Thursday is Day 1 of the N.C.A.A. males’s basketball event. Observe right here for scores and dwell evaluation of who wins, who loses and who broke your bracket.
Tips on how to watch: CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV will broadcast the video games beginning at midday ET, and a livestream is out there at NCAA.com. (Don’t know the place to search out TruTV? CBS figured you didn’t, so that they made this useful information.)
Subsequent Up: New Mexico State Towards Auburn
New Mexico State-Auburn simply received underway in Salt Lake Metropolis.
New Mexico State Coach Chris Jans has what would possibly finest be described as a participation-trophy rotation: Everyone performs somewhat bit. The Aggies have 13 gamers who common no less than 10 minutes a sport, however it’s working: Jans’s workforce gained 30 video games. “Everyone is a participant on our workforce, so I all the time must have a chip on my shoulder, prefer it’s my final sport taking part in or one thing,” guard Terrell Brown mentioned.
Auburn gained 26 video games and the Southeastern Convention event this season, however Bruce Pearl could face quite a lot of uncomfortable questions if the Tigers hold advancing within the postseason. Pearl, whose historical past consists of bother with the N.C.A.A., had an assistant (Chuck Particular person) indicted in 2017 for his function within the Adidas recruiting scandal, and he suspended a second coach (Ira Bowman) final week after he was implicated in a scheme to promote admission to the College of Pennsylvania when he labored there.
Halftime: L.S.U. 45, Yale 29
Too fast, too large, too good. That’s the story of the primary half in Jacksonville, the place L.S.U. has opened a 16-point lead on Yale.
Guard Tremont Waters has been the Tigers’ sparkplug; he has 13 factors and 6 assists already. However it’s ahead Kavell Bigby-Williams who has been the actual star with Eight factors, 7 rebounds and four blocks.
Yale Wakes Up, however L.S.U. Leads
L.S.U. raced to an early 9-Zero lead towards Yale, which appeared flummoxed by the Tigers’ dimension and pace early. However guards Alex Copeland (6 factors) and Azar Swain (Eight factors) have shaken the Bulldogs awake. (Swain hit two Three-pointers after coming off the bench.)
Tremont Waters leads L.S.U. with 6 factors and 5 assists, and the 6-11 senior Kavell Bigby-Williams already has 4 blocks.
The Tigers lead by 11 with 5 minutes left within the first half.
Halftime: Minnesota 38, Louisville 33
Minnesota, one of many worst three-point taking pictures groups within the nation, made six of them within the first half and leads Louisville, 38-33, in a matchup oozing with Pitino household drama.
The Richard Pitino-coached Gophers, ranked 291st nationally in Three-point taking pictures, received back-to-back 3s from Dupree McBrayer and Amir Coffey to take a four-point lead previous the midpoint of the half. The freshman Gabe Kalscheur added consecutive 3s later for the Gophers, who shot 50 p.c over all within the half and 40 p.c from behind the arc. Coffey, a 6-Eight junior guard, led all scorers with 13 factors.
Louisville had been coached by Pitino’s father, Rick, till he was fired two years in the past. Whereas he was lacking Thursday — he now coaches a professional workforce in Greece — the Cardinals had a star fan behind the bench: the actor Invoice Murray, whose son Luke is a Cardinals assistant coach. PAT BORZI
Gophers, Tigers Off and Working
After buying and selling baskets early, Minnesota went on a 9-1 run to open a 21-17 lead on Louisville with six minutes left within the first half. Amir Coffey leads the Gophers with 10 factors, and Minnesota is rebounding nicely, too.
In the meantime, in Jacksonville, L.S.U. scored the primary 9 factors towards Yale.
Right now’s High Story Strains
Gonzaga is the one No. 1 seed scheduled to play Thursday; the Zags will face Fairleigh Dickinson, which gained a First 4 sport on Tuesday, to open the night time session in Salt Lake Metropolis. The opposite three prime seeds — Duke, Virginia and North Carolina — all play Friday.
On the lookout for some potential upsets? Marc Tracy of The Instances made the case for (and towards) six possible bracket-busting results, including a No. 15 seed that plays today.
Syracuse suspended one of its key players, guard Frank Howard, on the eve of the tournament for an unspecified violation of team rules. More on the news below from The Times’s Billy Witz.
