Last month, the NCAA announced the schedule for this year’s slightly condensed, Indiana-centric men’s basketball tournament. On Wednesday, CBS and Turner announced the game windows that will fill out that schedule.

Of note: the Selection Show will air on Sunday March 14th at 6 PM on CBS, and will be a one-hour broadcast. After turning the Selection Show into an unwatchable farce, CBS cut it back to an hour in 2019 (and had the same plans for 2020 before [gestures at everything]) and received wide acclaim.

As usual, games will air on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV. CBS gets the National Championship, Final Four, two of the four Elite Eight games, and four of the eight Sweet 16 games, while TBS gets the other two Elite Eight games and other four Sweet 16 games. Each network gets four First Round games on both Friday and Saturday, while seven second round games air on CBS, four air on each of TBS and TNT, and truTV gets one. The First Four will air on TBS and truTV, with each network airing two games.

Anyway, here’s the schedule. All times are Eastern, and are subject to change. I apologize for the somewhat clunky nature, but it’s not easy to put together a coherent and readable schedule when you’re dealing with four networks, multiple rounds, and multiple days per round.

First Four

  • Thursday, March 18th
    • truTV: 5 PM, 8:30 PM
    • TBS: 6:20 PM, 9:50 PM

First Round

  • Friday, March 19th
    • CBS: 12 PM, 2:45 PM, 7 PM, 9:30 PM
    • TNT: 1:30 PM, 4:20 PM, 7:15 PM, 9:50 PM
    • TBS: 1 PM, 3:50 PM, 6:15 PM, 9:10 PM
    • truTV: 12:30 PM, 3:20 PM, 7 PM, 9:45 PM
  • Saturday, March 20th
    • CBS: 12 PM, 2:45 PM, 7 PM, 9:30 PM
    • TNT: 1:30 PM, 4:20 PM, 7:15 PM, 9:50 PM
    • TBS: 1 PM, 3:50 PM, 6:15 PM, 9:10 PM
    • truTV: 12:30 PM, 3:20 PM, 7 PM, 9:45 PM

Second Round

  • Sunday, March 21st
    • CBS: 12 PM, 2:30 PM, 5 PM
    • TNT: 6 PM, 8:30 PM
    • TBS: 7 PM, 9:30 PM
    • truTV: 7:30 PM
  • Monday, March 22nd
    • CBS: 12 PM, 2:30 PM, 7 PM, 9:30 PM
    • TNT: 6 PM, 8:30 PM
    • TBS: 5 PM, 7:30 PM

Sweet 16

  • Saturday, March 27th
    • CBS: 2:30 PM, 5 PM
    • TBS: 7:15 PM, 9:45 PM
  • Sunday, March 28th
    • CBS: 2 PM, 4:45 PM
    • TBS: 7 PM, 9:30 PM

Elite Eight

  • Monday, March 29th
    • CBS: 7 PM, 9:45 PM
  • Tuesday, March 30th
    • TBS: 7 PM, 9:45 PM

Final Four

  • Saturday, April 3rd
    • CBS: 5 PM, 8:30 PM

National Championship

  • Monday, April 5th
    • CBS: 9 PM

Skimming this schedule compared to the 2019 schedule, the overall start times seem pretty consistent for the first two rounds. Yes, there are differences by as much as a half hour, and some of the network assignments were swapped, but the general vibe is similar. I was somewhat surprised to see the pair of daytime games on the Monday of the second round, but those two games would probably still outdraw two primetime games on truTV.

The Sweet 16 is where things start getting funky, largely because of the fact that round will take place on a weekend, rather than during the week. This allows the NCAA, CBS, and Turner to create two full days of basketball, rather than just two long evenings of four gams apiece. Instead, we’ll get two long evenings, comprised of just two games each, on Monday and Tuesday, likely a better outcome than potentially cannibalizing your audience with two games on at once.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.