If your idea of March Madness 2018 gambling goes beyond simply filling out your bracket, this preview is for you. Here are some things to consider before you make your against-the-spread (ATS) selections. We hope to add to this and update the spreads as Thursday’s opening tip grows closer. The NCAA Tournament field of 68 to decide the college basketball Division-1 national champion was unveiled Sunday, and Virginia, Villanova, Kansas and Xavier earned the four No. 1 seeds for March Madness.
Here is the complete schedule for the First Four games and the entire Round of 64. All television channels, tipoff times and approximated tipoff times are listed below. Times with an asterisk are approximated.
Here’s what fans need to know:
2018 NCAA TOURNAMENT FIRST FOUR, FIRST ROUND:
What: Four play-in games to determine the official 64-team bracket for the 2018 NCAA Division-1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, followed by 32 Round of 64 games.
When: Tuesday-Friday, March 13-16, 2018.
TV: CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV (see below).
Live stream: March Madness Live for all games.
TUESDAY, MARCH 13:
all games on TruTV
16-LIU-Brooklyn vs. 16-Radford, 6:40
11-St. Bonaventure vs. 11-UCLA, 9:10*
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14:
all games on TruTV
16-N.C. Central vs. 16-Texas Southern, 6:40
11-Arizona State vs. 11-Syracuse, 9:10*
THURSDAY, MARCH 15:
10-Oklahoma vs. 7-Rhode Island, 12:15 (CBS)
14-Wright State vs. 3-Tennessee, 12:40 (TRU)
13-UNC-Greensboro vs. 4-Gonzaga, 1:30 (TNT)
16-Penn vs. 1-Kansas, 2 (TBS)
15-Iona vs. 2-Duke, 2:45* (CBS)
11-Loyola-Chicago vs. 6-Miami, 3:10* (TRU)
12-South Dakota State vs. 5-Ohio State, 4* (TNT)
9-N.C. State vs. 8-Seton Hall, 4:30* (TBS)
16-LIU/Radford vs. 1-Villanova, 6:50 (TNT)
12-Davidson vs. 5-Kentucky, 7:10 (CBS)
11-San Diego State vs. 6-Houston, 7:20 (TBS)
14-Stephen F. Austin vs. 3-Texas Tech, 7:27 (TRU)
9-Alabama vs. 8-Virginia Tech, 9:20* (TNT)
13-Buffalo vs. 4-Arizona, 9:40* (CBS)
14-Montana vs. 3-Michigan, 9:50* (TBS)
11-St. Bonaventure/UCLA vs. 6-Florida, 9:57 (TRU)
FRIDAY, MARCH 16:
10-Providence vs. 7-Texas A&M, 12:15 (CBS)
15-Cal State-Fullerton vs. 2-Purdue, 12:40 (TRU)
13-Marshall vs. 4-Wichita State, 1:30 (TNT)
15-Georgia State vs. 2-Cincinnati, 2 (TBS)
15-Lipscomb vs. 2-North Carolina, 2:45* (CBS)
10-Butler vs. 7-Arkansas, 3:10* (TRU)
12-Murray State vs. 5-West Virginia, 4* (TNT)
10-Texas vs. 7-Nevada, 4:30* (TBS)
9-Kansas State vs. 8-Creighton, 6:50 (TNT)
14-Bucknell vs. 3-Michigan State, 7:10 (CBS)
16-N.C. Central/Texas Southern vs. 1-Xavier, 7:20 (TBS)
13-Charleston vs. 4-Auburn, 7:27 (TRU)
16-UMBC vs. 1-Virginia, 8:20* (TNT)
11-Arizona State/Syracuse vs. 6-TCU, 9:40* (CBS)
9-Florida State at 8-Missouri, 9:50* (TBS)
12-New Mexico State vs. 5-Clemson, 9:57* (TRU)
There is a lot of 2018 March Madness content on the internet — there’s the NCAA tournament bracket and March Madness bracket tips and March Madness predictions, etc. This is not that. This is an eight-minute deep dive into the soul of March Madness. We are biased because we made it, but we think it is worth your time. Maybe you’re already watching it and not reading this text.
Anyway, what is this video business all about? Well, the college basketball postseason is based on two lies. The first is that anyone can win a championship. Admittedly, that’s more of a fib — mathematically true, but not the way reality actually shakes out. The second is more surprising: your seed does not determine how easy your road through the tournament will be. I know! It sounds absurd! But Jon Bois explains it and it makes sense! Just trust me for once!
ESPN’s Mackenzie Kraemer gave us some opening-round trends last year, and I’ve added the results from the 2017 tournament. Keep in mind that these trends should not be considered predictive and that basing your picks solely on them is far from advisable. Instead, add them to your overall knowledge base. All point spreads referenced below were taken Monday morning
Top-seeded teams are 8-12 against the spread (ATS) in the first round over the past five tournaments (2-2 ATS last year). But since 1985, No. 1 seeds are 14-5 ATS in the opening round when the line is 19.5 points or lower, including 7-1 over the past 11 seasons. As of Monday morning, Kansas was only a 14.5-point favorite over Penn. The other No. 1 seeds are either favorites of at least 20 points (Virginia) or do not yet know their opponents (Villanova, Xavier).