The madness has arrived.

The NCAA Tournament opens tonight with a pair of first-round games. While you may think these games are really played for the winners to be sacrificial lambs in their next matchup with a higher seed, don't forget VCU's run to the Final Four in 2011 began in one of these so-called "play-in" games, so anything can happen.

And if you're hungry for more hoops, the NIT kicks off this evening, as well, with those teams who weren't quite good enough for the NCAAs trying to show the committee they made a mistake. Defending national champion Kentucky earned a top seed, but will begin the NIT on the road because Rupp Arena will host NCAA Tournament games in the second and third rounds.

Here's a look at tonight's sports schedule. All times Eastern:


Orlando at Indiana 7 p.m.

Portland at Milwaukee 8 p.m.

Denver at Oklahoma City 8 p.m.

Los Angeles Clippers at Sacramento 10 p.m.

NCAA Men’s Basketball

NCAA Tournament – First Round

(16) North Carolina A&T vs. (16) Liberty 6:40 p.m. (truTV)

(11) Middle Tennessee State vs. (11) St. Mary’s 9:10 p.m. (truTV)


(7) Niagara at (2) Maryland 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

(5) St. John's at (4) Saint Joseph's 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

(5) Louisiana Tech at (4) Florida State 7:15 p.m.

(1) Kentucky at (8) Robert Morris 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

(8) Norfolk State at (1) Virginia 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

(8) Northeastern at (1) Alabama 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

(6) Ohio at (3) Denver 9:15 p.m.

(6) Washington at (3) Brigham Young 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

(5) Stephen F. Austin at (4) Stanford 11 p.m. (ESPN2)


New York Rangers at New Jersey 7 p.m.

Ottawa at NY Islanders 7 p.m.

Florida at Carolina 7 p.m.

Nashville at Columbus 7 p.m.

Buffalo at Montreal 7:30 p.m.

Washington at Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m.

Boston at Winnipeg 8 p.m.

St. Louis at Vancouver 10 p.m.

Phoenix at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m.