NCAA Bracket Season 2011 has just begun in offices and Facebook groups across the country, but the new First Four format means the NCAA Tournament starts—today, when Arkansas-Little Rock and NC Asheville tip off at 5:40. UAB and Clemson will keep things going at 8:10, meaning that truTV watchers will be without several hours of reality-based crime drama. The First Four's Last Two go on Wednesday, with UT-San Antonio and Alabama State opening the night and USC and VCU concluding it.â†µ
That's a lot of extra work for two 16 seeds, a 12 seed, and an 11 seed, but nobody's ever suggested the NCAA didn't work hard to print TV-revenue money. Texas-San Antonio and Alabama State are playing for the opportunity to take on number-one-in-the-tournament Ohio State; UNC Asheville or Arkansas-Little Rock will get the chance to lose to Pitt. USC and VCU are just out of luck—Missouri got their 11th seed to themselves, but they have to share a room. UAB and Clemson are the real winners here; the winner of their matchup will have a chance to be on TV when the announcers make their latest proclamation about the terrible luck of the fifth seed in past tournaments.