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NCAA Tournament 2018: Live blog, how to watch, gamethread part 1

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It’s not like you’re not watching the NCAA Tournament, right?

Texas Southern v North Carolina Central Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Hello everyone, Northwestern is not in the NCAA Tournament. I’m sure you all know that, but we wanted to have a place to comment and discuss the best annual winter sporting event. Feel free to comment below as the games go on. We’ll have a live blog giving our HOT SPORTS TAKES in this thread as well.

UPDATE: 9:01 PM

Well, we nearly had some major bracket-busting upsets, but in the end the big names pulled through. Davidson put up a great fight against Kentucky, but ultimately lost 78-73. No. 14 seed Stephen F. Austin led for nearly the entire game against Texas Tech, but the Lumberjacks completely self-destructed down the stretch and handed the Red Raiders a 10-point win.

Earlier, South Dakota State was tied with Big Ten hopeful Ohio State with just 90 seconds remaining, but another complete implosion gave the Buckeyes a pass to the next round. Elsewhere, Houston eked out a 67-65 win over San Diego State. Onto the late games!

UPDATE: 7:23 PM

We missed out on giving you a schedule for the late games but that’s ok.

The first big news is the first major upset of the Tournament. The Loyola Chicago Ramblers, a campus down the street from Evanston, earned a stunning 64-62 win over Miami. Donte Ingram hit a three at the buzzer, creating an instant March Madness classic.

Loyola was down by 5 down the stretch at one point, but it will now face No. 3 seed Tennessee for a spot in the Sweet 16 on Saturday. It’s been a dream season for Loyola, making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1985.

UPDATE: 2:00 PM

How to watch the late afternoon games:

No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 12 South Dakota State - 3:00 PM CST on TNT

No. 8 Seton Hall vs. No. 9 NC State - 3:30 PM CST on TBS

All games are streaming live on the March Madness app.

Let’s do this thing.

LOYOLA TIME

Ian: For anyone wondering Zach Collins is currently averaging 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds a game for the Portland Trail Blazers. Also UNCG coming.

NC: Zags extremely shook

NC: Only the feds, Tristan. Only the feds. I’m especially pulling for Donte Ingram and Lucas Williamson, my Real Chicago fam.

These cheap fouls are killing UNCG. I hate it.

Ian: Penn game is back. But I think the dream might be dead. WAIT I MAY HAVE SPOKEN TOO SOON.

NC: Spartans hanging around, but I don’t think they can get over the top. Still plenty of time though

Ian: All 5 Penn players just got outrebounded by some dude who’s last name is Lightfoot. And then Kansas hit a three and then Penn missed two free throws. Things are going well.

NC: Successful reverse jinx! Here come the Spartans and their two short, bearded guards who only shoot midrange and floaters!

Meanwhile, it’s time for America to rally around the true America’s Team: whoever is playing Duke. (Iona)

Ian: I would just like to say this should be our only mention of Duke today unless Iona is winning.

NC: Everybody should be watching UNCG-Gonzaga. The teams are combining to shoot 7-38 from three.

Ian: UPDATE: NCAA is shorting Loyola as LOYCHI, which sounds like some sort of fancy diet food.

NC: Very strange. Also, Kansas is pulling away. Spartans cut it to 1!

Ian: That was one of the worst three-point attempts I have ever seen.

NC: Ian, they’re now combining to go 7-41 from 3. Never said it was good basketball.

Wow, they really messed up the shot clock right there. UNCG gets screwed after the offensive rebound, having to force up a shot, and now the Zags at the line. Also, all 4 games within 5 right now!

TJ: Four interesting games on now. Everything on tap. Penn has cut it to five. Zags tied. ARE WE FEELING THE MADNESS?

Ian: Would you say that…… This is March.

NC: DEMETRIUS TROY BALLING. And yes………………...it is March.

Ian: If UNCG can pull this off I think it really opens up this region for Xavier. Don’t think they have a tough game until the the Elite Eight. Then if they get lucky and don’t have to play UNC they’re in really good shape for the Final Four.

TJ: Yeah, Xavier is really good, but there’s still UNC and Michigan.

NC: Dammit. Norvell is really good. Chicago kid on the big stage, so I’m happy for him in that regard.

And now it’s basically over. Oh well, fun while it lasted.

Ian: I am unbelievably excited for this terrible rushed three point attempt from UNCG that hits like the shot clock or something. Sorry I meant an offensive foul, then two missed free throws then a three that rimmed out.

NC: OH NO

Thought that was in for sure. Hell of a game. Great start to this tournament

Ian: We’re in a weird point right now where Kansas might pull away, D*** is looking to pull away and Loyola is too early to be super compelling. Might be lunch time for me soon.

NC: Definitely lunch time, but also LOYOLA TIME. I’m all in on the Ramblers now.

Ok, all three games are stagnating. It’s beginning to look like prime break time.

