This is arguably the greatest stretch for sports fans with March Madness, followed by The Masters (I may be a little biased, as there’s nothing quite like that “Tradition unlike any other”). As an aside, it’s a pretty decent stretch for the man who coined that phrase (Jim Nantz) and gets to call all the action, huh?
In the “old days” (you know, when we (our parents) used to have to walk both ways to school...uphill...without any shoes), you weren’t able to watch any NCAA Tournament game you liked. TV executives picked a game for each region of the country to be shown on CBS, and you were stuck with said game, often times even late into blowouts (if you don’t remember/don’t believe me/want to go back in time, here’s a coverage map from just nine years ago!). Fortunately, in the last few years, a agreement was made with Turner Broadcasting, allowing TBS, TNT, and TruTV to show games, as well, meaning every game would be shown in its entirety.
What does this mean for Florida State’s opening game vs. Florida Gulf Coast Thursday? If you don’t have tickets to watch FSU in Orlando, you can see the Seminoles around 9:30 pm (following the conclusion of Maryland vs. Xavier) on TNT, with Ian Eagle (one of the most underrated/humorous play-by-play guys in the business), Steve Lavin (former head coach at UCLA), and Evan Washburn (sideline reporter). Here’s the complete list of tip times, channels, and announcers (feel free to take at least half a day off work Thursday and Friday).
For more about Florida State’s opener, check out the draw (and historical significance), whether Las Vegas likes the tested team from the ACC, or Cinderella (as many of the talking heads seemingly do), the real “Dunk City”, a deeper look into the Eagles (a team with Florida State ties), and the economics behind the NCAA Tournament and why you might want to wear your conference hat the next few weeks and chant: “A-C-C, A-C-C, A-C-C”.