecocks don't play, but a number of stories from their season continue on in the NCAA Tournament.

Michael Frazier and the Gators open their tournament on Thursday.
Michael Frazier and the Gators open their tournament on Thursday.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament tips off today, and while unfortunately the Gamecocks did not receive an invitation to the dance this year, the opening weekend consists of four of the best days on the calendar for sports fans every year.

First, the schedule, with times and TV:

Thursday's Game Schedule

Region Game Venue Time TV Announcers
South Dayton Flyers (11) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (6) First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY) 12:15p CBS Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce
West American University Eagles (15) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (2) BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI) 12:40p truTV Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson
South Pittsburgh Panthers (9) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (8) Amway Center (Orlando, FL) 1:40p TBS Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy
East Harvard Crimson (12) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (5) Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA) 2:10p TNT Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio
South Western Michigan Broncos (14) vs. Syracuse Orange (3) First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY) 2:45p CBS Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce
West BYU Cougars (10) vs. Oregon Ducks (7) BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI) 3:10p truTV Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson
South Albany Great Danes/ Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (16) vs. Florida Gators (1) Amway Center (Orlando, FL) 4:10p TBS Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy
East Delaware Blue Hens (13) vs. Michigan State Spartans (4) Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA) 4:40p TNT Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio
East Saint Joseph's (PA) Hawks (10) vs. Connecticut Huskies (7) First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY) 6:55p TBS Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce
MidWest Wofford Terriers (15) vs. Michigan Wolverines (2) BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI) 7:10p CBS Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson
MidWest North Carolina State Wolfpack/Xavier Musketeers (12) vs. Saint Louis Billikens (5) Amway Center (Orlando, FL) 7:20p TNT Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy
West North Dakota State Bison (12) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (5) Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA) 7:27p truTV Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio
East Milwaukee Panthers (15) vs. Villanova Wildcats (2) First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY) 9:25p TBS Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce
MidWest Arizona State Sun Devils (10) vs. Texas Longhorns (7) BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI) 9:40p CBS Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson
MidWest Manhattan Jaspers (13) vs. Louisville Cardinals (4) Amway Center (Orlando, FL) 9:50p TNT Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy
West New Mexico State Aggies (13) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (4) Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA) 9:57p truTV Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio

Games of relevance to South Carolina fans particularly include:

  • The Florida Gators, who beat up on the Gamecocks twice this season, face off against the Albany Great Danes (whose mascot looks like Scooby Doo) at 4:10pm. Expect the top-seeded Gators to advance easily.
Albany_great_danes_logo_medium

  • From the Palmetto State, the Wofford Terriers take on the two seed in the Midwest Region, the Michigan Wolverines, at 7:10pm on Thursday evening. The Terriers take the court without Aerris Smith, who explained why in a heartfelt post-game interview following their Southern Conference championship.
  • The Manhattan Jaspers, once regarded as a bad loss (the comments were not kind to Carolina in this post-game thread), won the MAAC tournament and earned the 13 seed in the Midwest Region. If you're thinking they look like a trendy upset pick, think again - they face one of the best four seeds to ever grace the field in the Louisville Cardinals. George Beamon and company may give the Cardinals a run for a bit, but quality should win out.
Watching the games, or tracking while at the office? This serves as the open thread for the day. Let's talk about it, because it's either that or do work, and I'll be damned if I'm doing work today.