2024 March Madness live stream: NCAA Tournament TV schedule, watch basketball streaming online Friday

Heading into Friday’s 2024 NCAA Tournament schedule, the field has already been narrowed from 64 to 48 teams after the first day of Round 1 action. By the end of Friday, we will have just 32 teams advancing to the weekend to play for a spot in the Sweet 16. If Thursday’s results are to be replicated, we are going to see some double-digit seeds advance and at least a couple thrilling finishes that deliver on the promise of getting madness in March. 

For example, Friday’s slate features No. 11 New Mexico going up against No. 6 Clemson in West Region action from Memphis (3:10 p.m. ET, TruTV) one day after multiple No. 11 seeds scored upsets their first-round games. We also will get to see if the familiar tradition of a First Four team making it into the second round will be celebrated as No. 10 Colorado, which beat Boise State on Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio, turns right around to play No. 7 Florida (4:30 p.m. ET, TBS). 

If upset alerts aren’t your thing, do not worry because Friday is also a day for the heavyweights. Four of the top six teams with the best odds to win the national championship are going to be tipping off their respective NCAA Tournament campaigns. 

Let’s get into some of the big storylines and games to keep an eye on for Friday’s first-round action. 

Three No. 1 seeds begin NCAA Tournament runs   

North Carolina was the only No. 1 seed to take the court on Thursday, leaving the three remaining top seeds to headline on Friday. The three No. 1 seeds playing Friday are not only the three top overall seeds in the selection committee’s ranking, but they’re also the three teams that have occupied the sport‘s top tier for most of the 2024 calendar year. 

At different points, you could argue for UConn, Houston or Purdue as the best team in the country. No matter which one you choose, there hasn’t been another contender to come close to their level for much of what we’ve seen this season. 

No. 1 overall seed UConn is the first to go as the Huskies face No. 16 Stetson in East Region action from Brooklyn (2:45 p.m. ET, CBS). The home cooking should be in full effect for the Huskies, who have a favorable draw based on site locations. What they also have, however, is arguably the toughest region to navigate in the entire bracket. 

The next No. 1 seed is the one that will receive the most attention as Purdue will play its first NCAA Tournament game since becoming the second-ever No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 last season when the Boilermakers face Grambling in Indianapolis (7:25 p.m. ET, TBS). The echoes of FDU will ring throughout the game as Purdue battles not just a No. 16 seed but a No. 16 seed that is hot having won their First Four game in Dayton, Ohio. Grambling mounted an impressive comeback win against Montana State on Wednesday night, and now the Tigers are playing with house money against the Midwest Region’s top seed. 

The late window will be highlighted by Houston, the No. 1 seed in the South Region, going up against No. 16 Longwood (9:20 p.m. ET, TNT) as the Cougars look to bounce back from a blowout loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament title game.        

Another run for 2023 Final Four teams 

Three of the four teams who were in last year’s Final Four have returned to the NCAA Tournament, and all three of those teams are playing their first round game on Friday. Even more curious is all three of those teams are in the same region (East) and the same corner of the bracket, meaning it’s possible that UConn could have to face two programs that were in last year’s Final Four in order to advance to the Elite Eight. One of those teams, No. 8 FAU, plays in the early game before the Huskies take the floor, facing off against No. 9 Northwestern (12:15 p.m. ET, CBS). Chris Collins’ Wildcats are in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season and third time ever with all three appearances coming during his tenure. FAU fell short of preseason expectations this season given the talent returning from last year’s Final Four run, but the Owls did take down Arizona in the nonconference and have just as much upset potential for a top seed as they did a year ago. But, first comes beating Northwestern, a team that rarely goes away quietly with the likes of Boo Buie leading the way. 

No. 5 San Diego State also resides in the East Region, and last year’s national runner-up will be tipping off in between UConn and FAU in the early game from Spokane against No. 12 UAB (1:45 p.m. ET, TNT). The Aztecs went 24-10 this season after finishing second only to UConn in last year’s NCAA Tournament, and head coach Brian Dutcher has many of the key pieces from that run back with hopes of repeating postseason success. San Diego State has a challenging pod there in Spokane for the first weekend of tournament play, joined by the conference tournament champions from the SEC (No. 4 Auburn), AAC (No. 12 UAB) and the Ivy League (No. 13 Yale). If the Aztecs can win on Friday, they’ll play the winner of the late afternoon game between Auburn and Yale (4:15 p.m. ET, TNT).       

Tyler Kolek’s return

No team on the No. 1 seed or No. 2 seed line had a bigger question mark heading into the tournament than Marquette, the No. 2 seed in the South Region. The Golden Eagles did not have star point guard Tyler Kolek for their last six games due to an oblique injury and went 3-3 over that stretch. Kolek ranks second in the nation, averaging 7.6 assists per game as the primary engine for Marquette’s offense, and his efforts this season prior to suffering the injury resulted in second team All-American honors from the Associated Press. When you are one of the best point guards in the country, you are clearly a key piece to your team’s NCAA Tournament ceiling. If Kolek is not full go for Marquette when it starts its tournament run in the first round against No. 15 Western Kentucky (2 p.m. ET, TBS), then the expectations for what the Golden Eagles can do both in that game and in the first weekend are going to be adjusted. 

The good news is that Shaka Smart told reporters this week that Kolek has been participating in five-on-five full-court drills back on campus in anticipation of making his return to action this weekend. Marquette was 22-6 with Kolek, last year’s Big East Player of the Year, leading the way, ranking as a top-10 team in the AP Top 25 since late January. We expect top-10 teams to make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament, but Marquette is much less likely to accomplish that feat without its best player in the lineup. Kolek’s form as he returns from injury is a key to that potential deep run and something to monitor when Marquette hits the court on Friday. 

Check out the full TV and streaming schedule for Friday’s first round games below.

Friday, March 22
Barclays Center — Brooklyn | Gainbridge Fieldhouse — Indianapolis | FedEx Forum — Memphis | Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena — Spokane

4 p.m. (13) Yale vs. (4) Auburn TNT (watch live)
4:30 p.m. (10) Colorado/Boise State vs. (7) Florida TBS (watch live)
6:50 p.m. (9) Texas A&M vs. (8) Nebraska TNT (watch live)
7:10 p.m. (13) Vermont vs. (4) Duke CBS (watch live)
7:25 p.m. (16) Grambling State vs. (1) Purdue TBS (watch live)
7:35 p.m. (13) College of Charleston vs. (4) Alabama truTV (watch live)
9:20 p.m. (16) Longwood vs. (1) Houston TNT (watch live)
9:40 p.m. (12) James Madison vs. (5) Wisconsin CBS (watch live)
9:55 p.m. (9) TCU vs. (8) Utah State TBS (watch live)
10:05 p.m. (12) Grand Canyon vs. (5) Saint Mary’s truTV (watch live)

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