NCAA Tournament: Let the games begin _ in earnest

Let the madness begin.

Reigning national champion Villanova will be in action along with Michigan, the runner-up from a year ago, while Belmont and Murray State open the NCAA Tournament as trendy upset picks.

There’s Kansas and Michigan State to provide some blue-blood flavor, and Murray State’s Ja Morant and Marquette counterpart Markus Howard some star power. There are big-name coaches, such as Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, and the under-appreciated in Wofford’s Mike Young.

What more could you want on the first real day of the dance?

The NCAA Tournament starts Thursday with 16 games at four sites: Hartford, Connecticut; Jacksonville, Florida; Des Moines, Iowa; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Louisville and Minnesota kick off the action in Des Moines, at 12:15 p.m. EDT.


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