While the 2018 NCAA Tournament has technically already begun, with 16-seed Radford and 11-seed St. Bonaventure each winning their First Four matchups on Tuesday night in Dayton, the first full day of tournament action won’t tip-off until Thursday afternoon.
The first weekend of March Madness is always a treat, with 16 games on both Thursday and Friday occupying nearly 12 straight hours of TV time. As we near tip-off in that first game, millions are frantically filling out their brackets and trying to find an edge over their friends, co-workers and strangers in their pools.
While we’ve given out our picks, potential Cinderellas and NBA prospects to watch, we also wanted to check in with some of the experts that will be covering the action for CBS Sports and Turner over the coming weeks for their thoughts on teams and players to watch in the tournament. We spoke with former college stars and current CBS Sports analysts Wally Szczerbiak and Brendan Haywood (who also does studio work with Turner) about the teams and players they’re looking to make some noise over the coming weeks as they get set for CBS Sports’ coverage of the tournament.
Haywood has experience from his North Carolina days of what it’s like to be a top seed that makes a Final Four run (and sees a first weekend exit), while Szczerbiak helped lead a 10-seed Miami University to the Sweet 16. We asked them what general traits they look for in top teams that indicate they’re primed for a deep run (or an early exit) and from double-digit seeds that make them dangerous to pull upset, before getting more into specifics on this year’s action.