There are many phenomenal months on the sports calendar.
August is a wonderful time as Major League Baseball He rounds third base on his way to the postseason, NFL training camps begin, and the new college football season begins.
January is as good as it can be for soccer fans, with the College Football Playoff determine the national champion and the NFL Playoffs take center stage.
But it is the month of March that is held in such high esteem by the sports fan, the last two weeks marked on the calendar as a time to stretch out on the sofa and put responsibilities aside.
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Is march madness, and you can bet there are people across the country planning how to get off work in the next two days.
round 1 of the NCAA Tournament 2023 it starts on Thursday, and with 16 games on the board, it can be hard to choose which games to watch.
Fortunately, Fox News Digital is here to spot a game in each timeslot for college basketball fans to focus on.
Let’s take a plunge. Happy tournament day.
10 Utah State vs. 7 Missouri – 1:40 p.m. ET
7v10 matchups are always intriguing, and this one is no different.
Missouri enters the game with a 24-9 record, finishing fourth in the tough Southeastern Conference.
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It’s been an incredible turnaround for the Tigers, who went from being 12-21 in 2021-2022 to beating six teams in the top 25.
senior guard Kobe Brown leads Missouri in scoring (15.8 points per game), rebounding (6.3) and triples (44.7%), leading an offense that averages 79.5 points per game.
The problem is defensively, where Missouri ranks 306th in the country in points allowed per game (74.6).
On the other hand, The state of Utah is the 32 in college basketball in points per game, averaging 78.6.
Youth guard Steven Ashworth leads the Aggies in scoring (16.3 ppg) and shoots 44.3% from beyond the three-point line.
12 College of Charleston v. 5 San Diego State – 3:10 p.m. ET
This is a fun matchup for mid-level college basketball fans.
Charleston enters the tournament on everyone’s shortlist as a candidate to defeat a higher ranked team, and san diego state has a strong NCAA Tournament history.
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The Cougars enter the tournament with the sixth longest winning streak in the nation and winners of 31 games during the regular season.
They shoot a ton of 3-pointers, averaging 30.2 attempts per game, but they only make 33.4% of those attempts.
Charleston spreads the wealth, with five players averaging in the double digits per game, and are third in the country in bench scoring, according to ESPN. If the Cougars get hot beyond the arc, watch out.
For the Aztecs, defense rules the day as they are 29th in the country in points allowed per game at 63.6.
San Diego State allows teams to shoot just 29.3% from three-point range, ninth in the country.
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They are led in scoring by senior guard Matt Bradley, who is averaging 12.9 points per game.
It should be a fun matchup in Orlando.
12 Oral Roberts vs. 5 Duke – 7:10 pm ET
The Duke Blue Devils entered the season as the great unknown, without coach Mike Krzyzewski leading the show for the first time since 1980.
The Cameron Crazies weren’t sure what to expect from first-year head coach Jon Scheyer, who was reportedly handpicked by Krzyzewski to run the program.
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After some early and mid-season stumbles, Scheyer has directed the Blue Devils to the best record of any team under a first-year head coach in Duke history, going undefeated at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke enters the tournament riding a nine-game winning streak, knocking off two top-15 teams en route to another ACC Tournament title.
The Blue Devils have gotten hot at just the right time, led by freshman Kyle Filipowski, who is averaging 15.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
But Duke is young, and while they were 16-0 at home, the Blue Devils were 7-8 away from Durham, North Carolina, with a matchup against an experienced Oral Roberts team in Orlando, Florida, in the diary.
The Golden Eagles enter the tournament with the longest winning streak in the country (17) and a 30-4 record.
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Two years ago, Oral Roberts made a surprise appearance at the Sweet 16 after beating Ohio State and Florida in the first two rounds.
Three players from that team have led the Golden Eagles through the 2022-2023 season, with guard Max Abmas leading the team in points (22.2) and assists per game (4.0).
Oral Roberts is second in the country in 3-pointers made per game (10.8 made per game) and enters the game as a sexy surprise pick.
Three of the Golden Eagles’ four losses this season have come against tournament teams, with losses to St. Mary’s (lost by 8), Houston (lost by 38), and Utah State (lost by 10).
13 Louisiana vs. 4 Tennessee — 9:40 p.m. ET
The Volunteers have one of the best defenses in the country, allowing just 58.0 points per game, and are second in field goal percentage allowed (36.9%) and first in 3-point percentage (26.2%).
But the loss of point guard Zakai Zeigler in late February stings, with Zeigler out for the season with a torn ACL.
Zeigler was Tennessee’s premier ball handler, and the Vols enter the tournament two-out-of-three losers without their point guard.
At one point, the Vols were 18-4 and ranked second in the country, but finished 5-7 and entered the tournament 23-10.
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For Louisiana, the Ragin’ Cajuns enter the tournament after winning the Sun Belt Tournament, going 26-7 on the season.
Louisiana was third in the Sun Belt in points per game (78.0), leading the conference in field goal percentage (48.4%) and 3-point percentage (37.8%).
They’re led by forward Jordan Brown, a 6-11-year-old junior who was a McDonald’s All-American.
Brown is averaging 19.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.