The Latest: Des Moines hosts 4 top programs for early rounds

The Latest on the first full day of the men's NCAA Tournament, including games being played in Providence, Rhode Island, Raleigh, North Carolina, Des Moines, Iowa and Denver. (All times EDT):

12:51 p.m.

Every year, it seems like one host city for the NCAA Tournament gets a lucky draw for the first two rounds.

Des Moines, Iowa, hit the jackpot this March.

The city's first shot at hosting the tournament drew top-seeded Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana and Connecticut. Those programs have combined to win 20 national championships, including the Jayhawks in 2008, Kentucky in 2012 and Connecticut two years ago – over the Wildcats, no less.

Naturally, such big programs are led by big stars. Perry Ellis, Yogi Ferrell, Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray are among the talents sharing the same arena Thursday – along with unheralded guys like Stony Brook's Jameel Warney and Austin Peay's Chris Horton hoping to steal the spotlight.

''I'd I think this is one of those rare moments where we're all in one place together, and it should be exciting because it should be some great basketball,'' Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

– Luke Meredith reporting from Des Moines, Iowa.

12:39 p.m.

Our first basket on the first full day of the NCAA Tournament was a jumper by Duke's Brandon Ingram 43 seconds into the game against UNC Wilmington.

Fans are streaming into Dunkin' Donuts Center for the first of four games. It's St. Patrick's Day, and the place already is packed. All tickets have been sold.

With under nine minutes left in the half, the game was tied at 19.

– John Kekis reporting from Providence, R.I.

11:50 a.m.

We're a few minutes away from tipoff on the first full day of the NCAA Tournament, which just happens to fall on St. Patrick's Day.

So if you're looking for a little luck o' the Irish, you may have to wait until Friday when Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) plays Michigan State (green and white colors) in an East Regional game in New York.

The early games Thursday are UNC-Wilmington vs. Duke in Providence (12:15 p.m.); Texas Tech vs. Butler in Raleigh (12:40 p.m.); Colorado vs. UConn in Des Moines (1:30 p.m.); and Iowa State vs. Iona in Denver.

In downtown Providence, though, tourney-goers will mingle with crowds of St. Patrick's Day partiers. Although alcohol sales aren't allowed at the games, the city temporarily suspended a law prohibiting open containers of alcohol in two neighborhoods Thursday through Saturday.