A TV Tip Sheet
We’re under way. If you like college basketball and quick-cut highlight montages into and out of commercials, your day just got a LOT better.
Don’t Sleep on Yale
L.S.U.’s pretournament woes have been well-documented, and it arrived in Jacksonville, Fla., off a disappointing Southeastern Conference tournament performance and without its suspended coach, Will Wade. But the Tigers’ first-round opponent, Yale, might be a tough out anyway.
First: The Bulldogs (22-7) can score. They beat Harvard to win the Ivy League tournament by scoring 97 points in the final. The senior guard Alex Copeland had a season-high 25 points that day, and he can be very dangerous in transition.
Second: Yale has some serious talent: Miye Oni, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, drew dozens of N.B.A. scouts to Ivy League gyms this season.
Third: The Bulldogs pulled off an upset only three years ago, in their last appearance in the tournament. That day it was Baylor that learned it is risky to look past Yale.
Up First: Minnesota vs. Louisville
Rick Pitino coached Louisville for 15 seasons until he was fired almost two years ago. His son, Richard, coaches Minnesota. If the N.C.A.A. tournament’s first game today — East Regional first-round pairing of Louisville and Minnesota on Thursday in Des Moines — raised raw emotions within the Pitino family, neither father nor son were admitting to it this week. Not yet, anyway.
Louisville fired Rick Pitino in October 2017 after the most recent of three major scandals under his tenure: an F.B.I. investigation into recruiting bribery and fraud that ensnared multiple programs. Now coaching Panathinaikos in Greece, Pitino attends Minnesota games when his schedule allows, but according to his son he is not expected in Des Moines on Thursday. Panathinaikos had a game Wednesday in Greece and has another Friday in Milan.
“It’s not like he’s in North Carolina,” Richard Pitino said Tuesday in Minneapolis.
While Rick Pitino tweets occasionally about his son and the Gophers, he has not done so since Selection Sunday, though he did offer his Final Four picks.
Richard Pitino said he understood the media focus on the Louisville-Minnesota matchup. “I think when you see Louisville pop up, are you more about, ‘O.K., what am I going to say to the media? How am I going to lie to the media?’” he said. “I think you have to be prepared for those questions.”
Louisville Coach Chris Mack was less diplomatic.
“I think the committee could have had a little bit more self-awareness so we don’t have to be up here answering these kinds of questions, and focusing on the student-athletes and the coaches’ experience and the fan base’s experience,” he said. PAT BORZI
The N.C.A.A. Squad That Just Can’t Win
What’s black and white and tread all over? An N.C.A.A. tournament referee.
The referees, in fact, are the only one team guaranteed to make the Final Four every year, but the job isn’t getting any easier. They, and officials in a variety of sports, have become leading characters in the passion play of American sports, from the N.F.L. to tennis to even the Little League World Series.
Few places can match the high-speed pressure cooker of a college basketball arena, where the abuse comes from well-paid college coaches who scream and shout and preen, and from fans who follow their lead.
Read John Branch’s article about the officials here.
Syracuse Suspends Guard Frank Howard
When Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim sat down to speak with reporters on Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake City, he took a deep breath, let out a long exhale and squinted into the T.V. lights at the back of the interview room, as if to say, “not again.”
Syracuse had just announced that the senior level guard Frank Howard had been suspended “for an indefinite time frame” and wouldn’t play in Thursday’s first-round West Regional sport towards Baylor.
“Very tough to make that change now,” Boeheim mentioned.
Boeheim is aware of this from expertise. In 2012, Fab Melo, then the No. 1-seeded Orange’s beginning middle, was declared academically ineligible simply earlier than the event. In 2005, two reserves have been suspended for failing drug exams simply earlier than Syracuse’s first sport; the Orange have been upset by 13th-seeded Vermont that 12 months.
The lack of Howard is critical. He has a team-high 84 assists and had been taking part in nicely these days, scoring 28 factors in an A.C.C. event loss to Duke — a sport by which he appeared to attempt to journey the Duke star Zion Williamson.
Boeheim wouldn’t say if Howard may return on Saturday if eighth-seeded Syracuse advances. In his place, the Orange is prone to begin freshman Buddy Boeheim, the coach’s son. BILLY WITZ