First big day of NCAA Tournament begins with 16 games

Oklahoma's Trae Young takes part in a practice for an NCAA men's college basketball tournament first-round game, in Pittsburgh pm Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Oklahoma plays Rhode Island on Thursday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The first major slate of NCAA Tournament games is set to begin as fans scramble to fill out brackets and get ready for a marathon of college hoops.

Sixteen games are scheduled for Thursday, starting with Oklahoma’s Trae Young, the nation’s leader in scoring and assists, leading the 10th-seeded Sooners against No. 7 seed Rhode Island.

The other early games match Tennessee against Wright State, Gonzaga vs. UNC-Greensboro and Penn against Kansas.

Two No. 1 seeds play Thursday: Kansas in the Midwest Region and Villanova in the East Region. Villanova opens against Radford at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.

Fans across the United States get in on March Madness like no other set of playoffs in sports, filling out brackets and joining office pools that challenge them to pick the winner of all the games.

Syracuse, St. Bonaventure, Texas Southern and Radford won their way into the round of 64 by winning First Four games in Dayton, Ohio.

Half the remaining field plays Thursday and another 16 opening round games will be played Friday.

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