March Madness TV guide for Thursday’s games

March 19

American coach Mike Brennan and the 15th-seeded Eagles play No. 2 Wisconsin on Thursday afternoon. (Morry Gash/AP)

Only have one TV for your viewing pleasure? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered for the endless madness. Here’s a guide to which games are worth watching Thursday, using a rating system of some of the most well-known college basketball announcers of past and present.


South: No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Dayton (12:15 p.m., CBS): This could be the last chance to watch pesky point guard Aaron Craft — yes, he’s still in college. Plus, you can make a drinking game out of how many times the announcers refer to the Ohio State senior as “the best on-ball defender.” Rating: Dick Vitale

West: No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 15 American (12:40 p.m., TruTV): The Eagles held their opponents to an average of 44 points in their three-game run to the Patriot League title. With both teams ranking in the top 50 in points allowed, expect a slow-paced, 3-point shooting slugfest. Rating: Clark Kellogg

South: No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh (1:40 p.m., TBS): Watching someone grab rebounds isn’t exactly as exciting as watching someone throw down an alley-oop, but when you pull in 21 boards — like Pittsburgh’s Talib Zanna did in a game last week — it’s pretty cool. Rating: Clark Kellogg

East: No. 5 Cincinnati vs. No. 12 Harvard (2:10 p.m., TNT): It’s hard to see an Ivy League team and not think of Princeton’s near upset of top-seeded Georgetown in 1989. Harvard winning this one wouldn’t be much of a surprise, though — the Crimson won a tourney game last year. Rating: Gus Johnson

South: No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 14 Western Michigan (2:45 p.m., CBS): Syracuse only plays in close games. It doesn’t matter who the Orange face, it’s bound to come down to the last possession. Bet against the spread because this will be closer than expected. Rating: Dick Vitale

West: No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 BYU (3:10 p.m., TruTV): The Cougars are third in the country in scoring (84.2 points per game), while the Ducks rank 11th (81.8 ppg). When these two teams played in December, Oregon won 100-96 in overtime. This should be fun. Rating: Gus Johnson

South: No. 1 Florida vs. No. 16 Albany (4:10 p.m., TBS): The Gators are the top overall seed and have won 26 straight games. Florida’s last loss was Dec. 2 to UConn. The winning streak is not going to end today vs. Albany, which won a first-round game just to play the Gators. Rating: Billy Packer

East: No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 13 Delaware (4:40 p.m., TNT): The Blue Hens won the CAA regular season and tournament. They had a good enough résumé to earn a No. 13 seed. But they can’t be happy they’ll play a No. 4 seed that has the second-best odds to win the whole thing. Rating: Dick Vitale

East: No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 10 Saint Joseph’s (6:55 p.m., TBS): One of the best backcourt matchups in the second round. The Huskies’ do-everything guard Shabazz Napier — who leads his team in points, rebounds and assists — faces Hawks clutch leading scorer Langston Galloway. Rating: Gus Johnson

Midwest: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 15 Wofford (7:10 p.m., CBS): There are a lot of similarities between the Wolverines and the Terriers. Both are guard-dominated teams that lack size, resulting in poor rebounding numbers. But the talent isn’t exactly similar, so this might be a blowout. Rating: Billy Packer

Midwest: No. 5 Saint Louis vs. No. 12 N.C. State (7:20 p.m., TNT): What’s happened to the Billikens? After winning 19 straight games, they lost four of their last five — including falling to Saint Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10 tournament. Looking for a 12-5 upset? Start here. Rating: Dick Vitale

West: No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 North Dakota State (7:27 p.m., TruTV): Here’s another potential 12-5 upset. The Bison have won 14 of their past 15 and shoot an NCAA-best 50.9 percent from the field. Meanwhile, the Sooners rank 308th in points allowed. Rating: Dick Vitale

East: No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 Milwaukee (9:25 p.m., TBS): The Panthers beat a Green Bay team that has an early-season win over a Virginia team that crushed a Syracuse team that handed Villanova one of its four losses this season. That’s four degrees of separation. Rating: Clark Kellogg

Midwest: No. 7 Texas vs. No. 10 Arizona State (9:40 p.m., CBS): A matchup of reeling teams. The Longhorns have lost five of their past eight, while the Sun Devils have lost five of seven. It’s tough to pick which one of these teams will lose to Michigan in the next round. Rating: Billy Packer

Midwest: No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 Manhattan (9:50 p.m., TNT): The Cardinals won their past four games by an average of 33.3 points on their way to an AAC title, then got disrespected by the selection committee with a No. 4 seed. Will they take it out on the Jaspers? Rating: Dick Vitale

West: No. 4 San Diego State vs. No. 13 New Mexico State (9:57 p.m., TruTV): Despite getting as high as No. 5 in the AP rankings, the Aztecs have been under the radar most of the season. Xavier Thames leads San Diego against the Aggies, whose logo is pretty much Burt Reynolds with a lasso. Rating: Clark Kellogg

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Rick Snider · March 19