March Madness! More on This Highly-Anticipated Competition in 2021

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The third month on our calendar brings about holidays like St. Patrick's Day when everyone's a little Irish along with the Ides of March. History tells us to Beware the Ides of March on the 15th which dates back to ancient Roman times with religious observances along with a time to settle debts. On the college sports scene, March Madness is the time when these athletes settle the question of who is the best basketball team in the NCAA (National College Athletic Association). Let's take a closer look at the brouhaha behind this bracketed breakdown that leads to the annual crowning of the top team in the league.  

A Brief Background Behind the Term March Madness

Sources say the first recorded reference to the term "March Madness" in basketball was by Henry V. Porter, the assistant executive secretary of the IHSA (Illinois High School Association). This former teacher and coach led the Athens High School team to a second-place finish in their tournament and would later coin the term. In 1939, Porter wrote that a "little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel" in an issue of the Illinois High School Athlete magazine.

For sports trivia buffs, coincidentally, this was the same year Oregon beat Ohio State to win the first NCAA championship on March 27, 1939. Although Porter is said to be the first to use the crazy title, etymologist and wordsmith Barry Popik claimed the phrase in reference to the state high school basketball tournament in Indiana as early as 1931. Fast-forward to the early 1980s, and it's believed sportscaster Brent Musburger used the phrase "March Madness" in association with the NCAA tournament. 

More About the March Madness Tournament

Straight from the source at NCAA, March Madness is "a single-elimination tournament of 68 teams that compete in seven rounds for the national championship." The last round is known as the Final Four when obviously only four teams remain. Prior to the playoffs, Selection Sunday is when the NCAA reveals the full tournament bracket with all the teams and ranked seeds who will be competing. 

Due to the global pandemic, March Madness will look different from years played in the past. For example, the 2020 tournament was canceled altogether and all the 2021 games will be played in Indiana with the majority of them unfolding in Indianapolis. In this light, here's a calendar with scheduled times (ET or Eastern Time) for this year's games along with a link to a printable bracket available from the NCAA:

  • Selection Sunday — 6 p.m. March 14 on CBS
  • First Four — 4 p.m. start on Thursday, March 18 on truTV, TBS
  • First-Round — 12 p.m. start on Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20 on TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV
  • Second-Round — 12 p.m. start on Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22 on TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV
  • Sweet Sixteen — 2 p.m. start on Saturday, March 27, and 1 p.m. start on Sunday, March 28 on CBS (afternoon games), TBS (primetime games)
  • Elite Eight — 7 p.m. start on Monday, March 29, and 6 p.m. start on Tuesday, March 30 on CBS (Monday) and TBS (Tuesday)
  • Final Four — 5 p.m. start on Saturday, April 3 on CBS
  • NCAA's Championship Game — 9 p.m. Monday, April 5 on CBS

To find the channel numbers in your area, please visit our channel guide

Where and How to Watch

Along with CBS and Turner Sports, the games will also be aired on TBS, TNT, and other digital platforms like truTV. Don't forget you can get access to your favorite shows and sporting events almost anywhere on the go with Buckeye TV Everywhere or use Stream TV to watch on most devices. If you have any more questions on how and where to watch entertainment with Buckeye Broadband, please contact us today. Good luck to all the athletes, coaches, staff, and may the best team win. Here's hoping your favorite makes it all the way to the championship game on Monday, April 5th, 2021. 

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