The NCAA wasted no time releasing the tip times and TV schedule for the Elite Eight, as the information leaked out in the middle of Arizona-Xavier.
Anyone who watches March Madness will usually know when the next round starts right after one ends. Once the Thursday slate of Sweet 16 games are wrapped up, the first half of the Elite Eight is determined, so why not come up with the tip times and TV schedule on the spot?
While Arizona and Xavier were still playing, the NCAA released the schedule for the Elite Eight. Gonzaga will get the early game, while Kansas vs. Oregon takes the primetime slot. Both games will be on TBS.
While we know Sunday’s tip times, a lot could still change, such as who plays the early game. It makes sense that they would schedule the Gonzaga game earlier. While the Bulldogs vs. Arizona would be a heavyweight tilt, they could end up facing Xavier instead. And while they’ve been a great Cinderella story, it won’t bring in the same numbers ratings-wise.
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Perhaps the reason why the NCAA released the Elite Eight schedule early is because they think Kansas is a lock for the Final Four. With their dismantling of Purdue, they became the first team since UConn in 1995 to score at least 90 points in their first three Tournament games. While Oregon is a good team, they’ve been sorely missing Chris Boucher. If he was available, perhaps they don’t struggle against Rhode Island and Michigan.
Anyone who doesn’t have basic cable will hate that Saturday’s games are on TBS. Some thought they would be done with the Turner family after the Round of 32, but it’s clear they want to drive up that network’s ratings. But from Sunday onwards, every game will be on CBS.
With the Elite Eight tip times already set, it’s hard not to get excited for it already.