Kansas put the finishing touches on Penn, D*** takes a comfortable lead into the break against Iona, and Loyola leads Miami late in the first half. We’ll be back shortly.


UPDATE: 10:15 AM

How to watch the early afternoon games:

No. 7 Rhode Island vs. No. 10 Oklahoma - 11:15 AM CST on CBS

No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Wright State - 11:40 AM CST on TruTV

No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 13 UNC-Greensboro - 12:30 PM CST on TNT

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Penn - 1:00 PM CST on TBS

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Iona - 1:45 PM CST on CBS

No. 6 Miami (FL) vs. No. 11 Loyola Chicago - 2:10 PM on TruTV

All games are streaming live on the March Madness app.

Well writers, we’ll kick things off with an easy question, just give us your Final Four now that brackets are locked in. No explanations, just names.

Tristan: Kentucky, Gonzaga, Villanova, Duke

Caleb: Cincinnati, Gonzaga, West Virginia, Kansas

Will: Virginia, Gonzaga, Purdue, Duke

Noah: Virginia, Michigan, Villanova, Duke

Oklahoma vs Rhody

TJ: Hey guys, Remember when Oklahoma beat Northwestern by 30 and we thought they were the best team in the country? That was a fun time.

NC: Definitely looking forward to them getting beaten handily by the Rams. That’s my pick in this one, by the way. Look out for Jared Terrell!

NC: Idk if we’re still doing this, but I told y’all to watch out for Jared Terrell.

We’re still doing this

NC: Oklahoma’s supporting cast looked so much better against Northwestern than they did in these last 15 games. I don’t get it. Anyways, Russell or Terrell are definitely about to ice it.

TJ: Then what happened.

Ian: *logs into chat*

LETS DO THE THING RAMS

TJ: What a terrible foul.

Ian: After a sweet airball from Rhody too...Time for a buzzer beater...Oh my……

TJ: NOOOOOOO RHODE ISLAND WHAT

NC: I was very much sure that was going in. I’m very sad. (Also, I have the under in this game. Doubly sad.)

[Alright, if you missed it, Rhode Island blew a late lead and had a buzzer-beating putback to win but it rimmed out.]

NC: Good god. Penn doing the thing. Also, don’t sleep on UNCG. Uncharacteristically cold in the first half, but they still got a real shot.

Ian: Looks Like Tennessee will be our first blowout of the day, which is fine.

Also can I say, and I am biased because I’m a Knicks fan but, Reggie Miller is not good.

NC: Better in college IMO, but that whole thing at the end of regulation where he kept talking about subbing out Russell because they wanted a bigger defender even though Rhody had the ball was….bad. Why can nobody on Rhode Island shoot anymore? What is this?

NC: Good god. Penn doing the thing. Also, don’t sleep on UNCG. Uncharacteristically cold in the first half, but they still got a real shot.

Ian: Looks Like Tennessee over Wright State will be our first blowout of the day, which is fine. Also can I say, and I am biased because I’m a Knicks fan but, Reggie Miller is not good.

NC: Better in college IMO, but that whole thing at the end of regulation where he kept talking about subbing out Russell because they wanted a bigger defender even though Rhody had the ball was….bad. Why can nobody on Rhode Island shoot anymore? What is this?

Ian: One of my favorite things is when the fans start chanting air ball even though the team got the offensive rebound and then the other team scores. Also Rhodey looks gassed.

REGGIE YOU WOULDN’T BE MAD AT TRAE SHOOTING 35 FOOTERS IF THEY WENT IN

NC: Yeah but at the same time...he is a little cold right now. Get to the hoop, Trae.

Oklahoma has officially been cursed. Whenever Trae doesn’t touch it for 5 seconds at a time they turn it over. Lol they’re just straight up doubling Trae now

TJ: Rhode Island gonna do the thing come on.

NC: LOL THEY KEEP TURNING IT OVER

As Trae grows stronger, his team must weaken.

Ian: We need Rhode Island to finish this so we can all go watch America’s Team beat Kansas.

NC: I’m double screening right now, and it’s a blessed experience. Also, I’d push back on “America’s team” solely because of some of Penn’s current notable alumni

Ian: I mean technically that just makes their case for that title stronger soooooooooo

NC: POPULAR VOTE, IAN! POPULAR VOTE!

Dagggerrrrr

Ian: *incredibly Bill Rafferty voice* ONIONS

NC: GOOD LORD EC

Alright. I don’t want to be that guy, but my over/under line is 158 and it’s gonna be close.

I am sad. Also, Kansas took the lead. Very sad.

Ian: The end of that game was bizarre.

NC: Yeah, I don’t know what to say about that. My take is that my Rhody over Duke upset remains alive and well, and I’m looking forward to it coming to fruition. Kansas on a 19-3 run. Yikes.

Ian: The only upset I desperately want is Cal. State Fullerton over Purdue. West Lafayette would burn to the ground. Well Penn is at half now so it’s time to watch Gonzaga basketball for the first time in a year.