How to Watch March Madness 2021: First Four on March 18




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basketball fans watching tv

March Madness will tip-off with a packed schedule in the First Four play-in games. Traditionally, the First Four games are played on the Tuesday after Selection Sunday; however, due to the pandemic, these games will be played on Thursday, March 18. With this year’s tournament taking place in a bubble in Indiana, the First Four games will be played at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and Mackey Arena.

The Selection Committee uses the First Four play-in games as a way to narrow the 68-team NCAA tournament down to the 64-team bracket. 31 automatic qualifiers and 37 at-large bids combine to make up the 68 participants in the tournament. They’re ranked from 1-68 with the four lowest-seeded automatic qualifiers, and the four lowest-seeded at-large teams making up the eight teams to compete in the First Four. To make things fair, the at-large teams will face each other, and the automatic qualifiers go head-to-head.

Get your bracket ready as the First Four games tip-off Thursday night. Cord cutters can find out how to watch all of Thursday night’s games below.

The Games – Start Times and Channel

(16) Texas Southern vs. (16) Mount St. Mary’s5:10 p.m. ETtruTV
(11) Drake vs. (11) Wichita St.6:27 p.m. ETTBS
(16) Appalachian St. vs. (16) Norfolk St.8:40 p.m. ETtruTV
(11) UCLA vs. (11) Michigan St.9:57 p.m. ETTBS

March Madness will tip-off at 5:10 p.m. ET on truTV, when (16) Texas Southern Tigers takes on (16) Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers at the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. The winner of this game will look to go on and be a giant killer by pulling off an upset against the East Region’s top-seed Michigan.

Madness will continue on TBS at 6:27 p.m. ET when two No. 11-seeds go head-to-head at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. Making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008, the 25-4 Drake Bulldogs are in for a tough contest against 16-5 Wichita St. Shockers, where the winner will face (6) USC Trojans in the West Region.

At 8:40 p.m. ET on truTV, the 16th seed in the West Region will be decided at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. Two east coast schools go head-to-head as (16) 17-11 Appalachian St. Mountaineers take on (16) 16-7 Norfolk St. Spartans, where the winner will face the top-overall seed in the tournament undefeated Gonzaga.

The last game of tonight’s First Four will tip-off at 9:57 p.m. ET on TBS. Another pair of No. 11 teams will battle it out to see who will move on in the East Region. The 17-9 UCLA Bruins will compete against the 15-12 Michigan State Spartans at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. Both teams are looking to return to their glory days in their chase to a championship by becoming a spoiler to (6) Baylor in the First Round.

Where to watch the First Four

Cord cutters can watch every single moment of each game of the First Four with Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, or any compatible devices by subscribing to any one of these live TV streaming services.

Starting Monthly PriceCBSTBSTNTtruTV
Hulu w/ Live$64.99XXXX
fubo TV (Starter)$64.99X

Sling TV (Blue + Orange)$50
YouTube TV$64.99XXXX

March Madness Live: By using your subscription TV login credentials you can gain unlimited access to every live game from their phone, tablet, PC, or any device with March Madness Live.

Check out our full guide on how to watch all of March Madness here.

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