Mar 18, 2021 - Sports

March Madness returns

Data: Axios Research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios
Data: Axios Research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Welcome to the NCAA Tournament's "First Four" play-in round, the first official day of truTV Awareness Month.

Tonight's slate (all times Eastern):

  • 5:10pm (truTV): No. 16 Texas Southern vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary's
  • 6:27pm (TBS): No. 11 Drake vs. No. 11 Wichita State
  • 8:40pm (truTV): No. 16 Appalachian State vs. No. 16 Norfolk State
  • 9:57pm (TBS): No. 11 UCLA vs. No. 11 Michigan State

Fun fact: From the tournament's expansion to 64 teams in 1985 through 2019, just two games featured Hall of Fame coaches leading a team seeded No. 11 or lower, per FiveThirtyEight.

  • There will be three such games this weekend alone, with Tom Izzo leading No. 11 Michigan State, Jim Boeheim leading No. 11 Syracuse and Rick Pitino leading No. 15 Iona.

Good read ... ESPN ranked all 68 head coaches based on their playing careers. Georgetown's Patrick Ewing tops the list, followed by Michigan's Juwan Howard and Grand Canyon's Bryce Drew.

Data: Axios Research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios
Data: Axios Research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

64 teams will wake up this morning in the San Antonio bubble, where the women's tournament gets underway on Sunday.

  • Quarantine: Teams arrived earlier this week and began quarantining in their hotel rooms. Players must turn in two negative tests over two straight days before participating in team activities.
  • Venues: Teams will travel between San Antonio, San Marcos and Austin with games at the Alamodome (two arenas), UTSA, Saint Mary's University, Texas State and UT Austin.

ICYMI: UConn's Paige Bueckers became the third freshman to make the AP All-America first team, joining Maya Moore and Courtney Paris.

  • First team: Bueckers (UConn), Dana Evans (Louisville), Aliyah Boston (South Carolina), Rhyne Howard (Kentucky), NaLyssa Smith (Baylor)
  • Second team: Elissa Cunane (NC State), Naz Hillmon (Michigan), Aari McDonald (Arizona), Caitlin Clark (Iowa), Charli Collier (Texas)
  • Third team: Natasha Mack (Oklahoma State), Ashley Owusu (Maryland), Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA), Kiana Williams (Stanford), Chelsea Dungee (Arkansas)

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