St. Peter's guard Jaylen Murray
St. Peter's guard Jaylen Murray (32) drives past Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler, right, during the first half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

HOW TO WATCH THE SWEET 16

Mike Shara

Is there any event in sports more reliable for thrills than the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament? I honestly don’t think it’s even debatable – every other playoff tournament is fighting for second place. In some ways it isn’t fair to compare it to other postseasons – not every game in the MLB, NHL or NBA playoffs is an elimination game like they all are during March Madness and though every NFL playoff game is an elimination game, there are only 13 of them every year, so the chances of an amazing game happening are lower. The size and structure of this tournament and the constant threat of upsets, miracles and epic mistakes makes it unmissable every single year and this year has already proven to be no different.

We’ve already had one #1 seed eliminated (defending national champions Baylor), and two other #1s barely escaped the second round (Arizona needed overtime to beat TCU and Gonzaga hung on vs. Memphis). We had a #2 seed upset in the first round (Kentucky, which I think most folks enjoyed). We are already guaranteed that either a #10 or a #11 seeded school will reach the Elite Eight, as the Midwest’s 10th and 11th seeds – Miami and Iowa State – will face each other on Friday night. Only one of the four regions has its top four seeds remaining and that’s in the West, where both games figure to be absolute battles. We have another #11 seed still alive in the South Region as Michigan has upset both Tennessee and Colorado State.

And then we have this year’s Cinderella

 The #15 seeded St. Peter’s Peacocks have become everyone’s new favorite team after they shocked #2 Kentucky in overtime in the first round and then laid the wood to #7 seed (and a lot of folks’ 2022 sleeper pick) Murray State in the round of 32. They were the first two NCAA Tournament wins in the history of the small Metro Atlantic Conference school (approximately 3,500 students) from Jersey City. The Peacocks have been led by guard Daryl Banks III and 6’7” forward KC Ndefo, whose only scholarship offer from a Division I school was St. Pete’s. A lot of us who don’t have a rooting interest in a particular team because our alma mater isn’t playing will be rooting hard for St. Peter’s as they try to continue their miraculous run against #3 Purdue on Friday night.

After all the mayhem of the previous weekend’s broadcast schedule, things are generally easier to pin down now, with two games on TBS (from Chicago) and CBS (from Philadelphia) on both Thursday and Friday nights and then the Elite Eight round on TBS Saturday night and on CBS Sunday afternoon/early evening.

All games are shown on either CBS or TBS but can be streamed elsewhere at March Madness Live and on subscription sites like Paramount+, Hulu+ and on Sling TV. In Canada all games will be simulcast on TSN.

THURSDAY, MARCH  24

WEST REGION SEMIFINAL#4 Arkansasvs.#1 Gonzaga7:09 pmCBS
SOUTH REGION SEMIFINAL#11 Michiganvs.#2 Villanova7:29 pmTBS
WEST REGION SEMIFINAL#3 Texas Techvs.#2 Duke9:39 pmCBS
SOUTH REGION SEMIFINAL#5 Houstonvs.#1 Arizona9:59 pmTBS

FRIDAY, MARCH 25

EAST REGION SEMIFINAL#15 St. Peter’svs.#3 Purdue7:09 pmCBS
MIDWEST REGION SEMIFINAL#4 Providencevs.#1 Kansas7:29 pmTBS
EAST REGION SEMIFINAL#8 North Carolinavs.#4 UCLA9:39 pmCBS
MIDWEST REGION SEMIFINAL#11 Iowa Statevs.#10 Miami9:59 pmTBS

SATURDAY, MARCH 26

WEST REGION FINALTBDvs.TBD6:00 pmTBS
SOUTH REGION FINALTBDvs.TBD8:45 pm (approx.)TBS

SUNDAY, MARCH 27

EAST REGIONAL FINALTBDvs.TBD2:00 pmCBS
MIDWEST REGIONAL FINALTBDvs.TBD4:45 pm (approx.)CBS

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